November 23rd, 2008

isopod

Finished series: Oh! Edo Rocket!

We've finished watching Oh! Edo Rocket!. My first episode review is here.

The series is set in the Edo period, during a time when the city magistrate decrees a rule of soberness -- all luxuries are forbidden. Which is a bit of a downer for Seikichi Tamaya, who makes fireworks -- he doesn't have customers anymore! This does not prevent him from secretly improving his recipes and trying them out at night, even though he has to be careful not to be caught by the constable who is always hovering around the 'row-house' where he lives.
And then one day, Seikichi meets Sora -- a girl who wants to go to the moon, and who asks Seikichi to build a firework that can reach that high. Of course, Seikichi can't turn a request like that down, and so the whole row-house is mobilised to help Sora.

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And then the series is only halfway. The plot just sort of runs out, and we get some episodes that feel like fillers -- except they're not fillers but sort of 'tacked on' to the end. And then the episodes were running out and so they needed a resolution -- and they came up with a complete deus ex machina 'solution'...
The comedy has its moments, but it's not laugh-aloud funny most of the time. In fact, I think the series would have been a much stronger offering if the comedy had been taken out and the writers had concentrated on the plot. But then again, it has to be said that things like a race over the waters of Edo with jet-powered barges makes for a couple of pretty cool scenes.

Visually, the series is kind of a mixed bag. There are some really detailed character designs (Sora, the aliens, Seikichi's younger brother) but most of the secondary characters are drawn really simplistic, which is kind of jarring if you see them next to eachother.
The music, what of it there is, is pretty cool -- especially the ska-like opening theme.

Good points:
- Very interesting plot during the first half;
- Main characters are decently animated;
- Pulls off quite a few spectacular stunts.
Bad points:
- Completely putters out in the second half.

It's not a bad series, but I liked the first half much better, when they still had an actual plot and some intrigue. I'll give it a 6.5 -- the second half kind of kills the excitement.
Readman

Status report!

The past weeks I have been pretty 'out of it' -- first there was the 'vacation fatigue' (as you all have read in this journal, our vacation to Japan wasn't exactly relaxing). Then, right the week after we returned, we had a builder come and fix the doors at the back of the house. You see, we have gorgeous double wooden doors in the back of the house to the garden, and another set of the same doors in the shed. But the soil of the garden is too high, so thresholds were set into the soil -- so in five years, the thresholds were all rotted through. We're almost done with it -- next wednesday he will return to set the new doors into the shed, because those had rotted all through... Anyway, that meant a week without doors during the day (and the doors ajar most of the evening), so that was very, very cold.

I'm slowly regaining my footing, and returning to the routine. I've whittled my to-do list at work down quite nicely. I've managed to make a good contribution to the D&D session of last Tuesday (my character seems to have the D&D equivalent of an MBA...). We've been to nathreee's birthday bash yesterday and managed to stay awake beyond 23:00 for once...

One of the patches I submitted to the Viking project, merging specific tracks, has been committed to the Subversion repository of the project by the project maintainer. The other one, which sorts tracks by the timestamp of the first trackpoint when exporting to GPX, has passed muster and will be committed as well when the maintainer comes around to it. Which is pretty cool -- he mailed me that he hoped to receive more patches from me. That's a nice ego-boost, since it's been a while since I coded in C and the first time I used GTK in C.

Also, I tried to find an open source tool that runs on Linux for synchronising the contents of two MySQL databases. You see, I still dump all the fansubs on Sootball periodically and do the FitOnCD-thing on there (VNC'ed in from Calcifer, of course). But that means that the information on which episode of which series is on which disc is entered into the CDIndex database on Sootball -- and since Sootball is only switched on when I'm burning off fansubs these days, I installed the CDIndex webapp onto Calcifer, so that it's always available.
But that means that I need a mechanism to synchronise the two. So I searched around -- surely there are more people who have a need for such a tool, right? But there is nothing. Sure, there are tons of tools for synchronising the database structure, and there are paid tools that run under Windows that sync the database contents -- but my search for such a tool that runs on Linux and is open source (or at least free) turned up empty. Quite dissapointing!
So today I wrote a rather quick-and-dirty Python script to sync up the specific CDIndex database across two machines.
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