A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Nelson Skalbania & My Radeon 9550
Monday, September 10, 2007

The Radeon™ 9550 delivers an exceptional visual experience for the value minded gamer and PC enthusiast. With 128 bit and DDR memory and impressive processor speed of its innovative .13micron visual processing unit (GPU), the Radeon™ 9550 takes you to a world of lush graphics with a stutter free experience. Its 4 pixel rendering pipelines with a fill rate of 1.0 giga-pixels per second combine to deliver dramatic image detail which adds to great 3D game play and a immersive video playback experience!

The device on the left, a Radeon 9550, is called a video card. Neither a video card nor the substantially more important mother board of my computer resemble either a card or a board as much as resembling each other. My video card looks like a small mother board. Those of us who don't know would probably call them circuit boards.

This particular video card is the one that made my computer fail more than a week ago. For months I had suspicion that something was wrong as I had fine, pale vertical yellow lines going through my screen on anything that was completely white. When the card finally failed (but not completely) my computer only worked on safe mode. I quickly realized that my business of photography was at a standstill. On safe mode the scanner and printer did not work. Without a scanner I could not send by email pictures to my clients. Without the printer I could not print out my invoices on letterhead which I then sign, scan and send by email for usually quick payment. But most obvious was setting up appointments to photograph people who were either very busy and or out of town. A phone will do in some cases but I had the difficult task of nailing down three very busy persons, ex premier Mike Harcourt, Darlene Marzari and Shirley Chan to show up at the same place, at the same time and on the same day. Fortunately my email worked. Years ago when I had to do these multiple persons in one single photograph the most difficult task was never the taking of the photograph as getting the people to show up.

Before email (I did not log on until January 1995 and my email was the whimsical alexwh@wimsey.com)on July 30, 1990 I had to resort to the then state of the art fax to communicate with busy politicians, actors, actresses and businessmen. One in particular I had been told I had a slim chance of getting to pose. Nelson Skalbania was aware that an unflattering article was being written for a Toronto business paper called the Financial Times.

I faxed (typed on and printed by a Smith Corona PWP 3000 word processor/typewriter) this letter to Skalbania. He promptly granted me a sitting


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