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Messages - mgriffin

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2721
Everything and Nothing / What are your plans and goals in 2008?
« on: January 08, 2008, 11:14:40 AM »
I remember that in the old Forum, someone posted an interested topic at the beginning of 2007 about "What are your plans?"

It was mostly geared toward the music-makers here on the Forum, so they could talk about their upcoming projects, but it was also an interesting discussion of people's general plans for the coming year.

Lots in store for Hypnos, which I'll fill in later, but I wanted to kick off this topic and ask:

What are you planning or hoping to do during 2008?

2722
Everything and Nothing / High definition home video
« on: January 08, 2008, 10:36:01 AM »
JKN's "buying a new TV" topic got me thinking...

HD (high definition) home video has got to be one of the greatest technological advances of my lifetime.  I never even go to the theater any more, and don't miss it, and I'm someone who used to go to 1 or 2 movies per week.  So, I'm curious what people think of HD home video and what their experiences with it are?

Do you have an HD set of some kind at home? 

Have you watched high definition video of some kind?  HD cable?  BluRay disc or HD-DVD?

Given changes in the BluRay vs. HD-DVD battle this past week, I suspect a lot of people will be taking the plunge in the next six months, but I'm curious to hear what others think.

2723
Everything and Nothing / Re: Moving the rest of the hypnos.com web site
« on: January 07, 2008, 07:54:29 PM »
Right after my announcement, the first order came through on the new Hypnos Online Store, and everything checks out OK.

2724
Everything and Nothing / Re: Moving the rest of the hypnos.com web site
« on: January 07, 2008, 07:06:20 PM »
Email has been tested for both mg (at) hypnos.com and lena (at) hypnos.com

Some of the email forwards for Hypnos artists (such as where the artist's name @hypnos.com forwards to their personal email) have not yet been configured on the new email server.  If you need to reach one of the Hypnos artists other than me or Lena, please contact them directly at their non-hypnos.com email address.  Most of them can be reached here on the Forum via PM in fact.

2725
Everything and Nothing / Moving the rest of the hypnos.com web site
« on: January 07, 2008, 05:55:46 PM »
This may be old news to those of us here on the Forum who have already migrated to the new Hypnos server, but the migration of the rest of the Hypnos site (main www.hypnos.com pages, the Hypnos Online Store, email, etc.) is happening right now.

If you need me or Lena urgently, leave a Private Message here, but our email is working and we just need to test the new email servers to make sure everything's working OK.

www.hypnos.com should now point to the new server for most of you already, and the rest of your DNS servers will update over the next 24 or so hours.

The new Hypnos Online Store address is http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc -- again some of you may have lagging DNS servers that aren't updated yet, in which case you can still shop at the old store at http://www.hypnos.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc -- we'll keep checking both stores for the next few weeks just in case.

Thanks for your patience.  This should be entirely settled very soon.

2726
Everything and Nothing / Re: New flatscreen TV recommendations?
« on: January 07, 2008, 05:21:20 PM »
Darren, you're right that plasma screens use more electricity than comparably-sized LCD screens.  You're also right that Sony is doing LCD sets and not Plasma sets, at least next year.  But as for Plasma "not going to last much longer," do you realize you're talking about a technology that is seeing massive growth, not a downturn? 

Also, OLED coming into play (which will not happen, for large-size TV screens, during 2008 or maybe even 2009) is not something that will lead to the increased acceptance of LCD over Plasma.  OLED will be a competing technology to both LCD and Plasma (you seem to imply that it's some sort of enhancement to LCD technology), so if you're proposing that OLED is a technology to wait for (just try to find an OLED television in stores, any size screen, at any price) then a person should buy neither Plasma nor LCD.   

2727
Everything and Nothing / Re: yikes - first tornado warning of the year
« on: January 07, 2008, 04:21:46 PM »
Follow the yellow brick road.

2728
Everything and Nothing / Re: New flatscreen TV recommendations?
« on: January 07, 2008, 03:30:49 PM »
Well, we sit 10' from a 120" screen so I suppose 42" wouldn't be too extravagant from 8-9' away.

I like a big screen that fills your field of view.  It's pretty common to get a new, bigger TV and at first say "Wow, it's so much bigger!" but I've never heard of anybody getting a bigger TV and a month later saying "This screen is too big, I wish we'd bought a smaller one."

Lena wants me to remove a light switch from our projection wall so I can move the projector back a little and make the screen even bigger still!

2729
Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 07, 2008, 03:22:49 PM »
Last night while running & walking on the treadmill, I watched the classic war film Sink the Bismarck!

I should point out that the exclamation point is part of the film title, and I'm not trying to exaggerate my excitement at having seen this film...  ;)

Actually it was a good, solid, well-dramatized telling of the story of the British navy's all-out effort to stop the Nazi battleship, the Bismarck.  I don't know how many times I've seen a war film that didn't have any Americans in it, and it was kind of nice to be free of that "Rah, rah, our guys against the other guys" aspect and just enjoy the story.  As well, this was a British production and the approach to war storytelling was less macho, blustering, heroic and chest-puffing than I'm accustomed to... in a good way.

The film did fall into some stereotypes with the Nazi commanders, being a bit unrealistically harsh and inhuman to the rank and file Nazi seamen, but I suppose that's forgivable considering how fresh all the wounds were at the time this was made.  Anyway, I enjoyed this film quite a bit, and this reaffirmed my belief that the best war films are the ones that give up on trying to portray the sweeping events of years, and focus instead on a single battle or engagement over the course of one day or maybe a week.  And it's really amazing that considering how much the Bismarck has been talked-about over the years, the ship only sailed at sea for a week before it was destroyed (sorry if that's giving away the ending, but hey, it's history).


2730
Everything and Nothing / Re: New flatscreen TV recommendations?
« on: January 07, 2008, 03:00:59 PM »
This sub-page is most useful when comparing plasma vs. LCD:

http://bestbuy-cnet.com.com/4351-12658_7-6583301.html

That page says larger LCD models are available but I don't often see them in stores, whereas extremely large plasma screens are commonplace.

2731
Everything and Nothing / Re: New flatscreen TV recommendations?
« on: January 07, 2008, 02:18:49 PM »
Bill -
Plasma burn-in and gas-related longevity issues have been solved.  Current plasma models will last as long or longer than CRT standard-def TV sets.

I'm not aware of any viewing-angle superiority of LCD versus plasma.  The biggest issue when choosing between the two formats is the size of the TV you're looking for.  Plasma sets are usually 37" and up, and LCD sets are usually 42" and down.  So the only time it's a big issue to choose one or the other is if you're buying 37 or 42 inches, in which case you could choose either.  If you're buying a bigger set, you can't buy an LCD, and if you're buying a smaller set, you can't buy a plasma.

Our plasma TV has been great.  It doesn't get constant use (actually, I guess we watch it nearly as much as we watch the projector downstairs, but we don't spend a lot of hours in front of the TV) but the quality is excellent.

Actually, back to the burn-in issue... I've found that most TV sets on display in stores have the contrast cranked to the maximum, I guess to make a better looking picture under harsh fluorescent lights.  If you leave the contrast too high you'll really shorten the life of  the tube, not to mention that you'll have poor picture quality for anything but football or basketball games, or cartoons.  The first thing you do when you get a new TV is to calibrate it, and that generally means turning the sharpness all the way down (sharpness is an artificial edge enhancement that degrades picture, despite what it sounds like), and turning the contrast down below the halfway mark (for best results use a calibration DVD or at least color bars), and turning brightness down to look appropriate based on your room lighting.

2732
Everything and Nothing / Re: New flatscreen TV recommendations?
« on: January 07, 2008, 02:01:38 PM »
If you're set on 1080p and want to save a few bucks, the Vizio and Westinghouse ones are pretty good deals.  I've seen the Westinghouse models on Home Depot's web site and almost bought one last year when I was shopping for a mid-sized plasma HDTV.

Our main TV is a projector (so, a picture equivalent to 120" diagonal or something) and it's 1080p and it looks absolutely fantastic, especially with a true HD 1080p image like a well-mastered BluRay disc.  From what I've seen, the benefits of 1080p are less pronounced as the screen size decreases, so while 1080p looks much better on a huge screen, and looks somewhat better on a big screen, as you get to 42" and below the difference is smaller.

I'm not trying to talk you out of 1080p at all but would I spend, say, $2000 for a 42" 1080p versions $1100 for a 1080i version?  Nope, I'd save 45% and be happy with 1080i, as we did with our secondary, upstairs TV.


2733
Everything and Nothing / Re: New flatscreen TV recommendations?
« on: January 07, 2008, 01:23:35 PM »
I bought a 42" Panasonic plasma about a year ago, and at the time that was one of the best for the money.  Toshiba TVs are also often a good value for good quality.  I've heard some people say they were happy with Vizio TVs they obtained at Costco, which are very inexpensive.

You shouldn't need to spend more than $1200 for a 42" plasma.  Most brands make a 42" and a 50" but some (I think Hitachi for one) might make a 46" size.

2734
Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 06, 2008, 07:54:41 PM »
We watched Lost Highway on DVD last night.  One of David Lynch's greatest and "Lynch-iest" moments, strange and warped and mind-bending, it's not complete nonsense and nonsequitur -- it actually makes just enough sense that I always feel when I watch it that I have a little more clarity on what Lynch is trying to do.  Bill Pullman is great, Balthazar Getty not so much... Patricia Arquette is wondeful here, sexy and sullen, damaged and desperate (depending on which role she's playing).  This is one of those i'll gladly re-watch once every year or two for the rest of my life.  And I've heard it's coming out on a domestic DVD version (mine's a German import without any significant extras, and so-so picture and sound qualitiy), and who knows... maybe a BluRay!

I'm done with Hypnos work for the day, so tonight we're going to watch the Sci-Fi channel's mini-series The Lost Room, which I recall being mentioned here on the Forum before (though  that might have been before "the great reboot" some time back).  Looking forward to it, will report here.


2735
Everything and Nothing / Re: Hypnos Forum move
« on: January 06, 2008, 01:57:03 PM »
THEMES

The "Babylon" theme has been re-installed and briefly tested... seems OK.

2736
Everything and Nothing / Re: Hypnos Forum move
« on: January 06, 2008, 01:55:35 PM »
Regarding THEMES, the "BacknBlack" theme (which was the one I always used prior to the move) has been re-installed and tested, and it's working fine.

2737
Everything and Nothing / Re: Hypnos Forum move
« on: January 06, 2008, 01:37:40 PM »
Mike - When you get back to tweaking the forum you may want to add a nicely obvious top-level link to the main Hypnos site.

That's definitely one thing I'd like to implement.  I used that all the time on the old Forum, click on the "Hypnos" logo at the top of any page and you end up at the front page of www.hypnos.com -- I'll definitely work on that one.  Thanks, Scott.

2738
Everything and Nothing / Re: Best of 2007
« on: January 06, 2008, 11:21:33 AM »
Cool, Brian, I'm downloading now.  You guys are keeping me busy with some good listening while I plug away with web site editing work all weekend! 

2739
Everything and Nothing / Re: Hypnos Forum move
« on: January 06, 2008, 11:10:51 AM »
Hi Rick-
You're right, there's no "wizard" for typing in URLs or named outside links here.  It's possible there's a plug-in module for some kind of enhancement to the posting process.  I won't be doing much in the way of hot-rodding or adding options on the Forum until things have quieted down here (behind the scenes I mean) with this hypnos.com domain move.  But I appreciate the feature request and it's something I'd like to add if I can find a pre-built module of some sort.
Thanks,
Mike

2740
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 05, 2008, 11:53:56 AM »
Later last night:



krill.minima - Nautica (Native State Records)

Another case of confounded expectations from Native State Records (see mini-review of Kilowatts CD above).  Based on what I knew of Marsen Jules, and what else I'd heard of Native State, I expected this to be much more rhythm-oriented and with a brighter, more typically electronic tone.  This album is quite restrained ambient, definitely something that would appeal to most people on this Forum.  It's not really drone-oriented or too minimal, though, actually there's a bit of activity under the surface, and rhythmic components that are buried and subtle, more like low-key churning or cyclical sounds than "beats" in most places.  Everything is very restrained and "cool" but there are none of the typical ambient-minimalism cliches here.  Very pleasing material, and having heard this, I will definitely have to seek our more krill.minima and more Marsen Jules.

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