Endless Blue

This should be subtitled ‘Computer Artists Beware’. I’m going to have to set up a separate blog category for graphics.

I discovered some fantasy desktop pictures by Ryan Bliss at Digital Blasphemy. Most are not free (what a fantastic way to earn a living!) but he has a gallery of free wallpapers which had me happily downloading. My favourite is Endless Blue.

Ryan says there will be a Halloween picture or two dropping into the free gallery in time, and the pictures will regularly change, so if you like them, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Gazebo 2003, Archipelago and Coalescence are all better than they appear in the thumbnails, despite the fact that Gazebo 2003 is at the bottom of the ‘download’ list and something called Orthohedron (which I didn’t like) is in the top five (now the top two).

I also (thanks to Timothy at Timmargh.net) stumbled across a site called Moodflow. My absolute favourite (of all my collected wallpapers so far) is Walking with Orion. Another one I love is Paradise Cove, but it’s not alone in the beauty parade.

There appear to be a lot of dreamers in the human race. Any time I’m going through an ‘everybody’s a rat’ spell, I will have these fantasy wallpapers to remind me otherwise.

One good thing about all this, displaying the same wallpapers on both computers, was that I finally focused on a big difference between the PC and iMac monitors. The PC’s monitor was dimmer and bluer – seemed to show less of a range of colours. Makes me wonder how any of my Paintshop Pro graphics ever worked out! Certainly explains why some look good on the PC and terrible on the Mac. I remember one in particular that shaded nicely into black (I thought) and then I got it on the Mac and you could see the stark edges. That was very disappointing. Next time you see graphics and photos that are absolutely horrible, consider that the owner’s monitor might be on the blip, or set wrong.

Meanwhile, my PC’s display had ‘drifted’ so that there was an annoying black strip down one side. Dug out the monitor manual, which was satisfyingly fat because it was published in a thousand different languages. ‘See Section 4’ it says, and ‘section 4’ turns out to PART 4 in Italiano. The English section 4 is on page 17, still within Part 1. Having worked that out, I centred the display. Wasn’t allowed to change colours or colour temperature – something to do with the sRGB mode. I’m lost – will have to consult Internet later. Currently the PC is in a state of Endless Blue.

At any rate, I was able to raise the brightness. Is there a normal level of brightness? Mine was set at 40%, and it was a little like swimming through the depths of a lagoon. I raised it to 50%, and now the violet star in Space Dust by Anders Fernström looks fractionally more violet and less blue. In future most of my wobbly graphics will be done on my Mac.

I’m trying to think of something non-wallpapery to discuss, but my mind has gone blank. Remove the wallpaper and the colour vanishes. ‘Solid Aqua Graphite.png’, perhaps. That’s Apple for endless grey.

Edit Feb 2008: A comment to this entry when it was hosted on Blogigo:

Pacian wrote at Oct 28, 2006 at 10:27:
Sorry this took so long, but I have these links on my other computer, and this is the first time they’ve both been on since I read this. When my old monitor drifted, I used these sites to try and get it back to normal:

http://displaycalibration.com/
http://w4zt.com/screen/

My current monitors show everything just nicely, so I can’t be bothered to calibrate them properly according to these things, but you can waste a lot of time fine-tuning on these two sites.

(It took me about a week to realise that my old monitor wasn’t remembering the settings when it was turned off for any length of time, so they turned out to be useless for me.)

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