Sunday, March 15, 2009

Elementary, My Dear Ranganathan

Like anyone with old, cheap Windows kit, I struggle with colour consistency. Despite using a Spyder calibrator (the cheap version, obviously) I simply can't get my monitor and printer to make friends with each other. Of course, using an obsolete dye printer (Epson Stylus Photo 1270) doesn't help -- no-one make profiles for obsolete machines.

Here's an appeal: can anyone out there with a reasonably well colour-balanced monitor tell me: do the colours on these blog images strike you as strange (in a bad way)? Are they too dark? Is there an obvious colour cast? I'm not fishing for compliments here! Any comments welcome -- thanks!


The nearest thing I could find to a test card


Of course, if you're also either too poor or too mean (both in my case) to run the full version of Photoshop, you probably make do with the cut down Elements version. You probably also run an under-powered Windows computer, without enough puff even to run Elements at the same time as chew gum (or whatever it is PCs are doing when everything goes into a state of suspended animation).

I upgraded to Elements 6.0 from 2.0 a few months ago, and immediately noticed that it took much longer to load. I got very used to gazing at the new, blue, circular splash screen while Elements checked all its pockets and rummaged through its bag for its wallet, keys, etc. "Won't be a minute... Don't go away! Nearly there!!"

Now, across the middle of the Elements splash screen is a cast list of the people who wrote the thing. You get used to seeing the names while you wait. I noticed a big increase in the number of names in version 6, and a definite increase in the proportion of Asian names, which is interesting, but one in particular caught my eye: Sreedhar Ranganathan.

For only one reason: the Indian librarian S.R. Ranganathan is a name to conjure with in library studies, famous for the invention of "faceted classification" (don't ask) and his "five laws of library science", the first of which is "Books are for use" -- wise words indeed. Whilst waiting for Elements to get its act together I would idly speculate as to whether there was any relationship. Then, one day, I noticed his name wasn't there. What? The next day it was back. Then it was gone again for several days. What??

The truth slowly dawned on me: there are so many people responsible for Elements 6.0, that they can't fit them all onto the splash screen credits at the same time. Every time you load it up, a new random combination of names is displayed. I began to wonder if I was the only person to notice this. Then I wondered ... was it random at all? Was there a pattern?

Then after a few weeks of watching I thought, "Get a life!" and decided not to read the splash screen any more, although I do still get a little lift every time I notice Sreedhar Ranganathan's name appear.

1 comment:

Mauro Thon Giudici said...

Had a look at your pictures on two different monitors and did not notice anything strange. But do not ask for the colors I have seen. Each of us is probably seeing something different :-D anytime.

If it can help have a look at http://www.argyllcms.com/ it is free, it can use Spyder's sensor device and lets you specify more parameters.