Archive for October, 2009

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The F-16 is the most stunningly beautiful human creation.

October 6, 2009

Yes, sorry, I’m at this again. I just had another love moment with my wallpaper, and given the fact that the internet appears to be devoid of love for the Viper, I feel the need to post yet another blurb about this beautiful jet.

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Breathtaking. A thing of pure beauty. The benchmark of a beautiful design. Every other fighter plane can only be compared as a fraction of the F-16’s beauty, but none can meet or exceed it. And not just fighter planes, either. It’s the only object on the planet that is as beautiful as it is. Every iota of its design is an inspiration to me: being a fighter plane, I now love fighter planes; being created in the 80s, I love 80s stuff; being used by the Air Force, I love the Air Force, etc. It’s like my entire life has gained composure and form using this simple “machine” as a role model.

And yet, having been conditioned to never be able to touch the real thing, I still love it. I see it only in photos and the occasional video, and every now and then I get to see a few flying over my house from quite a distance. I can drive by the airport every now and then, and see them parked, all lined up by the hangar. Yet I can never actually get close enough to touch one.

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Given the opportunity, I’d dedicate a month of my life to absolutely, meticulously going over every detail of this beautiful plane with a toothbrush and toothpick to make it brand new, and do that to every single one of an entire fighter squadron. Just for that opportunity to actually appreciate that beautiful thing which I’ve obsessed over each and every single day for the past 7 years. Is it so hard to believe, that I honestly have thought about it that much? Given how much I love the thing, and how much of my life and personality is dedicated to that simple aircraft, I don’t find it hard to believe. I think any sane-minded individual would, though.

My walls, my computers, my car, my nickname, and pretty much everything else I own, each has at least a little something relating to my obsession with the Falcon. Of course I’m obsessed with the thing. It doesn’t entirely dominate every waking thought, in fact it only brings itself up when I sit there and look at it. But it’s very much like I’m in love with it the same way people are in love with another person. I never have felt “love” for any other person, in even remotely the same way as I feel for the F-16. Where people post photos of their loved ones, I post photos of my loved one. The same way other people talk to their loved ones, I look up little pieces of info about the plane. And yet, while other people are busy having their intimate moments with their loved ones, all I can do is sit there and stare longingly at beautifully captured photos of the Falcon. Wishing I were there and wishing I could touch it, feel it, lay on it, admire it, and appreciate it.

I had to pick the most fucked-up thing to love.

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Handbrake WinGUI svn2845 for Netbooks

October 5, 2009

Well, the Handbrake guys picked up the ball on providing the public with a few SVN snapshot releases. They work pretty well but still have some glaring bugs. Of note:
– When audio is downmixed from stereo to mono, the audio is distorted and plays very strangely, slowed/pitched down and skips to keep time. May be relevant that the source was VBR MP3 from an XviD AVI but it’s pretty uniform in its occurrence.
– In WinGUI, the chapter markers box is greyed out after automatic scan, until you re-select the title to process. Appears to be a bug in the way the GUI is refreshed after autoscan.

And perhaps most importantly, despite the fact that the GUI automatically scales and provides a scroll bar to navigate the interface, it refuses to run when the resolution is too low. It flat-out does not allow the program to run due to this arbitrary limitation – no bypass switches, nothing. It needs to be recompiled. But it works just fine at lower resolutions. You can test this functionality by launching Handbrake at 1024×768 (or higher), minimize the GUI, then change the resolution to 800×600. Restore the GUI, and it suddenly grows scroll bars like magic and it’s still usable. The devs have consistently ignored countless requests to remove this limitation so, well, once again, that’s where I come in.

Look closer - shit bricks.

Look closer - shit bricks.

This is a compile of the GUI only. It does not include the CLI. It is a drop-in replacement for the GUI available with the svn2845 snapshot available (at the moment) here. Install that, then extract these GUI files to the folder you installed Handbrake to. Voila! Handbrake on your netbook.

Download the patched version here. Includes source code – the files in the /src/ folder do NOT need to be extracted to the Handbrake install directory. Only handbrake.exe and handbrake.pdb.

edit: Just realized I typo’d the filename: “handbreake”. Guess it’s a fitting typo.

Oh, look, it works fine at 992x673.

Oh, look, Handbrake works fine at 992x673.

The new version can’t come fast enough. Hard to believe they still have that stale old version on the main page! =(