Friday, September 16, 2005

Nice Alternative to FTP

It happens often that I have large files that I have to send or to receive. Most of the time they are too large to be e-mailed. Sending files through MSN Messenger is generally too slow for large files and when I try to send files by FTP, I have often trouble logging to the destination server, or people cannot log to my server, etc.

Recently, someone introduced me to an interesting web site: You enter the recipient's e-mail, you select the file you want to send (up to 1 Gb) and then you click the “you send it” button. Your file is uploaded (there is even a secure option) to their web site, an e-mail is sent to the recipient with instruction on how to download the file and voila!

I've tried it and it works well. No passwords to share, no software to install, no accounts to create, and no full mailboxes! I don't don't know how they can manage to offer such a free service (it must require lots of storage) since there is no ads on the web site (although I remember seeing a discreet “sponsors” link or something like that once the file was uploaded).


Here are some pictures of Spotty for the feline fans: Spotty's Album.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Montreal World Film Festival 2005

This year the Montreal World Film Festival was quite interesing as usual. There was less Japanese films than the previous years, but it just meant that I would be able to find time to see them all. And I did: I saw all six Japanese movies [Himiko's House, Kamataki, Itsuka Dokusho Suruhi (The Milkwoman), Shonen To Hoshi To Jitensha (Satoru - Fourteen), Umineko, Yumeno] and one Iranian movie [Sima-Ye Zani Dar Doordast (Portrait Of A Lady Far Away)]. We have also met several directors as well as many great actors (Maggie Cheung! Tatsuya Fuji! I have also met Isshin Inudo, director of Himiko's House, who also directed the live-action version of “Touch” but unfortunately I couldn't talk much with him). The movies will be reviewed either in the magazine or on my web pages.

Unfortunately, this year the festival was showing its lack of budget (less movies, less events, etc.). That's because it stopped receiving big governmental subsidies. All this because of bullshit politics and some people who wanted to make big money by creating their own festival. They want this other festival to be more glamorous, like Cannes. So they lobbied enough to get the subsidies yanked from the MWFF. Lots of people are bashing on the MWFF (mostly the press -- probably unhappy because they were not invited to the parties with the big guests), but it is an excellent festival, which is offering a fine selection of international movies to the people. I don't care that its director is an a** or that all the big guests and big business went to Toronto. I just want to see good movies. That's all. I wish good luck to the New Festival (even if they stole the subsidies, copied the name and web page design of the MWFF) and if it is a good festival, it will be good for them and for the movie goers. But they are hurting the MWFF. I don't want two half-festival. I want one good festival. The MWFF has been doing a fine job for nearly 30 years. So my thought is “Don't fix it if it is not broken.” But now it is too late. Hopefully, both festivals will continue to do well.

Also, during the festival, I saw at the cinema Parisien something I had never seen before: they started a movie 20 minutes early! That's an unforgivable mistake. I was told that all people who complained got a refund, but if it was up to me that projectionist would have lost his job!

Here is a selection of our pictures from the festival. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Not Well

Since early spring I have not been feeling well. I got a little better for the summer, but now it is getting even worse. I really don't know why I am feeling so tired, but the doctor sent me for some tests and I've been too busy lately to go (there's also the fact that my schedule doesn't really fit with the opening hours of the clinic). But I really must go take those tests next week!

Mostly I am feeling often tired, sleepy (but I already sleep more than usual and even take naps!), apathetic. I feel like out of energy, laking motivation, like if something died inside me (like a zombie!). However, the biggest problem is a total lack of concentration. It is not really a problem when I am doing technical or manual stuff like the shipping or layout, but it makes editing and writing like an herculean work and it is quite frustrating. It takes me hours just to process a few paragraphs. Once I am in it, it is not that bad, but the slightest distraction (a phone call, a e-mail, an IM) will break the rythm and it will take me a long time to resume work. And if I try too hard I get a terrible headache. I feel like i am moving in slow-motion and everything around me is flying by fast. Days and weeks a passing by without me barely realizing it. I barely saw the summer. All this is quite depressing.

I know I am not in perfect shape, but at least I have a very healthy alimentation. I just need more exercice (and to check my blood pressure and the glucose level). What could be causing this? Is this age? Premature senelity? Dementia? Can't be, I am just a little over 40. Is this a kind of depression, a mid-life crisis? I don't have any reasons to be depressed, I have everything that I could want: a loving wife, a fun job that I like, lots of DVDs, books and gadgets to entertain myself. I just need to be able to concentrate on my job!

I suspect it could be a kind of hormone imbalance. Hopefully, I'll soon find the cause and a way to get rid of it. Because it is really driving me crazy!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Busy Weeks

The last couple of weeks were quite busy. First I had not seen the end of my printer's problems yet. Not only the printer delivered the magazine late, but an abnormal number of copies had defects and boxes were not containing the exact amount they were suppose to according to the manifest. So I've spent an entire week-end counting each copy and separating the bad copies from to good. I've send the bad ones back to the printer to be replaced and used the good ones for the shipping and mailing.

So I've spent the following week doing the mailing and shipping, as well as updating the computer and working (already) on the next issue of the magazine. Through all that I managed to go see a few movies at the Montreal World Film Festival. The next week, despite the fact that I was really not feeling well, I continued working on the magazine (planning, writing, reviewing material, etc.), I watched a few more movies at the MWFF and installed my new VoIP phone system (I'll review that one a little later).

So much to do and so little time. I feel kind of out of breath and tired.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

More Computer Update

Well, I did not get my computer on Friday. When the repair shop got the logic board and started to install it, they noticed that the power supply had also burned out so they ordered that part too. But it did not ship in time for me to get the computer for the week-end. However, I got it on monday (August 29th) and everything was fine. I am so happy!

Of course, since I've worked on the G3 for a little more than a week, I had to re-update my files and mails, etc., which took me several days since I was quite busy on various project. To avoid that kind of problem, I am now trying to make backups more often and I've sync both computers.

I am planning to write a review for the iMac G5 in the Tech section of my website (as soon as I have a little time). I am also working on a Tech review about Primus VoIP service (as soon as I've tested it for a little longer -- so far I've had problems with the customer services, but the product itself seems fine). Ah! So many projects, so little time...