04/04/2005 @08:26:51 ^09:12:31

Tick which of the following you feel when stressed

  1. sad or depressed
  2. nervous, panicky, worried, anxious, or fearful
  3. annoyed, irritable, resentful, or angry
  4. frustrated
  5. pressured, tense, or stressed(!)
  6. guilty or ashamed
  7. hopeless or discouraged
  8. inadequate or inferior
  9. exhausted, tired, drained, or overwhelmed
  10. bored, unmotivated, or uninterested
  11. lonely, unloved, or alone
  12. other (describe any additional emotions)

Pretty much all of them one way or another, actually

And especially when I've just bought something off Ebay; you never know if the thing's going to turn up, turn up broken, or your money's just disappeared off into the ether...

Fortunately on this occasion it didn't. I have acquired an old Acorn AKF52 multiscan monitor. It's pretty disgusting, to be honest; the case is cracked in several places, it's quite dirty, there's paint on the side and most importantly there's a couple of large scratches on the actual screen. But I don't care and here's why.

I've been after something like this for years because although it supports the usual stupid VGA/SVGA/whatever screen modes its line rate goes all the way down to 15kHz which means it can display properly the old TV-resolution Acorn screen modes. This pretty much halves the video bandwidth. Running a VGA monitor in Mode 27 (at 640x480) with an A3010 makes it extremely sluggish to the point of being almost unusable. But, in Mode 12 (640x256) or mode 35 (768x288) it's fine.

Also in spite of the lowered resolution you can get more on screen. TV resolution mode pixels are 2x4 blocks of RISC OS "internal" coordinates, where VGA is 2x2; thus in the coordinate system all the programs use, VGA is 1280x960, mode 12 is 1280x1024, and mode 35 is 1536x1152. Since window sizes are in these "internal" coordinates, you can get more on screen in mode 35, see? Note those aren't actual resolutions, an A3010 can't really do 1536x1152. If you change the colour of one "internal" pixel it's actually changing a 2x4 block of them. However the RISC OS desktop was designed for this so you don't notice. Okay I haven't explained this very well but it's just better okay?

Anyway I could go on but I hope you can see why I'm happy with this; I've made my A3010 usable again. For how long, I have no idea, this monitor dates back to somewhere between 1991 and 1994 and has obviously seen a lot of use. But hey it was only 30 quid including postage so I jumped at the chance! And spent a fair proportion of the weekend working on records instead of getting annoyed because DSym was too sluggish to use and its windows were too large to fit on screen properly...