March 5, 2003

The magic of movies …

It’s been a while since I made an entry here but once again, not due to a lack of material to write about but mostly due to a lack of time to do so. Since I try to write about my development work every day in the morning before I set out for work, I find that I’ve usually run out of time by the time I get done with that and need to rush to work. I usually vow to write once I’m at work and have a spare moment but that spare moment never seems to come by since I get pulled into one thing or another and am on the go constantly till I leave work in the evening. But enough of that and on to what I wanted to talk about …

I’ve been watching quite a few movies over the weekends and while I’ve been catching up on some of the movies from last summer that I missed, last weekend I decided to go on a trip down memory lane and watch some of the older movies in my collection that I had not seen due to some reason or other. So it came to be that quite by accident (or maybe not) that I went through a blood-and-gore fest to rival any butcher’s shop on the corner – but I forget that they don’t have those anymore :p I watched "Fair Game" with William Baldwin and Cindy Crawford, "Get Carter" with Sylsvester Stallone and Michael Caine, "L.A. Confidential" with Kevin Spacey, Russel Crowe and Guy Pierce and to top off the trip down memory lane, re-watched "The Big Hit" with Mark Wahlberg and Lou Diamond Phillips … and all this over just two days mind you, though my usual quota is more like four or five movies a day :p

Of what I watched, "Fair Game" was basic fluff – fun, exciting but nothing substantial to it. "Get Carter" was more solid and I really liked Sly’s acting in it but it was a bit predictable – maybe because I knew Michael Caine had played Sly’s role originally and so the story had to turn the way it did at the end … I will say no more in case there are people out there who still have not seen it and want to <g> "L.A. Confidential" was great in that the characters were all *real* in the sense that they weren’t *heroes* who took the moral high ground but rather ordinary people acting as people normally do – lots of shades of grey. It did take me aback quite a few times to see a character do something totally against what I’d want him to do but I could understand it as being human rather than heroic. However, the plot twists were a bit predictable again but I was struck by the fact that all the main leads were mostly unknown (at least to me) at the time the movie originally came out. I think I first noticed Guy Pierce when "Memento" came out and Russel Crowe when "Gladiator" was released .. I’ve no idea when I first noticed Spacey – maybe "The Negotiator" but I certainly did not remember him from "The Usual Suspects" but that was because I wasn’t watching the names of actors then :p

I’d already seen "The Big Hit" – on the big screen at that – but I wanted to watch that again since it seemed to fit right in with the other movies that I’d been watching. When I first watched it, it had been a Friday evening and I’d been stressed from work and I found the movie to be darkly humorous and laughed a lot but I didn’t find it to be that funny this time – I still smiled at a few things, had a chuckle or two and still enjoyed the action sequences but what struck me most was how pathetic Mark Wahlberg’s characters was – how he was being used by everybody that he thought of as friends or lovers (but then again his job and the fact that he has a fiancee and a girl friend on the side is out of character with his whole I-don’t-want-anybody-to-hate-me attitude) and kept on telling him "you idiot! wake up and smell the roses!" :p I guess if you can get that immersed in a movie, it’s still a good movie :p Anyway, I was again struck by the fact that "The Big Hit" had a major Indian/Hong Kong feel to it but that probably isn’t surprising since I believe the director Che-Kirk Wong comes from Hong Kong and this was his first Hollywood movie 🙂

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Posted by Fahim at 6:41 am  |  4 Comments

I was able to figure out the solutions to all the minor problems I had with the web-updater component yesterday and the code is finally done, but not tested yet :p I even added in the code to handle optional components that the user can decide not to update at the current moment though I have no such components yet. As far as I can tell, the code came together really well but since I am still putting together a demo application to test the functionality, I don’t know for sure that it works the way I want it to and that it works smoothly. I’ve already started work on a demo application though and should be able to see if it works today. In the meantime, I’ve also thought of a few problem areas and improvements overnight and that too can be incorporated into the component.

I still have no idea how much overhead that the web-updater component will add to Blog and while everybody says that download sizes of a few megabytes are no problem, I still seem to be stuck in the early dial-up days since I feel guilty at each additional kilobyte :p Of course, some of the UI changes I have in mind will add a lot more than a few kilobytes (especially the replacement of all the data grids with something a lot better looking and more functional) but I’m hoping the the web-update component will over set that eventually by the fact that you don’t have to download the full installer each time you want to update but instead can download just the bit(s) that you need. Let’s see how that goes as things progress though since the proof of the pudding is always in the eating :p

Posted by Fahim at 6:32 am  |  No Comments