monoprice.com vs Dell OEM DVI cable--the thick vs the thin

The latest rearrangement of my desk has had one goal: to get my CPU tower FAR away from me, so the noise does not drive me crazy. Doing this, however, has left my 6-foot DVI cables a little short.

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I did not feel like paying a lot, and after hearing good reviews, I went and bought a few monoprice.com’s 10 ft premium 24-AWG DVI cables.

These things are thick. As you can see in the photo, at least three times thicker than a Dell OEM cable. The picture is not really to scale, and because the monoprice.com cable was new and so thick, I could not get it to lie flat.

Seriously, if you could strangle someone with the Dell DVI cable, you could just use the weight and stiffness of the monoprice.com cable to beat someone to death.

I’m not sure if I can draw much from this, though: the new cables are what are known as “dual-link” DVI cables, and the old ones were “single-link.” Dual link cables essentially have twice the number of wires, and are used to provide a digital signal to high-resolution displays such as the Dell 3007FPW and the 30” Apple Cinema Display. Also, for all their thickness, the picture does not really look any different.

But they work, and they were pretty cheap. I’m glad I didn’t go down to CompUSA or Best Buy and end up paying too much…

I bought two cables, and am using them to hook up my dual Dell 2405FPW displays to my machine. They work great so far.

Google sues Microsoft over default search engine in Internet Explorer 7

Google sues Microsoft. Google claims that Microsoft is a monopoly, and by setting the default search engine in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 to Microsoft-owned MSN Search, they are abusing their power as a monopoly.

I do not see Google making a good case here… MSN Search is a Microsoft product, as is Internet Explorer 7 and Windows. Microsoft has the right to promote its own products, and so far there is no evidence that Microsoft prevents or impairs use of Google or any other search engine.

Microsoft does not appear to care that Google is the default search engine for America Online’s client software, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Konqueror, and Safari. It can be difficult to add MSN Search to these browsers as well: in Firefox, it took as many as 6-clicks and skimming through several pages to add MSN Search (it is now down to 2 clicks, with more simple pages).

Before you compare this to the Netscape versus Microsoft antitrust lawsuit back in the 1990s, understand it is a bit different. The case did not get traction till the issue of Internet Explorer using secret Windows APIs came up. Microsoft could use these secret APIs to make its browser faster; since they were secret no other 3rd party would be able to use them. It gives the Microsoft product a distinct, unfair advantage: it’s an abuse of power as a monopoly.

So far, there is no evidence of Microsoft doing anything like this in Google’s lawsuit.

I think it’s pretty clear Microsoft and Google are at war. And because everyone and their grandmother uses Windows, Microsoft will win. Of course, this will change if Google decides to introduce their own operating system, and can market it well enough so that a significant amount of people switch to it. Things are going to get interesting…

Gentium, my new Times New Roman replacement

Gentium, called the “typeface for the nations,” is a nice serif font. It does not look particularly great on-screen, but on paper, it is absolutely beautiful.

The Gentium samples page includes some pictures, as well as a a PDF containing a history of Gentium. Again, they don’t do the font justice on-screen: print the PDF and just stare at how beautiful it is.

One of it’s nice properties is that it’s approximately the same size as Times New Roman, point for point. That is, a document typeset in Times New Roman and one typeset in Gentium will be the same length when printed. Because of this, Gentium is a great alternative to Times New Roman, because even with similar sizing, Gentium’s glyphs appear bigger, and are much easier to read.

Did I mention it is Unicode? No, it doesn’t have the entire Unicode character set… but no doubt it one day will.

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Chernobyl's 20th anniversary

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It’s been 20 years since Chernobyl.

…And I almost forgot it. I was watching CNN for a few hours this afternoon, I don’t remember it being mentioned, though it is on CNN’s website. I don’t remember hearing about it on NPR, though my friend Kristen says they mentioned it. Can we have a hurrah for the American media?

For those who don’t remember, Chernobyl was (or rather, is) the worst nuclear disaster in the short history of mankind. Contrary to popular belief, it was not a nuclear explosion, which are impossible with nuclear reactors. Chernobyl released massive amounts of dangerous, unnatural, and exotic radioactive material into the environment, much of which was airborne and spread across the entire earth.

I’ve written a summary on Chernobyl, keeping it layman but hopefully with much more detail than what you’d find in a newspaper.

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