Archive for the ‘Tech Talk’ Category

Acer B223w – A Pivotal Idea

January 7, 2010 3 comments

I recently got the Acer B223w LCD monitor for my work I do for layout etc. The reason I chose this model was for it’s novel pivot option that basically mean the monitor can rotate from landscape to portrait and make it more “native” for page type programs like Word, Acrobat Reader, and of course my programs i use for making page layouts like InDesign, PhotoShop easier to view as there is little need for scrolling up and down much.

I got mine here and they were fast and diligent however the website says it is a 2500:1 contrast ratio monitor but on the box it says 1000:1. It is an older model and not good if you want it for gaming or high def video due to that ratio and 5 ms response time with the mouse but for what I need it for it more then does great.

One thing that is a bit problematic is the software that helps it change orientation and the instructions in the manuals that don’t tell you hardly anything you need to know and nothing on how to get the pivot working only online forums and sites were able to help with that like this one and you need to add the CD that comes  with it and download the ADM (for some reason unknown to me it can;t just be embedded in the CD itself), ADM is Acer eDisplay Management. this program crashed my computer a few times and i finally uninstalled it in Safe Mode but it still kept the orientation in portrait, so at this moment I am “trapped” into that one display, one I don’t mind but one that seems to take much more RAM and CPU usage.

I will upgrade to a faster CPU soon and reinstall everything and see how things go from there but for now I have a 22″ portrait style screen full-time. But since I am predominantly on Word, Internet or layout programs it really is a nice fit for me as I don’t have wasted space on the side of pages and don’t have to scroll much of the time. Here are some example screen shots with pages I use.

A Blog post with images all fits on one screen shot and can be viewed all at once in this view.

The desktop, lots of room for icons, :P. At 1050×1680, no distortion and displays a large picture rather sharply.

In InDesign it shows an A4 page near life-size without scrolling.

Mail, I live in my mailbox at times, writing and chatting so seeing the whole page is nice scroll free.

PDF is nice to see the whole page too, I like viewing things in “page width” and this allows for that to fill out all four sides in one screen of an A4 PDF with room to spare.

In PhotoShop you can make the pic take up the whole screen if you are working on a portrait pic just like we always have been able to do for landscapes on traditional monitors, I find this fabulous for portraits and photographers to get a real full view of a pic in a formate size of a large print and edit the whole pic in one view.

A view of 22″Acer B223w in portrait mode and 14″ Acer FP553, virtually twice the display space and could watch a movie at the same size as the 14″ on half the screen and still have another window to following other things.

McStack! viewing two things simultaneously, I know I am an over obsessed multitasking freak with 10 or more tabs in my browser and programs running at any given time, but now I can do that twice as much and much more organized!

Overall this monitor gives a “stand up” performance in more ways then one, sure I wish it also had 5000 or 8000:1 contrast ratio but for this price and being a few years old model is more then what I expected and hoped for and provides me a better workspace for what I need and gets a 9 out of a possible 10, sighing complicated software and lack of comprehensive manual in not giving it a 10.

If it is what you’ve een looking for you better get it, mine came with a “laptop upgrade kit” wireless mouse and keyboard also by Acer, not really what I need and have not gotten them to work and the signal seems to have a big delay time but it came free extra and I’ll give them away to a laptop user and it was a nice idea and see it would be good for laptop users.

Also a nice touch and what one of my friends thought the pivot was for is watching a movie laying down either right, left or upside-down, or any work for that matter:P. The monitor only pivots from 0-90 degrees clockwise physically but the software help with the other options.

Categories: Tech Talk

An eeeasy PC?

November 4, 2008 2 comments

asus_eee_pc_narrowweb__300x3412Today I helped someone with their new mini PC so I approached it as a product test drive, here is my assessment.

As far as practical and light it was wonderful, what you right away feel is the wall, there is no desktop and task bars for people familiar with other full PCs. This is basic to the bone, not only that but most (if not all) of the options are Internet driven, so no Internet, no use. I would have thought there at least would be some kind of writing editor on there so you can write notes on a bus or train where there is no signal, there was only google docs, and like all google products you need Internet connectivity.

I like the keyboard, it was small but still usable even with my large hands, not sure how it would be after writing long emails and blog posts but it is primarily a web tool, but even that was impaired with the lack of screen you actually get or fitting the page size to the browser so you do not need to scroll both horizontally and vertically, it’s just to much. which brings me to another point, there is no right and left clicks on the mouse touch pad making things a bit frustrating.

I’m guessing these are just web toys, they do not have CD or DVD ROMs in them only USB and Ethernet access so you need to bring pics, movies or songs to it with a USB flash drive or some other media like external HDD, I did not try sound or graphic capabilities on this one.

Really this should not be billed as a “mini PC” but a web tablet in folding PC style. really if you have 300 dollars get your self a handheld an portable keyboard for it as overall those have more functions at least at this time. This kind of thing is still in infancy and i really have doubts it will even be a viable option for long as full size computers keep dropping in price and people know the difference from a PC that can do as much as long as a desktop and one that only looks like one.

I’d see the use of this in my photography to view back pics as it is bigger then my LCD screen on my camera and maybe to check mail on the go and web surf but really I;d send that money on any number of things before this.

asus_eee_2As for a “affordable PC for the worlds poor”, I’d say, we can do better then this, really, it might be great for a poor school provided they have Internet for the web, mail, wikipedia, and google docs, messenger, world clock(?) and Skype, but it will just get them frustrated for the above mentioned reasons, and for those reasons also it is not as great a gift for your older child that you might think it could be.

I just spent an hour trying to help a middle aged woman how to turn it on and get on a network and google search and it is a painful bunch of steps compared to my old XP computer I’m writing this from. Developing schools just need an equivalent to MicroSoft’s Notpad/Wordpad (with a spell check) a Calculator, and Paint to do school and be creative, they don’t need Internet driven content as these big international companies seem to think. as for the rest of us it just fills another small gap in our consumer imagination for something new and different, something more we might wish we could have that we do not really need or serve us much lasting purpose.

stitch this

September 22, 2007 2 comments

Have you ever envied magazine photography and be so bugged that they have such full pics and the money for all the fancy lenses? I have but here is a cool (and free) program I found that helps you do just that provided you know a thing or two and have the patience.

These are a few pictures that this Autostitch program stitched up for me

6 pictures (1×6)

This was 6 pictures (1×6) that I took freehand a few years ago but was never able to make it look right, the program too did not read the last two on the right so I had to do them myself in PS.

This one (1×3) was a test as I maxed out the zoom on a small camera of the sea a few kilometers below our house as there were exceptionally a lot boats in the water that morning and I thought it would be a good subject and test to see if it could match all the boats in the right order etc.

Another one from past attempts that I’d never been able to match just using PS as the skies in all the pics were different hues, this program matched them spot on.

I got a bit tired of long skinny pics so this big baby is actually 12 pics (2×6) that I snapped while picking up some folks at the beach yesterday, you just can’t get content like that with one frame, I don’t have a boat and lenses, call it a fake if you want but it is a real place and I have the real pics, let me know what you readers think about this. I know it is funner to get big great pictures all in one shot and I won’t stop that but I thought this might be fun for some others to play with too.

Categories: Photos, Tech Talk Tags: , , ,

Grab and Gather the Internet

June 14, 2007 1 comment

This is a demo of how to use a program called Yoono, I’ve had it as an extra on my Mozila browser for awhile but just found this demo and gave it a try with this link, works well and I’ll try grabbing things from other places too and let you know more.

Categories: Tech Talk

No Vista, no problem!

January 27, 2007 Leave a comment

The other day I ran into this article and thought, heck why not try out some of these gadgets. I spend 2-5 hours a day at times in-front of a computer doing web and layout for this work and some for fun and looking at XP can get really boring.

I am running one of the oldest computers in the world so I think it makes a good test case that if they work on my little computer that could (that people say should not be able to run XP in the first place) it can work anywhere.


I just went for the visual changes as the security and browsers are really nothing different if you are already a using third-party anti-virus, Mozilla, and Goggle Desktop etc. The presentations are nice though they can take a bit of space, I went for the Vista one and unchecked most of the options when installing as I do not have much free space.

I just went for the minimum presentation changes not outlook, media player .10 or anything real big (these changes only 118 MB, the size of a few digital photos). It only took about 20 minutes including restarting and walla! It took a few times opening the browsers to implement all the changes for some reason. I did find it does not always load my favorites on Mozilla for some reason, so be warned, also with the cool transparent bar on the top that eliminates having to have ugly yellow folder shortcuts all over your desktop, it would be nice to be able to load the folders there that I use the most and not just the genaric “My Music, Docs, Videos” etc as I do not use those as much as others, I’ll let you know if I find out how.

When you are saving things to the desktop it puts the images behind them that I can’t seem to get dis-lodged, I’m sure there is a trick to minimise that bar or not let images go up to high, Ijust need more time with it, some tweaking and patience is needed.

Overall a welcome change if you can deal with some minor inconveniences and changin your rut, as always there is just the option to just say ‘astela vista baby’ to your Vista look-a-like and un-install it or set back your comp with no problems.

Categories: Tech Talk

Face to Face with Celebrities

January 17, 2007 1 comment


I tried this thing on this site that tells you who you look like so I tried a picture and found that I look like a bunch of interesting people, Bobby Charlton came in the highest at 75%, that’s cool, no Brad Pitt or George Clooney but there is The Rock at 61%, Robert Louis Stevenson and two former Israeli PM’s (Netanyaho and Sharon, not pictured) and two beautiful ladies that I’m sure are very glad they look nothing like me, Charize Theron and Maria Sharapova. All in all it makes an interesting study of actors, writers, sports and statesmen. If only I can look as distinguished as that old guy, Bertrand Russell with a big puff of white cloud on my head when I’m that old I’ll be satisfied.


I did it again just to see if I could score at least one “sexiest man alive”, still no luck but I did get the former James Bond Timothy Dalton, as well as David Beckham, that’s not too shabby. An interesting trip-off but hardly accurate sad to say, other notables were Jeb Bush, Gregory Peck and Brook Shields.

If only girls saw in me what computers do :P.

Just out of interest and research I found a pic of Brad Pitt and uploaded it to see who he looked like and yes, he most looked like himself, Mel Gibson and a bunch of other ‘hot  guys’. I wasn’t on that list either :(.

This gadget site can be found here.

Categories: Laugh out Loud, Tech Talk

100 dollar laptops

April 8, 2006 Leave a comment

a sample courtesy of

 As a volunteer working in developing countries I’m always inspired when someone from secular life stands up in his/her way to address some of the worlds needs especially in developing or impoverished nations. I’m not talking about the rich chumps who sit around in Davos every year or even the rock singer Bono’s red tag fad for rich people to give a part of their purchase of designer items. It’s all nice and good but really kind of out of touch with the little guys they claim to be serving.
I started hearing about “the green machine” a few weeks ago that is a wind up laptop for rural areas and especially Africa. This article states some changes and some backlash it is currently facing not surprisingly from Microsoft and Intel, it will run Linux and is being built by a visionary professor (Nicholas Negroponte) at MIT and will be made available for as little as $100 or less.
OK it does not stop world hunger or eradicate AIDS but in places that are so remote or communities that are isolated even the smallest form of education is greatly needed if these things do get off the ground and get to those that need them they can really do some good.

For example the place I went to yesterday only half an hour from “civilization” near to where we stay that has high-speed internet connections, brand name designer boutiques, a cinema that plays the latest Hollywood blockbusters and hundreds of new BMW owners but once you go to the villages and rural areas they really have nothing but the basics. Often education is minimal and many barely get through high school and saddest of all is the lack of ability and desire to do something with it. All that to say is that I’m glad this country has shown and interest and though it won’t be on the first line of countries getting them but I’m encouraged that the government has shown interest is in the second faze. I think it will be one thing our local NGO here could endorse and do some ground level awareness for with educators and the public to bridge this educational divide. 

Official site about it and other info site

Categories: Tech Talk