Monday, November 29, 2010

On Spaceships

Last week I found the web page with ranking of 100 of best spaceships in sci-fi movies ever. Of course the list sucked big time as ISD was not included. And the first place was taken by Millenium Falcon - hardly the best thing out there... But to the point.

The list was an inspiration to search for those movies I somehow missed over the years.

The first one was Outlander. Interesting, at moments spooky, logically not very inconsistent. No, not great by no means, but worth spending 90 minutes to watch it, especially if you like Vikings and all that gothic stuff.

Next was Pandorum. OK, this one got me puzzled. I still do not know if the director wanted to create a thriller, horror, mystery, action or psychological drama (with a touch of MPD). Special effects nice, size and complexity of their spaceship beaten only be Death Star, nice chick (with boobs she - sadly - does not show). Twist at the end caught me by surprise (am I loosing it?) and perhaps this is the biggest credit to the movie. Apart from that - average.

Next thing I am waiting for is Skyline, Battle LA and Iron Sky...

Friday, November 19, 2010

On another one in the pipeline

Seen this?
Sheesh, and I didn't even have time to finish Dragon Rising...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On proper usage of your bike

Watch this. That's the way to do it...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Safaricom

So this company has commissioned this commercial, which - I must admit - is not very Kenyan in quality. really nicely done. But for all of you people out there - take a look at the country I live in ;-)

On proper music systems

Background
I am old... Perhaps old-ish. But I still do hear difference between CD or FLAC and MP3 (yeah, on my headphones) and I still love listening to music.

The most profound music experience I had when my dad took me to uncle Krzysiek and I first heard uncle's Krell correction - McIntosh. It was dark in his room, the only light were VU-meters of the amp and this funny lamp at the side of the turntable (now I know - rpm control sync). I was perhaps eight or ten and there was nothing in the room but music...

The second time was some 10 years ago. After Busza dumped me I still lived in that huge, cold apartment. Alone. And I loved to listen to a CD or two late in the night after Aikido class... The beauty of this apartment was that my bedroom was so quiet you would not believe. And then I would turn off the lights and listen to the music... And this is when I would lay hands on Beastie Boys album The in sound from way out. And I was there, in this huge, cold and dark room - alone, beaten up, tired and listening to quiet music... Pure bliss... Untill - out of the blue - I heard this funny, quiet but annoying noise. But where from? I turned down the volume and followed the sound... I could not believe it. It was the transport of my Pioneer PD-S 707.

This was - at the time - top notch Pioneer CD player with reversed platter and all bells and whistles. They do not make them like these anymore... Anyway - my point is - listening conditions were so perfect there that I could hear noise made by spinning CD!

To the point.
With modern day broadband - where for reasonable amount of money you get reasonably speedy Internet (even in Poland, but no, not in Kenya ;-) - the physical content distribution actually is dead. Not will be. Is dead. Now. Today. I know that sooner rather than later I will convert all of my 400 CDs into FLAC and move towards a solution that even does not even have a transport!

As I have advocated before - future of music system is a box that would have internal disk (preferably SSD) to store all those FLACs. Something that has real audio output which you can connect to your real amp and - subsequently - to real speakers. There are such systems available today. There are just three major problems with these...

Primo - few systems provide sound quality matching that of CD players like Denon 1510 or Yamaha 2000.

Secundo - most of them have fan. A fan! Why would you spend thousands of Euros on a stereo just to have a fan there? If I do not mind the noise I might as well buy a PC as a source.

And lastly - how do you convieniently browse through all of those hundreds of CDs? Most systems have very bad UI. I would like something like iPad app fro Sonos or Olive systems. Honestly - having been using iPad for 4 months now I see how much it can improve the whole experience.

Solution
I have pretty good idea what my dream system looks like. I wrote about it here. It has digital content player which sends digital signal to TacT amplifier and then analog signal is sent to something like B&W 803. The only missing component is the source. There is no product on the market that I am aware of which meets my criteria of functionality, ease of use (iPad app would be the best) with hifi-grade quality...

Solution? So far I still see no solution...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On Star Wars

The Episodes 1 to 3 suck big time, but the original trilogy just rulez.
Now we have a chance to go back to those childhood memories.

First Lego did this:

Yup, a carbon-frozen Capt'n Solo.

And then someone released these blueprints...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

On birthday gifts

I have this uncle of mine who used to say that you should not give a man for his birthday flowers for this is not manly enough. He said - give a sharpening stone, set of drills or laser level. I concur. But there is one exception...

This birthday I got a bamboo tree seedling. Awesome. Why? Because it has potential to grow to be a big tree and then you can use it as a target for tameshigiri...

Monday, November 1, 2010

On Beduins...

Some years back I was lucky enough to visit Jordan and I roamed all over that the country. But what I was most impressed by was Wadi Rum desert. This just blew me away. Amazing...
So yesterday I watched Lawrence Of Arabia and there were these scenes there shot in Wadi Rum. And I was also there and I remember the silence and stillness and all the rock formations and everything. I miss that place...

From Jordan

From Jordan

From Jordan

From Jordan