Ayreon – 01011001

After almost four years, Arjen Anthony Lucassen released the new Ayreon album, 01011001. My guess is that Arjen decided this would be the album that would connect all Ayreon stories, from the blind minstrel to the last migrator. And it does. Unfortunately, from a musical stand point, the album fails to deliver anything impressive.

The songs are completely unimaginative. Sometimes, when not paying attention to the lyrics, I thought I was hearing some other Ayreon album. The same rhythm, the same sounds… nothing new. And when Hansi Kürsch sings, it really feels like you are listening to Blind Guardian, not Ayreon (in contrast, when Mike Baker sung in “The Human Equation”, you didn’t feel like listening to Shadow Gallery. And I would dare to say that when James LaBrie sung in the same album, it also didn’t feel like Dream Theater.)

So far, I would say that’s the weakest of all the albums. But who knows, maybe that was the idea, to give people some context for the next album…

Avantasia – Scarecrow

Latest Avantasia album, “Scarecrow” finally hit the market. And I finally got a copy. So, what we can say about it?

First, this is not Avatansia. Sorry about that, but it isn’t. It is not about Gabriel and his quest to save his sister, while trying to save the universe from clashing with another universe, due the actions of an evil bishop. No, not at all.

This is “Tobias Sammet’s friends – Scarecrow.”

My guess is that Tobias really liked to play with another people and decided to use the name Avantasia for this project. So, fans of Avantasia, sorry but this isn’t part III. On the other hand, for those who like melodic metal, this is an awesome album! And not just melodic metal fans, people who like power ballads will really enjoy “Cry Just a Little” and “What Kind of Love”. I would even dare to say that “What Kind of Love” beats “Farewell” in any competition, hands down.

I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

The hacks are available

For some time, I kept my “hacks” available on my SVN. And by “hacks” I mean my small pieces of code, which I used to understand some function, or try something new. Now, because I’m closing “slowhome.org” down, I decided to put all code available on my notes. The files are here.

I’m out of sync with the movie critics

I hate George Clooney. Really. Every single movie he does make me like him less and less. His acting is not convincing and he doesn’t have facial expressions. Yet, every single critic says he is an awesome actor and that his latest movie, “Michael Clayton”, is so awesome it should get an Oscar. When I saw it, I wanted to pee on Clooney face and burn the theatre down, just to enjoy a little bit of my lost 2 hours in the cinema.

When I was in the plane back to Australia, I saw Ratatoule (or whatever, I don’t care if the name is wrong.) I thought it was unimaginative, boring story about “accept who you are” for kids. You know, the same thing they say in kid movies over and over again. I mean, I’m seeing that message since I was a kid. Yet, critics say that the Academy should reconsider its position about the movie, as it was ranked higher than the “best movie” movies.

Really, critics don’t know movies.

Windows shell utilities are another victory for Cygwin

C:\Symbian\UIQ3.1SDK\epoc32>find --help
FIND: Parameter format not correct

C:\Symbian\UIQ3.1SDK\epoc32>find -h
FIND: Parameter format not correct

C:\Symbian\UIQ3.1SDK\epoc32>find /h
FIND: Invalid switch

FIND: Parameter format not correct

C:\Symbian\UIQ3.1SDK\epoc32>find /?
Searches for a text string in a file or files.

FIND [/V] [/C] [/N] [/I] [/OFF[LINE]] "string" [[drive:][path]filename[ ...]]

/V Displays all lines NOT containing the specified string.
/C Displays only the count of lines containing the string.
/N Displays line numbers with the displayed lines.
/I Ignores the case of characters when searching for the string.
/OFF[LINE] Do not skip files with offline attribute set.
"string" Specifies the text string to find.
Specifies a file or files to search.

If a path is not specified, FIND searches the text typed at the prompt
or piped from another command.

'grep' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

And that’s why I’m installing Cygwin on my computer now…

I still don’t get the online music stores

So, first I didn’t understand why Amazon MP3 was available globally. Then I bought I MacBook and start using the iTMS and thought “now I can have anything I want.”

Yesterday, for some stupid reason, I decided to change the country in the iTMS listing. Why? Well, for a long time I’m waiting for “Edguy – Scarecrow” and “Ayreon – 01011001” to show up, but none of those are available. So I changed the store to Germany and guess what? There they are. “Ok, I’ll buy them now, then. I don’t care paying in euros.” Well, the thing is, you can’t buy things that are not available in your account country.

And that’s something that really annoys me. In one hand, you have all the major record companies complaining about piracy and, in the other, they make things harder to get if you’re not in one of the major countries. The greatest failure of the record companies is not realizing that this thing called “internet” actually works in the whole planet, not just some countries.

New Ironman trailer is cool

I just saw on /Film that there is a new new Ironman trailer. Now, I know that a lot of people can get worried that they will screw up this one but, so far, the looks are pretty cool. The scene with the tank is a little bit weird, but it is still “cartoonish” enough. I just hope they do a gentle transition between the real life and the cartoon part, so you don’t feel like you suddenly jumped into a CGI animation.

It is time to start the new Web 2.0 “revolution”

When the term “Web 2.0” was created, it meant the websites would be built using user content, like blogs and such.

Then, at some point, social networks became on of the sons of the Web 2.0 revolution. Everybody jumped into that and now we have thousands of social networks websites.

It seems that there is a new thing going in the Web 2.0 scene: social aggregators. What it does is just keep people informed about the things you do in such 2.0 sites. You post something in your blog and it will show up in a place; you update your profile in a social network website and it will appear in the same place; you listen to a song and there it is. Mugshot is the one I know, but I guess there are more around.

Now, I feel it will be the next wave of Web 2.0 things is the “social profile updater” sites. By that, I mean a website that keeps all your information and, when you change something, it will update all your social network websites (as long as the website keep that information.) Say, you move to a new place and, instead of updating your address in all the social network websites, you just update in one place and the updater will update your profile in all of those. New photo? No worries, it will update all the websites.

Honestly, I kinda hope that this happens. I’m getting tired of updating my picture in five different places each time…