December 2008

My new computer has an on-screen display that appears whenever you press caps lock, num lock, or scroll lock:

Damned OSD

Damned OSD

The problem is, when playing games like TF2, the appearance of this thing screws up the game.  The computer returns to the desktop and there’s no way to return to the game; I have to get into Task Manager and abort the game.  And the caps lock key is all too easy to hit accidentally.

I spent an hour Googling this and trying out control panel options, and I can’t even find what puts up this OSD, much less how to remove it.  So, does anyone recognize this thing and know how to blow it away?

It’s a Gateway PC (and a Gateway keyboard) running Windows Vista.   The widget has no properties and none of the tray icons seem to be associated with it.  I haven’t downloaded any interesting drivers.  I assume it’s a “feature” of Gateway since the keyboard has no indicators, but there’s no information about it in the Gateway docs.

Edit: it’s not BTTray, which I don’t even have on my computer.

Saw Quantum of Solace over Thanksgiving.  What you want to know as a Bond movie consumer is:

a) Is Daniel Craig cool as Bond? 
b) Are there quant. suff. of high-speed chases, dramatic fights, exotic locations, depraved villains, and shaggable women?

Don’t worry; the answer to both questions is a solid yes.  And as an added plus, there are naked women in the title sequence again!

But I have to say, this was one incoherent flick.  Besides a few mentions of Vesper Lynd, there’s no evident connection to the last movie.  I’m sure the screenwriters had some in mind; they just didn’t care to fill us in.  A perfect example (and a spoiler, so watch out): at the end of the movie, the main villain says something like “I’ve answered all your questions about Quantum.”  But we didn’t see either the questions or the answers.  Clearly, there was no intention for the viewers to have questions or need explanations at this point; that is, there is no plot. 

Events seem reasonable enough as they happen, but they make no sense if you think them over.  The villain is making a play for Bolivian water resources… come on, that’s like Dr. Evil’s demand for one million dollars.  In La Paz, Bond is dissatisfied with his fleabag hotel and moves to a luxury hotel– despite theoretically being on his own resources, and despite the last movie’s considerable effort to establish this Bond as more of a thug than a socialite. 

What the moviemakers did focus on was the relationship between Bond and M.  And that works. (Well, if you accept the basic premise of Bond films, that a lone superagent can solve our geopolitical problems.  But if you’re watching a Bond film you accept that, at least for a couple of hours.)

The first half-hour or so shows off some rather neat technology, notably a tabletop monitor supporting multiple touch points, as well as some use of Bond’s PDA that make him, for once, seem like he’s actually part of a global intelligence organization.

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