Adventuring in foreign territories

So now that I’m not running L-Space I don’t have to be running Windows for my server and I should be able to get a configuration that doesn’t have the comment posting issues that I’ve currently got. So today I’m trying out FreeBSD and Ubuntu Linux on a couple of test boxes to see how they run. So far, I’ve loaded up both of them in their “server” default configurations and found out a very interesting thing: I don’t have the patience to learn a command line driven OS anymore. It’s kind of disappointing, but I just don’t feel like I have the impetous to muddle through the command line interface. So now the Ubuntu non-server installer has been running on the test box for quite some time. We’ll see how it goes.

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Ghost in the new shell?

Ed Bott reports on a new backup option in some versions of Windows Vista that is decidely like Symantec’s Ghost utility. The really exciting thing though, is the possibility that the disk images may be in the VHD format that is used by Virtual PC/Virtual Server! It would be so amazingly handy to be able to take an image of your own machine, boot it up in a virtual console and do some tweaking to see how it behaves before applying those changes to your own machine!

This particular implementation of VHD being compatible with Virtual PC/Virtual Server hasn’t been confirmed yet that I’ve heard, but it’s a really neat idea.

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TerraServer used to be cool

People were pretty thoroughly blown away when Microsoft introduced the TerraServer back in the mid 90’s. There, on the web, were millions of acres of scenary from declassified satellite imagery. You could see your house. Heck, sometimes you could see your car. Various services have offered various modifications to the basic idea since then, but today Microsoft did it again with Widows Live Local, which is basically the new version of TerraServer.

People who were spooked by the old imagery will fall over when they see the new “Bird’s Eye” view mode. Don’t believe me? Take a look at a small “collection” that I put together really quickly to give a few examples. Sadly Minneapolis and, to a lesser extent, St Paul have fairly spotty coverage, but there’s a few gems.

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A bargain at twice the price

I just got out of seeing a preview screening of X3 and there are some positive things to say about it. All of the hair was really well done. The Stan Lee cameo was decent. It was better than Elektra. It might even be better than The Hulk.

Unfortunately that’s about all the good things that I have to say about it. I could complain about the dialog that contained only cliches that I’ve heard too many times. Or I could complain about cinematography that used every shot that I’ve seen too many times. For a change of pace I could mention “acting” from several of the “actors” with speaking parts. If I really ran out of steam I could move on to the visual effects that have not seen their like since last week on SciFi’s self produced movie of the week, whatever it was.

I think all that I really need to say is that there was not a single moment in this movie where I was surprised. There is not a single moment in this movie that really made me say, “Wow.” There was not a single plot element that was not telegraphed so clearly, precisely, and early that the 6 month old sleeping in the back of the theater could follow along. There was not a single moment that made me feel pathos for any of the characters, good guys or bad. I got bored, and it was because this is not a movie that I could care about.

On the plus side, it was free.

Update: The friend I saw it with has a bit more to say, though with plenty of spoilers.