Saturday, March 31, 2007

My new toy, Samsung 940T LCD monitor.

Sometimes back, I bought a 22" Samsung wide screen
LCD monitor & eventually had a full refund from the
shop shortly after. Reason was the 1st panel has
a semi-bright dot & the replacement also has a semi-
bright dot.

So, it seemed until now, even reputed manufacturer
Samsung does not offer zero bright dot warranty.
Phillips & LG does for restricted models but at a
huge price premium. So, I was looking at second hand
LCD monitors which I have the option of checking for
bright dot or dead pixel before payment. After a long
time of searching for good offer & the slow & draggy
bidding process... I finally gotten my second LCD
monitor, a Samsung 940T.

I was lucky enough, the seller sold me a 8bits LCD panel
for S$250 & he wasn't even interested in bargaining &
just want to get rid of his LCD at a price. Reason? He
has another 22" & 27" Samsung LCD monitor that he has yet
to open up & start using. And after checking thoroughly
for about 10~15 minutes, no bright dot or dead pixel.
The LCD is 1 year old & still has about 2 years warranty
to go.

Why I go back from 22" to 19" was that, 22" aspect ratio
is 16:10, when I watch TV series on my LCD (which is what
I do mostly), there is a bar on both side of the video.
If I force the video to 4:3, then all the characters will
look fatter. So, going back to 19" 4:3, I can watch TV
series in fullscreen without any black bars again.

Advantage of 19" over 17" LCD, both 19" & 17" LCD has the
same native resolution of 1280x1024. For any LCD, text
will appear the sharpest when it's displayed at it's native
resolution. For a 17" LCD, text will appear too small on a
1280x1024 resolution. I use my 17" at 1024x768 resolution,
which the text will be bigger, but it will not be as sharp
as 19". Of course, we all know 19" is bigger in size & will
be better for watching movies or TV series.

Something I think only LCD experts with sharp eyes can tell
about such 8 bits LCD panels. Accordingly, 8 bits LCD panels
produce true color or 16.7 million color. Normal 6 bits panels
uses software algorith to produce true color & the result is
16.2 million color. Due to that, 8 bits panels normal only can
do 20ms response time while 6 bits panels can do less than 10ms
easily. Personally, I can't tell yet how the color of this 8 bits
panel is nicer than my older 17" 6 bits panel, both from
May be next time will have some of my LCD experts friend to show

I shall get second hand LCD panels only. Just to avoid the hassle
of getting bright dots or dark pixels in a brand new LCD monitor.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Travelling tips in Japan

Due to business reason, I travelled to Kawasaki, Japan lately.

Here are some tips travelling around. Firstly, here is the site name to check out detailed schedule of trains around Tokyo.

Secondly, the fastest way from Narita Airport to Tokyo is by Narita Express. Narita Express will start from Narita Airport Terminal 1, pick up more passengers from Narita Airport Terminal 2 & then go straight to Tokyo with no stop in between. Ticket price is about 3000+ Yen. There is 1 such Express train about every 30 minutes. So check your flight schedule & train schedule in detail. I managed to come out of the arrival hall, buy a ticket from the booth which is right in front of the arrival hall & boarded the Narita Express in 15 minutes. Note also, ticket for Narita Express is specific to the exact batch of the train. The counter told me, if I miss the particular train, I can go back to the counter & they can change it to the next available one. The trip from Narita Airport to Tokyo is about 63 minutes.

There are other cheaper alternatives taking normal JR trains. These trains stop over at other train stations between Narita & Tokyp & take about 1 hr & 30 minutes to reach Tokyo. If time is not a concern, you can check out the site above. Usually it will show you the alternative routes in details.

At Tokyo Eki(station), before you come out from the station, what you can do is to go to the counter & show them your narita express ticket & tell them you want to change to a JR ticket to say, Kawasaki. And the counter will issue you another ticket. For Kawasaki, I have to take the Tokaido line towards Yokohama & Ofuna.

I supposed it is possible to go to the JR counter at Narita Airport and tell them you want a ticket from Narita Airport to Kawasaki taking Narita Express. I did something like that on my return trip from Kawasaki to Narita Airport. The counter should issued me 2 tickets, 1 from Kawaki to Narita Airport & another Narita Express ticket from Tokyo to Narita Airport.

Lastly, for business travellers who claim transport allowance, you will want to keep the train ticket. Before you exit from any train station. You can just tell the security that you want to keep the tickets, they will put a stamp on your ticket & you can pass through the gate without using the ticket.