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CRT has some life left in it yetWednesday 27th October 2010
Every now and then I toy with the idea of joining the 21st Century and getting a new-fangled TFT monitor for my desktop but keep finding reasons why not to. I currently have a 19" flat-screen Mitsubishi Diamondtron CRT monitor - seemingly one of the best monitors ever to be produced. I don't like downgrading just for the joy of getting something newer (say like selling a MK5 Golf for a MK6, that would be silly).

I also don't have an unlimited budget which restricts the contenders. So what are my requirements? Games, shooters specifically. Second to that, probably photo editing. Something that my CRT can handle quite happily with no side-effects but are at complete polars for what TFTs can handle - it's one or the other folks. It seems my requirements are:

  • >= 96% Adobe RGB colour gamut

  • Capable of displaying a 75Hz rapidly changing image without ghosting

  • Does not suffer from inverse-ghosting from overdrive on the crystals

  • No input lag

The colour gamut is handled by professional screens using IPS based panels although these suffer from a slow response time so fail on point two. TN panels are best for point two but suck at point one.

No TFTs are especially quick to respond to updates with TN being the better but even these have had "tweaks" made to them to try and make this acceptable. Instead what we see is inverse ghosting from over-drive (where the crystals are pushed extra hard to make them move quick - resulting them in over-shooting their destination). And all this pre-processing to make the displays update neatly takes time which leads to a delay in the picture getting there at all. One of the "best" Dell screens take 70ms to update the screen. That's over double my ping! A sure fire way to lose a computer game.

I'm hearing good things about OLED, but considering a 15" OLED TV is still 2,000 I don't think this will be viable for quite some time.

Guess I'll be sticking with my desk hog then.

Infected PCsThursday 7th October 2010
A Microsoft blogger has been flamed for suggesting that something is done about infected PCs on the Internet.

The point he makes is a valid one. We're all at risk because people are unable to protect their computers from malicious infection. Botnets are powerful because they use innocent bystanders as hosts.

But on the other hand, most IT professionals want undiluted access to the Internet.

I have suggested for a long time the idea of an Internet driving license (much like the BCS' EDCL). If you can prove the basics for keeping your computer secure online (e.g. difference between incoming and outgoing connections, firewalls, virus types and behaviour, how to identify and clean malware) then you get your license to use the Internet unassisted.

For the casual users who do not need the raw Internet there connections are managed by their ISP. This could include measures such as blocking incoming connections, restricting certain service to their own servers (e.g. SMTP); and yes, suspending (or maybe locking down their connection to only via a HTTP proxy) if their system is showing signs of being breached.

With such a model you can also give a certain amount of liability along the tiers. ISPs are licensed, if their network is a source of nastiness then they are slapped on the wrist. If in-turn that the ISP recognises that the nastiness is from a License holding user, they are slapped on the wrist.

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