Monday, 23 March 2009


Being a fan of a comic or graphic novel always provides an interesting perspective when it's translated into a movie. I really enjoyed Alan Moore's Watchmen and was a little apprehensive when he movie was announced. I finally got a chance to see it yesterday.

The film starts well but despite its length (160 mins or so) it still feels as though the second half was a little rushed. It sticks to the main storyline from the graphic novel pretty closely but drops some of the side elements; however, some pretty graphic violence has been added in a couple of scenes which, in my opinion, wasn't necessary.

Visually the movie is impressive, Zack Snyder has taken the graphic novel's artistic style and updated it a little but kept pretty close to the imagery. The choice of a less well known actors could have been a mistake but actually works pretty well although Malin Akerman (Silk Spectre II) doesn't quite rise to one of the key scenes.

Overall I came away with mixed feelings. If this has been the first movie of this type I would have been blown away by the visuals but following Sin City and 300 it simply can't make the same impact. In some places I thought that by deviating from the original and playing to the strengths of this new medium more could have been accomplished. As it is this doesn't really add anything to the original. A good movie but not quite great.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

LogMeIn - Remote Access

With my in-laws living 45 minutes away (even with Mrs Leadfoot driving!) providing tech support for the silver surfers can be tricky over the phone. With my Mother-in-Law getting a Mac I though things might be a little easier - firstly because Macs just work better and, secondly, I'd be able to use the built in remote access capability. Well it has turned out that the first was definitely true, since the number of calls dropped significantly but, unfortunately, I simply haven't been able to get the second to work - at least in part due to the fact we have BT Home Hubs sitting at each end.

So I looked around for an application which might allow me to provide the occasional support remotely and found LogMeIn. It's Mac and PC and the basic version is free. Of course it does depend on the broadband connections at both ends and it can be a little slow refreshing - especially when dealing with a bigger screen on the other end - but it does work pretty well and you can't quibble at the value for money.

Let me know if you've found a better alternative as I'm always interested.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Managing Your Digital Life

Storage and backup aren't generally exciting but if two guys can make it interesting it's two of the regulars from MacBreak Weekly, Andy Ihnatko and Scott Bourne. They've started with a blog at and will be producing a podcast in the near future.

One to keep an eye on if you care about your data!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Unusually Smart

I went to a black tie function last night and David Mitchell's latest Soapbox from Channel Flip is right on the money:

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Drobo Update

With the Drobo getting over 80% with the two 500GB drives I decided it was time to add another. I did contemplate a 1TB drive but at the present rate of consumption I thought another 500GB would probably do the trick for a while (and I do still have one bay left just in case!).

Misco provided the bare drive with their usual prompt service and it dropped in with absolutely no fuss at all; however, the Drobo has been quite noticeably noisier since I popped the extra drive in (not worryingly so but louder nonetheless). I'm hoping it will settle down, as that's sort of what happened with the original drives (although it's never been as quiet as my Freecom externals). Only time will tell.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Clause 152 of the draft Coroners and Justice Bill

The information sharing provisions in the draft Coroners and Justice Bill are very worrying. They include some very wide provisions which give me a great deal of concern regarding data protection in particular, Clause 152 which allows any Minister by order to take any information gathered for one purpose from anywhere, and use it for any other purpose without consent or proper oversight.

This type of provision is neither appropriate not necessary and combined with the public sector's appalling record regarding keeping our data secure I think this is very worrying.

Have a look at the Open Rights Group site if you would like to know more or how to try to block these provisions.

Thursday, 5 March 2009


I recently bought a Mountainlife jacket and after only a few weeks the zip gave up the ghost. Initially I thought it was simply bad luck but I was wearing a Mountainlife fleece today (only the second time) and, you've guessed it, the zip broke.

I'm starting to think that either I'm very unlucky or they have a quality control issue...

Cory Doctorow talks to Platform

I've listened to Cory Doctorow a couple of times and he has managed to strike a chord with me each time. Here is a very interesting interview with him by the OU's Platform:

If you are interested the sites he mentioned can be found at, Open Rights Group and Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion. Edmund Burke

Blogo Trial

I've been trying out Blogo: The blog editor for your Mac for the full 21 day free trial. So what did I think? Well, it does look and feel like a Mac app, it handles text and images nicely and it integrated reasonably well with blogger and also Twitter. I did have a few problems as it tried uploading one post and failed then, when I tried again, it worked but I was left with a Picasa album with a complete set of duplicate images - so there is a little work to be done. It is a Mac only app, however, and I did find this somewhat restrictive as I also like to post from my linux netbook. Overall it's a pretty nice app but it doesn't offer enough in the way of additional functionality over and above the core stuff in blogger etc. to make me want to part with my cash. But then I'm a bit of a cheapskate so if you're interested why not give it a go - after all the trial is free.