Movie of the Week: Snakes on a Plane

Snakes on a Plane … what a trashy title for a movie. When I first heard about it I was sure that it wasn’t worth watching. But the enthusiasm of a fellow worker and the surprisingly good rating in The Internet Movie Database made me reconsider that decision.

To be honest I actually like well done trashy action movies where people have to fight murderous animals like in Jaws. And I was hoping that Snakes on a Plane would fall into that category. Fortunately I was not disappointed, all the necessary ingredients were there: decent actors including Samuel L. Jackson in top form, good special effects, a high body count and the mandatory scary moments. And as a special bonus the annoying passengers were eaten. 🙂

So in the end it was good entertainment, not a classic but definitely fun to watch.

First test of the Mac Pro

Issue 18/2006 of the c’t magazine contains a quick test of the Mac Pro. The machine is faster than the old Quad Power Mac G5 (if running native software) but consumes only 223W instead of 340W at full load. It’s also very silent with only 1,0 sone unless the harddisk is used, probably another questionable Maxtor harddisk similar to the one in my Power Mac G5.

Its excellent performance, the low price (for such a machine) and the lack of noise make the Mac Pro a worthy challenger for highend workstations sold by companies like HP, IBM or Sun. Let’s hope they follow Apple’s lead and rid us of noisy fans.

Flying after 8/10 (part II)

Yesterday we took the flight to Germany from London Heathrow to Frankfurt International. London Heathrow was busy as usual and it took us about 45 minutes to get through the security check. That’s not too bad and I can remember that it took longer on a Friday a few years ago. The restrictions for hand baggage had also been eased and we were each allowed one bag. My backpack (which has traveled with me to the USA, Egypt, Spain and many other place in the past) is unfortunately too big and I left it home. Instead I carried the present, a Chocolade Nemesis cake, in a bag to make sure it arrived in Germany in a presentable (and eatable) state. My wife also left her backpack home because it exceeds the allowed size by a few centimeters. In retrospect she could have brought it because there were definitely people who were allowed larger bags as hand baggage. The shoulder bag she used instead was large enough to put our notebook into it but was of course much less comfortable to carry.

There was also a bright side to all the trouble: there was much more space in the overhead compartments on the plane that what we are used to. And the cake survived the trip, too.

Taking comfort in the Unfairness of the Universe