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Patema Inverted unboxing

F-Tan Classic
Patema Inverted is a well-written, lavishly designed piece of SF by Yasuhiro Yoshiura, who has worked on other anime such as Evangelion and Time of Eve (you can catch the first episode here on Crunchyroll). The UK Licence was picked up by All the Anime who wanted to give it the best possible release, and kickstarted the idea of releasing a couple of collectors' editions, with a specially commissioned artbook and a CD soundtrack as well as the DVD and Blu-ray.

No surprises as to what turned up this morning...

It's a box. A very sturdy, very pretty box.

Take the wrap-around cover off, and you get the same image but without the text or the BBFC logo...

Front cover

... but you do get lots of writing on the back. Some of it is upside down. Were they trying to be clever? Why yes; and I think they succeeded.

Back cover

Here's the disc case with a striking picture on the outside:

Disc case outside

And, finally, the discs on the inside:

Discs inside

Let's pop the Blu-Ray out to have a look at it...

All the discs!

... and take out all the discs to show the artwork and the ongoing inversion theme underneath:

Which way is up? That would be telling.

Finally, the front cover of the art book, which has just over 150 pages:

Don't. Let. Go.

The whole presentation has been beautifully put together, and sturdily for the most part. I'm not entirely convinced with the mechanics that hold the discs in place, or the glue that holds the plastic that holds the mechanics; but if they got through the post without falling out, they should be fine for just sitting on a shelf. I've seen the film and know it's worthy of this kind of presentation, and I'm glad I helped put it together.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/197267.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
F-Tan Classic
When I got an Android tablet for my birthday last year, I looked at various keyboards that claimed to work with it, but they all fell short one way or the other. The keyboards integrated into a case looked flimsy, many of the others looked like they came out of the same factory with only different branding to differentiate them, and the very few that looked worth considering cost almost as much as the tablet (Hail and farewell, Apple wireless...). My quest, like so many other gadget searches, moved to the back of my mind, until last month, when a colleague and fellow Nintendo fanboy loaned me a Bluetooth keyboard designed for, of all things, a Pokémon game.



So what’s it like?Collapse )

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/196723.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.

Drip, drip. DRIP...

Shinji
The Dangerous Logs Act Data Retention and Investigatory Powers bill, which essentially enables the UK government to do what it damn well pleases in regard to monitoring what anyone, anywhere, does online, got its reading in the House of Commons today.


House of Commons

The reason the House was so packed is that all MPs had been given a single line whip on the lines of "there's some rather boring stuff coming up, don't bother your pretty little heads about it, pop off back home for a long weekend, why don't you?". Which they obligingly did.

The vote on this takes place on Tuesday, and it's expected to pass by a landslide, because TERRORISM! PAEDOPHILES! DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER! etc.

Now the more thoughtful of you may be thinking, "Hang on, doesn't the UK government already do what it damn well pleases in regard to monitoring what anyone, anywhere, does online?" And indeed you would be right.

The trouble is, a few weeks back the European Court of Justice ruled this was sort of illegal, so the ISPs who until then had been whole-heartedly co-operating started muttering about lawsuits from disgruntled customers. The Government accordingly stated it would sort things out, and remained very silent on the whole thing until earlier in the week, when this little gem was announced, giving me the thought that the whole discussion in government on what to do went something like this:



To recap: the government got caught doing something illegal, so it's changing the law.

It's all rather wearying and disheartening to hear politicians of all stripes telling us this is a perfectly good thing really, and will help spark a debate on what security laws we should have, which has me screaming TOO BLOODY LATE YOU'VE ALREADY PASSED IT YOU PILLOCK; and of course it's got a sunset course so the next government can get rid of it (cough PreventionOfTerrorismAct cough).

I just remind myself that despair is a sin, and there's the House of Lords. They might do something. Might.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/196151.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.

Back from the Slow Zone

F-Tan Classic
Having spent over five weeks with no broadband, and running out of our second 10GB top-up on the mobile wi-fi dongle, we decided to go the whole hog and spent the last five days in the back of beyond where the best we could get on any device was a 2G signal (that was herself's mobile phone: mine was on a different (read: utter crap) service and I got no signal at all). This limited our communications with the Beyond to the occasional email and tweet, which to be frank was not a bad thing.

Anyway, we got back today to find that, despite their best efforts, BT/OpenReach had run out of excuses not to link us back up. The OS and program updates I've been holding off on have taken around 2GB to date, and I don't even want to think about the bandwidth being used by No. 1 Daughter catching up on her YouTube habit.

This is of course the stage where I feel so relieved that I've finally got some serious bandwidth back that I don't refer them to the Ombudsman. I must resist this.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/196088.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.

No Broadband, week 5

Shinji
Well, today was the day BT was supposed to switch on our broadband. But they couldn't. Because OpenReach, having discovered a Very Important Card in our local exchange had gone missing a week ago (presumably why we got put back a week for installation), left it off their list of things to do to replace the bloody thing.

We've been promised this will be fixed tomorrow. We will see.

I think tonight I'll catch up on Game of Thrones and take notes on new and interesting ways to kill people slowly and painfully. You never know when it might come in useful.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/195576.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
F-Tan Classic
No, that's not a typo: I picked up a paper-napkin stand from Ikea yesterday, added a few translucent rubber-type studs from the same emporium and an Apple sticker I had lying around; and saved a fair amount of space on my desk.

Laptop stand in action

(Click to enlarge)

As well as two studs each side to stop the stand scuffing the laptop, there's a pair on the bottom that also raise the laptop a bit. I added those more to stop the power cable on the left bending too much - magsafe cables have a reputation for breaking at the joints.

On the right, there's the monitor adapter and a link to a USB hub for keyboard/mouse, LAN adapter, etc.

Disclaimer: the stand is definitely not my own idea: it surfaces on Maker sites from time to time, and I spotted it here. If you're into tinkering, the site's well worth a look.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/195104.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
F-Tan Classic
My experiment in networking printers and USB drives has died in a firmware upgrade. It's under guarantee, given the email from their support desk I don't think I'll be carrying on with it:

1. Please enable the SSH function of your NAS.

2. Please confirm with the firewall that do not block the ports we need. Standard Ports we need you to open on your router/firewall : 22, 5000 (5001 if you want HTTPS by default )

3. A password for admin account of your NAS.

My ports will remain very firmly blocked, thankyou very much. I record enough "to whom it may concern" pings off my IP address to know that unlocking the door and leaving it open to all and sundry is a very bad idea.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/195057.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.

The Desolation of Smaug, revisited

F-Tan Classic
This afternoon I took No. 1 son off to see 'The Desolation of Smaug' - having previously expressed no interest whatsoever, he got all ticked off when herself and I went out on opening night. As we saw the film in 2D that time, I decided to try not only 3D but also High Frame Rate (48fps instead of the normal 24).

Where the HFR shines is in 'Smaug''s many, many action sequences, especially Thorin's Wild Barrel-Ride - the water is much more recognisable as a torrent rather than a white smear - and the showdown between the dragon and the party through Erebor. And while nothing can stop the Giant Golden Gummi Dwarven Statue from looking horribly like the T-1000 from 1991, the sequence immediately afterwards more than makes up for it.

The HFR also helps the 3D, if the 24fps trailers shown just before were anything to go by: those were blurry, and lost the effect badly in a couple of places (I'm looking at you, Spider-Man 2, and if I have any say in the matter, never again). When Mr. Jackson isn't launching decapitated heads out of the screen at you (which to be fair isn't that often), it's judiciously used to create a proper sense of depth away from the viewer that definitely adds to the impressive scenery.

I won't comment on the storyline, other than that the additions to the book were by and large entertaining. Unecessary, perhaps, but then so was the 20-minute Shire travelogue in 'An Unexpected Journey' which I enjoyed every frame of. I'm confident the film makers can pull it all together in part 3, and look forward to seeing that in a year or so.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/194312.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.

Where's Eastercon? Here it is...

F-Tan Classic
I've been sufficiently amused by the idea of the What3Words site - find anywhere on the planet in three words - to buy a personalised OneWord off them.

Clicking on http://what3words.com/*EasterconUK will take you to the front door of the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow. Depending on the outcome of the bidding session for 2015, I'll move the pointer to the location for that; and the year after that...

The nice thing about this is that nobody else needs to change a thing: the above link will keep on working no matter where it's pointing to.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/194193.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.

A slight Windows embuggerance

Shinji
I have a dual-boot PC running XP on the (original) mechanical hard drive and 7 on an SSD. Despite setting the 7 control panel so that it never goes to sleep, it still does - and then refuses to come awake again with a mouse click or a keypress. The only option seems to be hitting the reset button, which is not good for 7's delicate psyche.

The XP disk does not have this problem.

I've got a workaround by installing Caffeine, a small program that emulates an F15 keypress every minute or so, but it's not ideal; and I'm looking around for a solution that fixes the OS. So: any ideas?...

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/193861.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.

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