Happy Birthday to Me!


I turned 40 a couple of weeks ago. Yee−haw!

For whatever reason, here's a random number of things on my mind.

First off, for my birthday I bought myself 3 LCD monitors. Two 19 inches and one 24 inch from Dell. My TV is also connected for a 4th monitor although I pretty much only use it for video playback.

After using 2 LCD monitors at work for the last 2 years I found that it's frustrating to work with just one at home. Typically at work one monitor will have reference material and the other code. If I only have one monitor then I have to switch back and forth, look at the reference material, memorize a little, flip back to code etc. LCD monitors have gotten pretty cheap. Costco is selling a 19 inch BenQ monitor for like $280! Also I've been wanting an LCD monitor for years now thinking that a CRT monitor puts out radiation and an LCD does not. Of course it's not supposed to be an issue but then I use my computer more than most so it seemed like a good idea. Finally, LCD monitors are never blurry were as CRTs can be blurry (well, assuming you have a digital connection).

Anyway, I was at first thinking of just getting those cheap BenQs but after looking and asking around I decided since I use these things every day and since I had my last monitor for 8+ years it seemed like it would be better to pay a little more and get something I'll be happy with for longer. All 3 LCD monitors combine were cheaper than my one 21inch CRT from 8 years ago.

If you are not using 2 monitors for your work I suggest you try it out. You'll never go back.

I did have one problem though. My 24 inch monitor has these garbage streaks from time to time. Basically, with certain arrangements of windows on the screen I get streaks of digital garbage. Here's an example

Move the window 200 pixels left or right and the streaks go away. Put another window to the left of the window with the problems and the streaks go away. The streaks also appear or go through a 6hz cycle. They aren't constant, they flicker about 6 times a second. So far my impression is it's my graphics card. Basically it seems like when the fan comes on I start to get the garbage. I'll have to try to borrow a card from someone and see if it goes away.

Otherwise I have a ton of projects I want to work on and so far I'm not getting far on any of them. I want to right (or find) the perfect BBS system. It would be modular with plugins so you don't have to hack the code to add stuff. It would support email tracking of new messages. It would support email participation in threads (no need to go to the board to reply). It would also support multiple hand drawn images per post (for illustrating things). I don't know if I'll ever get around to hacking one together but it would be pretty cool. I wonder what the interface for illustrations would be. Not so much the drawing itself but requesting a new draw area and placing it in your post sounds like something not real easy to do intuitively on a webpage.

I also want to make a game engine. Well, actually I don't *want* to make it. I want it to exist and so far it doesn't. All the free ones out there are total crap. None of them are close to console ready and none of them have good tools. There are some good commercial ones but I can't use those without $400k to $1 million so those are out as well. So, that's something I'd like to work on.

I suppose I could break that down more as there are 2 or 3 game tools I'd like to write which would end up being part of that engine.

I'd like to make a game with that engine. No idea what it would be, maybe just a bunch of smaller "hobby" games for now.

I'd like to write my own blog system. So far I'm not really happy with the ones out there. Maybe I just don't know how to use them well but they don't feel all that flexible to me. I can't see myself carrying it through all the way though to a nice UI etc.

There's a website a friend and I want to make. I can't say what it is but I can say it would require several weeks of programming so it's not just as easy as putting up a blog.

I want to update this site. I have 5 or 6 articles I've been meaning to post, some for more than 2 years, but either I need more pictures or more info so I've been putting them off. I also have or had several Tokyo restaurants to add but now I go back and find the pictures and it's been so long since I went I can't remember any details. Doh!

And here's a really hard one. I'd like to find a girlfriend that would participate in some of this stuff rather than detract from it 😛

Okay, I guess that's my birthday wish list. To actually have the motivation to make those happen 😊

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