I've always been a sucker for simplicity. Whether it's the functional beauty of a Mies van der Rohe building or a diesel-engine Mercedes-Benz with a manual-shift transmission, the "less is more" concept has always made sense to me. Unnecessary complexity often does little more than dilute a design's original functionality. This way of thinking has also been used in high-end hi-fi design, with some designers on the tweakier fringe embracing concepts like ultra-simple single-ended tube amplifiers and single-driver loudspeakers. Simple designs like these often have a straightforward clarity to their sound; each time you introduce new elements in order to make something play louder, higher, or deeper, you risk losing some of that clarity in the process.
I've just ignored Morel's Nova system for more than a month. Occasionally a man of letters gets busy. An editor called: Have you got time for another assignment? Sure. A few more called: Can you get this, this, and this done in two weeks? Take the money and run, I always say. My column was due. My other column was due. I was putting the finishing touches on two books at the same time—please buy them both, they're very good—attacking printouts with a red pen to get myself away from the computer.
DVD: Tanner '88—Criterion and Tanner on Tanner—Sundance Channel Home Entertainment
If last year's contentious presidential race wasn't enough to demonstrate how ridiculous politics can be, Tanner 88 and Tanner on Tanner should drive the point home.
"Rain, rain go away" was my mantra on the trek down to the annual audio-video Mecca; the forecasters were warning that the winter desert was set to deliver wet weather for the Consumer Electronic Show. I never thought my prayers would be answered so obliquely—Las Vegas enjoyed more than a few moments of <I>snow</I> on Friday of the convention. You could tell those who had never seen flurries of the chilly white stuff before: they wandered comically in circles with w-i-d-e eyes and slack jaws.
According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the organization that runs the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), 140,000 people attended this year’s annual confab in Las Vegas, NV. In past years, attendance has typically hovered around 100,000. But with the shrinkage of the normally even larger computer show, COMDEX, in 2003, followed by its cancellation this past November, the Intels, IBMs, Apples, Hewlett Packards, and other assorted bits-and-bytes vendors, and their customers, descended on CES with a vengeance.
For me (and, I'm sure, for many others), CES 2005 marked the year that 1080p took off. I'm not talking about 1080p broadcasts or pre-recorded content; it will be a few more years before we see that, and even when we do, it will likely be 1080p/24, not 1080p/60. But 1920x1080 fixed-pixel displays—plasma, LCD (panels and projectors), DLP, and LCoS—were suddenly <I>everywhere</I>, unlike last year, when they were as rare as than hens' teeth.
As the first three-chip DLP projector to pass through my studio, the InFocus ScreenPlay 777 generated more than a little excitement. Apart from its futuristic, streamlined appearance, its size and weight—not to mention its price—immediately set it apart from the one-chip designs that have come to dominate the home-theater projection market.