Happy Friday guys! It’s not exactly a hot time for sports, so I’ve eschewed the sports takes for a day and I’m going to talk about other stuff, including movies and technology.
This week there have been some pictures of a movie poster for a Spaceballs sequel.
— Jedi News (@JediNewsUK) February 24, 2016
Now this is a sequel I can really get excited about. Unlike many comedies from a day gone by, Spaceballs still works. Sure it’s low budget and sure it makes me sad because John Candy is no longer with us, but the jokes are kind of timeless because they’re wrapped in a genre that couldn’t possibly be more relevant. Who would have guessed that Star Wars — and yes, Spaceballs by proxy — would stand the test of time as a genre, unlike, say, most westerns?1
This website attempts to not be so shallow as to rate celebrities in terms of how they’ve aged, but in the case of making a Spaceballs sequel, especially considering the sad loss of Candy as we already noted, it seems kind of relevant. So what of Princess Vespa? She was played by Daphne Zuniga who was pretty and hysterical for Mel Brooks. She also was on Melrose Place in the 90’s. She’s still acting and looks as ready as ever to reprise the role of the princess.
A photo posted by Daphne Zuniga (@daphnezuniga) on
Bill Pullman was Lone Starr and he’s obviously gone on to a full career. His selfie game is on point on Instagram, so we know he’s ready to embody Lone Starr once again.
Selfies Betch! A photo posted by Bill Pullman (@therealbillpullman) on
Rick Moranis hasn’t acted in live action films since 1997 in order to raise his children after losing his wife to cancer. Randomly, we decided to watch Little Giants in my house over the weekend, so I’ve had Rick Moranis on my mind anyway. If someone could coax him back into an acting role, let’s hope it would be Mel Brooks for a Spaceballs sequel playing Dark Helmet.
That’s probably enough to make the movie, but John Candy is a tough one to miss. Also, Joan Rivers is a tough one to replace as the C-3PO-esque character Dot Matrix to which she lent her voice in 1987. On the bright side, I think the human sound effects machine Michael Winslow is available.
I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’ve long been a dork. I used to install operating systems on 486 computers via massive piles of floppy disks. I was the one who set up the DNS settings in our college apartment in 1998 so that we could all share one of the world’s first (and probably slowest) DSL connections.2 WiFi wasn’t even a dream for us yet, as we draped ethernet cables all over the place including underneath bedroom doors. Now that we’re in 2016, being a dork has taken a largely different form as we’ve progressed technologically and we’re attempting to coat the universe in brightly lit WiFi, so that tablets and Internet-enabled thermostats can talk to our telephones. My house was a tough nut to crack in terms of getting good coverage to the far reaches of my four-bedroom colonial including the basement. When I saw the early-bird offer for a mesh WiFi system called eero, it didn’t take me long to jump at the chance on a discounted pre-order for $300.
I mean $300 is a lot of money, but I had a lot of money wrapped up in a configuration of Apple Airport routers that weren’t doing the job. I had them set up correctly so that they gave me more coverage, but along with that, I got a lot of interference as I think certain parts of the house would confuse my devices and the competing WiFi signals. Also, now that eero has been released officially, it’s retail price for a three-pack is $500. So now I’m really feeling like I got a good deal. But it’s only a good deal if eero works well.
So far, so good.
But first, let’s talk shop. How does this thing work, and what makes it different? While the eero doesn’t work quite as well as the professionally managed and hard-wired solution I’ve got installed at my office, it is doing a pretty good job. I’ll use eero’s own words to talk about what it’s doing.
Until now, recreating this sort of enterprise setup at home has meant expensive Ethernet wiring, painful manual setup, custom firmware, and a network engineer. eero brings this enterprise model to the home. Multiple eeros connect to form a mesh network — the first available on the consumer market. Unlike the “hub-and-spoke” model of a single router and a range extender, each eero in the network is created equal and the result is an incredibly fast, resilient network.
The real key to eero though is how easy the setup was, and the phone app that lets you control it all. The app is awesome. When you open the box for the eero, it immediately tells you to install the app. From there the app gives you step-by-step instructions, but these aren’t about going into settings and changing IP addresses. It says things like “unplug your router and cable modem.” It was this easy. I unplugged my older routers and cable modem. I plugged in the eero, connected it to my cable modem and then waited for the app on my phone to tell me that setup was complete and that it had worked. I did that twice more with two more eero boxes and I was done. When it was all set up, this is how the app looked.3
The app shows me that I’m getting the speed I’ve paid for from Time Warner. It shows me all the devices that are attached to my network. It shows me all the eero stations and their locations and if they’re working. Even cooler, it allowed me to set up a guest network so that when people visit, they can log on. That’s not novel, but this part is: Inside the eero app, I can click on guest access, and click the share button and it will allow me to text or email the info including guest password to anyone. It’s a little thing, but it makes so much sense if you’re going to go to the trouble of building an app.
From a technical perspective it’s been really great, too. The farther you get from home base the more the speed will degrade, but I was still getting 15-20 mbps in parts of the house where I had little to no coverage at all before. I am getting nice speeds in the basement as well, which is always more difficult. For me, it’s completely and totally worth it, especially because I got it at a teaser price of $300. I can’t say whether it’s worthwhile for the rest of you to buy a three-pack for $500, but I can say that it will probably solve your issues and you probably won’t have any trouble setting it up. If you wait long enough I’m sure there will be a price drop at some point. Regardless, here’s hoping I don’t have to file an update about how I had to go back and re-install my confusing array of Apple routers.
I chose this clip this week because it shows incredible calm and patience as they look for a hole to attack in the defense. Turnovers happen when you get too aggressive before the opportunity presents itself, but this team was clearly in a zone before finding a hole to exploit. Every match has its ups and downs and teams go through periods of playing calmly and frantically, but if they could bottle up the calm, I bet they would love it.
I became a fan of The Modern Electric this year. The Cleveland-raised east siders have a tremendous album out called Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, and I asked them to do a podcast for Scene and they obliged. We talked about music and Cleveland and how you learn to be a professional band. It was a great conversation so I wanted to bring it here as well.
Also, they’re playing a Beachland Ballroom anniversary show on March 5th with Cities and Coasts and Jivviden.