Reddit wallpaper downloader in Perl

I've wanted to refresh my memory on Perl again so I've taken something simple I've done before and re-implemented in Perl. My choice was a wallpaper (or any image really) downloader. If you would like to have a look you can grab it from bitbucket.

It's definitely rough at the moment and I wouldn't consider it complete but it works well enough. It assumes the URL provided is a subreddit JSON URL. Any direct link to an image is download. Any Imgur page will make an API call to get the image's link. This means in its current state it will require a read-only api access key. It will gracefully fail on album pages. I've not yet implemented that.

In my original python script from ages ago I believing I just pulled the image out of the imgur page. I've opted to do it by api because my assumption is that should change less than the html of the page. Imgur would likely prefer I do it that way too.

This project was more of a refresher for myself but I would like to finish it off in the near future rather than leave it half baked. However feel free to have a look and reasonable feedback is welcome.

Posted by toadwarrior on 9 Nov 2014, 11:47 p.m.

Tonight's cinema viewing: The Expendables 3

Tonight I went to see The Expendables 3 and I have to say I wasn't expecting much. Part 2 was quite frankly shit in my opinion. The reviews were panning this one so I was really only seeing it to ensure I had enough films in for this month to make my Cineworld Subscription worth it.

Well, now that it's over, I have to say I loved it. Is it a deep film? Of course not. It's a proper action film, it's loud and the body count is through the roof. It blows The Expendables 2 out of the water and I might even go as far as saying it's the best of the series.

Some guy, it turns out, took his 5 year old daughter to the film. That was a dumb move and karma bit him in the ass. She shat herself when the end started to kick off. I'm not surprised either. I don't like the trend of making action films that lack blood and that is one issue I had with the film. There are so many people getting cut and shot and yet there's really no blood. That's very weak. But despite this when the shit hits the fan you feel it in the audio and admittedly it still looks good.

I suspect the reason this one is getting rated so poorly is (though to be fair they're all rated about the same on IMDB and as usual viewers on rotten tomatoes rate it higher than critics) is because of Mel Gibson. Mel obviously has personal problems he needs to overcome but he's still quite talented at his job despite his problems. In this film I'd argue he's the best actor by far and he's the most believable because in addition to that he's not as geriatric as the rest of the actors.

If you don't like Mel Gibson because he says and does stupid things in real life. Just say it. Don't lie and say the film isn't good just to try to stick it to him. It boggles the mind how someone like Roman Polanski has a whole host of people will to stand up for him despite the arrest of sexual assault on a 13 year old. But I think there is also the fact this is the sort of film that some people simply hate. Should you really be reviewing action films if you don't like action films? I don't think so. How can you genuinely tell people which ones are the best?

If you're looking for a proper action film. This is the one to watch this summer. The superhero films have been a let down - which is no surprise. They worn out their welcome years ago.

Posted by toadwarrior on 18 Aug 2014, 10:08 p.m.

Ripping update

After updating MakeMKV my film ripping process is going a lot smoother. I'm pumping out DVDs like nothing (well, at a reasonable pace).

The blu-rays are going quite well too but I've had to put them on hold. I can't bring myself to convert them to m4v files. The MKVs that I get just from MakeMKV are flawless, subtitles are built in and I get the jpeg cover. But damn, I'm looking at roughly 20gb a film.

If I want to rip all my blu-ray films and have a back-up I'm looking at a very expensive array of hard drives. My nice cheap mac mini solution works perfectly as a media system but I could easily spend £1,600 to have the NAS storage system I would want and even then I'd argue I wouldn't have that much room for growth. I could do the back-ups on tape but the cost grows even more.

I hope hard drive sizes keep growing and prices keep falling. I don't think I can afford to keep up if I want to rip everything I've bought and will buy in the future.

Posted by toadwarrior on 14 Apr 2014, 10:23 p.m.

Remake hate

I've recently purchased Spike Lee's Oldboy on blu-ray. I've watched the film when it was out in the cinema, I enjoyed it and left it at that. But since I keep a log of my films with IMDB links, I had to go grab that and noticed it was rated fairly low (5.5 out of 10 as of today).

I thought that was a bit unfair. While I definitely prefer the original I think Spike Lee did a solid job so naturally I thought I'd sift through the comments on its IMDB page.

Not surprisingly there's a group of people hating on it because, in my opinion, it's a remake. Often it's understandable to hate on an American remake of a foreign film. I never got why Americans are so anti-subtitles anyway but then also feel the need to Americanise the remake. But I do think some people are equally ignorant in hating on remakes just because it's a remake. Is the 1983 Scarface awful because it's a remake of the 1932 Scarface film? Hardly.

I think Spike Lee did a decent job at keep his version true to the original film while also keeping the original Manga in mind. Without spoiling the story, some elements of the remake are more true to the original manga where as Park's is not. In fact both films differ in many ways from the original story. They are different takes on a story. Both are good takes on it. Park's happens to be better but the internet does really make people intolerant at times.

If you've never seen Old Boy, I'd say you must see the Korean version but you can't go wrong by seeing the new remake as well.

Posted by toadwarrior on 14 Apr 2014, 10:14 p.m.

Ripping films

I've finally been getting around to ripping my film collection to a digital format. I believe at my current rate it will take me about 2 years to complete it. Granted I could go a bit faster but this process would take over my life and I doubt the gain would be worth it.

It's a shame that ripping films still doesn't seem to be easy as ripping CDs. There's no meta data look-up database. The process can seem a bit sensitive and tv box sets just seem to take forever.

Perhaps there are better tools if I would choose to pay but I'm trying to avoid that. I've bought my films and all I want is for them to be in another format. I would like to avoid paying more to achieve that. More so when you never know if what you are buying is just the free and open source tools under handedly packaged up as commercial software.

I suspect half my problem is that I'm making my attempts on the mac. Admittedly it seems more DVD / blu-ray rippers still target Windows only. Some of the well known open source tools (hand brake) seem to act differently between Linux and Mac. That or I may very well have a duff external drive.

Posted by toadwarrior on 3 Apr 2014, 9:44 p.m.