Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cirque Du Soleil Extravaganza

Roy/SAC aka Carsten CumbrowskiI just had my first "real" weekend in months. I left Friday afternoon to Las Vegas to have fun (and not to a trade show).

I stayed at the "Aladdin" Hotel and Casino which is currently under construction, because it is being transformed to a Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino.

I watched two Cirque Du Soleil shows, the two which were the highest on my "have to see" list.
One on Friday and the other one on Saturday. I had already a ticket for Cirque Du Soleil's "KA" at the MGM Grand for Saturday.

I decided last minute to try to get a ticket for Cirque Du Soleil's "O" at the Bellagio on Friday. You can see the "O" Trailer for the show at the official Cirque Du Soleil Website. I was lucky. I got there 1 Minute before the show started and got a ticket because somebody else did not showed up (the show was sold out). I got for $150 a premium seat in Row F (6) right in the center of the row, quite a bargain.

Next on my list are "Mystere", "Zumanity" and "Love"

If you are going to see "KA", try to get seats in the center of the venue and not towards the side, trust me on that. I was sitting at a "medium" quality seat more towards the side. I might have to watch it again from a center seat. Great show! I can highly recommend it. Here are 3 Videos from the Show. You have to watch the 2nd one: Extract from "The Slave Cage", which shows the act "Wheel of Death" which is one of the best parts of the whole show.

Most people I talked to who have seen "O" and "Le Reve" say "O" is the better one which I disagree with. I like "Le Reve" better (playing at the Wynn) . Le Reve is an in-official Cirque show by Franco Dragone, the creator of the cirque shows "O", "Mystere", "Alegria" and "Nouvelle Experience" as well as Celine Dion's "A new Day".

Yeah, I became a Cirque Fan, whcih should be obvious by now. I joined their free Cirque Du Soleil Club to get news, updates, access to special content and promotions. The Membership is absolutely free. I also got most of the shows as video now and several of the shows soundtracks on CD.

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tools of the Trade

I get often asked what tools I am using for my did my ASCII and ANSI Text art.

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I used first a tool called ANSIDraw which was a piece of junk. The maximum number of lines per ASCII or ANSI the program was able to support was 23 (which is exactly 2 lines less than a page in DOS. Anything above 23 lines triggered a "pause", if "page breaks" were not disabled.) It was unable to load ANSIs which meant, that you had to get the colors right the first time or you had to load the ANSI as ASCII (without colors) and start colorizing from scratch ... argh. You can download Ansidraw at my download page like all the other Tools I am mentioning in this post and experience the pain yourself, it's only 20 KB in size.

I got over this pain fairly quick when TheDaw entered my world. This was a really advanced ANSI Editor compared to anything else that was out there. TheDraw is the Editor I am using to this date. It runs without problems under Windows.

Others preferred the very similar tool which came out a bit later than TheDraw called ACiDDraw, which was developed by the legendary ANSI Art Group ACiD (which stands for ANSi Creators In Demand).

The only feature worth mentioning which sets ACiDDraw apart from TheDraw is the fact that TheDraw is restricted to maximum 100 Lines for a single ANSI File and ACiDDraw had no limitations.

At the Moment seems the Windows Editor PabloDraw to be very popular. It allows multi user collaborations in real-time over the Internet. Multiple user can edit the same file at the same time. Crazy!

If PabloDraw is too crazy for you and the DOS Editors not manageable for you (It's tough if you are not familiar with MS DOS at all), you might want to have a look at TundraDraw for Windows. That might be the perfect alternative for you.

You should try them out, it's Fun!

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Carsten aka Roy/SAC