"And the nominees are ..."

It's that time of the year again. Time to guess who's going to win an Oscar. Today the Academy announced the nominees for the 78th Annual Academy Award. Here is a list of the nominees from imdb.com.

Many of the nominated films I haven't seen but I'll comment on some of the nominations and non-nominations.

First of all I was very sad not to see Gwyneth Paltrow nominated for her role in Proof. I really liked her performance in that movie. But I guess the movie producers didn't hire enough lobbyists to get a nomination.

The movie which got the most technical nominations is King Kong. I guess the Academy is tired of handing out those Oscars to Star Wars movies. Revenge of the Sith only got one nomination. And that's for makeup! A bit of a disgrace for Mr. Lucas.

The one Oscar I'm really crossing my fingers for this year is Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. It just has to go to Wallace and Gromit! That film is absolutely spectacular! I've preordered it on DVD to make sure I get it quickly.

Apart from that I'm rather ignorant about the other nominations. Which really means it's going to be a pretty boring event for me. I suppose I could go and watch some of the nominated movies. But I really don't feel like seeing any of them. Oh, well. I'll guess I just have to wait till next year.


A load of Quotes

Since I simply can't resist a good quote or two I was just ecstatic to see the page Quotations for CS1. It has a ton of computer science related quotes. I would have picked some favorites told you about them but there are simply too many quotes in this page to digest in just a day or two. I'll make sure to come back to this page from time to time when I feel a quote urge.


Install fonts easily on Windows XP

There is one task that I occasionally do with my Windows computer which I think is horribly complicated: installing a font. The official way to do it is so long and tedious that I refuse to spell it out here but if you're interested click this link. All that it needed to install a font is to just copy it to the right directory. I could of course copy the fonts manually but that is only a little more efficient than the official way and then I need to remember which directory the fonts should go into.

So, instead of just complaining about the problem here is a tweak for Windows XP which makes it painless to install fonts. When implemented, this tweak enables you to install a font simply by right-clicking on it and select 'install'. Couldn't be easer. Here's how it's done:

  1. Open Explorer. Open the 'Tools' menu and choose 'Folder Options'.
  2. Click the tab 'File Types'.
  3. Locate the file type 'OpenType Fonts' in the list and select it. It has extension 'OTF'.
  4. Click 'Advanced'.
  5. Click 'New'.
  6. In the first field write 'Install'.
  7. In the second field write 'C:\WINDOWS\system32\xcopy.exe "%1" C:\WINDOWS\Fonts'
  8. Click 'OK' and then 'OK' again.
  9. Now, locate the file type 'TrueType Fonts' and select it. It has extension 'TTF'.
  10. Repeat steps 4 through 8.
  11. Click 'OK'.

And you're done!

Now you can easily install your fonts from explorer by simply right-clicking on them and select 'Install'. If you want to try it out here are some web sites with free fonts that I can recommend:


Beautiful pictures

I'm a new and happy user of the photo site Flickr. Flickr lets you easily upload and share your photos over the internet. Organize then, label them, search others photos and so forth. It's a nice site.

Today I found a spectacular set of photos. The thing is, I very much like clouds. Mostly Cumulus. But clouds in general. And the photo set I found has the most amazing pictures of clouds above green fields. I could sit and watch these pictures hours on end. They're absolutely beautiful.


I'm a genius!

I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius! I'm a genius!

I'm a genius!

Just so you know.

According to the MENSA Intelligence Test anyone who scores 19 or above on the test is a genius. Which is exactly what I have done. So, therefore I'm entitled to call myself genius.

I'd prefer if anyone who reads this post and talks to me or writes me an email henceforth call me "The Genius". Otherwise I might not respond.

Commodore 64 forever!

This is just too good to be true!

During the late 80's and early 90's I spent quite a lot of time on front of the computer. And not just any computer, the Commodore 64. By today's standards it's not even a pocket calculator and when I used it it had gotten pretty old already. But even though it lacked speed and features it was still possible to make great games on it. The games you found for the c64 was just awesome! Some of my favorites where Giana Sisters, Wizball and Wonderboy.

Now I can play these games in my browser! Some geniuses has created a Java applet which can run those old c64 games. Brilliant! They've made it available on the site c64s.com.

The game companies don't make these kind of games anymore. They probably feel that it would be an insult to the hardware they're programming on if they made simple games. Yet many people spend endless hour playing the simplest games such as Snood and the games that comes with Windows. Well, I suppose that's a segment of the market which the big companies have decided to hand over to the shareware crowd.


Waiting, waiting, waiting

I just new it! I've had the feeling for a very long time but I haven't been able to figure out just why it had to be like that. I seem to spend an awful lot of time waiting for the tram (or bus). But now I've seen a very good explanation for it. The short article is called Why You Are Always Unlucky With the Public Transport. The explanation seems just to be a corollary of Murphy's law. No matter if the bus is early or late, any change at all will be bad for you.

The Lazy Way to Success

I just bumped into a blog called The Lazy Way to Success. The blogger pushes the thesis that one should only do things that makes one happy and otherwise take it very easy. Stay healthy, stay happy and things will be much better.

I can't help feeling a bit provoked by this message. I've been told from childhood that I should work hard and contribute the best I can. So I try to work hard. But I've now worked so hard I cannot contribute the best I can because I'm on sickleave. Which just proves his point. This blog will be good for me to read since I find it so thought provoking.


Watches and Chronometers

I don't wear a watch. Often I don't wear any kind of chronometer at all. They only make me feel stressed out. And I keep looking at them every half minute or so for no apparent reason. Stopping to wear them is an attempt for me to be a little less stressed out. I think it works.

But I'll admit that clocks are useful at times. When I need one I make sure I either bring my Palm Pilot or my mobile phone. Since those are useful anyway I have less stuff to carry around.

Which is not to say that I totally dislike watches. I do like them. My favorite one is a piece I bought at Boston Museum of Fine Arts which is carried using a span-hook. As my supervisor so elegantly put it, it is "sexy". But I just found a new watch which I certainly could imagine wearing. Take a look at this one. It makes me drool.


No more structural induction for you!

I've just got home from a three day trip together with people from my work. We stayed in a hotel which had a nice lounge with a grand piano. There where a few of us who spent some time there playing and singing and having a very nice time in general. After having heard me playing a particular piece one of my colleagues from the algorithms group told me he thought I was really good at playing. I responded that I don't play that much anymore, maybe just once a month. He thought that was a real pity and gave me the following comical yet very nice exhortation:
You should stop doing structural induction and play some more piano!

It's a very nice quote.


Calvin & Hobbes

I'm rather picky about comics. There are a few that I like but most of them I find to be a complete waste of time. Writing good comics is really difficult, you need only to open any paper with a few comic strips to see what I mean. I usually find maybe one or two that I like.

But the best comic strip ever to be made and which never has let me down is Calvin & Hobbes. I haven't seen anyone coming even close to it. For several years I subscribed to a comics magazine just to read the Calvin & Hobbes. The other day I found this very fine tribute to the best comic strip of all times, a collection of some peoples favorite Calvin & Hobbes strips. It's also annotated with comments from the fans. Read and enjoy!

The first strip that I started reading and that I became a fan of is Garfield. Now I don't find it very special. The only other strip that I enjoy at the moment is Zits. It's good but nowhere near Calvin & Hobbes. One Zits strip actually contained a reference to the fact that Bill Watterson (the creator of Calvin & Hobbes) had stopped making comincs. I found that very sympathetic.


Aeon Flux; My verdict

Since I was so skeptic about the movie Aeon Flux a while ago I guess I'll have to give my verdict now that I've seen it. And I'll give it 2 out of 5. It was an OK way to kill 1 1/2 hours but that's about it. The characters in the movie are totally under developed and I found the story rather contrived. (Not to mention that it's based on factual errors. The DNA of a person doesn't contain its memory.) So it's pretty clear that they've targeted an audience which just wants to see some action. But the action is not all that exciting either.

There was things that I liked about the movie though. They seem to have put some effort into the architecture and style of the city where the movie takes place. Or maybe they haven't, they may just be lucky. But I liked the environments, the building and the trees. That was probably the best thing with the movie.

You might wonder why I think that an action movie such as this needs well developed characters. Well, I don't think that all movies need it. Some action movies might pass without it. But in Aeon Flux the main character is (in the beginning of the film at least) seeking revenge for her killed sister. But we only get to see the sister in one short dialogue and then she is killed. Which means we have not yet grown attached to her and our sympathy for the main character will not be that strong. The movie is quite short (1h35m) and I think they could have added some stuff in the beginning of the movie to add to the characters. They could also have used that time to flesh out the prolog of the story, to explain how the world turned into that place. All they have in the beginning is Aeon Flux as a narrator telling us rather quickly about the state of affairs. Ten of fifteen minutes more in the beginning and the movie could have been quite OK.

And for the record. No, the movie is nothing like the original animated series.

More Web 2.0

Some time ago I wrote about Tim O'Reillys article on Web 2.0. Now Paul Graham has also written a piece on what he thinks about Web 2.0. First it seems that he is really negative towards the whole concept. But in the end I think he manages to sum it up very well:
Web 2.0 means using the web the way it's meant to be used.[...] It just means doing things right, and it's a bad sign when you have a special word for that.

While Paul Graham is rather negative to the term "Web 2.0" he is very much in favour of all the things is stands for. He sums it up as "Ajax, democracy, and not dissing users." And that doesn't sound so bad to me either.