May 19, 2011

Sky Crawlers

First and foremost, I have to say the CGI aircraft are beautiful.  Not only are they amazingly detailed and well designed, but the post effects give them a verisimilitude that is hard to beat.

On the other hand, the characters are so bland and pale, even though that fits with the story, it was hard to get too wrapped up in them.

Plot stuff below the fold, including spoilers.


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May 18, 2011

And done

The Tenchi DL concluded a short time ago.  I found a different (and better) torrent for Macademi Washoi, and for the Panty and Stocking soundtrack (Which was separate MP3 files.).  Plus I got current on a few other series.  So when in doubt, search for another Torrent.

It was kind of interesting in that uTorrent resolves the addresses of peers, and after a while, I started to recognize a few (the little flag icons help).  I started to refer to one as "The Romanian Firehose" because whenever I had his attention, I would suddenly have a 300kB/s surge in my rate.

It really is amazing what is out there.  On a whim, I looked up Gatchaman, and damned if there weren't SEVERAL different torrents, some very old, but still well populated.  I remember watching "Battle of the Planets" as a kid, and it sure would be nice to see it without the Sandy Stank treatment.  (On the plus side, this version I found includes the English and Japanese audio streams.  On the minus side, it's hardsubbed.)

I still need to figure out the RSS downloader, but I think it's going to make me one happy camper once I do.

This weekend I hope to finally be able to sit down and watch maybe a full season of something and write it up.  Hopefully I didn't commit to a dog....

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May 15, 2011

100 Gigs, Back up the tube

Well, almost.

uTorrent has performed admirably.  It kept my bandwidth fully utilized from from around 4:23 AM on the 12th through around 11:00 AM on the 14th, and probably averaged around 30 gigs a day.  Considering my wireless internet connection tops out somewhere at the 4 megabit/sec level, that's pretty good.

Late morning on Saturday I was left with just three torrents I knew would be trouble:  The full BD run of Tenchi Muyo (Which I own on VHS :-P) at about 30 gigs alone there which is coming in pretty nicely now, but is huge enough to take a while; Macademi Washoi, which has only one seed who is feeding it at around 0.2k/sec, when he's putting it out at all; and the Panty and Stocking soundtrack (Which I wanted for the full version of the end theme, and is in this absurd tta format that is even larger than a CD that I can't play with anything, plus a .wav format that isn't broken into tracks) which has no seeds, so I and four other peers are all equalized at 74.2%

Nevertheless, I'm really, really pleased that I was able to recover everything else so quickly.  Actually, that's an understatement, I'm ASTOUNDED that 180 torrents came through the air in a tad over two days. (I nuked one duplicate).  I really like the way uTorrent operates.  I appreciate the control over the queue that is totally lacking in Vuse, so that I could easily move poorly performing torrents to the end of the line.  Vuse has an amazing number of rules and controls you can set over how the program operates, but none of that makes it operate WELL.  I haven't delved too much into uTorrent's settings, but even the defaults kicked butt.

One thing I have set is my altruistic 2.0 share ratio goal.  And I like how they let you spec the bandwidth after you hit that.  (I suppose there can be some merit in continuing to share a trickle after that).  Vuse's odd ruleset would sometimes continue to squander my limited upload capacity (somewhere under 0.5 megabits/sec) on a torrent over that ratio, once running away all the way to the 8's.

Now to start poking around in the RSS feed settings.  It'll be nice to have that working, rather than timing out because "The server at is not responding."  Just what were they extracting from their users, I wonder....

(Oh, and can anyone tell me how to set up the categories on this system?)

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May 12, 2011

100 gigs, down the tube

I was getting rather sick of Vuse, and the way it would hold my RSS feeds and searches hostage to its overloaded ad server.  Also, I was sick of the way it seemed to be corrupting my TCP/IP stack so that my browser and mail would timeout, even when I had bandwidth to spare.

Looking at the peer listing, the choice was obvious, uTorrent.  All the cool kids were using it, by an average of 5 to 1 or better.

Migrating though was not as smooth as it could be.  And worse, I misunderstood how the "Set Download Location" worked because the uTorrent help pages on migration appear to be way out of date.  I made a stupid mistake, and while trying to purge stuff out of Vuse, I accidentally sent it all to the recycle bin, which even worse, started purging itself without asking right before my eyes.  Everything I'd downloaded for the last 6 months or so vanished.  The vast majority of it from the last anime season, and not on my last backup.

Added to that the process of importing the .torrent files wasn't quite perfect either, leaving directories partially converted (thanks to Vuse's odd habit of randomly appending "imported" on the end of a .torrent's name, and the snippet of batch code in the FAQ did not work).  Much hand-renaming and shuffling later, I finally managed to get all the torrents named what they should be, and located in the directories where they should be, and much to my amazement, the vast majority of the files still have at least one seed out there.

But for about a dozen, there is nothing.  Most of those aren't much of a loss, current US TV, for example, which I tend to delete after watching anyway.  But I lost the first season of Wakfu, a delightful French Anime, and Macademy Wasshoi, which SDB recommended, and which I only got a few episodes into.  Those are seedless.

(Oh, and I highly recommend NOT searching of Undelete utilities on the web.  There's "Freeware" out there that doesn't mention it's actually "Crippleware" which won't undelete anything unless you pay them, and they try to slip in some spyware in the uninstaller along the way.  Not to mention all the fake sites you could run into.)

I'll recover, but I'm NOT happy.  It's going to take a while.

And dammit, I've FINALLY got time to watch some of this!

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