Digital Switchover Warnings

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 11:18 PM | Filed under , ,

In case you don't know, by February 17, 2009, TV broadcasts here in the US will be digital only, which, if I understand correctly, means that televisions with analog receivers won't work anymore without some kind of digital upgrade box or something. I'm not too concerned about it because we have digital cable already, but the television stations want to make sure that everyone is ready for the digital switchover:


Tonight, during both Wheel of Fortune on KOMO and Quantum Leap on ION, I got warnings about how some people's TVs will eventually stop working.

The irritating thing is that KOMO has been putting this irritating scrolling banner on the bottom of the screen during Wheel every day for the last month, if not longer! Today, it repeated during the entire third round! Okay, KOMO, I get it! A lot of people probably don't understand the digital switchover, and their TVs will suddenly quit receiving a signal, and KOMO wants to make sure that they are prepared, but come on! Enough is enough! I've had it with these stupid messages!

KOMO wants us all to be ready for the future, but it still isn't providing Wheel of Fortune in HD! Come on, KOMO! How can you be concerned about the future of TV when you don't even care that your present programming isn't the highest quality possible?

Oh, jeez, I just saw another one of these banners on KSTW/CW, right now! I'm watching Frasier in the background, and a little lower third popped up. Fortunately, their banner was so brief that I didn't even have time to take a picture of it (I couldn't get the SD card in my camera fast enough).

The digital switchover isn't for about 270 days, so I suppose we'll have to get used to seeing these messages every day until February 17, 2009.

By the way, I never post a puzzle without giving the solution. The solved puzzle above is A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE.

Volume II, Chapter 11

Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 7:02 PM | Filed under ,

I just finished reading a version of Jane Eyre, which is a good story, if not drawn out. I was reading an illustrated version published by Penguin, and it is divided into three volumes. It was when I was on Chapter 11 of Volume II that I noticed something odd:

If I didn't know any better, I might think that I was reading Chapter 11 of Volume 11. Or maybe Chapter II of Volume II! The problem is that the text figure 1 and the small caps I look the same in this typeface! I can't tell them apart!

Now, keep in mind that this isn't a rant against Roman numerals. In fact, I love Roman numerals! This is a rant against ambiguity. The Arabic numerals in Chapter 11 look the same as the Roman numerals in Volume II, and that is absolutely not acceptable.

Garfield Shifter

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 9:38 AM | Filed under ,

I was fiddling around with my Garfield Randomizer recently, and turned it into something completely different: the Garfield Shifter!! It takes a random Garfield comic and either puts the first panel at the end of the strip, or puts the last panel at the beginning.

I'll admit that most of the time, the results aren't very impressive, but every once in a while, you'll get something that seems to defy causality...

...or something that changes the punchline...

...or probably something just plain bizarre...

The Shifter doesn't totally shuffle all three panels; it merely shifts them all. It never generates a strip that maintains the original order. You can tell which comic used to be the middle one because it doesn't have the black outline that the other two panels have.

I used to have the Garfield Shifter available online, but I'm sorry to say that it's no longer available.