Archive for May, 2009

Pockets

Pockets are a mixed bag.

On one hand, they’re almost a hallmark of civilization, evolving from the external pouch to an internal pocket. It’s nearly as useful as the wheel. You can put all sorts of random things in there, such as pocket watches, grenades, and pocket protectors (because of the grenade).

On the other hand, they’re sneaky, unreliable things that have a nasty habit of losing things you put in them. It’s like they’re the entrance to Narnia. If it’s just a few coins or something, no problem. Besides, that’d be lowering inflation and we could all use a bit of that.

However, it might just happen that the iPod you put in there will disappear to have a nice cup of tea with Aslan under the glorified Apple tree (har har, get it?) called the Tree of Protection. Only problem is, time doesn’t stop in this world while they’re in the next. How do you know? They never come back.

In fact, they’re so unreliable that when people go, “You dropped your pocket,” you actually check to see if it hasn’t run away from you with your valuables in them.

Furthermore, pockets are also responsible for the creation of the Pocket Monsters, which is still going after a decade, unlike other monsters, such as Digital Monsters and the Monster Under Your Bed. Anything that can spawn monsters that can’t be killed (only rendered “Fainted” at best) is surely unhealthy for this world.

You can't kill it - you can only knock it out.

Interestingly, despite their reputations for losing things, it’s been observed that pockets end up with things that don’t belong there. More than once I’ve turned things upside down searching for a misplaced pencil, only to realize after I’ve stabbed my thigh after sitting down the the pencil was in my pocket all along. I sure as heck didn’t put it there.

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May 20, 2009 at 7:55 PM 3 comments

The Retarded Aspect About Aspect Ratios

Dell’s turning out a new crop of laptops, notably the new Studio 15(55) and the Inspiron 15. At first glance, it they seemed to be a step up from the last generation, with 15.6 inch screens as opposed to the original 15.4.

Looking closer, I realized that it was too good to be true. The reason behind this change seems to lie in trying to make this screen “movie” friendly, since all this HD businees is standardizing in the 16:9 aspect ratio. What’s the problem with having a screen perfect for HD?

Well, originally, Dell’s 15.4 inch laptops were in the 16:10 aspect ratio. I have a 1680×1050 pixel screen. The next best thing in 16:9 aspect ratio is 1600×900 (900p). That’s 20% fewer pixels than in my 16:10 screen!!!

Let me remind you that these are laptops. Screen size matters. Some of us work on these laptops, and need the extra real estate to multitask better. Our display sizes are limited, so every pixel counts. You’re ripping me off 324,000 pixels!

I don’t know why they even needed to change the screen sizes in the first place. It doesn’t take a geek to know that a 16:9 movie would easily fit inside a 16:10 screen (9 goes into a 10, obviously). The argument seems to be that now you no longer have letterboxing (black bars on the top and bottom of the screen) when watching a movie. Let’s systematically destory this argument.

Letterboxing

  1. Who cares?
  2. Letterboxing is something that has become signature trait of movies (hence: this movie has been modified to fit your screen).
  3. You have more space for subtitles.
  4. You have space for menus and popups (like playing a DVD on the computer).

Among other things, I can’t choose between the Studio 15 or the Studio XPS 13 (which is also in 16:9).

May 12, 2009 at 10:31 PM 1 comment


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