A plane flies directly above, at low altitude, seen through a skylight
window of Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.

Look up

While watching a film on New Year’s Eve, I was struck by a visual migraine. Funnily enough, the last time I had one I was also watching a film. I don’t experience any pain, just a colourful distortion that makes me unable to perceive part of my field of vision. It’s disturbing to look at someone and see only half a face.

After a short pause it dissipated and we were able to finish watching. Anatomy of a Fall (2023), by the way. Good film, well acted, but not a relaxing watch.

We went to Ikea for a second opinion on our kitchen on New Year’s Day. That wouldn’t be my favourite way to spend a bank holiday, but the shop wasn’t too busy, and it was useful in helping us come up with both a better layout and a price comparison.

We watched the BBC adaptation of Murder is Easy. David Jonsson is charming, but it was otherwise mediocre. The colour, however, was something else. This was a particularly obnoxious example of lurid colour grading even [narrator bass voice] in a world where every film is orange and teal.

I fixed my desktop computer graphics problems. I finally ran out of tether dealing with the flaky proprietary Nvidia drivers after one spontaneous display server restart too many, and ordered an AMD card instead. Objectively, it’s a less capable card (RX 560 with 4 GB of RAM vs a GTX 1650 with 8 GB) but I’m not a gamer so what do I care. The important thing is that it has driver support in the mainline Linux kernel, so it just works. It didn’t quite just work immediately, because the Nvidia drivers were still being loaded and kept complaining that I didn’t have an Nvidia card (true) but like a dog in a manger wouldn’t get out of the way. I connected via SSH from my laptop, ran apt remove '*nvidia*', and the desktop sprang into life.

I’d originally bought an Nvidia card because I hoped to be able to use CUDA GPU processing. In reality, getting it working was always a palaver and I seldom used it. A reliable working computer, on the other hand, is something I need every day.

As a bonus, the disk decryption password prompt at boot is now in the native resolution of my screen, which really helps when you have a 2.4:1 ratio widescreen monitor.

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