atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4137: What a day that was

From the time I got to work on Sunday, until the store closed, I was just about as busy as I could be without being overwhelmed. Closing time is an hour earlier on Sunday, and though I could have used the money another hour at work would have garnered, I was beat when I got home.

I ended up making a pot of chicken stuff, and added a can of kidney beans for extra fiber and riboflavin. Later, Mrs. Fungus and I watched Ed Wood and I enjoyed seeing it again.

I'm going to have to dig through my videotapes and find my recordings of Plan 9 From Outer Space and Glen or Glenda. Heh.

* * *

The other day I decided to try watching some anime on El-Hazard and the 'slab in the family room. Well, the video and audio rapidly ran out of sync. *sigh*

The first thing I'll have to try is installing the latest version of the K-Lite codec pack. Also, make sure I've got the actual motherboard drivers installed--particularly the video adaptor drivers, and not "Standard VGA" or similar crap. It's a dual-core machine running at 1.2 GHz; it ought to have plenty of horsepower for decoding video, and this kind of nonsense wasn't happening the last time I tried playing video from that machine.

Otherwise, I've got a nice little box for downloading anime on which I really can't do much of anything else. Well, I paid $136 for the damned thing, brand new; what do I expect?

I suppose I could hit up a computer fair (do they still have those?) to pick up a PCI video card that would have a ghost of a chance of being better than the on-board video. (At least it wouldn't be sharing the system RAM with the OS, which would help performance.) But the last time I tried that, it didn't work, and I still don't know if it's the power supply or something with the motherboard or the video card itself.

It might have been better for me to have swapped the card for a new one before giving up on that project. I have no illusions about the availability of new PCI video cards. Heck, I can't even borrow one from an older computer; the P3 box has an AGP video card and the Celeron's video card may have as much as 16 megabytes of VRAM on it. (Assuming that it, too, is not AGP, on which I would not bet...but I don't remember.)

I do still harbor the distant fantasy of buying a Mini-ITX board that sports an I3 processor. That would have plenty of horsepower--more than my current desktop, Cephiro--and a PCI-E card slot. And it could handle more than 2 GB of RAM, which would also help.

...and by the time I got done building something like that, I'd be using it as my desktop computer and moving Cephiro out to the family room for use as a (rather large) set-top box. *sigh*

All it takes is money. Money I don't have.

So in the meantime, I suppose what I'll have to do is try to get El-Hazard up to snuff in the "video playback" department and just defer watching videos that overtax its ability to process.

Meanwhile, on Cephiro, I continue to try out the dual-monitor thing. For the most part that means having WinAmp playing and running a visualizer on the small monitor while I play WoW or do other things.

The visualizer--for those who aren't into WinAmp--is basically a light show keyed off the music. There are a plethora of varieties, and you can set it to randomly switch between them or you can pick one and let it go.

There are a couple which generate semi-abstract landscapes. One of them is most like walking down a path lined with trees, beyond which is a body of water; on the other side, more trees, and a sunset. The foliage is in silhouette, and the only real color comes from the sky; the water is nicely rendered and looks almost real.

The other one I like resembles meandering through a forest at night. The sky is broken cloud cover with a full moon behind it; the trees are (again) silhouettes, but there are fireflies glowing among them.

Digging into the documentation, it turns out that if you click on the visualizer pane and hit "L" you're given a list of all the varieties, and you can select different ones by hitting "enter". So, in order, the ones I mentioned are "martin-sunset over the river" and "martin-night in the forest". I also like "martin-crystal palace".

There are over 550 of these things.

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