Movie View: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey




Art by Me. Smaug by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Ok, I’d like to start things out by saying that I’m a HUGE Tolkien fan. Ever since I first saw Fellowship of the Ring back in 2001, I’ve loved the Legendarium that Tolkien cooked up all by himself from just after WWI to his death in the 1970s. So, yeah, guess you could say I’m a bit biased in me saying that I loved the big screen adaptation of the first part of The Hobbit. But never mind that, it’s also an extremely well-done movie.

So, what’s The Hobbit about? Well, if you’re one of the few people who haven’t read it in its 80+ years in publication, here’s a quick synopsis. Bilbo Baggins is the titular Hobbit who lives the good life in the Shire. He spends most of his days tending his garden, reading his mail, eating and smoking pipeweed. That is, until one day, when the great wizard Gandalf came to his door, asking if he wanted to join in an adventure. Bilbo, being the hobbit that he is, did not want anything to do with an adventure, however Gandalf catches a hint of curiosity in the hobbit, so he marks the hobbit’s door. Later on, while Bilbo is sitting down for a nice, quiet supper, he is interrupted by a large group of 13 rowdy dwarves who barge into his home to hold a party. Bilbo is not too pleased with it until Gandalf and a very important dwarf named Thorin Oakenshield come in, and the party changes into a serious meeting. Thorin intends to lead the 13 dwarves to their ancient kingdom of Erebor, located under the Lonely Mountain, far to the west. It used to be a great, prosperous kingdom, until the great dragon Smaug attacked, drove the dwarves away and lay claim to the immense treasure located inside. Thorin intends to take back his kingdom, for he is the heir to it, and kick the dragon out for good. All they need now is a burglar to sneak inside. And Gandalf believes Bilbo to be the perfect candidate. Of course, Bilbo, at first, wants nothing to do with it. Gandalfs continues to try to persuade him, and, after a long night of thinking, Bilbo decides to join the adventure, and off they go. And what an adventure it is. What follows are run-ins with trolls, elves, stone giants, goblins, Gollum and more. Plus a certain golden Ring, and a certain shadowy evil. And the movie only covers the first third of the novel. There’s still a dragon to fight in the next 2 movies.

The movie, like the book, is much lighter in tone than Lord of the Rings. The book was originally written as a children’s novel in the 1930s. However, that doesn’t mean that the book, and even more so, the movie are not without its darker, more serious moments. The movie mixes the tones well, I believe. Also, this movie is close to 3 hours long. While that may be hard for some people, I actually thought it was quite brisk. The pacing was extremely well done. The acting is extremely good as well. There’s no Hollywood actors here. You get a great ensemble cast of thespians and character actors and they bring their all, from Bilbo actor Martin Freeman, to Ian McKellan as Gandalf, to Doctor Who actor Sylvester McCoy as the very eccentric nature-loving wizard Radagast, to all the actors playing the dwarves who each give a unique character to each dwarf, so you’ll never mistake them for each other.

The special effects are great, as to be expected. They really stand out as excellent in 48 fps. What is 48 fps. Well, the average frame speed of your average movie is 24 fps, so this is twice that, giving the movie a lifelike “feel” and a clarity never seen before. This has caused quite a bit of controversy. Some people like it, some don’t. For me, I mostly liked it. There are some scenes where it can look a bit too much like looking at a set, particularly at the beginning, but once you get used to it, you start noticing subtleties and detail you’ve never noticed before. If this becomes the norm, we’ll never look at movies the same way again. It’s definitely a very interesting experiment. If you’re not mentally prepared for 48 fps, then it’s perhaps better for you to watch it in old-fashioned 24 fps where it looks like a regular movie.

Overall, VERY highly recommended. It’s probably my most favorite movie of the year right now. And it was even better on a second viewing. It most definitely fits very well next to the legendary Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Can’t wait to see the next two.

– by Clinton Durham


Is Your iPhone 3GS frozen at the Apple logo start up screen?

Ok, so you were in the middle of an update, or for no apparent reason, your iPhone 3GS is “frozen” on the black screen with the infamous apple logo. You called AT&T and they tell you to call Apple and they tell you to call AT&T back. Between waiting on the phone, finding the tiny paper clip piece to pop open the SIM card, wondering if you are going to lose your apps, pics, and videos, you have to restrain yourself from smashing it to pieces


Here is how to fix the issue. (You will lose all of your photos, videos, and other content.)

– Open iTunes
– Make sure the iPhone is off
– Tether iPhone to your computer
– Hold in on/off button + home button for 10 seconds
– Let go of on/off button ONLY, continue to hold in home button for 15 seconds
– iTunes will prompt open a window suggesting your phone is now in “recovery mode”
– Restore and be patient.

This will restore your phone back to factory settings, installing the latest version of iOS.

[Video Tutorial] Adobe Fireworks CS5 – Utilizing Your Workspace – Tools, Panels, Features, and more

In this tutorial we go over Adobe Fireworks CS5 and how to make the most out of your workspace. You will learn how to enable/disable features in different panels. We also do a brief over view of tools, styles, and other features.

About Fireworks panels 

Panels are floating controls that help you edit aspects of a selected object or elements of the document. Panels let you work on states, layers, symbols, color swatches, and more. Each panel is draggable, so you can group panels in custom arrangements.

Optimize panel- Lets you manage the settings that control size and type of a file and work with the color palette of the file or slice.
Layers panel- Organizes the structure of a document and contains options for creating, deleting, and manipulating layers.
Common Library panel- Displays the contents of the Common Library folder, which contains symbols. You can easily drag instances of these symbols from the Document Library panel to your document.
Pages panel-  Displays the pages in the current file and contains options for manipulating pages.
States panel-  Displays the states in the current file and includes options for creating animations.
History panel-  Lists commands you have recently used so that you can quickly undo and redo them. In addition, you can select multiple actions, and then save and reuse them as commands.
Auto Shapes panel-  Contains Auto Shapes that are not displayed in the Tools panel.
Styles panel- Lets you store and reuse combinations of object characteristics or select a stock style.
Document Library panel Contains graphic symbols, button symbols, and animation symbols that are already in the current Fireworks document. You can easily drag instances of these symbols from the Document Library panel to your document. You can make global changes to all instances by modifying only the symbol.
URL panel Lets you create libraries containing frequently used URLs.
Color Mixer panel Lets you create new colors to add to the color palette of the current document or to apply to selected objects.
Swatches panel Manages the color palette of the current document.
Info panel Provides information about the dimensions of selected objects and the exact coordinates of the pointer as you move it across the canvas.
Behaviors panel Manages behaviors, which determine what hotspots and slices do in response to mouse movement.
Find panel Lets you search for and replace elements such as text, URLs, fonts, and colors in a document or multiple documents.
Align panel Contains controls for aligning and distributing objects on the canvas.
Auto Shape Properties panel Lets you change the properties of an Auto Shape after you insert one into your document.
Color Palette panel (Window > Others) Enables you to create and swap color palettes, export custom ACT color swatches, explore various color schemes and access commonly used controls for choosing colors.
Image Editing (Window > Others) Organizes common tools and options used for bitmap editing into one panel.
Path panel (Window > Others) Provides quick access to many path-related commands.
Special Characters (Window > Others) Displays the special characters that can be used in text blocks.
Symbol Properties Manages the customizable properties of graphic symbols.

source: Adobe Help

[Video Tutorial] How to convert an image file into a PDF

We had a request to make this video. Sometimes we take our geekyness for granted and forget that the everyday computer user, just might not know how to do this. So here it is.. How to take an image file (.jpg,.png.gif) and convert it into a PDF file.

CloudOn likes that we like them.. awwe!

CloudOn likes that we like them.. awwe!
Seriously, if you are an iUser, and file management on the fly is important to you, then go to the app store and download CloudOn- ITS FREE!
Sync this app to your dropbox or google drive to manage files. This app is a mini Microsoft Office, allowing you to create Word, Powerpoint, and Excel files instantly. This app is especially slick on the iPad. Go get it!

six8nine grime tears it up at Dante’s Bar in Frostburg, MD.
We recommend listening to this while editing, coding, thinking, trolling, and scrolling. Perfect geekin’ tunes.
Warning: This track is filled with heavy basslines, drops and wobbles.

Upgrading to iOS6 – Unable to join your network?

After downloading and installing the new iTunes 11 this weekend, I figured it was time for an overhaul on my iPad, which included an upgrade to iOS6. I backed up all of my files to the iCloud, and restored the device. After a few (20-30 mins) I had finally download, installed, loaded, waited, synced, and swiped the lock screen. The first thing the iPad asked me to do was connect to my wifi. I thought sure no problem.

I had got a prompt screen saying – ” Unable to join network.” After a few more failed attempts, I hit up google to see if there was a fix. Others claim they have this issue when updating to iOS6. So I figured the new upgrade was the culprit. I had seen a few forums mention to change IP address, and tweak network setting. I walked over to the cable modem and wireless router and unplugged them both for 30 seconds. Re-Plug, and PRESTO.. Problem solved.

Moral of this geeky story – If you upgrade to iOS 6 and you are ” unable to join network,” reset your wireless router to fix the issue!

[iCloud Tutorial] What is iCloud and how to use it as a PC user

In this tutorial we put together, you will learn what the iCloud is and how to utilize it as a PC user.

If you have an iPad, iPhone, iPod, or iWhatever, download the iCloud app in the app store. It’s free. The iCloud app is the easiest way to transfer files and information from your Apple device straight to your PC or Mac, without even using “the legendary white iCord”. This app will sync your device to your computer using your connection. Check it out!