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by David Crowson at 13:06 06/08/04 (Blogs::Dave)
Now I wish I had a Mac
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Damn David Crowson - 13:06 06/08/04
Re: Damn Bruce Ure - 13:59 06/08/04

Go on, what you waiting for?

I've decided to hold off for a G5 powerbook in the hope the resolution will be higher than the max G4 ones.

Re: Damn Simon - 14:47 06/08/04
resolution will be higher

Remind me to show you Exposé when you're over here.

"And to all the other lifeforms out there, the secret is to put your desktop windows *behind* one another, guys."

Re: Damn Bruce Ure - 15:18 06/08/04

I saw Exposť when me and Steve went for a techno-wank at the Apple store off Oxford Circus. Very, very nice. I'd love another look, just to keep the juices flowing, like.

However, it doesn't address the problem of absolute resolution. I've been working almost 100% of my (personal) computer time for the last year or more on a 15" laptop at 1400x1050. If I get the 17" Powerbook, despite going up 2 inches in screen diameter, I'm actually going /down/ in resolution, to 1440x900, and that's hard to swallow, especially as I'm fighting the logic demons over buying a Mac anyway*.

JonnyT recently bought a stupidly-specced Tosh that runs at 1600x1200, for something like 800 quid (refurbished AIUI, but still). If they can do that, Apple can do better as well. I just hope they're listening to me.

* Mac is still winning the inner duel, but every time I've almost bought one in the past, I've been seduced at the last minute by "loads more power at half the price" syndrome. Yes I know all the positive stuff, that's why this time I'm determined to stick to my guns, and not least because if so many people I know and respect (I mean technically - I can't stand you as friends) are using them and getting so much out of them, then I genuinely believe that I would also. I've been giving this a lot of thought (can you tell?) and I realise that one buys into a "way of computing" when one buys a Mac and I'm happy to think about that being where the extra money goes - like buying a BMW when a Renault Laguna will get you there just as well. It's a style thing. An experience. A way of working.

Re: Damn Simon - 16:27 06/08/04
1600 x 1200 is surely far too high to be comfortable to look at for long periods on a smallish screen isn't it?

Big things, found quickly, works for me - I thought I'd hate the larger icons on OS X (eating up screen real estate), but not so.

Each to his own, I suppose.

Re: Damn Bruce Ure - 16:59 06/08/04
Firstly, I seem to have better eyesight than many folk at work, who squint at my screen and marvel at how i can read it at all.

But also, high res doesn't necessarily mean small type. At least, it sort-of-doesn't. It seems to be all about PPI. XP allows you to change your PPI so you can change system font sizes and toolbar heights etc, so that with a very high res screen you can end up with normal size text but writ very smooth. (XP's implementation is a halfway house to full vector screen rendering I think, which Longhorn is purported to have, although it may call it something else). With OSX I believe you're stuck with 72ppi although I heard mutterings about 100ppi as well. In fact there's a fascinating rant that explains it better than I ever could here.

Re: Damn Simon - 21:51 07/08/04
stuck with 72ppi

Ah, where 12pt text on screen is actually scaled properly, you mean?

(72 points in an inch, in traditional typography).

Re: Damn Bruce Ure - 10:47 08/08/04
I understand why it's 72 but it doesn't mean nobody should ever develop anything higher than 72.

I can't remember the last time it was important to me that 12pt text was actual size on screen.

Re: Damn Simon - 11:19 08/08/04
My point is that 12pt text should display as 1/6" high - and that can be ppi independent.

What annoys me are 96ppi screens that require you to declare 16pt text to get an effective 12pt on screen.

Web browsers are the worst offenders in this regard.

Re: Damn Bruce Ure - 11:47 08/08/04
Ah, understood.
Re: Damn Hugo van der Sanden - 17:01 06/08/04
I run at 1280x1000, but I'd love to get higher. Even with a 4x4 square of virtual windows, I just gotta pack in more xterms, and I could certainly stand to have the letters a bit smaller without squinting too much.

I think programmers need to solve very similar problems to chip designers, in that what you can fit in the local cache (ie the active bits of the brain) is limited, so you want layers of larger caches to minimise the time required to get each bit of information. The next layer is those windows physically open in front of you, the one after that is the windows just a keystroke ("click" for Windows/Mac users) away. And I guess the one after that is the shell that lets you specify and open up a file that doesn't have an edit session open yet.

The layer of "windows open in front of me" is the one with quickest access time, and the bigger I can make that the better.


Re: Damn Gordon Hundley - 21:21 06/08/04
I have to admit, the Tosh I had with the 1400x1050 display was rather good to look at. Of course, it was the display that packed in first. I think it draws too much current. It now flickers then the laptop shuts it off. Having to plug an external display in is not very useful. I got the 64bit eMachines which has a more conventional display density as a replacement. I'm sure it's doomed, but it was cheaper and lets me play with 64bit Linux and XP for a year or so before it kills itself.

I use my laptops pretty much continuously, and on my lap to boot. Every one of my Wintel laptops has died in some manner within two years. Although my TiBook is showing signs of having a DVD failure - probably the same issue as the lasers in the Playstation 2 whose output power diminishes over time, I can probably usefully extend the life by carefully cleaning it out. That's another score for Apple laptops - I also have a working 2300c, and a working Lombard G3- they tend to survive past their upgrade date.

So my argument would be that while I'd love a 200 pixel per inch display in a laptop, I'm prepared to take what Apple offers in the meantime. The premium price that you pay for Apple kit is applied to some degree to quality. There are certainly Wintel manufacturers that produce robust, well engineered kit (IBM, et al), but I'm disinclined to pay Apple money for a Windows box that is technically inferior.

Meantime, I'm considering an anglepoise support for a flat panel display, bluetooth input devices and a G5 tower as my next laptop. After all it's not like I want to actually travel with these laptops. I just want to use them in the comfort of an easy chair in the living room.