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Raging Pencils Comic
The Hubble Deep Field Love Machine.

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start rant


'm a commercial artist so color is always important to me. With paints, physical pigments, no problem. With computers, virtual pigments, big problems.

Since the light shines from behind the art on a monitor it artificially increases the brightness of the colors, so I had to learn to interpret what the monitor showed me and what eventually ended up on paper.

For computer artwork, Sony Trinitrons are primo. They're not actually the best solution but high-end color monitors are ludicrously pricey.

So for the past five years it's been me and a pair of 19" Sonys happily cranking out art on a regular basis. And then, one day, I noticed the left monitor looking a little green, and then the scan began going awry.


So I go to eBay and purchase a low-mileage 23" Cinema HD Display, possibly the most beautiful monitor on Cthuhlu's green Earth. At 1900 X 1200 pixels I now have room to ramble. My desk is now less cluttered and the LCD throws off but a fraction of the heat the CRT's did. The cats have discovered the desk top and have laid delirious claim to the excess space. Life is good.


Everything on the new screen is deliciously vivid but it's all suspiciously small. So I whip out Illustrator and draw a 4" square box. Then I whip out a ruler and place it against the screen.

Three inches. Ugh.

Okay, I don't know about you, and maybe I'm just weird, but when I draw a 4" box it needs to look 4". Some quick calculations revealed I need to switch to the odd resolution of 1344 X 840, which I did. There's not quite as much breathing space as before but who cares?

As a web designer I've been aware of this resolution problem for years, especially when clients ask me why their new web site looks so small, only to discover they're using a 17" laptop set to 21" resolution. Yes, it looks really bitchin' that way but they've essentially been peering at the 'net through the wrong end of a telescope.

If you're curious about how far off your monitor might be, place a ruler against this 292-pixel (4 inches) square box and see what you get.

4" box

FYI: I get 4 1/8" but that's close enough.


end rant

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Raging Pencils is an astronomical conceit of:

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Today's Google Chow.

Fred and Darla sitting on a bench before a huge harvest moon.

Fred: You know, Darla, years ago they trained the Hubble Telescope on a narrow sliver of essentially empty space for a long period of time, and you know what they found? Over 3000 previously unknown galaxies. It was... magic. In a way I was like the Hubble in that I, too, was on a search, though my scope was restricted to a thin band of personal experience. And yet one day, like magic, you resolved before me, emerging out of the relative darkness like.. like....

Darla: Like three trillion galactic artifacts over twelve billion years old?

Fred: Well,, that is... uh, I mean...

Darla: Oh, hush. I like you, anyway.