Now, Inception is a pretty awesome movie. Nevertheless, I was a little disappointed - the last movie I had fallen completely in love with had been Christopher Nolan's The Prestige, so I guess I was hoping for something a bit more like that. Inception isn't; at it's heart, it's a light-hearted caper movie. I was also disappointed at the stability of dreamworlds, although there is an in-world explanation for that (see the Inception JustBugsMe page for an explanation). Still, wouldn't the movie have been more fun with a bit of Michel Gondry imaginative styles, or a Terry Gilliam vividness?
Oh, and while I'm complaining, did the music have to be that loud?
And ... that's about it. The story is a fantastically imaginative romp, you are (as promised) on the edge of your seat from start to finish, and there's tons of crazy plot threads which all tie together by the end, more or less. I spent too much of the movie anticipating a trick ending, though, which is why I hope to see it again this weekend sans overanalysis.
Incidentally, did you know that the terms "the pledge", "the turn" and "the prestige" from The Prestige were entirely made up by the novel's writer, Christopher Priest? There's not a lot of people who know that.
Something we'd like to do to promote Sequence Matrix is by making some narrated screencasts to show off just how quick and useful Sequence Matrix can be. Here's some handy tools I've seen so far:
Screenflow is a bit tricky to wrap your mind around, but a powerful, useful tool once you do. I particularly like their ability to hide your desktop temporarily while making a screencast, and you can export it into a number of formats. The big downside is the cost: 99 USD isn't all that steep, but when you're just going to make a handful of screencasts, it's a bit much to justify. Still, the most powerful of the ones I've seen so far.
iShowU is a techy little program that supports a ton of output formats and sizes. At 20 USD, it's a whole lot cheaper than Screenflow too. On the downside, it doesn't seem to have video-editing built in, and - since it records in a box of a particular size around the mouse - the resulting video is kinda jumpy. But if you're looking for a whole-screen recorder, this might be just what you're looking for. Thanks, Curren, for recommending this program to me.
Screenr has a very cute interface, and is completely on-web and cross-platform. I love the simplicity of this. I don't think I can get the movie out of this, though, which might be important for making these videos. You can't beat the price, though: free.
Jing - I haven't had a chance to try this yet, but it looks interesting.
I'll update this list as I spot other tools. Do you have a preferred screencasting software for the Mac? Please let me know!
Man, I am so pleased with my new blog, I'm going to fill it up right now with a rubbish post on what I'm up to right now. Bear with me, people. This is going to be exciting.
Today is July 22, 2010. If all goes according to plan, by this time next year I will be enrolled in a graduate school programme, ideally a PhD programme, starting on a course of research which will stretch into 2015 and beyond. That's my next decade settled, more or less, if I can just get this started.
Why a PhD? To start off with, there's the job: long hours, yes; hard work, definitely. But also continually interesting stuff, with a lot of self-direction, and - a big win for me - the ability to create things to give away, be it software, data or content. Besides, the fields I'm interested in are really popping. The book of life is being compiled, on Wikipedia, on the Encyclopedia of Life, and in a dozen other places. A humongous amount of biodiversity data is being collected and stored and used. I'd hate to miss getting in on the ground floor of this - in a decade or two, the formats are going to solidify, the databases to be established, the toolset to be decided. Now is the time to really make something special here.
So that's my PhD dreams. With any luck, I'll have this website set up soon, and then it'll be time to e-mail people and see if they can come true. Until then, I reside in a lovely part of Paya Lebar, Singapore; I've got a great job at PaperTerminal, where I work on OCR Terminal and a handful of other projects across three programming languages, two operating systems, and a completely crazy number of ancillary tools.
So: life is good. Well, okay, maybe not that positive: life is satisfactory. Life is alright. And, with any luck, getting better all the time.