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August 15th, 2008

On a big screen

My desk is somewhat different today.

The old pair of 17" LCD panels that has kept me company for the last few years is no more. I've sacrificed some resolution for clarity, and have jumped a whole generation of graphics technology in one fell swoop. There may be 10 inches less diagonal on my desktop, but the new LG 24" panel that arrived this morning more than makes up for it in clarity and quality. The colours leap out you, and I'm seeing things in my photographs I'd missed in the pink tinge of the slowly fading panels.

It's an HDMI panel, so digital all the way from the monitor to the graphics card - and there's no fuzzyness or flicker from analogue signals fighting with the RF and EM that fills the office aether. That's one of the reasons for the clarity, the other being, well, half a decades-worth of LCD technology. Five years is a long time in the technology world! I haven't started fiddling with the controls yet - as it seems to work just fine with the default settings (though I may run a calibration scanner over it in a day or so - I've got a couple of Pantone calibrators on the shelves I can try out with it).

One of the things that impressed me the most was the stand - it's easy to position the monitor just the the way I want, and the smooth rise and fall of the central column is a delight. Of course my old monitor stand took three different-sized screwdrivers just to tilt a monitor a few degrees, so I may be a little biased.

317440 less pixels. That's still more than a couple of million to play with...

New desktop PC, new monitor. That's me set until 2013 then...

Right, back to writing about HTML 5.

iPod? iLego!

My inbox gets lots of press releases every day. Over the years that's built up to just around 40 thousand messages, totalling to just under 2GB of space. I keep an eye out for interesting or unusual releases, and today's most unusual was for a set of iPod speakers shaped like a Lego brick.

Exhibit 1.

Now they may well play music (I'm assuming that's what the wavy blue lines mean, as opposed to a rotting piece of garlic carefully included for your olfactory pleasure) and will probably sound terrible, like most teeny tiny speakers hooked up to an MP3/AAC player (even if it does have Active Bass System, so maybe the wavy lines are rotting fish, not garlic), but the press release missed one vital piece of information:

"Can I build them into a Lego model?"

I don't think there's anything else that really matters.


Astronomical PSA: Lunar Eclipse Tomorrow

From Space Weather News:
This Saturday, August 16th, people on every continent *except* North America can see a lunar eclipse. At maximum, around 2110 UT (5:10 pm EDT), more than 81% of the Moon will be inside Earth's shadow, producing a vivid red orb in the night sky visible to the naked eye even from light-polluted cities. The entire eclipse lasts more than 3 hours, so there's plenty of time for gazing, drinking coffee, and taking pictures.
North American folk will have to make do with a web cast.