Coming Soon

Note:  This page hasn't been updated for quite some time. I'm not sure whether I'll begin using it again, but for now I'm leaving it here for archival purposes.

Introduction

I often hear about various games, movies, products, etc. that sound really interesting, but are still only in developmental stages. While this is nothing new, the problem for me is that I then tend to forget about said item once it's finally released. To paraphrase one of the greatest movies of all time, this is something we shall have to remedy[1].

In order to help with this problem, I'm going to start keeping track of new and upcoming stuff that I find interesting and/or particular noteworthy. Not only will this help me keep track of what's "Coming Soon", it'll also allow me to share this information with my visitors. Now everyone can see just how geeky I can be at times (though I maintain that I'm still not random!).

Each item will be posted to this page, along with a description and estimated release date. I'm not sure yet how populated this list will become, nor what I'll do with the entries once they're officially released, but I figure this will be an interesting experience regardless. To kick things off, here's the first batch of items.

Concerts


N/A

Games


N/A

Movies


Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Complete Series

  • Release Date: Tue, 10/02/2007

Yes, I'll admit it. I'm a Star Trek fan. I'm not a die-hard fan or anything, but I've always enjoyed the television shows and movies, going back to The Next Generation. (The Original Series, in case you're wondering, was well before my time and I never got into the reruns.) The Next Generation has been out on DVD for some time now, but it was originally released in season sets while I was still a poor college student. $110/season x 7 seasons isn't exactly affordable. Now that it's being released in a significantly discounted series box set, it's time to finally take the plunge. This is, after all, the TV show that got me into science fiction.

Stargate SG-1: The Complete Series

  • Release Date: Tue, 10/09/2007

I've been wanting to catch up on Stargate SG-1 for a few years now, though I guess since it's no longer on the air "catch up" is no longer the right word. I really enjoyed the original movie back in the day, and have more recently been enjoying Stargate Atlantis, but I missed out on SG-1 entirely. At ten seasons, it was just a bit too much for me to borrow from a friend and work through. Now that they're releasing a complete series boxed set, though, for a pretty significant discount over the original releases, it looks like I finally have the excuse I've been waiting for. :-) Complete details of the release can be found here.

Music


N/A

Archived Content


The Bourne Ultimatum

  • Release Date: Fri, 08/03/2007

This is another movie about which I'm cautiously optimistic. The Bourne Ultimatum is the third film in a trilogy of films based on the Robert Ludlum books of the same name. I thoroughly enjoyed The Bourne Identity, which came as quite a surprise to me as the trailer didn't excite me very much. I thought it had an intriguing story, a well-executed plot, and a great balance of action and drama. The Bourne Supremacy, however, was a letdown. The production quality seemed to drop considerably, and the provoking storyline was largely dropped and replaced by a number of boring and pointless action sequences. I can only guess that this shift was the result of a new director for the second film. Sadly, the director of the second film will also direct the third. I still find the world and overall storyline created by Ludblum intriguing, and am looking forward to watching the third and final installment of the franchise, but I think I may hold off and read some reviews of the movie before going to see it myself. I'd rather skip it altogether than spend money on another letdown.

I passed on this one. As I said, I'm a big fan of the original, but thought that the direction of the second film when severely downhill. Since the third was directed by the same as the second, I was nervous about the quality, and sure enough after seen a couple reviews similar to "The Bourne Ultimatum Made Me Sick", I knew this move wasn't for me.

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales - Voices in the Dark

  • Release Date: Tue, 07/31/2007

Yes, I'll admit it - I'm a Babylon 5 junkie. The show was phenomenal. The character development and scale and complexity of the main story line is rarely rivaled even today, and in my opinion has yet to be topped. Needless to say, I was delighted beyond words when it was announced last year that he would be developing a new series of direct-to-DVD movies beginning in 2007 entitled "Babylon 5: The Lost Tales", after a 5+ year hiatus from any B5-related projects. There was much rejoicing in the streets (ok, in the homes of sci-fi geeks everywhere).

Voices in the Dark is the first of the series to be released. It features two mini-movies focusing on two of the core characters of the series (John Sheridan and Elizabeth Lochley) as well as a third character from the spin-off series Crusade (Galen). It will be released on July 31, 2007.

Note to self: Look into new soundtrack as well, released by Varese Sarabande.

Now this, on the other hand, was fantastic. The DVD is divided into two halves, each telling a story focused on one of the major characters from the show (Lochley first, then Sheridan). The Lochley episode was ok - not great, but ok. The Sheridan episode, however, was fantastic. If you're a fan of the series, you'll definitely want to pick this up. Also, if you're a movie soundtrack buff, I recommend picking up the soundtrack as well. It's scored by Christopher Franke, the composer for the entire original series. Very good music.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

  • Release Date: Wed, 07/04/2007

I'm cautiously optimistic about this one. Despite the severe browbeating that the first Fantastic Four movie received by critics, I personally enjoyed it. Overall, it was a fun and enjoyable movie, with a decent storyline and a good cast that, for the most part, really nailed their roles. I'd expect the sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, to be at least as enjoyable as the original, but I'm waiting for a proper trailer before making my decision on this one (the teaser trailer is omits any hint of plot or production quality).

This was pretty decent, but I can't say it lived up to my hopes. Overall the movie was enjoyable and fun to watch, but near the end it began suffering from shear ridiculousness (and yes, I know it's based on a comic book). I don't think I'll pick up the DVD when it's released.

Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

  • Release Date: Tue, 06/05/2007

Systematic Chaos will be the first Dream Theater album released under their new label, Roadrunner Records. Anyone that knows me personally is well aware that I'm a huge Dream Theater fan, so it goes without saying that I'm really looking forward to this. Their last studio album, Octavarium, was perhaps the best of their 21 year career (in my opinion, of course), and I'm eagerly awaiting my next musical fix.

This CD kicks ass. It's definitely not for everyone, but if you're a fan of progressive rock/metal, you definitely need to pick it up. It took a few listens before it really grew on me, but damn, it's hard to listen to anything else now (and I'm writing this about 3 months after it's release). It was so good I also planned a vacation to Chicago around their concert schedule to I could see them live. :-)

Sister Hazel

  • Sat, 04/22/2007 - 20:00
  • Horshoe Casino & Hotel
  • 1021 Casino Center Dr.
  • Robinsonville, Mississippi 38667
  • 21 & Over, Doors @ 7PM, Hazel @ 8PM, Tickets $20-$25

This concert was awesome. Cheap tickets, short drive, GREAT music, and a fun show. I can't really ask for much more. :-) I strongly recommend seeing Sister Hazel live if they play anywhere near you.

Spider-Man 3

  • Release Date: Fri, 05/04/2007

Have you seen the trailer for this? It looks freakin' amazing! I normally don't get this exited over sequels, but the story, action, and effects all look top notch. This is one movie that I will see in theaters this year, without question. Given the extremely high quality production of the previous two films (both of which were better than I expected, especially story-wise), I think Spider-Man 3 will be sure to please.

I don't care what anyone else says - this move was awesome. Yes, there were some weaknesses, as many have pointed out, and I won't dispute that. However, on the whole the movie was extremely fun and engaging, and very much a worthy end to a phenomenal movie trilogy. I highly recommend going to watch it if you haven't already done so.

Dawn of Mana

  • Release Date: Tue, 05/22/2007

Secret of Mana, released for the Super NES way back in 1993, was one of my favorite games released for that system. Developer Square (now Square Enix) did an amazing job of blending traditional console RPG elements with action/adventure style gameplay popularized by The Legend of Zelda. I have longed for a sequel for many years, and despite numerous related releases, I never was able to enjoy one (due to Japanese-only releases, the choice of console, etc.).

That's about to change. :-) Square Enix is set to release Dawn of Mana in North America on May 22. Despite my self-imposed ban on buying any new games until I finish playing through all of the older ones that I already own but have not played, I think I'm going to have to make an exception for this. The graphics look pretty amazing (despite the somewhat overly-cartoony style), and if the gameplay and story lives up to that of its predecessor, it should make for a damn fine game indeed.

Well, this one has come and gone, and unfortunately I didn't pick it up as planned. Despite the amazing potential, most of the reviews I read rated game play and control very poorly. As much as I would like to play through it anyway just for the story, I just don't have much time to spend on video games these days, and I'd rather continue working through my backlog of games rather than pick up a less-than-stellar new one that will undoubtedly take many hours to complete. Come on, Square. I expect much better of you. :-)

This is a test

Have an Upcoming Test? Forgot to Study? Here's Some Inspiration.

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 03/28/2007 - 15:34

Someone with too much free time on his hands (not that that's a bad thing) collected a number of scanned test/quiz documents with some rather creative answers. This should make for a rather humorous end to your day (as well as feeling better about your own test grades from school).

Remember, there is an elephant in the way.

Universal Extractor Translation Updates

Submitted by jbreland on Fri, 03/23/2007 - 09:30

I've added several new language files for Universal Extractor since the 1.5 release, including (as of this post): Korean, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Romanian, and Turkish. These files can be downloaded from the Universal Extractor page and added to your current copy of Universal Extractor if you'd like, and they will be included in the next release.

I'd also like to point out that all 18 (and counting!) language files have been voluntarily translated and contributed by UniExtract users that simply wanted to use the program in their native language. I'd like to send out a big thanks to all contributors for improving Universal Extractor by making it much more accessible to foreign users. Thanks!

If a translation doesn't currently exist for your own language, and you have a good understanding of English, consider contributing a translation yourself. The process itself is very straightforward; simply copy English.ini and follow the instructions at the top of the file to translate the English strings into your native language. If you're gracious enough to contribute the new language file for all other UniExtract users, I'll be happy to add your name to the list of contributors, as well as link back to your own website (if you'd like).

The only "catch" is that I'd ask you to keep the file updated as I release newer versions of Universal Extractor. These updates typically involve only minor changes or additions, and are only necessary as often as I release new versions (which, honestly, is not that often). I can only speak English myself, so I rely entirely on the generosity of UniExtract users to maintain the language files.

Thanks again to everyone that has contributed a language file to Universal Extractor.

Status of E-mails Regarding LegRoom Software

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 03/21/2007 - 23:07

Several people have e-mailed me regarding a couple bugs in my programs, as well as to submit new translation files for Universal Extractor. I'm behind on a lot of my e-mail right now due to some other priorities, so please forgive the delay in response. I'm reading each and every e-mail that comes my way, and will reply as soon as I get the chance.

For everyone else that may have found a bug or wants to suggest a new feature, please consider using the new LegRoom Support Forum instead. I won't necessarily be able to reply any faster, but the information you provide will at least be visible to all other users, which could help them if they're having a similar problem or were thinking about requesting a similar feature. Plus, it helps cut down on my e-mail. :-)

I'm going to try to knock out a few UniExtract-related e-mails before going to bed tonight.

How to Create Truly Obscure Passwords

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 03/21/2007 - 17:09

I recently came across an interesting article on Irongeek.com (which itself is a pretty interesting security site that I'll probably add to my list of news feeds) entitled, "ALT+NUMPAD ASCII Key Combos: The α and Ω of Creating Obscure Passwords." The author suggests the idea of using non-standard (ie, not defined on standard keyboards) special characters as part of your password. It's common knowledge that adding special characters to your password greatly increases the difficulty of guessing or brute forcing the password. This extends the idea by adding normally hidden (and often unthought of) characters to the mix. So, while something like abCD1234%^&* might be a good example of using special characters in a password (though obviously you'd want something more random than that sequence), consider this password: äßÇн²¶╔¥¢. I'd love to see the password cracker that can crack that one. :-)

Of course, as the author mentions there are downsides to this. Increased complexity notwithstanding, its strength is also its main weakness; these are non-standard characters, and as such not all applications and operating support them in the same manner (or at all). While this may work great as a Windows user password, for example, it may not be possible to use it as a Linux user password.

Regardless, it's still an interesting concept that deserves some attention. Check out the article for more details on the subject, as well as a tutorial and reference charts for entering special characters. The Wikipedia article on Windows Alt keycodes (also referenced in the article) is another good resource.

Small update for Firefox Tips and Tricks

Submitted by jbreland on Tue, 03/20/2007 - 13:43

Update: 03/21/2007 14:41
In a rather ironic mistake, I accidentally specified a bad link to the Firefox Tips and Tricks page. Oops. :-) That's been corrected.

I just noticed that the links to several of my modified Greasemonkey scripts were not updated to reflect the new site layout. I fixed these links on the Mozilla Firefox Tips and Tricks page so that they now point to the correct location.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

LegRoom Changes, Part 2

Submitted by jbreland on Mon, 03/19/2007 - 16:51

My last post on this subject discussed the changes the most directly affect users. This post will discuss content changes.

With the exception of the previously mentioned Support Forum, there's that's truly new in terms of content. While everything has been reorganized and cleaned up, I haven't yet had the chance much new information to the site. I did, however, remove several sections that were available on the previous site. Here's a summary of what was not migrated:

  • Downloads - This was the native downloads module included with PostNuke. It was largely unused, aside from a couple of custom PostNuke modules I had uploaded long ago, so I'm dropping it for this site. All "downloads" are available directly from the application's web page.
  • E-Mail (Webmail)* - This is currently not available due to some changes on both the website and the LegRoom mail server. I'm working on a replacement, though, and will bring it back as soon as possible.
  • Photo Gallery - I setup my photo gallery back when LegRoom was just a small personal/test site. Since then it's become more of a development and news site, and I'm not sure that the photo gallery belongs on here anymore. I'm still trying to decide what I want to do with it, but I think it will eventually be moved to a separate site.
  • Powered By - This was something of a play page I setup with the initial version of LegRoom, and was largely ignored since then. There's no need for it on the current site.
  • Query Tools* - This was a cool PostNuke module that allows convenient access to various DNS and network diagnostic functions, but it's just not worth maintaining my own page when there are already lots of better services available.
  • Server Information - This information is now restricted to administrators.
  • Submit News* - I previously allowed any registered user to post news content; now, this is restricted to administrators. I may allow this again in the future, but I'd like this restricted while I get used to Drupal.
  • Topics - This page allowed browsing of archived news based on categories. Drupal doesn't appear to provide a similar capability, but I'm looking for a module that will enable this. It was a semi-useful feature that I'd like to bring back.
  • Website Statistics - This is one of the few areas that I find Drupal to be at a severe disadvantage compared to the previous site. It does provide statistics, but it's very limited compared to what PostNuke provided. It also seems more geared toward logging and diagnostics now, so I've restricted statistics access to administrators on the new site.
  • What is F/OSS? - This page just didn't get very much attention after it was first written. It may make a reappearance at some point on this site, but I'm not sure yet if and how so.
  • Zina* - This was a really nice web-based music library frontend. This may make a return as well, just not sure what I want to do with it at this time.

*Restricted to authorized users. Anonymous users couldn't see it.

That should cover it. If you have a questions or comments about these removed sections, please post a comment and let me know. I'll probably make one more post on this topic, covering overall site layout and design changes.

New Computer Specs

Submitted by jbreland on Thu, 03/15/2007 - 04:08

Update: 03/26/2007 05:03
I finally selected a data hard drive - the WD drive ended up beating out the Seagate based on some performance and acoustic reviews. I also changed my case selection from the Cooler Master Centurion 532 to the Gigabyte Poseidon GZ-XA1CA-STB. The Gigabyte seems to be a bit sturdier based on reviews, and also includes a rear 120mm fan (unlike the Cooler Master case). And with that, I'm done! Thanks to everyone that provided feedback. I'm going to unsticky this post as soon as I order the parts.

Update: 03/24/2007 15:05
I have nearly all components picked out. The only things left to do are decide on one of the three data hard drive choices and choose a rear cooling fan (which really shouldn't be too difficult). After that, it's time to spend some money! :-) Last call for comments if anyone has other suggestions...

I'm currently researching components for a new computer. Here's what I've decided on so far. Any comments or suggestions?

Motherboard
ASUS P5B Deluxe, based on Intel P965 chipset - Newegg

CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 - Newegg

Video Card
e-GeForce 8800GTS 320MB Superclocked - Newegg

Memory
G.SKILL F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ, 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2-800 (PC2-6400) (x2) - Newegg

Hard Drive
System drive: Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD - Newegg
Data drive: Western Digital RE2 WD5000YS - Newegg

Optical Drive
Samsung SH-S183L SATA DVD/CD burner - Newegg

Power Supply
Corsair HX620W or HX520W (depends on power requirements) - Newegg

Case
Gigabyte Poseidon GZ-XA1CA-STB - Newegg

Network Switch
3com OfficeConnect Gigabit Switch 16 - Newegg

Monitors
Undecided if I will purchase new monitors
If reused - ViewSonic G220fb (x2)

Network Interface Card
Integrated Dual Gigabit LAN controllers, Marvell PCI-E and PCI

Sound Card
Reused - Creative Soundblaster Audigy 2, plus integrated ADI AD1988B 8ch HD Audio

Input Devices
Reused - Logitech Elite keyboard, Logitech MX1000 mouse

LegRoom Mail Server Going Down

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 03/14/2007 - 08:09

I hate to do this again after the recent major changes, but I need to do some more testing. E-mail will be unavailable beginning 8:00am CDT. I'll update this post as soon as it's available again.

Update: The mail server is available again as of 11:00am CDT.

Firefox and Thunderbird Tips and Tricks pages updated

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 03/14/2007 - 02:01

I've updated my Firefox and Thunderbird Tips and Tricks pages. I actually updated them a couple weeks ago during the website migration, but I was limiting myself to news posts only about the migration itself at the time. So, if you've already checked it out recently, there's no need to do so again.

For those of you that have not check it out recently, the main changes involved updating the extension and Greasemonkey script lists, as well as posting the latest copies of my user.js and prefs.js files. This update is current as of Firefox 2.0.0.2 and Thunderbird 1.5.0.10.