About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

02 March 2013

Cables matter ...

My Samsung T240 LCD monitor died a couple of weeks ago - not sure why; but it just did. They just don't seem to make it like they used to - my 10 year old Gigabyte LCD still works fine! South Africa doesn't have a lot of choices on LCD monitors - especially in the high resolution space. After all, I saw large 27" monitors with just a 1920x108 resolution. 

After going through a number of manufacturer websites, I established that only Dell seemed to sell high resolution (ie bigger than 1920x1080) monitors; but their 24" models in South Africa are 3 years old, but their 27" monitors are LED and a bit pricey. I eventually decided on the 27" U2713HM, which only took a day to arrive instead of the advertised 2 - 3 weeks!

Connecting up the monitor with my old Samsung DVI-D cable however, I did not get the full resolution - any resolution over 1920x1080 was just snowed out - very disconcerting after spending so much for a high resolution monitor. It was not the graphics card, as the VGA cable could output a higher resolution (though not the maximum); and the graphics card advertised full resolution. So I changed over to the identical looking Dell cable, and it worked - crystal clear picture at the highest resolution of 2560x1440! 

I had always been suspicious of the claims that some cables - especially AV cables - are better than others. It seems that, at least for DVI-D cables, there is something different!

28 February 2013

JPO's 1st 2013 Season 1st Concert

The JPO is still under business rescue proceedings, and the documents released do not paint a rosy picture. That said, the JPO has managed to put together a smaller symphony season, with a smaller orchestra through the sponsorship of Anglo-American and Hollard. The Anglo-American sponsorship will not be sustained, and this, coupled with its big debt burden, puts further strain on the future of the orchestra itself. 

This concert season has a lot of Beethoven, in support of the orchestra's Beethoven 9 Symphonies CD collection. The concert started off with Mozart's Cosi fan tutte Overture, which was quite an energetic start to proceedings. UCT Professor, Francois du Toit, was the soloist performing Piano Concerto No.3, whose 3rd and last movement is quite popular. Personally, I liked the first movement more while the second movement is quite somber. Beethoven's  Symphony No.6(Pastorale) rounded off the evening; and was played expertly by the orchestra.

The JPO is a great orchestra, but ultimately orchestral music is an expensive endeavor to stage. Ultimately, for the JPO to survive, it needs a near full house, every week. I am not sure the JPO itself has explored what that means - from different times, to different music, to different venues. It's one of the fundamentals of business that having a great product is not enough - there needs to be a willing market to consume the product. Sadly, at this point in time, the JPO has a good product; but I am not sure there is a market.

25 February 2013

Movie: Silver Linings Playbook

I am not a fan of "Romantic Comedies" - don't like the predictable story, find them mostly annoying and usually don't like the slapstick humour either. Luckily M doesn't like them much either - so much so, that I had to suggest that we watch Silver Linings Playbook (largely because of the high number of Oscar and other award nominations).

The movie retained the predictable storyline; but did find the acting to be superb - and thoroughly deserving of the award nominations (and the wins in this case). That said, I am not sure why it also garners praise for "best movie" when compared to the other movies nominated (which I have seen). While the acting is great; I didn't find that it had a lot going for it TBH. It wasn't a movie that was highly entertaining (e.g. Django Unchained) or impressive visually (e.g. Life of Pi) and unlike Beasts of the Southern Wild, it didn't make me go "wow". It's not really a movie that I would want to watch again.