Monday, January 30, 2023

Aer-ki Jyr - Star Force - Origin

Review.

Okay. Those who've read my reviews might have figured out I don't like LitRPG much, and Cultivation even less. Now, LitRPG and Cultivation primarily take place in the fantasy domain.

My key issue with LitRPG is its obsession with stats, and being better / worse than someone else. I have a similar problem with Cultivation, which often boils down to 'follow the rules and you will be better than everybody else'. Unfortunately, that's what Star Force is: yet another cultivation novel but this time set in space.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Marko Kloos - Frontlines - Points of Impact (2018) / Orders of Battle (2020) / Centers of Gravity (2022)

Review.

After not being entirely sure where to take the story (or that's my impression, at least) the author returns to the main thread and plot of the series: the fight against the Lankies.

These three books (6,7,8) wrap up the series, and in the final book he gives his protagonist love couple a fair and well-deserved send-off. The final book does hint at the nature of the Lankies but doesn't go into detail. This clearly leaves space for another series of books using new characters.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Andromeda - s01e15 - Forced Perspective

Well, cheesy as it may be, sometimes Andromeda gets things right. If not in the episode itself, then at least in the 'pseudo historical quotes' preceding every episode. Take this one:

Humans say the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Why? Do they think there's a shortage of bad ones? 


Saturday, January 21, 2023

Joel Polowin - There Is Good (The Final Frontier - West Side Story Style)

All credit goes to Joel Polowin... All I did was remove / add some spaces / carriage returns to adjust the indents for this blog...

I think he wrote it back in the day when Fido was still a thing and many of us hang around on SF.028. Oh, who still remembers those days...

(Hey, I think I've found some remaining presence... http://www3.sympatico.ca/jpolowin/filkstuf/OfficerP.htm though it seems a little outdated. Still, the last update suggests a new recipe in 2020...)

Monday, January 16, 2023

Harper North - Manipulated 1 - Modified

Review.

Apocalyptic setting. Check. Female teen protagonist. Check. First Person Present Tense. Check.

What could go wrong? Well, a lot. A regular dose of disbelief won't work on this one. Slave / miner / teen girl gets injected with some kind of genetic mod and becomes miss perfect. Ah... that should have been a red flag.

Sorry, the story just doesn't seem to work.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Netflix - Spiderman - No Way Home

Review.

Maybe it's formally not part of the MCU (as in being more of a Sony than a Marvel property) but hey, it fits nicely, and Doctor Strange does a good job making things worse.

The movie is enjoyable if a little forgettable. Tom Holland is great, as usual. I'm still not convinced by Zendaya (a little overhyped) but the best participants in this movie are the faces of old...

Monday, January 2, 2023

Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff - Aurora Burning / Aurora's End

Review.

Very good. Very, very good. Ah, the first review of 2023 should be a positive one, shouldn't it?

I thought they couldn't pull it off. Ending the first book with an overpowered enemy is one of the two 'beginning writers' problems. (The other one is an overpowered protagonist.)

But they managed to do it. They managed to pull it off.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Wallpaper - Pinky & The Brain

Megalomania isn't a problem... Well, it is (Musk, Putin, Trump, and you can come up with a few names of your own) but at least it isn't a problem in cartoons... Meet Pinky & The Brain!

Click image to enlarge / More wallpapers...

Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022

Wrapping up 2022, and Welcome to 2023!

The image to the left takes you to the home screen which lists all major topics.

To search this blog you have to use the desktop version of this blog.

This link will show all 2022 posts.

Countdown to 2023... Worried yet Hopeful

Column.

Today's the last day of 2022, and another year has gone by. It's New Year's Eve, and one is supposed to reflect on what has passed, and look  forward to what's yet to come.

I'm... confused. A little sad, somewhat lost, a little disappointed, a bit worried, and a tad hopeful.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Solid Sound Models / Broken Amplifier / Broken Tape Deck / Marriage

Column.

The most popular page on this blog is the Rock Solid page. I've updated the information on other related models, as I think I've finally figured out all variants.

As for 2023... I hope to enjoy my Home Theater setup for a long, long time to come. I feel no need to visit the cinema, and am considering even larger screen options... Though I'd probably have to win the lottery first. And get some stuff repaired...

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Writing... no, procrastinating (creating yet another wallpaper)

Writing.

For a year I've been mostly at a kind of stand-still when it came to writing. It's not that I don't want to write, but it just never happened. My health wasn't cooperating, I've been busy at work, and there have been so many other things to do. So, besides some editing, there was little work done on my novel(s).

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Love Hina (1998)

Review.

Anime can be great. I love anime, though I'm not a hardcore fan. I did notice there's a lot of variation in anime, and though some of the topics have become more mature over time, anime as a whole genre seems to be moving back to its roots, ie. lately anime seems to be targeting a younger audience again.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Corona - T plus 703 - Fxck you!

Column.

745 days after I realized Corona was for real, 703 days after what I theoretically estimated to be the most dangerous day (I was probably wrong but sometimes that's a good thing 🤔) and I'm still alive.

I'm still alive. I had my shots. Got pretty sick of the first batch, less so from the second inoculation. Then, a couple of months ago, I caught Corona / Covid myself, in spite of the inoculations...

Monday, December 26, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Windows 11 Quadrophonic - RealTek / Asrock Ryzen 5 / Labtec 2514

My old Asrock mainboard has an RealTek audio chip onboard. I have an old Labtec 4 channel amp with its own little sub that's still going strong after 22 (!) years.

Under Windows 10, my setup would by default mirror stereo playback to the rear speakers. Not so under Windows 11. Even better: you can't tell Windows 11 that you have a quadrophonic setup. Well, you can, but it's a little hidden...

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff - The Illuminae Files 01 - Illuminae (2015)

Review.

I'll be damned. They did it again. (Or before. Time is relative.) The Aurora Cycle was great (still have to add the reviews for books 2 and 3) and this book, by the same authors, does it again. Although, in this case, it's... different.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Why television will never get it right

Column.

It’s perfectly normal for a series to be cancelled when the ratings drop, and the number of viewers dwindle. It’s all about making money.

But isn't it time for the show-runners to show some respect to their (potential) audience?

Friday, December 23, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Shortcuts to webpages using Chrome profiles

You can launch Chrome with a specific user profile, but, unfortunately, there's no easy way AFAIK to discern which profile number matches a specific profile name. Here's a. how to figure out the profile number, and b. how to share batch files and scripts over different machines with different profile names.

Why? Because you might use the same website with different profiles, ie. settings, and you don't want to manually log out and in again.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Countdown to 2023... PS4 Controllers / charging / registering / USB cable length and extensions / adapters

I wrote this ages ago... but never posted it. And now the PS5 era has arrived 😁 and still I post something about the PS4... Whatever. Sometimes the PS4 misbehaves with controllers and (longer / weird) USB cables. Here are my personal notes and observations. This also applies to a Logitech G29 Wheel and PCs.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Countdown to 2023... VirtualBox versus Hyper-V on Windows 10 and 11

The countdown to 2023 has started. And I haven't reached my one hundred posts this year yet! Well, counting down is fine, but I prefer the majority of my posts to have some kind of usefulness... Some kind. Sort of 😏

So, 11 days... Let's start with VirtualBox 6.1.40 and spontaneous freezes on Windows 11...

Monday, December 5, 2022

Alan Dean Foster - Pip and Flinx 1 - The Tar-Aiym Krang (1972)

Review.

In 1972 (that's a long time ago) Alan Dean Foster wrote the first of the Pip and Flinx novels.

It's an easy read, which would probably classify as a YA, with left and right a bit of exposition (and somewhat old fashioned) but it is still imminently readable. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

B&W Solid Sound Monitor... Transmission Line / Horn?!?

Look what I found on a Japanese (?) website... someone is selling his home-build transmission line / horn version of the B&W 'Rock Solid Sound' Monitor.

Hard to tell how it sounds, but the lack of dampening material, and the fact the seller wants to sell it... Oh well.

If it's still for sale (I think it's for sale, but my Japanese ain't what it has (n)ever been 😇) you'll find it here.

Wallpaper - Xbox

Okay, I'm a Sony PlayStation guy (in spite of also owning an Xbox One S) but this is a great wallpaper. (Click image to enlarge.)

I couldn't find a high-resolution version, but that doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I deliberately use dots and blur effects in WallX to make the background fuzzier so the wallpapers won't distract me from the job at hand. WallX parameters: dots blur round distort 15 expand 150 keep resident

Monday, November 28, 2022

Ben Aaronovitch – Rivers of London 2 – Moon over Soho (2011)

I didn’t like the first book in this series, but this one is better. The first half of book 2 had a more cynical, ‘detective noir’, ‘hard-boiled detective’ flavor, and I like that. The second half of the book was more in line with the first installment. Still, overall an enjoyable read, and an improvement. Maybe it’s all the jazz references that did it for me?

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Monday, November 21, 2022

Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff - Aurora Cycle 1 - Aurora Rising (2019)

Review.

Third Person Present Tense, Young Adult SF.

Most books in the YA category tend to be Fantasy, but this is an SF trilogy with some interesting aspects, and it's fairly well written.

There are some not-entirely-believable scenes, but it ain't bad, and the character interaction is fun.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

TP-Link Deco M4 - Review / Bufferbloat / Reset

Review.

Of course, one should carefully consider the amount of trust one places in a Chinese company like TP-Link. In general, their hard and software seem to be reasonable for the price point, but privacy is a bit of a thing these days...

Anyway, in case you would decide to buy a mesh Wifi network, TP-Link has a cheap(er) product called the Deco M4. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

F*ck*ng W*rkg*v*rs (en overheden) - Thuiswerken... of niet?

Column. Dutch.

Op je werkdag mag je niet thuiswerken, maar op je vrije dag wel?

Heeft dan niemand iets geleerd van de Corona golf? Nadat we een tijdje thuis mochten werken... nee, thuis moesten werken, is het eindelijk weer tijd om op kantoor te verschijnen. En dus staan we lekker collectief weer in de file.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Scott Baron - The Clockwork Chimera 1 - Daisy's Run (2018)

Review

Daisy's part of a limited crew, on their way to earth. But the closer she gets, the more she starts distrusting her fellow shipmates. What doesn't help is her distrust of artificial limbs and cyborg implants, something which all her shipmates have...

Monday, November 7, 2022

Netflix - Outside the Wire (2021..2022)

Review.

What could have been an interesting movie is nothing but your typical over-the-top robot-gone-bad military-are-good direct-to-video.

It's a pity, because some of the CGI is pretty good, and the movie does contain some very interesting elements. It's just that it doesn't work.