|the soapbox @ benturner.com|
"New Year's Reviews", an Essay
This week I figured I would post reviews of some of the things I've been up to lately. See how your opinions on these things stack up against mine.
First off, movies. I've seen three movies most recently -- "Othello", "Heat", and "12 Monkeys". Honestly, I really liked them all, with "Heat" being my favorite.
"Othello" stars Lawrence Fishburn as Othello and Kenneth Branagh as Iago. I had never seen or read "Othello" before this, but I seemed to like the play this first time viewing. This play is really a fantastic representation of jealousy, and the underlying struggles of spirit vs. bestiality make it even more amazing. I could sense, however, that Lawrence Fishburn was not the right person for the part. He was a little too evil-looking and stubborn for such a person as Othello. Kenneth Branagh is not new to Shakespeare plays-turned- into-movies, and he did a good job as Iago.
We just saw "12 Monkeys" a few days ago, and I must admit that it was extremely weird. Not the "se7en" kind of weird, but just that type of weird which has no rhythm or pattern. Kind of like British comedy. I didn't think Bruce Willis was the right person for the part, but the movie made up for it. "12 Monkeys"'s ending had a fun, although dark twist. Brad Pitt was humorous, playing the part of an insane man who helps Bruce Willis out. Overall, this is a great movie, and I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it weren't for the talkative teenage blowhards behind me.
"Heat" is the best movie I've seen since "se7en". We finally got to see DeNiro and Pacino talking to each other on the same screen in a diner. The dialogue was excellent, especially in that scene, and I really got into the movie. Not only was there a conflict of genius vs. genius, but there were also other subplots dealing with the mens' families and their troubles. "Heat" was so subtle and peaceful with the way it was filmed and the quiet soundtrack that you could hardly notice how long the movie was. I've seen "Heat" twice because the movie projector broke down the first time. I don't really mind, either, for it was just as enjoyable the second time as it was the first time. This film had better win some awards, or else someone's going to get hurt.
The next series of reviews is for Internet applications. First of all, I'm just another Internetter with a SLIP/PPP account who is too lazy to worry about getting software to work correctly. Therefore, the applications I tend to favor are easy to install and easy to use.
I am using the dialup utility that came with Windows 95 in my new computer, and I found it a little more difficult to set up than Trumpet Winsock. However, Trumpet Winsock was set up first by my ISP, Connect! Online, so I just had to add my name, e-mail address, etc. Windows 95 required a lot of fiddling with controls before it dialed up correctly.
Speaking of ISPs, I highly recommend Connect! Online to any Internetters in Dallas. For only $20 a month, I receive SLIP/PPP/CSLIP, UNIX shell, and BBS access. The Connect! Online BBS is huge and covers every subject you could possibly want. They're also installing a GUI interface for the BBS, making it even better. I also get a free web page which offers up to two megabytes of data. You can download a software bundle from Connect! Online which is already configured for you. Call (214) 390-9273 for the BBS, (214) 396-0038 for the office, or follow the link on the bottom of this page for more info.
For e-mail, I use Eudora. Eudora was a snap to set up, and I find it easy to configure what I want. Eudora is small, too, installing at around 1MB or so. It was much easier to configure than Pegasus, which is a freeware program.
Someone recently told me about a good MUD client, called GMud, which I will never replace now. It offers full ANSI color, triggers, macros, and a text window so your messages don't scroll up as you write them. GMud offers some other things, but I don't use them. I use the Windows 95 telnet client for regular telnetting.
There's nothing better than Netscape 2.0. Netscape is the way to go, not only because everyone uses it, but also because it offers everything. Netscape supports all kinds of basic HTML code, plus new code, and almost guarantees that you'll be able to view every page correctly. It's easy to configure, too.
For netnews, get Free Agent or Agent. These programs are a snap to configure, but have lousy help files. Most people use them, though, and you'll get plenty of help from others. I find it easy to subscribe to groups, read posts, and download things. It was worth the download.
If you want to download these applications, just do a netsearch for them. I haven't found perfect finger, DNS lookup, ping, whois, and traceroute clients yet, so if you have any suggestions, mail me.
Next up for review is the potpourri category. Compact discs, computer games, and web pages...
Well there you go. I'm still accepting other peoples' soapboxes, so if you have something you want to submit, feel free to send it my way.
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