Satya's blog - 2005/05/

May 25 2005 19:15 Walmart Ad
Just saw a Walmart ad where a guy in a Walmart store standing next to a fake plastic-y car says if this was a real car I would park it right here instead of driving all over town to save a buck. According to some people that might happen anyway because soon there won't be anything but Walmart parking lots. Given that there are 3 in West Ashley including I think 2 supercenters, that might happen.

Soon you will go from your house to the Walmart parking lot across the street, buy a car, drive it through the next Walmart parking lot to the next Walmart where you work, another one to buy your groceries, drive to Walmart for a movie, drive home -- where home is the trailer park in the back of yet another Walmart.
May 24 2005 07:49 Gautam and the Sith
Introducing Gautam: I knew him at USC and I follow his blog, where he posts the most hilarious accounts of his not-so-hilarious experiences (see the one about the restaurant). The latest is called Sub Wars: Fresh Toasted Holy Sith and is typical Gautam style. The puns come at you like a horde of TiE fighters, only funnier.
May 23 2005 20:48 Sky captain and the World of Tomorrow
Just saw Sky Captain on DVD, and it sucked. Started slow, good visuals, but barely any story. The end was slightly better, but the whole thing sucked. Didn't even have a lot of one-liners, just two, and they were weak: "I meant throw a rock at it" and "Lens cap". One star.
May 23 2005 11:50 Postgrey
Postgrey is a nice greylisting server for postfix. Today, after an update, it failed. The fix was to remove it from and run it from /etc/init.d/postgrey.
May 22 2005 20:49 Star Wars on IMDB
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Episode III, etc on IMDB gives the plot outline as:
After three years of fighting in the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker begins his journey towards the Dark Side of the Force, putting his friendship with Obi Wan Kenobi and his marriage at risk.
I think that's quite an understatement.

Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) Anthony Daniels (C3PO), Kenny Baker (R2D2) all reprised their 1978-1983 roles. I see George Lucas also played a bit part, as did at least one of his daughters. Cool!
May 20 2005 23:27 Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
Saw it. On May 19th, first day, 12 noon -- not the first show. It was good. A little sucky and slow where they tried to work the romance angle. Few in-your-face effects, which is good. Good job of tying all the movies together and yet laaving some stuff to argue over.

This post contains spoilers.

Starts with a rescue attempt on the Chancellor. First off, the Jedi fighters have TiE-style cockpit windows. The X-Wing primitives were cool to see. Palpatine, I see, has a penchant for tall towers. Dooku's murder is typical Anakin -- easily swayed by Sidious.

Okay, landing a Star Destroyer-sized space ship like a broken Cessna? I call BS. It's nice how all these spaceships have an emergency hatch on top -- Grievous got in through one. Luke got into the Falcon through one of those, in ESB.

Irregular Webcomic predicted the Lightsaber Factor Multiplication long before episode 3 came out. Sure enough, Grievous pulls out four sabers.

Let's see... I'm trying to do this in movie order, but it's hard because I left this blog post for over a day since I saw it. Two co-workers saw the 6:30pm show at a different theatre on the same day. I'd say "dorks" but I'm a bigger one.

The scene with Anakin and Palpatine in the opera house was crucial and very interesting. Lots and lots of fore-shadowing, if we didn't already know things. "Not from a Jedi" indeed. Nice echo (pre-echo?) of Obi-wan's words in ROTJ: many of the things we believe in depend greatly on our own point of view. There are many situations like that, echoes of the past/future.

There was much disagreement over this next part, but here's how I see it. A Sith lord discovered immortality, and how to create life straight from midichlorians. He taught his apprentice (unnamed in the movie, but Sidious is a prime candidate) and then the apprentice killed him. Since always there are two, the apprentice is now a master and needs his own apprentice. Hence the creation of Anakin Skywalker. Thus, the "Palpatine: Anakin, *I* am your father!" joke has a kernel of truth. Some disagree, saying the master, not the apprentice, created Anakin.

Everyone was in character, except of course Anakin -- although he's pretty much in character and I'll tell you why later. Ewan McGregor's Obi-wan is close to Sir Alec's, Palpatine is identical, Yoda is more sprightly (but when 900 years old you reach, etc), and Luke is still whiny. Mace Windu was a little off, I think. Still pretty good, though.

Anakin's lightsaber fights on the lava planet reminded me very strongly of Luke's style. That's because the actors had the same instructors, or Luke and Anakin are related. I'm saying I don't know if it was deliberate or not. I wonder why Obi-wan didn't finish Anakin off instead of leaving him to suffer; that just seems wrong. Not Obi-wan's style.

I'm divided on whether Vader's masking process should have been shown -- it was cool -- or if it should have directly cut to a complete encounter suit as shown in the trailers ("previews").

Of course, the whole movie was about Anakin's fall. Starting with the sandpeople's murder back in EpII, here we see the mis-step with Dooku and then a series of unfortunate events -- well, just one really, but it starts an avalanche. When Mace Windu confronts Sidious, Anakin is still not turned. He is this close to going along with Windu and would have, except that he wants to know the Sith secrets. Even after Windu's loss, he still feels remorse but it's too late and he becomes Lord Vader. As both Padme and Luke say, there is still good in him. But the shock of losing everything turns him completely to the Dark Side. Only Luke's pleas on the Death Star turn him back, at the end.

A couple of current political touches. I don't care to mention them here but it was interesting.

Notice the very young Moff Tarkin at the end, on the bridge. The end wraps up a few lose ends, including why C3PO doesn't remember much in EpIV.
May 17 2005 11:01 Star Wars speculation
Since the ITLab is going to see ROTS on Thursday (opening day), we came up with some speculation. Matthew thinks this might happen:
Anakin: Obi-wan told me midichlorians were my father.
Palpatine: No, Anakin, *I* am your father.
Anakin: Nooooooooooooooo! ::falls into lava::
My response to that:
Anakin: Qui-gon told me midichlorians were my father.
Obi-wan: No, Anakin, *I* am your father.
Anakin: Nooooooooooooooo! ::falls into lava::
And here's another one:
Vader: Take this mask off... so I may see you with my own eyes.
Luke: (takes mask off)
Michael Jackson: Luke, *I* am your father.
Luke: Noooooooooooooooooo!
Maybe Qui-gon or Obi-wan is Anakin's father, you know, youthful indiscretions. Or maybe Palpatine is, and had Shmi sent as a slave to Tatooine to avoid a scandal -- he was the junior senator for Naboo at the time, right?

So Luke's kinda royal, right? Maybe that's why he's so weird and whiny? While we're at it, Anakin's pretty naive (sand?!) and childish, so it was easy for Palpy to lead him to the Dark Sidious... er, Side. I had a real argument for that but I forgot what it was.

Anyone notice Obi-wan turned from being a naive idiot with delusions of adequacy and heroism to being a grouchy old guy who invites farmboys to his cave and shows them a lightsaber?

Last updated: May 17 2005 12:42

May 13 2005 21:24 New Worlds
Star Trek Enterprise is ending, with an interesting episode shown from the TNG crew's -- specifically Riker's -- point of view, via the TNG holodeck as a historical view of the STE events.

And there's a new movie, War of the Worlds. Like I said before, what's with all the remakes? Did a bunch of copyrights expire? Anyway this one has Tom Cruise and might be good. Or might just be the usual posturing.
May 03 2005 14:31 Tentaculate
I just used the word 'tentaculate' in an email to my boss.
May 01 2005 19:59 Star Trek Enterprise
NoNow, I don't really follow Enterprise, but today I happened to catch the tail end of an episode. What the heck was going on? First of all, they had a meld of TOS (The Original Series, aired somtimes in the 60s -- if you don't know that, you're probably not interested in the rest of this) and Enterprise. Half the cast were wearing E-style clothes (dark blue, Air Force in the 23rd century) and the rest were wearing TOS-style (solid red, yellow, and blue shirts) uniforms.

Besides, some Vulcan was in command of the NX-01 Enterprise, while an apparently alien-controlled Archer and company were in command of a Constitution-class (read: TOS-style) ship called the Defiant. A hot Sato was controlling him.

I need to rent this stuff on DVD. TV channels suck.

Last updated: May 02 2005 00:14

May 01 2005 09:04 Weather, India
Wow, I don't believe this. Indian web site with actual useful information and satellite images: (starts out stupidly, though). and it's somewhat up-to-date.