A previous Cannonfire post
expressed scorn, or at least befuddlement, at the new Windows 8 "Metro" interface. Metro seems like a good idea if you like portable touchscreen machines, but that ain't me.
Nevertheless, now that Windows 8 is officially here -- and downloadable for free, at least for most of the rest of the year -- I'm thinking of making the switch.
Why? Well, according to the reviewers, the new OS does have some noteworthy improvements: Faster loading, a much-improved Task Manager, easier back-ups, a built-in pdf reader.
What really intrigues me, however, is a third-party app that returns the Start Menu to its proper place, allowing you to work the way you've always worked. The app, called Start8, is made by Stardock, and it's available for free. Here's
a review of the app, and here
is the thing-in-itself. If you're a true traditionalist, you can even give your Start icon an XP look.
(Before proceeding, let me repeat my usual warning: You know how annoying the knee-jerk "get a Mac" guys are? The "get linux" guys are almost as bad. Word to the wise.
Now let's talk about the new iPad.
I've never owned an iPad and probably never will. But I've played with one. Not without its charms, it was.
For the life of me, I can't understand why the new version sports a super-HD 2048 x 1536 display. Was pixelization so very apparent on the old iPad? I didn't notice any problems in that regard.
If you are sitting in front of a desktop monitor right now, or even a larger laptop, you're probably looking at a 1920 x 1080 resolution image. Do you see the individual pixels?
In the world of video (as you probably know), there are two sizes which have been labeled "HD" or high definition. The smaller is 1280 x 720 and the larger is 1920 x 1080. On smaller screens, many people can't tell the difference. (There's a huge and very technical debate on this point, but this blog isn't the place for it.)
In the world of modern theatrical film-making, post production (editing, color correction, special effects and so forth) is done at what is called the "2K" resolution -- which is very close to the 1920 x 1080 image produced by consumer-level video cameras these days. That image gets projected on a screen 25, 30, 40 feet high. Looks fine.
So...is there really a need
for a 2048 x 1536 pixel display on your portable tablet 'puter?
The world has gone HD crazy. I'm glad, but also a bit confused by this tech fad.
The last major motion picture filmed in 70mm was the Kenneth Branagh version of Hamlet
. At the time it came out -- 1996 -- I told friends that moviemakers should film everything
in 70mm, because the larger film stock allows for greater resolution and finer detail. People thought I was being ridiculous: To their eyes, Hamlet
looked like any other movie.
So much has changed in fourteen years. Now, everyone understands that heaven is in the details. I'm glad they see it that way -- finally.
But the new iPad is overkill.