2012 — 29 May: Tuesday

I've suddenly realised it's somewhat past midnight.1

For the later part...

... of yesterday evening's entertainment, I chose a play originally broadcast on the BBC World Service. It (deservedly) went on to win the 2001 Sony Award for Best Radio Drama:


Here's just one of the sparky exchanges between the Inquisitor and the Heretic:

Alpha: Human consciousness, as I have observed it, is a process of justifying
       actions which would have taken place anyway. Of pretending that there is a
       "someone" in charge of the machine. You and I are not so very different really.
Father Marquez: What about self-awareness? You said that was an advantage. When
       I decide to act in a certain way...
Alpha: Your neurology is playing games with Time to make a useful tool. You see
       a face across the room. Attractive. You go and talk to its owner. You think you
       made a conscious choice. No. Areas of the deep brain prompted certain actions
       because it saw that particular female mammal as potentially good mating material.
Father Marquez: I am a priest.
Alpha: You are a sperm delivery system, Father. No more. That you do not fulfil
       your function is neither here nor there in the scheme of things. There are lots
       of you out there... so... someone will.
Father Marquez: I simply can't...
Alpha: After the machine crosses the room, self-awareness produces the thought — "I
       wish to cross the room to speak to that charming and intelligent young woman." The
       brain takes that thought and swaps it round so it appears to have arisen before the
       action. It's just a trick of Time, that's all.
Father Marquez: Consciousness is a trick with Time?
Alpha: It does make things complicated...

And on that note... g'night.

Having sipped...

... at my usual web watering info holes this morning, I think I'm better off being (staying?) a recluse. I think I may need a trip to the seaside. Where's my bucket?

The DisplayPort-to-hdmi adapter has just been delivered, but I shall now have to wait until young Len has finished with my 10m hdmi lead before I can experiment further. No matter. It's 10:36, pleasantly warm, and I'm far too busy to be fiddling with my plasma screen.

Idly watching...

... the progress of my gently-grilling sausages and the bricklayer visible from upstairs as another house on my little estate2 gets its garage turned into an extra living room, I can't help wondering how much tidier it would look if people would only keep their cars in their garages. All this pondering, by the way, to the track "I keep singing that same old song" by Heavy Jelly — those were the days!

Back from inspecting Len's initial system setup, and re-united with that 10m hdmi lead. But I'm still not quite in the mood for upheaving things around here. It's 16:06 and getting slightly cloudy out there. Remains pleasantly warm, however.


Although the Radeon's "Catalyst Control Center" (sic) seems capable of handling all three displays, whenever I connect the Kuro plasma it overwhelms the other two, gets itself assigned as my main desktop, blanks all video signals3 to the two 24" screens on my physical desk, and generally throws itself around like a bullying thug. That said, I can play back hi-def video on the Kuro from BlackBeast with perfect sound and picture, albeit in a slightly underscanned picture. But it's surprisingly tricky trying to 'mouse' your way around a 60" screen at the other end of the room to control things. Besides, I have three screens; I'd like to be able to use all three at the same time, dammit. Not to mention all the pixels on each screen.

By squinting pretty hard, I can see that the Kuro currently reports itself as a DVDO Edge device (since I've plugged the hdmi cable from BlackBeast into my scaler, that at least makes sense). Mayhaps I'll do better plugging the cable directly into the Kuro, though that would mean losing any ability to tweak video settings via my scaler. Why is nothing simple?

[Pause, for a bite to eat]

Len very kindly did a spot of research for me. It turns out I'm stumbling over a "no more than 2 legacy monitors" rule that I had no inkling of:


I guess higher resolutions than "Full HD" are heading towards us so quickly that even the relative newcomer (hdmi) is already obsolescent. So, to drive the 60" Kuro at the same time as my pair of 24" 1920x1200 displays I now need to acquire at least one "active" DisplayPort adapter/dongle. Is there no end to this madness? [Pause] Just ordered one. Fingers crossed.

Anyone want a slightly-used DisplayPort-to-hdmi adapter? One careful owner for less than one day :-)



1  Oops.
2  As the longest-established resident (early July 1981) I feel somehow proprietorial.
3  Even simply connecting BlackBeast to the scaler with a different input selected on the scaler immediately blanks my two desktop screens. If this is good programming, and smooth convergence of TV and PC, then I call upon the Flying Spaghetti Monster to come to my aid.