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Displaying dynamic rangeFriday 6th November 2015
I sometimes think, wow, those clouds look spectacular and snap a shot. When I look back at them on my computer I'm entirely unimpressed. I've always put this down to not having a good enough camera, but I've come to realise, it's more about not having a good enough display medium.

First off, monitors are back-lit. They can put out a maximum brightness, which currently is vastly far off from the beams of sunlight that pour through clouds - so you're never going to get that oomph - so that rules out specular clouds as it's all just about stunning brightness.

Secondly, there is contrast-ratio; the difference between the brightest and darkest object in the screen. This becomes an issue when there's a stunning sunset and the like. I have an IPS monitor, which is supposed to be better for photos, but they're still limited to a pathetic 1000:1 static contrast ratio. Ignore that dynamic contrast ratio mumbo-jumbo, that is of no use when viewing pictures (which are, static).

What does 1000:1 mean in terms of photographs? A standard digital camera can capture about 12 EV of range, this equates to a contrast ratio of 4096:1. Way more than an IPS panel can do, but within the realm of AMVA panels that are sometimes used in top-of-the-range TVs. But some of the more pro cameras are capturing 14EV of range, giving a static contrast ratio of 16,384:1 - even a plasma screen can't show that sort of range.

And then we've got HDR photos - we have to use tone-mapping to bring the ranges down to something that is visible at once. My entry-level camera allows me to bracket 3 stops either side - or assuming I can do 12EV normally, an extended range of 18EV, or 262,144:1 contrast ratio.

The long and short of it is that most standard computer monitors can never really display what your photo has captured - even before we get to the topic of colour-depth. As a minimum, I think my next monitor should be a AMVA panel as a starting point.

It goes without saying that printed photos are even worse. Paper can only really give you about 7EV of range 128:1.



IIS6 32-bit mode ASP.Net configurationMonday 2nd November 2015
This shouldn't be something that is needed given how insanely out-of-date IIS6 is, but some firms are still stuck on old platforms.

IIS6 on 64-bit windows can be set to either run natively or forced to 32-bit mode. This is done at the server level, and not the application pool as with more recent versions of IIS. This is a pain.

The ASP.Net tab, used for configuring the version of the .Net framework you wish to use with an application, will only work in 64-bit mode. So if you're running in 32-bit mode, you cannot select the version. This is a pain.

You can though, work around this with the command line. This scenario covers setting a single web-app to use .NET 4.0, and we assume that .NET 2.0 is already installed and working on IIS (in 32-bit mode).

1. Put your app in its own app pool (they cannot run different versions of .NET simultaneously)
2. Open a command prompt in C:\WINDOWS\Frameworkv\4.0.30319 (or relevant version)
3. Register IIS: aspnet_regiis -i
4. Script map your specific web-app: aspnet_regiis -s W3SVC/1/ROOT/[pathtomyapp]/ (replacing [pathtomyapp] with the path to your app - if you don't run on the default site, you'll also have to change the "1" to match your Site ID).
5. Load IIS manager and navigate to 'Web Service Extensions'
6. Ensure "ASP.NET v4.0.30319 (32-bit)" is allowed (or the version you're interested in)
7. iisreset for good measure


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