peteg's blog


/noise/movies | Link

A Paul Newman classic, black-and-white 1963. Patricia Neal plays an excellent foil and her Oscar was well deserved. It is something of a morality fable set somewhere in Texas; the old rancher's cattle contract foot-and-mouth and their liquidation kills him too. Hud is the ne'er-do-well who ends up alone, shrugging and in charge of a diminished kingdom.

Our Man in Havana

/noise/movies | Link

A Graham Greene confection, directed by Carol Reed. Alec Guinness leads, with Maureen O'Hara his too-late love interest. As far as colonial espionage fiascos go, Cuba circa 1959 is not a bad setting for it. The MI5/6/whatever angle is suitably Yes, Minister.

Goodbye VMware Fusion, hello VirtualBox

/hacking/mac | Link

I got sick of VMware Fusion 3.1.3 failing to bring the bridged ethernet interface back up after sleeping, and figured that it wasn't worth $US40 to find out what the newer v4 does on the now near-obsolete Snow Leopard. Time to try out the free/libre VirtualBox that so many people have mentioned.

Well, installing Debian is easier than ever. Configuring the network was quite tricky though, as I have a relatively complex setup. The first adaptor is a NAT interface for talking to the internet. The second is the ethernet bridge that serves TFTP and NFS to the ts7250 ARM board when I'm hacking it, and the third a host-only adaptor so I can SSH into the virtual machine. That all seems to work OK. The bridged ethernet is even more reliable than before: it always comes back after sleep, and the TFTP boot does not time out like it used to under VMware.

... and then there is the USB connectivity: I plug the FTDI-based AVR programmer into the virtual machine so I can make install there. This doesn't work too well with VirtualBox due to this bug, though cranking the number of CPUs down to one does get it to go: I can program the AVR using it. The USB performance seems a bit dire though, and this is one area where they lag VMware by a long way.

I don't know if the graphics emulation is much chop as I use X11 over SSH to (only) run Emacs.

The Fallen Idol

/noise/movies | Link

A Graham Greene short story and script, directed by Carol Reed. Murder or accident at the French Embassy in London? I found this one a bit too stodgy to consider it a crime of passion.

Thredbo Diggings

/travels | Link

I decided to camp the night at Thredbo Diggings on Andrew T's suggestion. The road from Canberra to Cooma was quite busy, though from Cooma to the diggings was quite peaceful. It cost $16 to enter the Kosciuszko National Park, and the camping was free. The campground is quite pretty and popular. The ducks are quite insistent about being fed and the kangaroos are quite curious too. I didn't see any platypus or go for a walk as it was too wet and cold, and I didn't bring the right shoes.

The African Queen

/noise/movies | Link

Bogey and Kate Hepburn head down the river in pursuit of some kind of Kurtz in 1915... this has been on the list for a long time. Kate is not as screwy here as she was in Bringing Up Baby.

How to Steal a Million

/noise/movies | Link

Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole (pre Lawrence), Eli Wallach (pre Ugly but still nervy) in a Parisian rom com heist. It would've made a passable date movie in its day.

Net Origin meltdown

/noise | Link

My VPS got deleted on 2011-12-10. Net Origin don't know why. They gave me a new one with three months free hosting; I guess I can't complain as their service level agreement (SLA) only talks about downtime, not deletion.

I signed up with these guys with a 50% recurring discount on their monthly price of $12 for their bottom-of-the-barrel plan on a VPS physically located in Los Angeles, which is fine for what I use it for. This plan is presently $8 a month to all comers.

/noise/beach/2011-2012 | Link

Early afternoon paddle at Gordons Bay. I got there just as the thunder storm broke. I don't think I've been in the bay while its been raining; everything has a different colour and there's some awesome runoff from the streets.

The Comedians

/noise/movies | Link

Burton, Taylor, Ustinov, Alec Guinness in the Haiti of Papa Doc, written by Graham Greene. How could it be so tedious? Seeds of his superior A Quiet American: the taciturn Englishman who's seen the corruption (etc) before.

/noise/beach/2011-2012 | Link

Late afternoon paddle at Gordons Bay. It stopped raining on Thursday or so, and I can't miss this sliver of an opportunity. The sea was quite warm, a little bit of surf. I met a couple of blue bottles going in and out.

The Night of the Generals

/noise/movies | Link

The Nazis, the gift that kept giving to Hollywood for many a decade. Peter O'Toole is probably the worst of the actors but is still magnetic; he overdoes it as a German General, a character with no need for bolted on antipathy. Omar Sharif is solid, Donald Pleasence keeps himself amused. Operation Valkyrie looks the same as when Tom Cruise didn't manage to pull it off. Joanna Pettet is great as Ulrike, the Queen of Poland. It seems she did little else. As far as WWII movies go this one still has something to say.

The Man Who Would Be King

/noise/movies | Link

John Huston directs Michael Caine and Sean Connery in a Kipling classic. Christopher Plummer is the suitably stunned Kipling character. This is the British colonial experience in India writ small: freemasonry, avarice, pre-John Howard mateship. It is expansive in a way that would take CGI now. The plot is a tad stodgy but everything else makes up for that.

A Bridge Too Far

/noise/movies | Link

I was wondering what there is to see around Nijmegen, and Andrew T mentioned "the bridge too far", somewhere near Arnhem over whatever they call the Rhine in that part of the Netherlands. We actually did cross that bridge on the way to an art museum; here's a photo by Tom. The Dutch fired up as we crossed and explained how Nijmegen had been destroyed by the Allies (mistaking it for a German town?) and so forth. The Germans sat around and tried to figure out what the movie's title is in German and whether anyone had seen it.

This was an Elliot Gould and Gene Hackman segue. James Caan may have only had one decent movie in him. Richard Attenborough directs and forgets to cut: a movie too long.

The Silent Partner

/noise/movies | Link

Another Elliot Gould, where he gets to unbutton all the girls' tops. Christopher Plummer is interchangeable with Terence Stamp elsewhere. Canadian, Toronto, 1978. Thriller, bank heist of sorts but more a society piece.

The Player

/noise/movies | Link

Altman, Tim Robbins in the lead. Overloaded with Hollywood references. Not bad, not awesome.