It’s a Saturday night. Se7en is on TV, my stomach is a little upset, and I’m ready to get tucked into a sofa-bed – or if I can be bothered, actual bed. It has been an odd week. I’ve accomplished a couple of large tasks, but still have lots to do.
First – I’ve completed my Deployment course. I’ve actually retained a lot of the knowledge too; I created a Windows PE boot disk from the command line, and it worked! I even built my own Win PE USB stick, but it’s not very functional. Apart from TrueCrypt and a couple of SysInternal utilities, most apps – even PortableApps – require some “fat” infrastructure on the hosting OS. I did get Remote Desktop and VNC to work though. Ah well – my Fedora Live USB still reigns supreme.
Inspired by the need to keep my IT skills fresh – God knows my employer doesn’t – I purchased 4Gb of RAM for my Asus barebone PC, and have used Virtual Box to create some machines to practice my skills on. I’ve never been impressed with Virtual box, but my 7Gb machine now runs Virtual Box VMs very very well. A word of advice – load up your rig with RAM if you want to use more than one virtual machine.
There are 5 short story competitions between now and the New Year. I’ve got a book full of ideas, but I can’t seem to get started on writing stories for them. I’ve also got 3 novels and 3 screenplays in various states of draft, but I drip-feed progress into these projects, like large buckets. I’ve finally managed to clear one huge boulder though – I asked my writing teacher to move me over to the fictional part of the course. Apart from articles, I can’t seem to get into factual writing. I can only write factually about things that interest me. I can’t seem to simply pick a subject, research it, then numbly write about it. In a way, I now have a lot more respect for those who can churn out quality articles about any subject.
This kinda brings me onto another topic. I’m a fan of the Alien franchise, but ever since the second movie, someone or something has been fucking it up. Alien 3, for example, should have been an absolute stonker. It wasn’t. Do you know why? At the end of Aliens, the survivors of the encounter were strong and established characters; Hicks, Ripley, Bishop and Newt. However, instead of building upon the characters, Alien 3 simply killed all-but Ripley off. Simple as that. Hicks? Dead. Newt? Dead. Bishop? Kinda dead. Ripley was the only surviving original character (again), and even she dies at the end. A complete waste of money. Awful. Shameful, even.
Alien 4/Resurrection could have been OK, although had some massive plot holes. Namely, how does Ripley’s DNA contain an alien? That’s like saying my DNA could be used to grow another me, complete with the clothes and jewellery I’m wearing. The second plot failing is with the alien queen. Initially, the queen is the alien harvested from the number 8 Ripley clone, and the crew hijacked by the Betty are put in front of some alien eggs, meaning that the queen had to have laid the eggs. However, the queen gives birth to the alien/human hybrid via a womb. So where did the eggs come from? As well as these points, the film edges towards the corny and the comically-absurd.
Then came Aliens vs Predator, and AvP – Requiem. The first was set too remote to be of any consequence, and Requiem was pointless. Even when it seemed like there would be a battle between the National Guard and the aliens, the film resorted to abductions in the dark and the odd sighting. Then there was the Predalien vs pregnant ladies in the hospital. Not needed. All-in-all, Aliens was the last good Alien movie. So, I thought “fuck it – let’s put my money where my mouth is”, and so I have started writing my own Alien movie! Since Alien 4 forced the timeline 200 years into the future after the LV-426 incident, I’ve been forced to pick up the storyline 3 years after Resurrection. The story is already done – I just need to get it down as a screenplay. I’m on the part where Ripley appears! Anyway, it’s probably going to be of no consequence, but to hell with it – I’ll write it and send to Fox – at least I’ll be able to have a good-looking rejection letter!
I’ve been given a Blackberry Torch to try out. To be honest, every time someone objects about our company handsets, or wants something different, me, my director, and our account manager spend time responding to their unfair complaints. Most people see their company mobile as their own personal handset, so are always trying to get something better. Usually an iPhone. Anyway, the last guy who cried his way to his director was handed a HTC Desire, and last month ran up a £9k data phone bill. So, rather than picking handsets that are flexible and functional, I’ve recommended that we put the entire smartphone fleet under Blackberry management. To be honest, they are decent handsets, and they do they job well. Not sure if I’d pay £400 for the Torch, not when the iPhone 4 is £405 and new Galaxy is £360. The Blackberry is not for me, but as a corporate handset, fucking amazing. It delivers the required content to the handset for the user and it gives almost total control to the IT department. It does come at a premium, but the cost is easily offset against downtime and support time with non-managed solutions.
Finally, to celebrate the departure of a certain individual at the end of this week, here’s a picture to commemorate.