The Future Of Entertainment

Posted Friday, October 23, 2009, 3:49 PM

I have not succumbed to all the latest home entertainment gadgetry. I resist, not just because I don't have the money to throw around anymore, but also because I am not yet convinced of its necessity. As a geek, I am atypical in my reluctance to participate in the technology-fest.

Having said that, my current set up is not too bad. A 42-inch plasma TV, 5.1 surround, and a 2000 piece DVD collection is not to be sniffed at. But it's a Standard Definition TV, six years old, with limited and outdated inputs, and of an age that will increase its unreliability.

I have mentioned before that I have not been taken in by the hype of 3D movies, a blatant and oft-repeated gimmick that is surprisingly popular, both with filmmakers and audiences. A shame, as it adds nothing to enjoying the film. It is merely cruft.

But there are bigger and better TVs, High Definition plasma, digital projectors, LCD, 200hz, DVR, 7.1 surround sound, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, X-Box, iPhones, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Google Chrome, Google Wave, more, more, more, more......

But I don't have any of those.

What? What? How can that be, why would a geek such as myself resist such enticements?

Because they have no added value. They aren't really an improvement on how I already live my life, so much as a distraction and often a serious inconvenience.

Of course, that's not a particularly good reason, I have many things in my life that don't contribute anything of real substantial value. But as I have gotten older, I tend to evaluate things differently, and I have found I can resist indulging in things that I predict ultimately will have no future, or at least I will not utilise.

The only things that may change in the aforementioned list, when circumstances inevitably demand it, is when I have to get a mobile phone for some work-related reason, so I'll probably get an iPhone. I see great potential usefulness in a mobile computer, more than I do an unreliable wireless telephone.

And I will also have to upgrade my TV and DVD player to HD/Blu-Ray when my current setup finally gives up the ghost. My recent scare with my TV may very well be a sign of impending death.

These things also cost money, something I am no longer flush with. I am very careful with my cash these days, trying hard not to spend it frivolously. I'm not as good at that as I used to be, but I am still hesitant before committing to certain things.

I hope that the tide will shift soon. There is a taste in the air that suggests it might.


Posted Friday, October 16, 2009, 5:15 PM

There is an interesting trend in cop shows right now, that I sort of like, even if it's blatantly unoriginal.

In the serieseses Bones, The Mentalist, and Castle, they each have a female senior Detective who has a mysterious dark past, and all have similar big-eyed smouldering looks.

They are played, respectively, by Emily Deschanel, Robin Tunney, and Stana Katic. They don't really look alike, you can easily tell them apart, but if you were to flick through the channels and stumble on one of them, you may be confused as to which of the shows you've fallen on.

The relationships with the male leads are also similar to each other, but that's just standard TV/movie writing, and even if the characters were played by completely different actors, you'd still have the will-they-won't-they element layed on thick, as they have done.

Despite this, I can't deny that each of these female Detective characters are most pleasantly distracting.

Thar She Blows!

Posted Saturday, October 10, 2009, 11:19 PM

When it rains, it pours.

I was sitting doing ordinary regular computer stuff the other night, when the screen suddenly went *plink*. I assumed it was a power surge crash, as has happened before, though it only affected the one computer, and my clocks weren't blinking "12:00" so wasn't sure.

I rebooted the computer, only to get a blank screen, and my monitor's power light to be blinking a regular pattern at me.

It turns out, for no reason whatsoever, my monitor just died. Gone. Kaput-ski. I have no idea why, or if it can be fixed, but for now that's that.

I have a second computer with a similar monitor, so I swapped them over, and set up an older monitor for the second machine, so I'm still capable of using both, but it sucks that I will have to buy a new monitor.

And then my external hard drive, that I keep all my creative files on (movie trailers, writing, mp3s, video files, that kind of stuff, mostly) started whining in a high pitched "I'm about to die" way. I left it going for a while, trying to copy over the files to spare space on my other HDD, but I switched it off overnight, and this morning it was totally dead.

I have a spare hard drive, so put that in to the external enclosure, but that didn't work either. That means it wasn't a hard drive death at all, but a failed external enclosure.

Buggery bollocks.

After some crazy fiddling around, I hooked the HDD to my other computer, and it worked fine, all the files are there. But it's not a practical method for me, I need a new hard drive, and may as well get a hefty big one, a terabyte or so, as that seems to be the default these days.

These are two expenses I could've lived without having to sort out. I am not pleased.

Over The Hill

Posted Friday, October 9, 2009, 11:44 AM

Apparently I am officially old. How annoyingly inevitable.

I think 40 is a good age to look back on your life, look ahead at your future, and do a little analysis.

I certainly know I haven't achieved as much as I had hoped. But I have fulfilled a lot of my dreams, weird and unlikely as they occasionally seemed, and not a lot of people can say that.

I also have many dreams yet unfulfilled, ones that are quite achievable and yet strangely out of reach. If statistics are on my side, I have a good few decades left to sort that out.

Currently my life is in a state of flux, as it has been for a couple of years. What was originally my own idea, to reorganise my potential future, has now reached a point where I no longer have that control or freedom, and that's a frightening thought. I am at a point where I have to actually do something, and not just amble along, as I have been.

I really am not comfortable with being proactive. I am a wallflower who likes things to slowly formulate so I can sidle my way in and firmly root myself where I become indispensable, but yet remain invisible. To be in a situation now where I have to actively show off and put myself out there, visibly, is a vulnerable position that I do not like at all. I don't think I'm alone in that feeling, and though that is slightly comforting, it doesn't really help me much.

I still live in hope for something to fall into my lap from out of the sky. Surprisingly, it's worked a few times before, so there is a small possibility that it could happen again.

Now would be a good time.

Pegasus Regent

Posted Monday, October 5, 2009, 5:00 PM

I probably shouldn't be doing this.

I have two other screenplays I want to write, but both of those have struck problems. One has a plot that needs to be completely re-configured, and the other has a huge stumbling block I can't figure out and is spinning me in circles.

But Rob and I were chatting the other day, and he said "I am just waiting for you to write the sequel to Pegasus Rampant." Well, I told him I don't really have a complete story for that one yet, and anyway I want to have it read by people who really count first, to boost my confidence and set me on the right path, before I start writing sequels to it.

But as I was stuck on the aforementioned two other screenplays, I have been thinking some more about what little story I had already formulated for this sequel. For one thing, I had already come up with a title - Pegasus Trampled. At first I thought that was a decent title (the next sequel is called Pegasus Triumphant, which I think is perfect) but thinking back on it, it's actually awkward and cheesy. So I looked up a rhyming dictionary, and narrowed it down to a few other options, eventually choosing to change the title to Pegasus Regent.

That change just sparked more ideas, which allowed me to fill in most of the blanks for the storyline. And I have that sitting there, looking up at me with those big brown sad eyes... I can't stop myself.

I really ought to be working on some other stuff entirely, but... I guess sticking with what I know best (Fantasy, and characters I'm already familiar with) and a complete storyline mapped out ready, is a better plan. Really.

At least, that's what I'm telling myself.