stereopsis : the lyrics server

I wrote a little retrospective on events of about 10 years ago. Haven't really recounted this in its full form before.

stereopsis : the lyrics server


My filesystem is a revisionist historian and other notes

I wanted to take this moment to recall a thing I noticed about NTFS a couple years ago. It seems that NTFS treats timezones as a viewing parameter. (I presume they store times internally in GMT or something similar.) So if you move from Finland to California and change your computer's timezone, all your files will have a new time.

This might not be so objectionable, except for the problem that it does the same thing for daylight's savings time. So today, all your files from a week ago now happened an hour earlier in the day. Does this make sense at all? You didn't change your position in the universe (or those files). But go ahead and check, it's true.

A couple years ago, I had to make Picasa ignore filesystem changes of exactly an hour to keep it from freaking out and rethumbnailing your whole computer twice a year.



I saw a homeless lady (a bag lady), all her worldly possessions in her shopping cart, while I was driving to work a few days ago.

She had a 21" CRT monitor perched awkwardly (with some bungie cables to hold it steady) attached to her overflowing cart. I suppose she picked it up from someone who didn't think it was worth even selling anymore.

And yet I confess, despite my nice 24" Dell LCD, I have a 21" CRT as my second monitor. In fact, I just adjusted it to run at 100Hz, at 1280x960. (It was getting too blurry at 1600x1200.) But why?

Well when you move the mouse, and it really actually moves at 100Hz with no tearing or ghosting or strobing, and you scroll a window and it does the same, and your antialiased fonts are just a little bit blurry, makes you happy, that's all. And you think to yourself, "It's dim and blurry, but it's real."

And honestly, I wish it were as bright as my 24" monster -- I mean, when I'm looking at digital pictures, I can see the CCD noise in every pixel on my LCD, and it's bright and the colors stay the same all day long. But there's a difference, and I'll probably keep using the old thing until I can be sure that every frame of animation I make in Picasa looks exactly right at 100fps. How can you really tell, if your LCD blurs the heck out of everything that moves and really, honestly only shows you 40fps of information? That's just too slow.

But the bag lady? Sure made me think about it.


Above - 1934: Engraving using the image of Kwanon attached to the "Kwanon" prototype as a motif.

From Canon's site:
Today, the Canon logo, with its vivid red color, is familiar to people around the world. However, the logo underwent a number of changes before reaching its present form.

Read more:
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The thing I've been saying for weeks now, Clint Ecker says so well: "The question of the hour is if one could be expected to sit and watch 45 minutes of video on the iPod's LCD. My answer to that question is "yes" with one caveat. I walk to work and today I tried watching some video on my commute.

"Result: disastrous.

"I nearly ran into several people and almost injured myself in an accident involving those rows of news paper stands. My recommendation would be to enjoy these video treats on the safety of a bus or train, and please refrain from catching up on your favorite episodes on the walk to work. I would go far as to extend that warning to car commuters as well. Remember kids, friends don't let friends use their video iPod while driving."

My take on it is: "It's an iPod for San Franscisco and NYC. For those who commute on BART or the Metro." Posted by Picasa


Finally--a use for all those 16MB Flash cards

I did some playing around with my Canon 20D tonight, and I found a way to write files properly back to a flash card so they'll show up on the camera. Most cameras are picky about what they'll display (at least Canons are), but the magic sauce appears not to be *too* tricky to make.

First, some ingredients:
1. JPG files taken with your camera
2. Picasa 2.x
3. Knowing the pixel size of the "small" mode for your camera

I found #3 by shooting a 'small' shot on the 20D. It's 1728x1152 (and the important number is '1728' here).

The only thing to do now is to "Export" from Picasa, with a custom size (1728 pixels, of course), and with awful quality (try 20%). Copy the resulting files back to one of the DCIM folders on your camera.

My results? 460 files in 25MB. All nicely viewable on the camera's LCD screen. And all your old 16MB cards should hold about 300 shots. Been a long time, huh?

See this dpreview thread (where you can watch me think the problem is harder than it is, and then figure it out) for some more details.

10/16/2005 - publicize and read consumer complaints

A searchable site of consumer complaints (find complaints by keyword, e.g., company name!) It's really quite huge: - publicize and read consumer complaints


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