December 1st, 2008


The Conversation (1974)

Starring Gene Hackman
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Also Appearing: Cindy "Shirl" Williams, Teri "Wasn't she in the same role in Tootsie?" Garr, and Harrison "not yet scruffy" Ford

Hackman plays a security expert back when spying on people didn't involve recording their keystrokes or breaking into their bank accounts. He's working on an assignment, monitoring the conversation between a man and a woman.

This is ostensibly a "puzzle film" - one that makes more sense as you view it more than once, using knowledge from later in the movie to make sense of earlier scenes. I only saw it once, and the things that I'm most unsatisfied with aren't the scenes that were early in the movie, it's the scenes at the end that leave unanswered questions.

One of the refreshing things about this movie was seeing a recognizable location in San Francisco, back when people made movies in the US.

Bottom Line: Thumbs up for a suspenseful movie and to see a young Harrison Ford.


I still have 10 movies to watch before the end of the year if I want to complete the project of all the AFI 100 and Amazon 250 top movies of my lifetime by the end of the year. That should be possible if I work at it, and if NetFlix doesn't throttle my DVDs.

I tried to watch Das Boot on the XBox/NetFlix streaming service, and I couldn't get the picture to fit onscreen without the subtitles clipping off. My German's really not that good - I need the subtitles. Also, my bandwidth is lousy, so streaming movies (along with the Fedora upgrades that were going on at the same time) is unsatisfying. So, DVDs for the foreseeable future.

yum upgrade failure

Throwing this piece of information out to the web-spiders of the world. Perhaps someone else can benefit from my experience.

I'm upgrading my Fedora Linux systems, and I noticed that there was one package that was causing problems - I had a copy of Avahi from FC6 which hadn't got properly upgraded by the more-or-less automated processes. Or, doing more investigation, there was a (nearly) up-to-date version as well as the old version, both installed. The yum system should take care of that, and so it's not so surprising that once it's in the failure case, it's tricky to get it to remove the old copy.

I tried doing the obvious thing of yum remove avahi-blah-blah-fc6, which "succeeded", but the package was still installed. In fact, I could keep on issuing that remove command, which kept on "succeeding".

I tried rebuilding the RPM database, which also succeeded, but didn't change anything - the fc6 version of avahi was still around.

I tried rpm -e avahi-blah-blah-fc6, which complained about scriptlets failing (though no indication what a scriptlet is, or what the failure was). I then tried rpm -e --noscripts avahi-blah-blah-fc6 and that seemed to do the trick - the RPM database now no longer has a record of the old avahi, and I'm able to do a yum update just fine.