Of all the science fiction movies that have ever been produced, one of the finest and most ground-breaking of all time is Tron. Starring Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner and directed by Steven Lisberger, Tron was also the first film to composite computer graphics and live action together in a single film. Produced using a mixture of digital, photographic, and traditional art techniques, this is a movie that could never have been made before its time, and which could probably never again be made in this way due to economic and logistic considerations.

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Recovering damaged CDs or DVDs with Linux

On Windows there are a slew of file recovery tools which will peer intently at an optical disc, retrying until they recover every possible file. The leading tool is probably Isobuster, but there are dozens of candidates for the title. There are few automated (or even user-friendly) data recovery tools on Linux or UNIX(tm) platforms, but common tools which are often even included with the core system or which are installable through the official package system are often sufficient for performing this critical task.

JVC KD-DV4200 Mobile DVD Receiver

When my Kenwood flip-face stereo died (repair pending but I'm lazy) I decided it was time to upgrade. I've been wanting an mp3 player for some time but I haven't wanted to shell out the big bucks and I want something that will let me play more than 700MB. There's various cheapie solutions out there, some of which take USB flash drives or SD cards, but almost none of them support storage devices of more than 1GB. So I was looking for something a little more serious.

Overstock.com had a few mp3 playing units around, so I browsed through them and found the JVC KD-DV4200. The feature list seemed too compelling to pass up; it plays DVD video, which is neat (as I have a small TV which I am now using with the unit) but more importantly for my purposes, it will play mp3 or wma from DVD. This is actually a fairly unusual feature and even though most mobile DVD players will play mp3, they typically will only play from a CD.

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Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pompoko

Innocent hippies and young children everywhere can be expected to enjoy Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pompoko, a rather bizarre story from famed Studio Ghibli and written and directed by Isao Takahata (Hotaru no haka/Grave of the Fireflies, Rupan sansei/Lupin III). It tells the story of some lovable yet fierce Tanuki, the "racoon-dogs" of Japan, who are being chased out of their homes by urban development.

This story has a PG rating which stems from basically two elements; first, there is continual (if minor) violence from the tanuki, as well as continual incitement by some of the tanuki to wage open war against the humans, and they regularly engage in what can only literally be termed acts of terrorism.

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