« March 2004 | Main | May 2004 »

April 27, 2004


ABC is one of those open source projects that has taken on one of the most attractive qualities of the open source community, it's penchant for witty, faultlessly descriptive and devastatingly wry acronyms.

Michel was the one who told me about Apache, which is (if I'm not wrong) server software. Apparently it was put together by amalgamating numerous Unix patches. It stands for A Patchy Server.

My favorite though, is LAME, which stands for Lame is not An Mpeg Encoder. In fact it is used for that function, to encode mp3 files, but apparently the project was originally or fundamentally focused on another (I think more theoretically research based) aim.

I'm sure better information about these can be found through searching for them.

ABC isn't the most fantastic, but it's not bad, it stands for Yet Another Bittorrent Client. It is, however, a rather good client, in that it seems to offer queueing of torrents in a way that it doesn't strangle downstream like TorrentStorm seemed to. It's currently working its charm on getting me more Sports Night. It also happens to use Shadow's latest engine, ie it uses the protocol that my previous recommendation, BitTornado uses. Good stuff. I recommend it.

You do have to allow your torrents to seed for at least 30 mins after they complete though, but that is a small price to pay for queueing. And file sharing networks are about sharing, and the best way to make sure it stays that way is to make it easy on the people who share. Clever.

Posted by subtitles at 7:04 AM | Computer Stuff


I feel the need to explain to him, perhaps on the off chance that he sees this, or not, whatever.

What happens when you have no future is that you come, literally, to live in the past. You see, he, perhaps you, don't/can't understand this, certain fuckwit doesn't understand it, but it's true.

And your reaction, after a while, is to think to yourself, that this is not what you want to do, that there is nothing noble or transcendent about confronting that aspect of horror, of concieving of the world around you as an attic.

There are some people who simply do not want to talk to you (ie: me) and for all that, I think I'd rather have an empty attic.

You see, even though my third chapter is meant to lead up to a descent into hell, perhaps there's a reason it's not written yet.

That said, wouldn't you rather go back to Tekong?

Tell you what, let's go and watch Elephant together and then you'll understand better.

Posted by subtitles at 1:34 AM | Personal

Sometimes you just stand there, hip-deep in pie

I'm trying to stave off watching yet another episode of Sports Night, largely due to the fact that I can't stop, and one day there will be no more.

And also, I'm here to remind myself that I should write about how Sorkin's reliance on rock to express jubilation and exuberance - happy things - is a lot more convincing with sports than it is with politics. With politics it comes off as being - I want to say smug and exclusive - self-congratulatory, perhaps indulgent.

Part of me thinks the way he handles love is the way most people of a certain kind handle it, though obviously he does it with a breathtaking deftness in a way that is eloquent and moving. And there are times when I think those people are hideous.

Did anyone else notice that the Simpson's had a rather extended reference to the Economist? What's that about? It was in the one that just aired in the US, I think 15x18.

Posted by subtitles at 1:23 AM | Personal

April 26, 2004

Miss it, miss it, miss it

I'm missing being in the US right now. Largely because I've actually been watching most of the TV I download with the ads cut out, since people do that as a service, and also to reduce file size. I downloaded however, an episode of Conan, and while it's dated 22nd of April, it's an older show. Regardless, I'm watching a Zelnorm ad now and it's rather gratifying. What was also cool was watching Jewel do an ad for Loreal, and if I'm not wrong, having her music in the background.

Good times.

Posted by subtitles at 6:23 AM | Personal

Shoe Money Tonite

Sports Night is absolutely breathtaking. Sure there are episodes that aren't quite as pleasing or as lyrical, but there's an inescapable (I don't use this word often) verve about the show.

I don't like sports, I don't watch sports, which is why the tagline as quoted by IMDB is pretty cool: "It's about sports. The same way Charlie's Angels was about law enforcement."

There are also significant reasons why Aaron Sorkin should choose to work so often with Joshua Malina, and within a couple of episodes this comes into clear focus, he's absolutely brilliant. I must say though, that the women in the series are exceptional, who would have guessed Natalie used to be in a cheesy rip-off of Quantum Leap (Sliders). And as the title of this post suggests, Felicity Huffman is officially my new favorite actress, for a while at least.

Posted by subtitles at 2:49 AM | TrackBack | Personal

April 25, 2004


Why would I think that I'd be able, or it would even be possible, for me to build a system for myself that would be "perfect"? I should know by now that it's always going to be more complicated than all that, that something won't be quite right and there'll be some form of compromise as there always is.

I wonder if I had a paycheck if it would be more or less inconcievable for me to just blow money on components because we want to.

It's just that getting a SFF PC would be fun, and having a hyperthreaded cpu would be nice, and a proper gaming platform would be good, and a mid-range Nvidia graphics card isn't too much to ask for.

Thank god Windows is free :), like most other forms of software.

Posted by subtitles at 3:23 PM | Computer Stuff

Sports Night, Dead Like Me

I want to write a glowing entry on Sports Night and Aaron Sorkin, but I really can't muster up the will to do much more than link you to the TV Tome page and the DVD that's on sale, and tell you that some friendly fellow is posting it on Suprnova.org.

Very much in the same way as people are doing for Dead Like Me. Now I'm not saying that DLM is the best series, but I do really like "A. Cook", and once Bryan Fuller got done with the considerably stiffer early episodes, and esp. once Laura Harris comes on, the series really picks up. But yes, penchant for the character of the slacker girl, and a recurrent theme of family.

Posted by subtitles at 9:47 AM | Personal

April 24, 2004

Like Me

I can't seem to sleep. So let's tell you what's going on. I got my debit Mastercard today, which is fun, making my life in this place complete (aside from the fuck-you glasses). Apparently you should remember to notice the words in bold on the instruction slip that tell you to use your ATM card to activate your debit card. Anyway now I won't have to carry my ATM card any more and I can stop carrying around my HSBC cards (they sent me another debit card, my issue no. is now 7...)

I've applied for a job writing about games for this place called GameAxis, which I think is a subsidiary of HardwareZone. Sounds like an ideal situation for me, but we'll see how it goes, Louis has learned how not to hold his breath. But honestly I don't think I can be bothered to try for SPH till after these guys blow me off...

I've worked my way up to doing 3 rounds round the convenient circuit near here, which takes me a nice round 30 mins. If I keep it up I really should get new shoes. I should also get more CDR, an 80 pin IDE cable, buy some M&S shirts, and perhaps more pairs of socks. Shorts I think I'm doing okay with so far.

And yes, Overnet is doing exceedingly well, with my downstream being consistently about 90-100, which is pretty amazing. And as tends to happen, it just got around to completing a whole bunch of things that had been languishing for a while, so my queue is starting to see 300...

And the ficus election episode of The Awful Truth has somewhat renewed my idea of Michael Moore. Not to mention that Louis Theroux meeting the Hamiltons was quite a bit of a hoot if I should say so myself.

Posted by subtitles at 2:27 PM | Personal


I've figured that a lot of people bump into this site looking for subtitles for their divx/xvid .avi files, so I've decided that I should provide the public service of pointing them to a place where they can actually find said subtitles. That said, I'm not sure there are places that specialise so readily in TV subtitles - eventually a dubbed version for your country will come out. The best suggestion I can give you is to look here. The suggestions below tend to be for films.

Here. The site is called extratitles.to - it seems to be the most central place online for finding subtitles for films - the database is pretty huge. If you're looking specifically for english subs for asian films, try kloofy.net here, note that you'll have to register at kloofy. These are not necessarily the best or by any means the only way of getting at subs, but it's what I know of. The other way being to search the file sharing network you were on for them, but I'm assuming people who end up here are just piss-lazy (and honestly, not the bluntest edge of the club).

Though I'm assuming people who bother to come here already know the best way to play subs with their files is with BSPlayer. There's another way, but let's not confuse the poor dears.

Oh, go on then: VobSub.

Posted by subtitles at 2:11 PM | Comments (2) | Computer Stuff , Definitive Posts

April 23, 2004


I've been using BitTornado for the past couple of weeks, and it seems to have significant improvements over the experimental client.

Apparently it's better known as "Shadow's Experimental Client" but it seems to have rebranded itself. Basically it fixes alot of things that were annoying about the original/experimental clients. First, it actually uses the most recent engine, as opposed to the experimental one which is a bit dated now, second, you can set a default download rate, ie dial-up etc., you can set the default download directory, and you no longer have a long allocation period each time you start or resume a download.

All basically reasons enough to move over to it.

There are other clients out there, but I tried Torrentstorm and the downstream seems limited when you limit your upstream, which is annoying since you can actually queue downloads. Azeureus, which is the Java based version, is supposed to be a bit buggy and take up a significant amount of processor overhead.

Posted by subtitles at 1:11 AM | Computer Stuff

April 22, 2004

Beta Time

It's hidden away in super secret places that only the Opera initiated know about, but Opera 7.5 Beta 1 is out in the wild, with a lovely new default skin!!!

I'm so happy I could... do something that happy people do.

Posted by subtitles at 6:38 AM | Computer Stuff

This Is The End

I suppose again that it doesn't matter how flawed Enterprise is, it doesn't matter how mediocre it is, there are just moments when it is simply sufficient. Part of me thinks of it as the uglier twin of Firefly, since they debuted at the same time. I mean I didn't have to watch beyond the teaser to just sense that this could turn out to be a good one - perhaps more moving that I'd give it credit for, maybe less.

And it's not that it evokes particular memories, it's more likely that it triggers some subconscious response that recalls without recalling. You can read one of my previous entries on Enterprise here.

I'd like to think that my cryptic titles would be at some point an interesting study or at least a point of consideration.

Posted by subtitles at 6:15 AM | Personal

April 20, 2004


One Word: Good Fun; Americans...

I don't really go in for action movies in general, but this wasn't bad. Honestly, it made me wish I had done something similar back at ISSE. There's a particular satisfaction in seeing people surprised.

Empathy my ass. Ties for top spot of worst use of piano soundtrack (on first impression) with Eyes Wide Shut.

I'm trying to analyse why this and 21 grams annoyed me so much, but Out of Gas (Firefly 1x08) is something of a favorite. Part of it at least is that Out of Gas used it in a very transparent way, that it wanted some exposition about the characters - there is a good reason that exists outside of the diegesis.

And as for the pornographic aspect of it, you should look at this.

Posted by subtitles at 9:39 AM | TrackBack | Articles

April 16, 2004

Overnet 0.53 Point Upgrade Goodness

Ok, having to admit that I was having my doubts about the efficacy of the new Overnet client, but 0.53 is turning out pretty fantastic. Download here.

If nothing else, the performance improvement is fantastic. On my brother's cable line, the downstream is consistently about 80-90 kbs, and for all the who-ha about the ratio changing, my upload doesn't go much past 10 anyway. I'm assuming that basically what this did was just make the community as a whole raise their upload barrier, so that downstream speeds have become rather ideal.

That might be the reason that MSN can't sign in anymore...

So yes, now the ratio is such that you have to set your upload to 20 to get unlimited downloads, but I've left my upload at 0, with no decrease in downstream, in fact, as I mentioned, quite the opposite.

I get the feeling I'm going to have a hard time keeping my queue to a reasonable number, as it is it's about 350+ at best, with about a quarter to a third paused. I'm trying to maintain at least a 10 gig leeway in terms of space on the temp drive. Which means I'm using up about 100 gig in temp files, but what else is new.

Buffy is still being rather fun. Makes me want to watch Buffy, strangely enough.

Posted by subtitles at 7:01 AM | Computer Stuff

April 15, 2004

Buffy on Xbox

I'm not sure if this is Computer Stuff, but if I ever doubted Xbox, I take it back. And I must say that the Buffy game is surprisingly effective at being buffy-esque, though I've only just started playing. The "witty banter" if not fantastic, is at least close enough to be amusing and qualify it as being what it says on the tin. And the buffy figurine is pretty accurate as well, though far too gamine to not be accused of Lara Croft syndrome.

Posted by subtitles at 11:40 AM | Computer Stuff

Opera 7.5 Preview 4

Beta Forum post here.

They weren't kidding when they said there were performance improvements - startup time has pretty much dropped to maybe a quarter of what it was. Opera used to have a start up lag of about 4 seconds, but now I hit my hotkeys and there it is. Obviously I'm talking about a cold startup of the Opera application, opening pages is still instantaneous.

What's very encouraging as well is that they've enabled the personal bar by default again, yay :). Main bar was always a waste of space anyway.

It now probably takes me about 15 mins-half an hour to customise a clean install of Opera. I move over my search.ini, my cookies, my wand.dat, my address book. I enable smooth scrolling, switch on my ad-blocking style sheet. Move plug-ins, enable trusted protocols. And any number of small things like disabling the mail client, removing unwanted panels, identifying as Opera, blocking pop-ups, making it default browser, changing the hotkey, setting Outlook as mail client, applying Blue Button as my current skin of choice now that search boxes have issues...

There have a been a fuck load of previews so far, and I'm still sort of wondering how they're shaping up on the UI stuff, since the new search panel is sort of lame - not that the start page was that great either. The fine tweaking has been fantastic overall, but I wonder at the end result of all the UI work. I'm assuming that my java related crashes are just temporary.

Oh, and smooth scrolling is nicer again, which is good.

Posted by subtitles at 11:08 AM | Computer Stuff

Tim Minear

Tim Minear is a clever, clever man. Part of me is just convinced that he out-Joss-es Joss Whedon. He's the reason Out of Gas is the high water mark of Firefly, and why I've just watched the second episode (actually 11th) of Wonderfalls again with a certain kind of wry, loving relish. For all Joss' talk about space and imbuing, Tim Minear is the one whose handling of it is most deft, most "organic".

Posted by subtitles at 10:16 AM | Personal

April 14, 2004


And so it's done. I now have socks and shorts, so that the world may tremble. I've also bought film fest tickets, after staving off inquiries by su-lin as to whether I had actually bought them yesterday as I had said I would. For better or worse, some of the seats are couples' seats, but I'm sure we can handle that.

Posted by subtitles at 6:23 AM | Personal

April 12, 2004


Uh, so what's that?

The fuck you table.

The what?

The fuck you table.


Fuck you.

Posted by subtitles at 3:21 AM | Personal

And. So.

And so I went to get my new table leg and to have my chair fixed, and was happier.

Posted by subtitles at 3:03 AM | Personal

April 11, 2004


It's sort of happy making, and quite calming, rearranging the stuff in the room. My secret plan, which might actually come to fruition tomorrow, involves rug for the floor and probably table for me to work at. Ask, and IKEA will provide.

Oh, and I now have tumblers, ones where you can actually pour a whole can of coke (diet vanilla) into.

I'm probably better off not using the external keyboard in all this, my right arm is feeling marginally more comfortable this way. But thankfully the table I'm looking at will actually be able to have adjustable height, so that I can lower everything to the appropriate level.

It's nice having Angel Season 4 pour into my lap, and "Spin the Bottle" is a rather very good episode, restores some of my faith that Joss does certain things fantastically.

Must remember I should buy film fest tickets some time soon, though probably won't get the chance tomorrow.

Posted by subtitles at 8:51 AM | Personal

April 8, 2004

No Man's Woman

It's not an anxiety by any means, but it is something I wonder about, that my physiology has really changed after. It's just a sense of your body being different, not to mention the short term memory loss.

Posted by subtitles at 4:23 AM | Personal


So you see, when you're making fun of it in the way you make fun of mechanical (or electronic) reproductions, it is a private thing, away from the intrusion of society. So you're making fun about your own, non-present, anxieties. When people who live in a place where we have the end of satire talk about it, it becomes what kettles of fish become.

So no, how would that be personal?

I've entirely forgotten that it was the Alias pilot when we have Jack Bristow telling the guy from Shindig that it really is like asking your neighbours whether you can have a loud party.

Mean spirited.

Posted by subtitles at 4:19 AM | Personal

April 6, 2004

In, the, darkest place...

This was a couple of days ago, but just to say, Borders Singapore makes fuck-off stupid plastic bags.

Went to buy tickets for Hellboy, remarkably few pre-sales, though I suspect that Winston and I will be sitting just in front of the Hellboy Fanboy Collective who got the entire row behind us. I'm hoping this means that I did not, in fact, get seats too far to the rear of the cinema. And that dead centre on the seating chart really is dead centre in the cinema.

Overnet has been behaving itself remarkably well since I changed ports, I suspect the cable company's trying to limit usage of the default ed2k port. And I'm no longer getting the same annoying firewall messages.

I actually should be listening to "Painted from Memory" now.

Posted by subtitles at 8:24 AM | Personal

April 4, 2004

Spartan Backflip

It's just so typical that the reason why they didn't cut Irreversible is more reprehensible than if they had cut it.

Spartan is good, but did they have to use a hacksaw? I can only imagine what they would do if jesus was spelled as fuck in aramaic. But to a certain extent, I would say that Spartan does for the political thriller what the Wire did for crime drama. It was good. I'll get the DVD, pity I won't want to watch it in the cinemas here again.

Posted by subtitles at 6:04 AM | Personal

Jonathan Rosenbaum

So I'm not the only one to think of pornography.

Posted by subtitles at 1:55 AM | Personal

April 2, 2004

I h8 txtng

I'm sorry, but just the idea of Peishan and her nice spanky new Bible thumping, snuff film watching fuck-buddy was just too tempting to pass up. I apologise. I should have had more faith. And by that I mean Eliza Dushku.

Posted by subtitles at 10:33 PM | Personal

Joan of Arcadia can BITE ME

Being funny makes up for a multitude of sins, which, if you've watched Firefly enough times, you understand. Wonderfalls is pretty funny. Lesbian porn :).

I am now officially a bit baffled by why Fox fucked with the series run order. It was a great episode, if only for "destroy her". There really was nothing to be gained by putting those episodes first other than to pump up the concept, which to be honest is exactly what they didn't want to do if they put this as the follow up to the pilot.

It's about the family. Not about the shop.

Posted by subtitles at 10:28 PM | Personal


I can't remember if Kristeva is the one that talks about this, but there is the assertion that the process of pornography is to create metonomy - to reduce the thing itself to one of it's functions or appendages. Hence, they talk about how in sexual pornography, the woman is reduced to the vagina, or in "Not I", where the woman is reduced to a virtual vagina.

So an aspect is substituted for the thing itself. Affective piety is offensive.

I'd like to say (in this case) that I don't watch pornography, but that's patently untrue in at least one (if not more) definitions (colloquial or otherwise) of the word, even though I think the statement itself is pretty accurate. I'd like to say that well, I watch porn, but I don't watch snuff films - which is true, but not quite accurate.

Hitler-Cartman is endlessly amusing.

Posted by subtitles at 8:51 PM | Personal

Christian Rock (I'm Careless, I Believe)

I'm altogether too happy about the fact that I now have claritine - or actually, a form of generic loratadine. Tufty.

Oh, and that christian rock episode of south park is funny beyond words.

Posted by subtitles at 5:43 PM | Personal

April 1, 2004

Let's Protest Globalisation

I haven't laughed this hard in hours.

Posted by subtitles at 7:49 PM | Personal

Wing Man

I need someone to go to Sim Lim with me, or at least tell me where CD media is cheapest. Leong? Winston next week? Should I call Jiang? Peishan perhaps? That place really does require moral support, or at least a wing-man.

Posted by subtitles at 7:33 PM | Computer Stuff

Storyteller West Wing Sty-lee

So... West Wing concept episodes... It's probably easier to criticise because it wasn't quite fantastic, but the gesture again is that of "we've had 4 seasons of Sorkin, and that can never be reclaimed, so lets go get dialectical on everyone's asses".

Perhaps it's because I've been watching Chris Marker documentaries (which I was trying to tell Cari about) but I had high hopes for the episode at the beginning. The immediate reaction at the end was of "not too bad", and yet 5 mins after, now, here, things are rather more like puddles of piss (ie fluid). The way the episode resolved, not even polemically, stating accusations and then putting the bow around at the end, demeaned the enterprise.

This is the reason we stopped watching the west wing after the first season, because it became insufferable at a certain point for the soft core of it's politics and the ejaculation of it's glow. What's more, the collusion of the diegetic documentary maker was all the more cloying for the looping sensationalism. Granted I came back to the earlier episodes later and couldn't find it, but I find it now, and something tells me it's different.

The digital look was fun, the press staff was fun, the use of sets was fun.

You get the feeling that the meandering of the earlier seasons served the broader aesthetic purpose, that resolution is constantly deferred, that like the trope of nation building, there is always constantly more work to be done. Now when things wrap up like candy wrappers, the twisting at the ends leaves your fingers sticky like cookies when you eat me.

It's all the more infuriating that the documentary is meant to have gestated till after the end of everything, the end of the second term. I'd never wish any series cancellation, but I wonder if I'm missing something.

I want a muffin.

Posted by subtitles at 7:00 PM | Personal

Disaster Relief

I'm sorry I ever doubted how moving the West Wing could be despite everything. It's a pity that I didn't get to see the budget storyline before the later episodes. Everything really just makes Mary Louise Parker's lusciousness all the more central, all the more pregnant.

And I thought Overnet was starting to seem overrated.

Posted by subtitles at 5:57 PM | Personal

A Flop

And someone should tell the fuckwits on Alias that a Teraflop is a measure of speed, not a measure of storage.

Posted by subtitles at 3:54 PM | Computer Stuff

Let's Vote for the Smart One - Bush.

Now this is what I mean and this is why I get pissed off. I don't like John Kerry enough to forgive him his demagoguery. Howard Dean is doing the right thing by his party, but he is the victim of his own sincerity.

People of integrity should be able to stand up and say what is right even when it isn't popular, and even when Lou Dobbs and the Trade Police are vershnickt. Kerry isn't stupid, Kerry is educated, and he should be standing up for smart not for ball tickling. Who would have thought that anyone would get to accuse Bush of being on the smart side of the fence?

It does make sense to send jobs overseas. I'll reference the economist to you again so you get that it is my newspaper of choice. The amount of jobs lost overseas are a tiny fraction of the workforce. There isn't enough of it to make up too significant a proportion of cyclical unemployment. Jobs are lost and gained as bad companies die out and new companies are formed. Good companies are good because they make money, would you have it otherwise?

People's jobs are more secure when the company they work for remains focused on being economically viable, which means it needs to make profit. If that means sending jobs overseas, they should be applauded with both hands. Going on a witchhunt against people who are doing exactly what they should is irrational - tell the leopard not to have spots.

More jobs overseas means what? More, and richer, people to sell your goods to. Expensive goods that only you can produce. Expensive goods that require highly paid staff to produce. And in the mean time, have you noticed that it now requires less people to do what you used to do before? A jobless recovery where production increases means a leap in productivity, which means you're getting better at what you do, which means in the future you can create even more than before - prosperity that is.

It's like Old Norse notions of honour, only this time, instead of reductive recycling of finite commodity (which seems increasingly unlikely), you have an ever expanding cycle of wealth and renewal.

And people wonder why I dismiss the Passion as affective fallacy.

People who criticise Bush on spending money on Iraq are the very isolationists that claim Bush to be so. You help yourself by helping others - if anyone should know that giving to others does not mean taking away from your own, it should be the Democrats.

Non-paltry comments can go to the forum - though for once I wonder if I shouldn't enable comments to the post. If you're not a fuckwit I'll reference you by editing this post.

Posted by subtitles at 3:50 PM | Personal