netflix movies

i get into these phases where i become a voracious movie watcher and then i won’t watch a movie for weeks. overall, i’ve probably barely broken even with my netflix subscription, but lately i’ve been on a big movie watching kick.

i love you, beth cooper – ugh, over the top and ridiculous to the point where the comedy is lost and lameness ensues.

the proposal – loved it. i have always liked sandra bullock, but i am pleasantly surprised at how much i like ryan reynolds.

definitely, maybe – another strong performance by ryan reynolds. i really liked this movie, too. this movie made me a fan of isla fisher.

g.i. joe: the rise of cobra – ok, maybe it’s the nostalgia factor kicking in here, but i actually enjoyed this movie. it was a fun brainless action move to watch.

yes man – i’m always a little weary of jim carrey movies because i think i need to be in a certain mood for them, but this was a movie that i felt i could have enjoyed any time.

the ugly truth – i don’t know if i ever really liked gerard butler, but he did an acceptable performance here. loved katherine heigl, though.

ghosts of girlfriends past – how many ways can you retell a christmas carol? the story is a little tired, but still i enjoyed it. i always think that i don’t like matthew mcconaughey, but he usually ends up pleasantly surprising me. this movie was no exception.

i hadn’t realized this, bu netflix has changed their streaming policies. it’s all you can stream now, so i will have to take another look to see what movies are available to watch streaming.

apparently netflix has an exclusivity deal with microsoft for streaming onto consoles, so you have to order a disc from netflix to enable streaming on the PS3. this deal runs through the end of 2010, so it looks like it is disc-based software loading for a while on the PS3. annoying.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-12-27

  • ben roethlisberger threw for 503 yards? are you kidding me?? holy cow! #
  • Overcast in Santa Clara, but POURING in Mountain View. #
  • office at home is so hot that i have the window wide open and i'm still sweating…it's comfortable downstairs, though. #
  • if i keep checking the tracking of my UPS shipment, will it arrive sooner? #
  • Dropped off a couple of baby supplies for Warren & Viki and met Isaac. I forgot how small newborns are! #

end of the year housekeeping

it’s that time of the year again and that means that we need to do some housekeeping. i’m starting with some virtual housekeeping which means the server gets upgrade to its software.

new versions of mysql and php. i didn’t want to upgrade mysql, but it turns out that the version i was using was compiled with an intel compiler and that interfered with my being able to compile php.

all this compiling nonsense is making my head spin. the next fresh OS install i’m doing is going to be a fedora install with rpms.

a little surprise with PHP 5.3 is that eregi() is deprecated. i never really used it anyway and always thought it was weird that there was eregi() and preg_match(), the functionality seemed duplicated, but now using eregi() throws all these warnings about it being deprecated. this isn’t an issue for me, except that there are some libraries that i use that depend on it.

i think i read somewhere that eregi() is faster than preg_match(), so i guess that’s why people used it. still, i had to rewrite the functions that used eregi() so that my logs won’t be so spammy. i just checked the eregi() man page and it says that preg_match() may be faster. hrmmm, why was eregi() ever around? who said programming was all fun and games?

it also looks like magic_quotes_gpc is being deprecated. i’m not sure how much of a difference that is really going to make with my code, but i’m a little scared. i am sure that i depend on magic quotes, so i better start a code review and see just how bad it really is going to be.

so much work…

it’s overwhelming, really. i thought the end of the year is supposed to slow down and we are all supposed to enjoy the holidays, but man, let me tell you, i have been stressed, tired, and overworked.

i’m not sure when things’ll slow down, but i’m hoping it’ll be soon.

when i work from home, the office upstairs gets really hot. partly from the desktop that is furiously blowing hot air into the room and partly from the two other laptops that i have in the room.

it’s freezing outside, but i have the window open in the office because it is sweltering in here.

my love/hate relationship with ffmpeg

a long, long time ago, i worked at a company that was interested in making .3gp files. the ultimate goal was to be able to take video, encode it, and have it streamable to mobile devices.

being a big fan of open source, i elected to try to do this using only open source tools. it’s much easier now, but back then it was a bit of a mystery how to make .3gp files.

the ffmpeg project is the project for video conversion on the linux platform. its rather daunting list of parameters takes pages to display. but even before you get there, you need to compile the blasted thing. it has many dependencies, some of which are harder to compile than others.

back in the day, you had to hack, patch, and compile in AMR codecs which allow you to make the 3gp files. it used to be such a daunting task that people would actually pay other people just to install ffmpeg onto their systems.

earlier last week, i spent the better part of a day or two compiling ffmpeg w/ all of the codecs that our product at work requires. there were a few hiccups along the way, but it looks like everything is finally working smoothly now. it’s about time.

as hard as ffmpeg is to compile, mplayer/mencoder is actually extremely easy to compile. so armed with ffmpeg, mplayer, mencoder, and a few other choice programs, i am now ready to convert any video you throw at me.

it felt like a herculean effort, but i’m glad that it’s done.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-12-20

  • I think I over-ordered for myself. Great seafood pancake at Choi's in Santa Clara. #
  • must be a WFH day for everyone at the office. i'm the only one in the office & i'm working in the dark b/c i feel bad turning on the lights. #
  • Costco is surprisngly empty and lines at registers are slow. #
  • – wanted to do some last minute shopping at home depot, but they are down for maintenance! #
  • – wanted to do some shopping, home depot was down for maintenance & so is lowe's! FAIL! #

eye-fi pro, iphone+mywi = instant hi-res photo uploads

i wasn’t sure if it would work, but it seemed like it should in theory.

eye-fi’s latest card, the eye-fi pro lets you connect to ad hoc networks so that you can upload photos from your camera to the computer connected to the ad-hoc network. that’s great if you have a laptop with your camera all the time. you can have the camera upload to your laptop wirelessly. i know a lot of people were asking for this feature, but, honestly, if you have a laptop handy, how hard is it to just take your SD out and dump the files?

what was intriguing for me is that i recently became aware of a jailbroken app called MyWi. this app will create an ad hoc network that you can join and let you use your iphone as a wireless access point. this, coupled with the eye-fi pro means that you can now take high resolution photos from any SD-accepting camera and have it automatically upload and publish anywhere you’d like.

the iphone already lets me do that, but the optics on the camera aren’t stellar and doesn’t have a flash. i just spent some time trying to figure out how to get this all to work and it does work.

Cost of entry is high, though, for this convenience. For me:
$119.99 Eye-Fi Pro — SD card
$9.99 MyWi — jailbroken app
$25 – CF to SD converter (if i want to use in my dSLR)
dSLR camera

still, the fact that i CAN do it is cool.

ugh, wordpress upgrades

i’m hosting a total of 5 blogs now, so every time wordpress releases a security release, it is 5 upgrades for me. i need to figure out how to automate this stuff so that it is easier for me. maybe i should try something radical like having only one wordpress install, but have multiple vhosts use the same set of files. hmm, that might work.

the plugins are a pain because they get upgraded all the time, it seems. still, i’m all upgraded to 2.9 now and i don’t notice a difference. =P

won’t miss it until it’s gone

there are things that you won’t miss until they are gone. these things that we take for granted can range from something as simple as running water to something more complex like a significant other.

the item that i didn’t miss until it was gone was a nail clipper. i don’t know what happened to our nail clipper, but it has been a few days where i felt that i needed to clip my nails, but couldn’t find them.

the other night, i was typing away, bleary eyed, trying to get some work done and every character that i typed on the keyboard started to bother me. i tore the house up and down and couldn’t find them.

it got so bad that i actually drove to CVS in the middle of the night (thanks for being open 24 hours!) to buy a cheap nail clipper.

and ooooooooo, the joy and satisfaction that came from clipping my fingernails cannot adequately be described. yes, indeed, it is a small little thing, but it was the biggest highlight of my night.