Apple Inc.

RIP WUXGA

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 

What happened to 1920×1200 laptop displays? Why are all new laptops regressing to 1920×1080? That’s the most asinine, disappointing regression since the end of commercial supersonic transport. It is so sad to be living in a world that is moving backwards at an ever accelerating pace.

My first transportable computer was a Mac Portable with a 640×480 screen and I lived with that through a couple of generations. Eventually I got a Dell with 1440×900 pixels and could actually do some real work on it. About 10 years ago I got a Dell M70 with 1900×1200 pixels on a 15.4″ screen and found an acceptable resolution for portable work. Little did I know that the era from about 2000-2010 would be the apex of laptop technology. It is all downhill from here.

Once I looked forward to a bright future with 17″ displays sporting about the same generally usable pixel pitch (about 147 pixels per inch). If the world had continued to advance technically, if the now retired SR71 wasn’t still the fastest, highest flying plane ever built, if the now retired Concorde wasn’t the only commercial supersonic aircraft, if the retirement of the space shuttle didn’t herald the end of US’s manned space flight capability, if we weren’t living on the burnt out ruins of our former capabilities watching our technical competency spiral down the toilet, we’d have WQXGA (2560×1600) 17.4″ laptops right now. Maybe even QXGA 15.4″ options for those of us with good eyes.

But we don’t. We have bizarre stupid Vaio VGN-AW11M/H with kid friendly 104 PPI displays sporting useless 1680×945 pixels on an 18.4″ screen. That’s a pixel pitch straight out of 1990. Thanks for nothing.

Nobody even makes a reasonably sized laptop with a 15.4″ screen with more than 1920×1080 pixels any more (the only WUXGA laptop I can find at any size is the oversized kidz pitch 17″ macbook pro). I’m going to have to stick with my W500, or buy used ones for the rest of my life. Laptop makers – there’s no way I’m going to regress to a less productive smaller pixel count. That’s just stupid. Pull your heads out and give us pixels. The only thing that really matters for productivity is pixels. More pixels=better. Less pixels=worse. Don’t bother releasing a new laptop if it is worse. If you’ve lost the competency, just pack it up.

Apple: the 264 PPI pitch of the 3rd gen ipad is pretty good. If you build a 15.4″ macbook pro with that pitch in QFHD (3840×2160) pixels instead of the bizarrely large type kid’s book useless 1440×900 pixel resolution the current 15″ macbook pro is crippled by, I would actually buy one to run Ubuntu on. And maybe even have a bit of hope for the future.

(I’d suggest refraining from buying a laptop until 2013: ivy bridge will make 1920×1080 laptops as quaint as those 640×480 displays from 1990: the era from 2010-2013 may be known as the dark ages of laptops.)

Posted at 00:18:47 UTC

Category: Negativereviewstechnology

Rental Cadillac DTS

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 
Wtf? Another Caddy? They drive OK, but what is up with the mid-90s vintage entertainment system? Analog in only? American cars always have really crappy music navigation interfaces, but even low-end cars with the janky microsoft sync interface at least can read off a 2GB FAT USB stick (no larger).

If you’re trying to compete with Mercedes an Infinity, you have to be able to read at least a FAT32 file system if not an ipod and usefully navigate folders and playlists.


Posted at 11:07:28 UTC

Category: Negativephotorental carsreviews

Renting an Audi A4 Quattro

Thursday, December 13, 2007 

Hertz was very nice to me and rented me a brand new Audi A4 instead of the Taurus I reserved. It had a whole 50km on the odometer when I got it. It was kind of fun: fast, accelerated hard with the four wheel drive in sport mode and a six speed transmission, even on the snow and ice. The sound system was great… but…

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So like many good cars these days, it had an iPod dock in the glove box. Pop your iPod in the slot and the stereo recognizes it as a… CD? whatever. And it has a changer, so it allocates CD’s “1” through “6” to the CD changer and “7” though “12” to the iPod. It seems to allocate them to playlists it finds on the iPod, but it doesn’t extract any text. You change from file to file with the track changing knob, which indexes through tracks 1-99… and then 1-99… and then 1-99… Which means you’re finding your songs by the sound. Now this is an interface that in 1983 made sense for a CD… 10 or so tracks, you can probably remember what’s what. But it does not work for an iPod with 10,000 tracks… not at all. Not even a little bit.

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Ironically the display is matrix addressed and has more pixels than early iPods and can clearly read the file structure… it has two knobs and plenty of buttons, more interface input than the ipod and plenty to implement the ipod’s simple knob+4 buttons. Why it doesn’t extract and show some useful text is beyond me. It also makes it clear how well designed the iPod interface is for navigating huge numbers of files when you try something completely lame.

Nice car though…

Posted at 21:00:26 UTC

Category: photorental carsreviews