Popular lousy movies

If you plot all movies by their number-of-votes on IMDb and their rating on IMDb, you get the chart below. Movies with more votes usually have a higher rating.

Popular lousy movies on IMDb

I was interested two things:

  1. Which are the unpopular, but good (highly-rated), movies?
  2. Which are the popular, but lousy, movies?

The answer to the first question is: there are no unpopular good movies. The cluster of dots on the top-left (in red) are not movies — they’re TV shows (Band of Brothers, Pride and Prejudice, Arrested Development).

The answer to the second is: there are 9 really popular lousy movies.

It’s interesting that every single one of these had a huge budget. (Perhaps this is understandable: more people would see a big-budget film and vote on it.)

Software for my new laptop

And so, thanks to Infosys Consulting being spun off as a separate legal entity in the UK, I got my new laptop. (Because our old laptops were legally the assets of Infosys Technologies Ltd, and not Infosys Consulting Inc. Weirder things have happened, but who’s complaining?)

My old Toshiba Portege A200 has been replaced by a Dell Latitude D420 (which I was dreaming for, after having just read Jeff’s post on big laptops).

Dell Latitude D420

Firstly, it’s light. I thought my Toshiba was light compared to the Dell monsters others had, but this weighs 1.4 kgs! Secondly, it’s thin. It’s thinner than some of the paper notebooks I used to carry.

There were only two (minor) problems I saw with it. It didn’t have an S-Video port — so I can’t watch movies on TV. And it had a fairly small (12″) screen. Being a wide screen, I get a lot less height than I used to. I’m still having some trouble getting used to that, especially when browsing tall pages.

My weekend was like a kid in a candy store. Here’s what I did.

Uninstalled useless software: The laptop came with Roxio Easy CD Creator 5 Basic and PowerDVD 5.1. I got rid of them.

Copied all my files: I had about 25GB of data (15GB of music, 5 GB of books, 2 GB of video, 3GB of work). This was a bit tricky: some of my data was in SVN repositories, and I had to migrate them.

Configured the new system by literally running through each entry in the control panel, and ensuring that it’s the same as my old machine. Most of my changes are spartan (aimed at less eye-candy, usually). For example,

  • Display: I switch to Windows Classic and a black background. I used to do this because it takes less memory, but with 1GB of RAM, that’s no longer a consideration. I just got used to this. I also turn off all special effects, and remove everything except the Recycle Bin from my desktop. But the really useful thing is to turn on ClearType.
  • Taskbar and Start Menu: I switch to the Classic Start Menu, and turn off everything. Here’s what mine looks like now.

    Start Menu settings

  • Toolbars: I like my toolbars to fit on one line. So I do some heavy customisation with the Internet Explorer toolbar to shrink it to a line. Similarly on the desktop toolbars.

Installed software. This is the fun part. I’ve made a number of changes to my software inventory.

And finally, after reinstalling my SVN repository and copying my WinAmp playlists, Firefox bookmarks, etc, my new laptop feels as good as old.

Videos you can learn from

Classic texts in computer science

Classic texts in computer science. Worth reading for the sheer insight.

Update: The link didn’t seem to work in Feb 2007. Here’s the list.

BitTorrent round-up on lifehacker

The Personal MBA

The Personal MBA. John Kaufman says reading (and practicing) these 42 books should be as good as any MBA (and that an MBA is, perhaps excessively, expensive). Some of these books are worth a read in any case.

Master Yourself

Manage Your Life and Work

Learn the Fundamentals

Strategic Thinking

The Only Thing Constant is Change

Masters of Management

The Finest Minds in Business

Dollars on the Books

Numbers and Negotiations

Operational Effectiveness

Form and Function

Project Management and Marketing

Do Your Own Thing

Speak Your Mind

The Delicate Art of Human Relations

Sell, Sell, Sell!

Economics and Worldviews

Businesses, Past and Present

Rules and Morals

Analyze This

Voices of Experience

Pulitzer Prize non-fiction

These are the Pulitzer prize winning non-fiction books. I’ve read only two: Godel, Escher, Bach and Guns, Germs and Steel. These were the very best books I have EVER read. If that’s any indication to go by, I want to finish this whole list.

Software inventory

I end up changing my office laptops every year or so, and hence reinstall lots of software. Here’s my inventory.

I most certainly will install the following.
ActivePerl. I still program. I know Perl. I love Perl.
Acrobat Reader
DivX player
Dave’s quicksearch deskbar
Microsoft Office 2003. Has some really good improvements over Office 2000.
NoteTab Light. Multiple tabs notepad. But is there anything better?
Nero Express
Picasa 2
WinAmp (with Media Library import/export)

I most likely will install the following, but not necessarily.
Adobe Photoshop. Almost vital, but I can live with Microsoft Office Picture Manager.
Goldwave. I often record interviews, or give commentary for home-made movies.
Google Earth (with Fraps). To browse the world and make movies out of them.
Google Toolbar
Mozilla Firefox. For multi-tabbed browsing, mainly. Otherwise, IE is fine.
MSN Messenger. Just for the interface. Somehow, it feels “smoother” than Yahoo.
RealPlayer. Don’t listen to RealAudio that much. Still…
UnixUtils. I use “grep” and “less” more often than “dir”
VirtualDub. For the occasional movie editing that Microsoft Movie Maker can’t handle.
WinHtTrack. To browse offline.
Google Desktop Search. Helps remember my browsing history.

Tempting, but no thanks.
Opera. Mozilla’s fine, thank you.
Yahoo Messenger. MSN Messenger’s better, thank you.
Yahoo Desktop Search. Better interface than Google’s. But no browsing history.

Top 10 Hindi movies ever

Inspired post by Aashish on the top 10 hindi movies ever.

  1. Sholay
  2. Lagaan
  3. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
  4. Anand
  5. Deewar
  6. Roja
  7. Aandhi
  8. Golmaal
  9. Khamoshi
  10. Pyaar to Hona Hi Tha