Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bright future looms for TV screens

Television images in the future will look brighter and crisper than ever, but cost may put them beyond the reach of most people.

It is likely that those future TVs will be ultra-thin devices, 3mm thick, that use organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) to produce sharp images based on red, green and blue pixels.

OLED TVs are also more energy efficient than LCD panels because they do not need a backlight to boost brightness.

OLED could one day be used for clothing and images on windows

Instead, each pixel on this type of screen is made from an organic material that emits its own light.

David Fyfe, the boss of Cambridge Display Technology, explained that OLED screens are "different" from other display technologies.

"The first thing you notice is that if you move out to the side, or you move above it or below it, you will see the same image at the same brightness as you would if you were facing it straight on," he said.

By contrast, LCD flat-panels often have a very narrow viewing range.

'Mass consumer'

Organic displays are being developed further by Kodak which invented the first basic OLED device in the 1970s.

The company already makes a wireless OLED photo frame with a hefty £690 ($1,000) price tag.

Patrick Cowan, from Kodak, acknowledged this product is "not necessarily in the reach of the mass consumer".

He added that wider adoption of this evolving technology will eventually place it within the affordability of "the general consumer".

Stuart Silloway said OLED displays look "bright even in direct sunlight"

Plus, OQO's latest handheld computer features a 5in (12.7cm) OLED screen.

"It has a fantastic contrast ratio - the blacks are very much blacker than you would see and it comes out as a brilliant display," said John Wilson, a spokesman for OQO.

Scale up

While Stuart Silloway from Samsung America noted that displays look "bright even in direct sunlight" as another advantage of this tech.

"When you are outside shooting with a digital stills camera, one of the challenges is that the sunlight tends to wash out the display.

With OLED, he said, "you can see that what you are shooting looks natural".

The world's first commercial OLED TV launched at the end of last year. The Sony XEL-1 has a screen 11in (28cm) across and in the UK costs in excess of £3000.

Now manufacturers have said they intend to scale up to panels between 14 and 21in (35-53cm) by the end of 2009.

But this in itself will increase the challenge of turning OLED displays into an affordable reality.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New collar

Wendell and I are off to buy his first adult collar.  He has already outgrown his puppy one.  He is never going to be a large dog but he has grown very quickly.  He eats like a horse and plays like a demon.  It is a good job he is such a friendly little chap.  I must buy some new bones today because he has ground his old ones right down.

He still sits beside me when I am at my desk.  In fact he follows me everywhere apart from when we are eating.  He has to sit on Terry’s chair at dinner time.


Saturday, March 14, 2009


I was having a chat with Terry about how gullible some people can be, when I remembered another incident from when I worked in Bath.  My boss asked me to go out and buy a suitable plant for the teashop window, which I did.  After a couple of days the plant drooped a little and feeling sorry for it, I asked Brandt if I could take it home with me.  He refused, even though I offered him the money for it, saying “ you cannot have everything you want in life, Penny. “ I looked him straight in the eye and said “ Brandt, every time I look at that plant, I shall think of you and your meanness and it will wither and die. “ For three days I secretly tipped bleach in the plant’s pot.  I made a point of staring at it when Brandt was around.  On the third day the plant curled up and died.  Ever after, Brandt thought I had some sort of power and was nervous of me.  My friend walked past me and whispered “ you put bleach in that pot. “ but she never let on.  She was worldly and Brandt, bless him, was extremely gullible.  Needless to say, my friend and I were called The Two Witches. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Shopping with Wendell

Terry and I took Wendell with us when we went shopping today.  What a laugh we had.  Wendell went pigeon crazy at first but settled down to meeting many dogs and people.  His tail was whirring with happiness and excitement.  We caught the bus home and added another first experience to his growing list.  He was on his best behaviour on the bus, which was a relief; he can be a little tyke at times.  He earned himself a couple of raw bones to gnaw on.  It is 4.25a.m. so I must start thinking about taking him out for his first walk of the day.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Little Dustbin

I had forgotten how great dogs are for clearing up leftovers.  We had pork curry for dinner last night.  Sadly, pork is bad for the little guy but he gobbled down the leftover rice with great enthusiasm.  I gave him some cooked liver yesterday but it gave him a dose of the trots, so maybe he is not ready for such rich offerings.  Some dog owners have to deal with mud.  I get to deal with sand, because Wendell has discovered the joys of digging on the beach.  He loves snorting about in piles of seaweed, so he smells pretty awful at times, too.  He thinks he smells wonderful, of course.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ain’t technology grand

I am writing this whilst watching Crufts and recording the Show simultaneously.  How is this possible?  I am watching Crufts on a small viewer on Firefox and downloading it with Real Player.  I have the window reduced so I can either use my desktop or explorer.  Ain’t technology grand.  Terry is taking Wendell for his hike today, because I am glued to my desk, in case anything goes wrong.

The sun is shining brightly today.  New neighbours have moved in.   Not the side that has been boarded up but the other.  They are French which makes a change from the Polish that have flooded Margate.  I hope they are clean and quiet. 

Learning to live on a pittance is proving an interesting challenge.  Our tobacco runs out today and we have to wait until next Tuesday, before we can buy more.  We have plenty of pet food, sundries, coffee, gas and electric but food is becoming a bit thin on the ground.  I shall need to stretch what I have in interesting ways, in order to get by.  Should be a different way of fulfilling my New Year’s resolutions.  See ya, Pen.

Monday, March 2, 2009

First Swim

Wendell had his first doggy paddle yesterday, when the rock pool he was paddling in became quite deep suddenly.  He did not panic, like me but swam back to safe ground like a seasoned professional.  We came home straight after because it was a bit cold for a now soaking wet puppy.  He was very hyper all the way home; trying to keep warm I guess.  Once towelled and fed, he slept for hours, giving the cats a bit of extra dog free time.  They have shown great tolerance towards Wendell but I fear their patience is wearing thin.  Right then, off to make yet another coffee.

The Perfect Puppy

I have finally managed to get my hands on a copy of The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey.  What a brilliant read for anyone even contemplating getting a puppy.  Already I am finding mistakes I have made.  Armed with this wonderful book I hope to become the perfect puppy owner.  Thank you Jane, for telling me about the book. 

A Spare Place

A Spare Place


I sit in a chair and gaze

At the faces opposite me;

Our hands trembling in unison

My keepers will never see

The shame I feel as I sit in

Soiled underwear, pervading

My soul, turning hope to dust

And I shall never leave this place

Of death and despair; ‘till a bag

Is zipped; they’ll cover my face

For fear I may cause offence.


Somebody said we have fish

For lunch; like a Mexican wave

Our frail excitement undulates

And we smile. No one is brave

Enough to ask” Is the fish fresh?”

Thus risking censorial frowns;

It pays to not rock the boat.

Mrs. Baker died yesterday.

Not one person lamented this,

No feelings in disarray;

A spare place at the table.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Twist in the tube

Not long after leaving school, I got the job of lab. assistant, for ABM.  My job was to analyze grains for the production of beer and whiskey.  I was very puffed up with self importance, even though I was constantly having to leave the lab, walk down the hall to my boss and ask how to do the calculations.  {this being pre computer days}  I had a bank of test tubes over burners, into which I had to put some grain and five drops of hydrochloric acid, which I then cooked.  The steam went up and over the equipment, via lengths of rubber tubing and the resultant distilled liquid collected in another set of test tubes, ready for analysis.  Well, one day, feeling a tad groggy from the night before, I got one of my rubber tubes twisted.  You could hear the resultant explosion down the hall, where I was, once again pestering my boss.  I had destroyed the apparatus and we had acid dripping from the ceiling for a day.  I should have been sacked but I think my boss had a soft spot for me.  I never lived it down, though.I got married a year later and never went back to that sort of work…..no surprise really.