atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5023: Life with the Giganto-Tron

I'm not kidding. I've named the monitor Giganto-Tron because a computer monitor this big is like, as I said, sitting too close to a movie screen.

I think I've finally found a resolution which is a good compromise between the thing's native rez (2580x1600) and reasonable frame rates in WoW. 1920x1200, which is 0.75 its maximum resolution and which seems to work tolerably well all around.

I recall, in about 2014, considering using a 32" HDTV as a monitor. Now that I've gotten into that ballpark, I'm reconsidering: I'm not actually sure I want a monitor this big. It's a bit much.

But I got it for free; if I decide to use it in another capacity, it's not like I broke the bank to get it. Used, this beast fetches about $300 on eBay, but I'm not going to sell it, beast or not.

Worst case I get Jurai (ye olde P3) running again, install the Iomega Buz, and use it as a video editing system--and damn, this monitor would be perfect for that.

...but it seems a shame to get one's hands on a 30" monitor and not use it for WoW, at which it excels. This monitor was meant to be used with an Apple computer, though, and 90% of its functions (such as color temperature and such) can only be controlled via OS X. Thus, with my machine, it looks dim compared to the 23" LG monitor it replaces because the color temperature is lower (more red/yellow).

This monitor has two external controls: power and brightness. The Windows color calibration tool helps a bit, but not as much as I'd like. On the other hand, though, this monitor doesn't need much adjusting to look fantastic.

Meanwhile, the Mac Mini: This one has 512 MB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive, which is no great shakes in any respect. Processor is an Intel Core Duo running at 1.66 GHz. Model number is A1176, and in this configuration it typically goes for around $50 on eBay. Max RAM is 2 GB, but of course I'd have to buy the memory to put it in.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

* * *

A cure for hepatitis C, and it only costs $4 per India. In the US it costs two hundred and fifty times as much because FDA.

The story, classically, has been that drug companies must charge Americans so much for drugs because it covers the cost of R&D and FDA certification and-and-and, and for the longest time I bought that horseshit...but if that is indeed so, tell me this: how, then, can a company justify charging less for the drug in other countries?

Here's the thing. If I run a huge corporation with thousands of stockholders, I am beholden to them: they've invested their money in the corporation I run, and I am obligated to insure their investment is not wasted. If my corporation makes a product which is so expensive to manufacture that I must charge $1,000 per unit, how can I justify charging less than that elsewhere?

I can't. Certainly I cannot justify licensing the patent to other manufacturers who will then sell it for $4, let alone $10, per unit.

The simple fact is, it doesn't cost anything like $1,000 per tablet to make the stuff, or even to develop it and get it through licensing. Manufacturers in a developing third world country are eager to sell the stuff at $4 per tablet, a price at which nearly anyone can afford it.

But because of the way the law is written, no one can buy this drug in India at $4 a pill and import it into the US at $20 a pill, making himself a shitton of money. That person will be put in jail for drug trafficking. And because of this government-mandated monopoly, the manufacturer of this drug can get away with charging $1,000 per tablet. No one else can supply it at any price, so they can charge just as much as they want.

And this is one of many reasons why medical care costs too much in the US.

* * *

Just remember that the school building was built by the lowest bidder. I think it was Heinlein who had the perfect remedy for this kind of shit. Instead of giving the contract to the lowest bidder, give it to the second-lowest bidder.

That way you won't have walls collapsing in a 70-mile-an hour wind.

* * *

George Lucas is an idiot. The nice thing about The Force Awakens (aka "ep 7") is that it packs more excitement and plot into one scene than eps 1-3 did in their entirety.

I've read the criticisms of ep 7 and while I agree that they're valid, I think they also miss the point. The first and foremost function of the Star Wars ouerve is to entertain. Ep 7 does just that, and it does so by not lending too much weight to any one element of the story.

I think it's a job well done; sure, they reused a whole bunch of ideas from the orginal movies (eps 4-6) but I also think the function of ep 7 was merely to set up eps 8 and 9. We needed new characters (the original ones are too old) and we needed to meet them, to get to know them, to understand their chemistry. This is about not making the mistake that Lucas made with eps 1-3, wherein he had ep 1 for exposition, and then used ep 2 for exposition, and also had some exposition in ep three, before totally stuffing the climactic fight between Anakin and Obi Wan. (The Clone Wars is easily the most boring of the three movies, which is saying something.)

We needed exposition, and we got it in an interesting and entertaining way. Now we know who is who, and how they operate. Ep 7 delivered. I like it, and in fact this is the first movie I've seen in a long time that I feel a hankering to see a second time in the theater.

* * *

Well, today is the first day of the new year and the last of my week off. *sigh* Oh well! It'll be a short workweek for Mrs. Fungus and me--Sat through Mon--and then two more days off. Woohoo!

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