As Far As I Can Tell

Dead Pixel

I just noticed that my new (well, three months old) flat panel display has a new dead pixel in the red channel. This means that if the pixel is showing pure red it’s just black and if it’s displaying any other color then the hue is really off. For example white is shown as cyan.

I’m really disappointed since this 24” wide screen display is one of my more prized possessions and something I use everyday. Granted, one pixel out of 2,304,000 isn’t too bad but more noticeable than that ratio would imply. It’s located left and down from the center in an area that isn’t the worst spot for it but definitely not the best.

Now my home and laptop computers both have a pixel missing; I think they’re in on it together. Unfortunately Dell has a policy where they won’t replace a screen unless it has 6 or more dead pixels. Oh well, nothing’s perfect.



if it makes you feel any better (and I know it will not) I know I would never notice a discolored pixel, or a burnt-out pixel, so your screen still looks perfect to me! One that’s ONE out of 2,304,000. That’s real close to perfect!

Posted by: gig on October 26, 2005 7:10 PM

True, it’s still almost perfect and discolored is a lot better than completely dead. It’s mainly bad when you’re editing a photo and you think there’s a strange spec on it but it’s only the monitor.

Posted by: Simon on October 26, 2005 10:20 PM

That happened on my laptop, one in the upper left and one DEAD CENTER (no pun). Apple has the same policy, but since I had it only been a month and the center one was un-unnoticable, I put up a pretty big fuss and they actually replaced my monitor.

Posted by: nayt on October 27, 2005 12:06 PM

I had the same experience with NAYT’S FACE. No, really. Thanks for the Flash advice Simon, you’ve been a definite help.

Posted by: Max on October 27, 2005 10:02 PM

is it possible to color pencil back in? digital color pencil?

Posted by: dan on October 28, 2005 1:10 PM

I just got one of these 24” bad boys at work and they rule. I had two 21’s before, but my mean IT guy had to take the away for one 24. I miss them. sorry about your dead pixel.

Posted by: George Aye on November 12, 2005 5:17 PM

Mid-Semester Break

Today was the second day of the second half of my first semester of the first year of graduate school. All of that adds up to being roughly 1/8 done even though it seems like I just started. Mid-term projects piled up at the end and caused two back to back all-nighters but at least everything got done. I find I can stay awake all night without a problem; it’s the next day that gets me.

I realize I haven’t written much here about school so I thought I’d at least list out what classes I’m in and hopefully go more in depth later. Eventually I’ll have a portfolio of schoolwork online, maybe integrated into currentform or maybe its own thing. I’m taking:

Graduate Seminar I — Human Experience and Interaction Design: Concepts, Methods, and Products
So far this has focused on in-depth readings on the varying theories of interaction present in our world. The readings range from cognitive scientist Herbert Simon to Plato, intermixed with movies as diverse as Eat, Drink, Man, Woman and The Matrix. This class is rough at times and it’s hard to make some of the connections we’re striving for but I’m enjoying it. Never in my education have I had such an exhaustive look at design from such a high view point.

Graduate Studio I
This class is split between two different professors, so we just swapped. The first half was focused on information design and the second looks like it might be typography. Back to some fundamentals for a bit.

Introduction to Interaction and Visual Interface Design
Focused much more on “real world” projects this class is getting into some of the core methods of design and research that I need to know. I suppose you could say that this class is most closely aligned with what I might potentially be doing when I get out of school. So far I’ve been on teams designing a cell phone based movie-finder application and a recipe website for aspiring cooks. This is a core class to my major.

The Interactive Image
This elective from the art department taught by Golan Levin is “an introduction to the use of interactive graphics as an expressive visual tool.” Or put another way a “studio art course in computer science.” We’ve been learning the programming language Processing, a flavor of Java created for artists and designers. I’ve been programming with simple languages for years but this class has introduced me to things not possible in environments like Flash. This second half of the semester will be focused on our final project and I’m still formulating ideas. You can see some of my basic programming exercises on the class website (java required).

Communication Design Fundamentals
This is the class I teach twice a week. The students are all non-design majors from different backgrounds and at different levels in the university. The projects focus on basic form and layout, typography, grids, and color. It’s sometimes hard to have this on top of all my other classes but I’m enjoying it.

So that’s what occupies my time every day, all day. Once I’ve finished the semester I hope to elaborate more. Plus then I can reflect on what I got out of the class and point you towards some finished projects.



The Graduate Seminar 1 sounds cool. You sound like you’re very much enjoying your course. I look forward to your next posting.

Posted by: yasmina on October 28, 2005 9:13 AM

Out of sync and ready to hibernate

This is one of those days where I don’t leave the house so I can work all day but still don’t get everything done. I’ll be going into hibernation soon. The weather will get cold and Iíll stay inside with my sweaters.

As I go to bed every night Meredith is almost ready to wake up. It’s strange to sleep not just apart but at different times. She always wakes up first but not normally six hours before me.

Speaking of time differences my Mom is in Baton Rouge helping the Red Cross by watching over homeless hurricane evacuees as they sleep. From midnight to 8 a.m. she sits in a giant, darkened arena making sure everything is okay. The third shift may not be ideal but it seems right. I know that she’d be up all night worrying if something so terrible had happened to me.



It seems weird to be so many hours and miles away from you too. I don’t like that when we talk I want to tell you goodnight but it is in the middle of the afternoon for you. Is time going faster for you yet?

Posted by: meredith on October 13, 2005 8:03 AM

It is going faster and I’m glad that being busy will keep it speeding up. When you were gone last year I thought about adjusting my schedule to match yours. I’d be kind of funny but probably ruinous.

Posted by: Simon on October 13, 2005 12:44 PM

dude, erin is in korea. you add four hours to my time and then flip it around (so, it is now 2:15pm here, meaning it is 6:15am there). it’s nutty.

Posted by: jim withington on October 22, 2005 5:14 PM

NewsGator’s complete RSS platform

The top RSS readers for Windows and Mac were both single developer efforts until recently. NewsGator acquired FeedDemon, the client I use on Windows, a few months ago and as of today they now own NetNewsWire for Max OSX. In contrast to my initial skepticism when Bradbury Software sold FeedDemon this news has me excited.

Why is this good? For one, both developers are on board at the same company — two of the best aggregation developers under one roof. Second, the plan is to allow synchronization of RSS feeds between Mac, Windows, and existing NewsGator clients for Outlook and the web. I can read my feeds no matter where I am and not have to figure out what I’ve already seen elsewhere.

I donít like using pure web based aggregation services like Bloglines; itís just not as smooth compared to a desktop application. Once NewsGator integrates the synchronization of all their clients Iíll be able to swap between the best possible programs on my Mac laptop or Windows desktop. Plus I can always use the web client when Iím someplace like my parents house. This sure beats my current solution: logging on to my desktop via VNC just to use FeedDemon.

One downside is that the problem is solved in a proprietary way. It would have been nice to see an open standard developed where any client could update a synchronization file on my own web server. That might come some day and when it does I hope that NewsGatorís clients support it. For now Iím just happy that seamless RSS syncing is in the near future.

Update: NewsGator has just partnered with FeedBurner as well.



I’ve been happy with FeedOnFeeds [] for the past six months or so. There are some bugs and I’m pretty sure the project is dead since it hasn’t been updated in almost a year.. but I like it more than Bloglines, NetNewsWire or any client I’ve tried. I’m not home very often, and it’s nice to be able to check out my feeds at school.

Posted by: chall on October 12, 2005 4:18 PM

A history of filmmaking?

My brother visited me this weekend for the first time since I moved to Pittsburgh. He was here just long enough for me to show him where I’m living and do tour of a few neighborhoods. I’m still learning my way around so I’m not a good guide quite yet.

Yesterday evening we went to see A History of Violence at a theater near my house. It’s the latest David Cronenberg film and the New York Times goes so far as to call it a “sensational moviegoing experience”, which may be as laughable as the acting in the movie. They must have been able to overlook the predictable dialogue and amateur performances that everyone in my theatre noticed. It’s always a bad sign when half the moviegoers groan or laugh inappropriately.

A review by NPR notes how Cronenberg tries to make people uncomfortable through his films and to some degree he accomplishes that here. It feels tacked on though, like he did a final edit and tweaked some scenes for edginess. In the end I was more uncomfortable with the fact that I didn’t wait for the DVD.



bill went and saw that, he had the same review. it does not sound very good.

Posted by: dan on October 3, 2005 7:37 PM

As far as who can tell?

Chicago, IL

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