遇人不熟

Strangers 沒有大卡士的明星﹐沒有華麗的特技﹐零五年日本電影「遇人不淑」卻比其他大製作的爛片好看﹐因為它回歸一套好電影最根本的靈魂﹐就是一個好的劇本。二個小時的電影發生於一個晚上的時間﹐導演分別從三個角色的角度先後描述同一事件。難得是三部份的故事絲絲入扣﹐編織出一個出乎觀眾意料之外的結局。這齣電影沒有刻意加插笑料﹐但言語之間流露出人生的諷刺﹐不同觀點對同一件事認知的錯落帶出荒謬的幽默感。誠然導演還是會玩些小把戲﹐加強電影的喜劇性。例如背景音樂因關門而突然停止﹐同一場面多次重覆出現﹐但每次也有微妙的差異等等。

故事分為三個部分﹐每個部份分別描述三個男人在同一晚上發生的遭遇﹐而他們三人當晚巧合地給兩個女人串連起來。第一部份的故事很平舖直述﹐一個比電車男更木訥的悶男﹐邂逅一個離家出走的剛失戀女人。他好心收留她回家過夜﹐卻碰上忽然失蹤的前女友回來收捨舊物。失戀女人不當電燈泡奪門而去﹐悶男最後鼓起追著她坐的的士問她拿電話號碼。除了笑他們兩人的笨拙外﹐這部份可以說有點兒沉悶。不過挨過第一部份後﹐再往下看就會發現這部份佈局的精妙。每一個看似不經意的場面﹐每一樣看似無關痛癢的細節﹐都是接下來兩部份的伏筆。當觀眾在後面兩部份中﹐從另一個鏡頭再看到熟悉的場面﹐再聽到似曾相識的對白﹐讓觀眾佩服編劇安排的巧妙。

第二部份的主角是悶男當私家偵探的好朋友﹐ 他的樣子有點兒像梁朝偉。悶男的前女友偷了黑幫大佬一大箱錢﹐要找他幫忙逃走﹐可是護照卻留在悶男家中。這部份的故事與第一部份平衡發展﹐給觀眾解開第一部留下來的伏線﹐知道前女友離開悶男的真相。最後私家偵探給黑幫在餐廳找到﹐給剝光豬捉回去要殺要剮地審問。見了黑幫大佬後卻峰迴路轉﹐大事化小當沒有事情發生﹐讓觀眾看得有點不明所以。到第三部則從黑幫大佬的角度﹐把這晚發生的事情再覆述一次﹐把所有謎底一一掀開﹐讓觀眾恍然大悟後不禁莞爾。

這齣電影一段比一段精彩好笑﹐每段的結構首尾呼應﹐合併出整件事情的真相。這三個部份就好像現實的人生一樣﹐很多事情表面看起來很簡單﹐內裏卻往往暗藏玄機。很多人執著於探查當中的秘密﹐結果給錯縱複雜的關系弄得頭昏腦漲。到最後發現只要換一個角度去看﹐事情的真相原來也可以很簡單。

Portableapps

In the early days of computer, software is self contained in its own directory. When you need to upgrade the computer, just copy the directory to the new harddisk and you are back to business right away. Then comes Windows, software is chopped up into bits and pieces and the data is hiddened somewhere inside the registery and application data. That makes moving the directory of the software a nightmare since you have no idea what stuff you need to backup. If you don’t have to adminstrater privilage in the computer, you can’t even install the software since you have no write access to the registery file. It only make software more inconvinient to use. Finally, someone had enough with this stupid idea of registry and port many commonly used opensource software tp a portable version. You just have to download the software package from their website, unzip the files into the directory and you are ready to go. You can copy the files from one hard disk to another and use the software without any problem. It is good to have a copy of your commonly used software stored in a USB drive for carry around and in case of emergency. I can also get around of the installation limitation of the Critix account at work to install Firefox. The portable applications can be downloaded here.

Murder vs suicide

When I was fixing something with a screw driver yesterday, my hand slipped and I have a long but shallow cut on my wrist. Today I show the cut to my friends, joking that I was trying to commit suicide by cutting my wrist. My friend point out at once it can not be a suicide attempt. She reason that when someone try to kill himself, he would have to cut his wrist a few times before he can slide open his artery. Just think about the mental stress and pain one has to go through before killing himself, it would be surprise if he cut it right the first time. I asked how come she know all about this. She said she learn it from watching CSI. In one episode, the police concluded the victim is murdered instead of suicide from a clean wrist cut. Now I know if I want to murder someone and pretend it to be a suicide case. I need to cut the wrist a few more times to make it more real.

Badminton

I haven’t played badminton for almost a year. I used to play every week some colleagues from Mainland China, but I have to stop due to conflict of schedule with my philosophy class. Last night I have a badminton game with some other friends from work. We went to a really nice badminton center in Richmond. It is modified from a warehouse. It is very large, with more than twenty badminton courts. The lighting is every even and the walls are painted green, so the birdie is easy to see. The court floor us professional non slippery badminton court material, much better than the usual gym wooden floor in community center. Best of all is it only charges $13, only $1 more expensive than renting a court in community center.

I have been playing badminton since high school, but I never have any formal training. My skill cannot improve no matter how often I practice without knowing the right foot movement and the right way of holding the racket. There are group lesson offered in that badminton center, $99 for 8 lessons, not a bag deal. When I sign up for the lesson, the coach gave me a badminton test. We played for 10 minutes, actually I was played by the coach who made me running back and forth to return the birdie. The coach said I am good enough for intermediate lesson, so I pay the tuition fee at once to reserve a spot. Let’s see how much will I improve after 2 months of badminton lessons.

開機救星

Hirens-BootCD-15.2-cd-rom-label

昨天家中的電腦忽然hang機﹐reboot後開機畫面黑漆漆的﹐只看見這行令人恐怖萬份的白色字在螢幕上閃著

Invalid System disk replace the disk and press any key

天哪﹗我電腦找不到我的硬碟﹗跟據我多年的玩電腦經驗﹐這個錯誤訊息可大可小﹐小至BIOS設定出錯﹐大至硬碟報銷也有可能。幸好我還有另一台電腦可用﹐還可以上網找資料參考。出現這個錯誤訊息的主要原因電腦開機時﹐BIOS第一件時是找尋開機硬碟的Master Boot Record(MBR)﹐若硬碟還未format或者MBR損壞了﹐就會出現這個錯誤訊息。

第一件事要檢查﹐就是重新開機﹐留意開機畫面中BIOS有否找到硬碟。若找不到硬碟﹐可能只是機內的電線鬆了﹐也可能硬碟完全報銷。可幸重新開機後我兩隻硬碟還安在﹐這樣第二件事就是按del鍵﹐進入BIOS設定﹐檢查Boot Sequence。在電腦開機後﹐BIOS會順著Boot Sequence的次序去找開機碟。若果CD-ROM或磁碟機有非開機碟﹐或插入了USB碟﹐恰巧它們排在硬碟的順序之上﹐也會出現這個錯誤。若是這個問題﹐只要把CD或磁碟取出﹐或把開機硬碟排在Boot Sequence的第一位﹐重新開機就可以軟易解決問題了。

很不幸我的BIOS設定沒有問題﹐換一句話說就是MBR真的壞了。這時我要出動我的開機救星Hiren’s BootCD。這隻碟是每個電腦人必備的恩物﹐集齊所有開機救機軟件﹐在網上可以免費下載。進入BIOS把CD-ROM排在Boot Sequence的第一位﹐放入Boot CD﹐重新開機。開機後會出現一個畫面﹐問你想從硬碟開機還是從CD開機﹐我選了硬碟。過了慢長的半秒後﹐熟悉而令人安心的畫面出現眼前﹐卒之進入了Windows開機畫面。至少我知道硬碟本身沒有問題﹐Partition也安好﹐只需要修正MBR。不過修正MBR是一件危險的工作﹐如出錯的話會連Partition Table也弄壞﹐到時硬碟中所有資料就沒有了﹐只可以重新format硬碟。所有在進行MBR修正前﹐我花了差不多一晚把我的資料備份﹐抄到去安全的外置硬碟上。修正MBR的正統方法是開Windows的安裝CD開機﹐進入Recovery Console﹐然後執行fixmbr和fixboot兩個指令。我依照Mircosoft官網的旨示做了﹐不過還是開不到機﹐依然看見那個錯誤訊息。不過我對Microsoft的工具也不存厚望﹐始終還是要依靠Hiren’s BootCD的救機工具箱。

拿出Windows安裝CD﹐放入Hiren’s BootCD重新開機。今次選擇從CD開機﹐依照畫面上的Menu﹐選擇MBR Tools﹐再選擇MBRWork﹐跟著這個網頁照做就可以了。先按1把first track備份﹐按4清空MBR﹐按3清空EMBR。這時會有新的選項出現﹐按A去重建Partition Table﹐最後按5重新寫入MBR﹐再重新開機就大功告成﹗

差不多弄了一整晚和一個早上﹐才醫好了我的電腦開機﹐讓它可以正常。真的是自己部電腦才會這樣著緊﹐若果朋友的電腦發生同樣問題叫我修理﹐我大慨會叫他節哀順變format硬碟重裝windows算了。怪不得到街外找人修理電腦這樣貴了﹐因為真的花很多功夫和時間。不過相對起要重裝Windows所需的時間﹐盡力搶救MBR還是比較划算。

Wii

I finally played Wii first handed. Since Wii has released in November, it has became the hottest selling console. Everyone, from newspaper to computer magazines to people’s blogs, all hail to this little white machine. You can read as much as you like about how great it is, but you just have to experience it yourself to truly appreciate Nintendo’s innovation.

I played three different games today, got a very good example on the game plan. We started with the Wii Sport, which comes with the console. Everyone loves this game. Swinging the remote as golf club, tennis racket or baseball bet to play is very intuitive. We found a bug in the tennis game. If you return a serve in a certain way, the other side can never hit the ball. Other than that, the game control is excellent. The bowling game is a bit silly, so we didn’t spend much time on it. The most fun game is boxing. The game is so vigorous that I was sweating from the exercise. I also created my Mii character and have some good laughs. Everyone else created their character trying to resemble how they look. Instead, I created a funny looking one, with hat, sleeping eyes, fly-shape sunglass and a big grin on the face.

The other two games are party games with lots of mini-games.  Most of those mini-games are fun on the first try but get bored quickly.  I am very impressed on how those mini-games use the remote control.  The motion sensor really opens up a new way of game plan, the possibility is only limited by your imagination.  Even the girls who usually not game players enjoy playing Wii, no wonder it is a run away success.  The only complain I have about Wii is the graphics is a bit dated.  The 3D games are very smooth, but you can see the polygon counts is quite low.  Most of the mini-games are made in 2D and the quality is just like the flash games on the web.  Reading from the spec, Wii’s graphic power should cannot match PS3 or XBox360, but it still improved a lot from Game Cube.  I am eager to see a game use its graphic chip to the full potential.  Now I am really interested to try PS3 games, so that I can compare all three 3rd generation consoles.

死亡筆記 劇場版

Death Notes Movie 在日本如果一套漫畫流行熱賣﹐必然會接著推出動畫版﹐電視版﹐真人劇場版等等再多賺一筆。早兩年連載的漫畫死亡筆記﹐憑著與別不同的雙雄鬥智為主的劇情﹐加上弄得全城鬧哄哄殺人筆記的話題﹐成為漫畫界紅極一時的作品。去年這套漫畫很順理成章地改編為真人電影版﹐分上下兩集放映。在電影還末公映前﹐最讓人感興趣是劇中死神的造形。電影中以電腦特效﹐把死神愚流和雷姆忠於原著地呈現觀眾眼前。其他角色的選角只是普普通通﹐幾個演戲一般的青年偶像。全部都女角是花瓶﹐只要樣靚就乎合要求。兩大男主角的人選則有待商榷﹐飾演L的那位演得好一點﹐只用演活漫畫中角色的怪異行為﹐做不到神似也至少形似。飾演夜神月簡直不合格﹐先不說他身材短小與漫畫中高大有型的夜神月差一截﹐最大敗筆是他演不出夜神月那份神髓。做不到時而聰明機智﹐時而陰沉奸險的表情﹐只懂不知是憤怒還是傻戇地皺眉頭。劇中最出色的演員反而是演夜神一郎的配角﹐那位老戲骨把父子親情與警察責任的矛盾演得活靈活現。

要把十一集的漫畫濃縮為四小時的劇情﹐劇場版的故事入出很大的改動。不過由於漫畫後半部劇情拖長失控﹐劇場版索性把後半部刪掉﹐讓故事在應該完結的地方完結﹐是少數改篇比原著好看的特例。兩集戲場版的劇情很大部份依足原著﹐特別是月和L兩人鬥智的橋段﹐只是把多餘的旁枝閒色刪去﹐讓故事更加精簡劇情更加緊湊。不過在上下兩集的結尾﹐編劇給漫畫迷一個意外驚喜。在每集最後高潮的鬥智中﹐編劇加插出乎意料之外的轉折﹐在原有死亡筆記的使用規則上﹐變化出漫畫中沒有想過的使用方法。上集後段南空真美的結局﹐比起漫畫中她自行失蹤了斷精彩很多﹐當然詩織這個電影原創角色亦應記一功。在漫畫版這個角色只出過一場﹐是連名字也沒有的路人甲。在電影版升格為夜神月的女朋友﹐最後還被夜神月設計殺死用來過橋接近L﹐令電影版的夜神月比漫畫版更加埋沒人性﹐更加喪盡天良為求贏L走火入魔。下集夜神月與L的最終決戰絕對是神來之筆﹐結局比起漫畫版優勝百倍﹐夜神月至少沒有忽然變蠢﹐犯下當壞人長篇大論不打自招和盤托出的大忌。L利用死亡筆記最長二十三日死期與重寫無效的兩條規則﹐用自己的性命換取夜神月是殺手的證據。最後雖然兩個主角都難逃一死﹐但也不失為一個美滿的結局。

死亡筆記純萃只是一部娛樂電影﹐大家在觀看時千萬不要想夜神月的殺人行為是否合理。夜神月意外捨得一本死亡筆記﹐只需要寫下想殺的人的名字﹐死神就會依照指示奪去那人的性命。夜神月想藉死亡筆記改變世界﹐糾正讓犯人消遙法外的法律制度﹐用私刑去制裁罪有應得的犯人。不過劇本對法律制度的反思只是到此唯止﹐只有膚淺的作為劇情工具﹐沒有作任何深入探討的可能性。劇中市民只是很單純地分為支持與反對夜神月兩派。支持者的理由很簡單明顯﹐在黑夜申張的正義罪惡剋星必定受歡迎。但反對者理由則牽強得過份﹐他們只說夜神月是殺人犯﹐不應該去挑戰警察權威和法律制度﹐沒有人擔心夜神月擁有絕對的權力會絕對的腐化﹐亦沒有人想過夜神月不是無所不知﹐也會有殺錯好人的可能。不過夜神月只憑電視和警察部的電腦資料﹐每次出手殺的犯人總是罪該萬死。若劇本有心探討法律的原則﹐至乎也應該安排他殺錯幾個好人﹐給來替枉死者報仇的人痛罵一頓﹐看看他會否後悔痛下殺手時太過輕率。法律程序煩覆而有多重檢查﹐正正是基於寧縱莫枉的原則。夜神月的做法只是把他的私人法律設定為寧枉莫縱﹐實行所有疑犯一率有殺錯無放過。枉他還是法律系高材生熟讀六法全書﹐連這樣基本的原則性問題也搞不清楚。如果他拿著的不只是死亡筆記﹐還有小叮噹的時空電視﹐看清楚犯人有沒有犯罪才加以制裁﹐用嚴刑重典治世在理論上還可以說得通。但他現在只靠道聽途說就去行刑﹐未免把人命看得太過兒戲﹐亦沒有想過可以反給人利用來借刀殺人。再者那些犯重罪的罪犯本就不怕死﹐反正警察捉不到死亡筆記也無可奈何﹐神夜月未免把憑空殺人的力量想得太過完美了。殺人不是難事﹐難在是找出那些才是該殺的人。再者只靠殺人可以建立一個理想世界﹐夜神月未免太過天真了。要建立理想世界﹐近期常給人和夜神月相題並論的魯魯修的Geass洗腦力量看來更加可靠呢。

Why I blog?

One of the largest blogging site in HK, mysinablog, recent published a book called “Why we blog?”.  The book invited the top ranked bloggers in the website write about why they write blogs.  It also has some samples from their blogs.  I visit those blogs quite freqently and I admire how well the articles are written in those blogs.

I think I had wrote about why I blog a long time ago.  At that time, I just want to capture some of my thoughts that would otherwise be forgetten.  Now, I think my motivation of writting is changed.  Not only I want my blog as the grabbage dump of my brian.  I want to write articles that can attract and retain readers.  I am aspired by those highly ranked blogger who turned their blogs into publication.  In order to archive this goal, giving my website a pretty interface is not enough.  I have to improve my writing skills, refine my writting and type faster!  I definitely don’t want blogging consume most my time, ideally I can finish an article in under half hour.  My reviews on anime, movies, books, CDs will still make up a large portion of the contents.  I will also write articles about computer, as I progress in setting up my linux server and website.  Philosophy and religion interested me most, but I can only afford to write those articles once a while.  Since those writtings are very time consuming and require lots of research.  I am still thinking about whether should I write comments on news I read from newspaper.  First, the news, usually from HK newspaper, may not be very interesting to most of my readers.  Second, I need to comment the news in a way that differtiate me thousands of the columnists out there.  I don’t want to just merely repeat what other says.  However, writing news commentary would force me to think creatively and probably can most numbers of readers if my writing is good.

Road to an author.

I suddenly have a weird idea, I am thinking about writing a book about skiing in chinese. There is no books on this topic exist in HK, so I can fill the niche market. I have this inspiration when I just came across a really crappy book written by somone with merely a private pilot license. I am a ski instructor, although only the lowest level, but good enough qualification to sell the book. There are many misconception about skiing in HK public and introducting this sport to them could be quite interesting. I will first write about why I love skiing in the introduction. In the main content, I can start with how to select equipment, from clothings to boots, binding and skis. The next chapter will be tips on skiing, this section is probably make up of half the content of the book. I can recycle what I have learnt from my instructor training and my skiing lessons. I can also write an appendix on snowboarding, breifly touch on the difference between these two sports. I can insert some side-bars about history of skiing, famous skiers, trivia knowledge etc. I can easily search up those information can from google and wiki. The final section introduce famous ski resort around the world. Too bad I can only rely on 2nd hand information, it would be great if I have first hand experience on those resorts. That maybe an easy way to become an author.

Crossbone Gundam 骷髏高達

Crossbone Gundam 在高達官方的歷史中﹐ 骷髏高達並不起眼﹐只有短短六本的漫畫。雖然是高達教父富野悠季的作品﹐故事也是發生在原祖高達的UC世界中﹐但沒有動畫版的支持﹐只有高達的死忠支持者會知道其存在。這套作品由長谷川裕一繪畫﹐若隨便翻開一頁看﹐必定會給其簡陋的畫功嚇死。若嫌畫功不夠差﹐可以再看漫畫的機械設計﹐保證立即咒罵聲四起。高達一向是行軍事寫實風格﹐今次的設計完全令人大跌眼鏡﹐主角的太空母艦是隻中世紀海盜船﹐害我差點以為看錯夏古羅船長。敵方的機械人更是不論不類﹐以前渣古的雄風消失了﹐取而代之是幾隻鐵甲太空怪獸。唯一可幸的是高達由是Katoki設計﹐比起大河邦源男的高達帥氣得多。但是還是給弄了個骷髏標誌﹐破壞了高達原有的美感。若讀者沒有給這些恐怖的表面嚇走﹐倒可以發掘出骷髏高達的內在美。論故事劇情的吸引力和主題思想的深度﹐這套漫畫在眾多高達作品可說是少見地出色﹐水平大慨只是僅在0080之下。

還記得高達有套電影叫F91﹐ 原定在電影版推出後﹐再出電視版繼續發展故事﹐電影結尾是還加句這是剛剛開始的字幕。可是F91不受觀眾歡迎﹐玩具不好賣﹐電視版的計畫於是胎死腹中。沒有資金出電視版﹐找個漫畫家倒不用花很多錢﹐就成為現在的骷髏高達。故事發生在UC0133﹐F91的主角西普克再次出場﹐化名為金格度﹐憑著女朋友拉比身份的關係﹐率領在F91當反派的十字先鋒軍團﹐在木星打游擊戰對抗實施極權統治的木星帝國。根據高達的慣例﹐主角必定是個死小孩﹐機緣巧合地坐上高達﹐還可以一出場就大殺四方。骷髏高達卻一反這個傳統﹐名義上主角是托比亞﹐但他最初只是坐敵軍搶回來的機體﹐有點小聰明和駕駛天份﹐還要一邊打一邊學習駕駛技術﹐到第四集才弄到台高達坐。故事中描寫金格度的戲份比托比亞還多﹐大部份精彩的打鬥也是由金格度負責。前半部的真正主角是金格度﹐後半部最多也只是兩位主角平分秋色。能夠連當兩次主角的機師﹐除了金格度外就只有駕元祖高達的阿寶﹐以及命種高達的人棍王基拉了。骷髏高達還有一個角色令人印象深刻﹐就是團隊裏那個老爺子駕駛員﹐一年戰爭時已開機械人的老兵。他並不只是個只責負搞笑角色﹐亦不是用來祭旗引爆主角能力的死人﹐而是一個處處流露出智慧的戰場老手。在新人類天材萬能的高達世界﹐大慨他是唯一可以憑多年的作戰經驗克敵的另類軍人。

高達的故事往往是強調英雄主義﹐妨忽只憑一台高達就可以扭轉戰局。骷髏高達的戰爭是立體多面的﹐金格度固然是個王牌機師﹐但他更加是精通謀略政治﹐明白軍事手段只是達到目標的方法一種。他不會熱血地拼死戰鬥﹐以為只要殺光敵人就是勝利。單靠十字先鋒的軍力不足以解放木星的人民﹐而若只是純軍事革命的改朝換代﹐亦有違他要在木星建立民主社會的理想。他要做的事是刺破木星政府的謊言﹐讓人民明白到他們一直給當權者欺騙﹐他們有權選擇自己的生活。十字先鋒與地球軍火商是互相利用的關係﹐軍火工業必須依賴戰爭才可以生存﹐地區性的小型戰爭正好用來測試新機體﹐剛好需要武器的游擊隊正是最佳的實驗者。游擊隊是生存在地球與木星的夾縫中﹐一邊要奉承要地球勢力去打擊木星勢力﹐而另一邊要擔心地球與木星關係好轉﹐出賣游擊隊作為政治交易的籌碼。若非木星的獨裁者自視過高﹐舉旗反抗地球自招滅亡﹐金格度的解放運動最終只會徒勞無功。木星政府連人民呼吸的空氣也控制﹐要反抗付出的代價實在太大了。只要大部份人生活過得不算太差﹐木星人民早已慣習了當順民。遇上人民抱怨生活過得不好﹐政府還可以把責任轉移為地球的壓迫﹐統一民意恃氣同仇槍口一至對外抗敵。漫畫中游擊隊為理想推翻政府﹐不得不依靠外國勢力緩助﹐最終成為國際政治陰謀的犧牲品﹐正是現實世界歷史政治的寫照。

傳聞笨大打算製作劣評如潮的命種高達第三輯﹐這簡直為求谷銷量賣更多新玩具﹐自毀高達這金漆招牌﹐殺雞取卵的短視行為。其實UC世界中還有很多出色的故事可以動畫化﹐與其推陳出新那些過眼雲煙的非UC係列﹐不如考慮把骷髏高達動畫化﹐創造一個新的高達經典代表作。