Thomas (boggyb) wrote,

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VNC > stunnel > PuTTY > nc > nc > PuTTY > stunnel > VNC

Or, in other words, how to make an encrypted VNC connection when both ends are behind a firewall. Abusing PuTTY's fun. Abusing stunnel is also fun. The combination makes for some mind-boggling network connections that are somewhat reminescent of Uplink (and if I had my Linux box on, I could have added another bounce in there somewhere). And all because there's no native free SSH server for Win32 (the OpenSSH one requiring Cygwin and a Linux-style configuration and account setup).

Anyway, on to other stuff. There's not been an update for a while, mainly because there's not been anything much to write about. University assignments are ticking over nicely, apart from HCI where we're all doomed anyway, and the computers here seem to have learnt to behave. Either that or they're just biding their time, waiting to annoy me.

Speaking of computers, a recent addition to Igor (aka. Achilles, The Desktop, That Stupid Pile Of... Of... Argh!) courtesy of ricold has been a TV capture card, with which I have rediscovered TV. With this I can now get my weekly Top Gear and Scrapheap Challenge fixes, all from the comfort of my chair. With enough effort I could probably rig up automated recording of those as well, and turn my computer into a TiVo-type widget.

Hmm, maybe I should rig up a quiet system just for recording and watching TV. Shouldn't take much to run - all that's needed is a TV card, bit of RAM, reasonable CPU, and plenty of disk. Hardware Mpeg-2 encoder would be nice as well, as that way I don't have to put in anything particularly fast for a processor. I could in theory take Odysseus (aka. The Aptiva, The Linux Box), swap the processor out for one which doesn't have a fan, swap the power supply out for a modern quiet one (not that it needs anything much for power - the supply's rated at around 150W. You get bigger *laptop* supplies), pull the case fan and stick a quiet hard disk in there. The only downside is that this box is a good ten years old now, and so only has an original Pentium clocked at 166MHz in it (not even MMX!) with a mere 48MB of RAM. It does have a CPU upgrade (K6-II clocked at 300MHz), but the BIOS has a tendency to disagree with the upgrade and claim that, for example, the processor is not installed. Or is clocked at 0MHz. And I don't think there's that much in the way of realtime full-PAL video codecs that run with that little processing power. Perhaps some kind of Beowulf cluster, made out of a bunch of old Pentium-era laptops, would do the trick. Though at that point I'm probably better off picking up some off-the-shelf components and building a Mini-ITX system instead.

Moving on to the film spoilerreview section: A couple of weeks ago I saw the Wallace and Gromit film. Very good, and well worth watching. I do like the Heath Robinson style of inventions in it, with things like the auto-starter for the minivan. Most auto-starters involve a hefty battery and an equally hefty electric motor. Wallace's one involves a robotic hand that pops out the front, sticks a winding handle into the hole, and gives that a few cranks. Similar things along that line include the windscreen wipers, which have three settings: light rain, heavy rain, heavy loam.

Also in the film rumour section: latest news is that a Legend of Zelda film is being considered by the Big N (after the Metroid film, which appearently might actually happen). Various posts on the various Zelda fansites have mentioned this, andthe source appears to be an interview given by a high-up in Nintendo. It's been somewhat amusing to see the different reactions to this. A quick sweep of the forums shows a lot of people going "Noooo! Link will speak and that will kill it", along with others going "If they do this then it must be anime or CG as live action would suck". I'm actually a bit suprised at those comments, considering that a lot of people disliked Wind Waker for it's cel-shading. Personally, I'm siding with those who aren't denouncing it before the script's even been started. A Zelda film could work quite well, it could be live-action (which personally I'd prefer to CG or anime), Link could speak without destroying it, and it doesn't have to be a retelling of Ocarina of Time. Nintendo probably have the ability to make it a success, as long it doesn't get mangled by Hollywood. Still, I'm going to keep an open mind about it until I actually see more concrete information about it, and (more importantly) until such time as the film comes out (assuming of course that it happens).

Ah well. 'Twill be amusing if Twilight Princess gets bad ratings for *not* being cel-shaded, or *not* being "kiddie".
Tags: computers, films, gaming, networks, tv, zelda

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