Geeeeez …

What a boring weekend ?! But it is also a great weekend for movies, I suppose. In fact, 4 movies in a row … first the awarding winning movie – “Sideways”, then the “Dragon Seed” (made in year 1944 !!) and …

then the 11 years’ old “The Shawshank Redemption” (TSR) and lastly, “In Good Company”.

So the critics (hey, I am not a professional, you’re forewarned) … “Dragon Seed” is crap, “In Good Company” is not as good as what advertised. And for the “TSR” … it’s in my DVD shelf getting dust for ages and almost become a shelfware (since I am not a fan of prison movies), but indeed it is a very very good movie – excellent storytelling, Freeman is GREAT. And the best (big surprise) of all is … (drumroll) … the “Sideways”. Not sure why, I am not exactly a wine lover, but really learnt a lot from this movie …

Lesson Learnt: Want to kill some time ? Switch on your DVD player.

Madly In Love …

with a DVD lately (note: a genuine copy of DVD). It’s the Rod Stewart’s One Night Only – Live at Royal Albert Hall. Great music, songs, and performance … even though Rod is already 60 years’ old. I never knew a man can be so handsome when he is sixty and dressed in bright yellow or deep red. The guest singers are great as well. Simply stunning.

Then I thought, why “the music industry” in town keep complaining about people copying DVDs or downloading music / video from the web ? When the main reason is they could not produce a quality show and DVD …

Lesson Learnt: Don’t blame other people, do your own homework first.

The Last Game

Today is a sad day, because it is the last day for many of my friends to play bowling (after 20 something years’ passion) … and it all began from a happy day a couple months ago, that was the day one of my friends moved to a new flat …

So my friend moved to a new flat, but he forgot to inform the Bowling Center the new address.

So the Bowling Center mailed the bowling locker renewal form to my friend’s old address.

So my friend did not renew his locker’s lease.

So the Bowling Center threw away all the stuff in the locker – the bowling balls, the shoes, the gears and whatnot.

So, so, so … you know, everything has a reason.

Lesson Learnt: Keep all your gears at home, and save some money … or inform other people your new address, in time.

Mr. and Mrs. IT User

Mr. IT User is a famous geek and with a wife who know nothing about IT but business – he knows all sort of technologies but he refused to speak his wife’s language (i.e. business language) and reluctant to consider how the technology can help his wife to do her own business better and easier. After all, all he wants is the latest and greatest.

Mrs. IT User is a successful businesswoman and married to a man who know nothing about business but IT – she knows all sort of business strategies, techniques and tricks but she refused to learn how IT can help her business … she believe her husband shall deliver anything she asks for, as soon as possible and for free.

How can they make this marriage a successful one ?

First, Mr. IT user needs to learn more about her wife’s business, speak her language and deliver something useful, cost-effective to her business…

Then, Mrs. IT user shall learn more about IT, the pros and cons, and the realistic cost – after all, there is no IT free lunch …

Lesson Learnt: No matter how good you are now, learn more to bridge the gap between you and your other half.

Remote Controller Freak

I cannot deny that I am a freak of all sorts of remote controllers. First of all, I have many devices at home and therefore there are many many remote controllers. And then I bought many many “remote control learners” to try to take over the many namless controllers. After so many expensive experiments with Sony, Philips, Marantz; there is only one winner – Harmony …

The idea of Harmony remote controllers are simply brilliant … set up the device on the web. In other words, just tell the web what devices you’re owning, and also what features you need to turn on / off when you’re watching TV, or DVD, or playing CD etc. etc. Then the web will compose a XML, and download to your Harmony remote controller.

Then that is the magical bit, you press “Watch DVD” command and it will turn on all related devices – e.g. DVD player, TV, amplifier etc. and select the proper device input and output as well. Next you press “Watch Cable TV”, and it will smart enough to turn off your DVD player, but turn on the cable TV set-top box, and select the proper device input / output again. How brilliant !! Thanks to that “Smart State Technology”.

Lesson Learnt: You can do a lot with the web and it can integrate nicely with the physical world as well.Go get a Harmony Remote.

Best Friend

A friend of mine just “adopted” a lovely puppy and it turned out to be a whole new “life experience” to him. He started to tidy the house regularly (to provide a clean living environment for the lucky puppy), first ever in the last 10 years …

He exercises now more then before as he needs to walk the dog two times a day. He also spends hundreds of dollars every month for the dog food, health check (for the dog, of course), and electric bill (yes, his home is now a 24×7 air-conditioned) … He even planned to hire a helper to play with the puppy when he’s at work.

Lesson Learnt: Man is dog’s best friend.

The Perfect DSLR Camera

What’s the perfect Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera ?

The answer is actually really really simple – it has to work as good as an old-fashioned SLR. Period.

So, what’s that really mean ? To me ?

The DSLR has to be easy to use, with button layouts similar to a SLR. You should be able to print the photos straight away, with excellent colors, without computer post-processing. The camera shall equip with good all-purpose lens (i.e. 28mm to ~100mm) without several expensive ones. There shall be no dust in the sensor …

And there are only two cameras in the market can do all these – Olympus E-1 and E-300. And I got both 😎

Lesson Learnt: Forget about the pixel counts, brand names, number of lens in the market etc. etc.. Cameras following FourThirds standard are the best, so far.