Archive for October, 2009

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Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Ever get that error trying to link a 64-bit program on Solaris? OpenSSL maybe? I know how to fix it: use GNU ld.

Specifically, compile up a new binutils and then use it to build gcc. I know the instructions say to use GNU as and Sun’s ld, but trust me. This’ll fix you right up.

Nacho Movies

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I’d played around a bit with IMDb‘s My Movies feature, but, like a lot of things, you can’t really try it without an appropriate amount of data. I’ve got that now, so I can say with confidence that it’s a mixed bag.

The idea of My Movies is to allow you to make lists of movies in the IMDb for your own uses and to perform searches on those films. I’d rate it sub-par on both counts.

I have a lot of movies on disc and wanted to put them all in My Movies. There’s no automated way to do that, but I managed to roll my own. The URL to add a movie to a list can be used to add as many as you can fit in the URL (which can be 4k long). So if you have the tt numbers of all your titles, you can get the job done pretty quickly.

I still need to clean up my LD list which uses the old URL scheme, but my BDs and DVDs are mostly done. It would’ve been extraordinarily tedious to actually click on each of those to add them. Even more tedious than it was to get the tt numbers in the first place…

If you end up with duplicates, as I did when my first script screwed up, you have to delete them manually, or delete them all and start over. I requested the feature to delete duplicates automatically because that’s something a computer can do a lot faster than a human can. Clicking every other box down the list is tiring.

So now that I have them all in there (well all the ones the tt number is right for), what can I do with them?

You can search on your own My Movies, but it doesn’t work as well as searching the database as a whole.

If you look at the regular search box, one of the choices on the pulldown is “My Movies”. I expected that to behave like “All”, except limited to My Movies. Nope. Not even close. It only searches on the title fields. At least it searches on all those and not just the main title (what it shows to everyone else). That’s disappointing.

What about power search? Better, but it has the quirks of power search. Main one being you have to put the canonical name in to search for someone. So “Christopher Lee” is out, but “Christopher Lee (I)” works. Of course, power search is like that anyway (you get a Chinese one if you do a power search in general).

It also has the limitation of power search not being able to restrict a person to specific roles. And don’t even get me started on trying to find things by country because that trick never works, Bullwinkle.

It is nice, though, that I can search on not My Movies, so I can find anything related to Dario Argento that I don’t have, for example. Neat.

So I know you’re dying to try it, but that brings me to my second point- it’s called My Movies for a reason. You can’t search on my My Movies. Sorry. It’d be neat if you could, but the interface isn’t there. Best you can do is browse them by genre or main title.

Speaking of the list by title- doesn’t anyone know how to alphabetize anymore? I believe IMDb gave up on ignoring articles (A, An, The) in movie titles over internationalization issues, but it’s profoundly annoying. Not crazy about all the TV shows sorting out top due to quotes either- though it would make it (a little, maybe) easier to segregate them into another list.

So if you have an IMDb account (and why wouldn’t you?), My Movies might be worth your time, but it’s not as cool as it could be. And remember, it’s My Movies, Nacho Movies.

If You Read This in the Next 24 Hours…

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Best Buy has a special: buy Snow White and another Disney movie and get a $15 Best Buy gift card. Sure, you saw it in the paper. Bet you didn’t see this: Pinocchio on Blu-ray (and DVD) is $9.99! No kidding.

I went to the store and they didn’t have it marked that way, but they price-matched their website. If you don’t want confrontation, buy it on the website and pick it up at the store.

Good through Saturday, so if you’re looking for some Disney discs, scoop ’em up. Both packages have both DVD and Blu-ray, so you don’t have to be Blu yet.

You’re welcome!