The View Up Here

Random scribblings about kites, photography, machining, and anything else

The Joy of Calibration!

Posted by Tom Benedict on 06/02/2012

Some months back I built out a new computer. Some people enjoy getting a new computer, but I hate it. I’m a creature of comfort, and once I move into a computer I like to stay there as long as possible. I also know that despite being a digital pack-rat, I tend to lose things that are actually important — like my software license keys.

I did better this time. I actually had licenses for almost everything I use, including my CAD and CAM packages. The only two I couldn’t find were Photomatix, which is no huge deal since I don’t do much HDR, and the license to my monitor calibration software. The folks at HDRSoft were great about getting me my license key for Photomatix, which I now keep with all my other licenses. But the monitor calibration software was a black hole.

If you’ve never used a calibrated monitor, you won’t appreciate what a real pain in the rear it is to use one that’s completely uncalibrated. When editing photography, it’s hard to know what something will look like when printed. Colors are off, tonality is off, it’s a mess! Almost three months later, I was still running uncalibrated. I knew my new photos had a strange color cast, but I had no way to figure out what it was.

Over the weekend I tried an experiment: I took the configuration file off of my old computer and stuck it in the right directory on my new one. Lo and behold, the software ran! I don’t know where the license key is in that file. Quite frankly I don’t care. It works! I’m calibrated again! And the config file now lives with the rest of my licenses.

Now I’m dealing with the aftermath of editing photographs on an uncalibrated monitor. Gaaaah! So many of my photos were messed up! Ah well. I have my work cut out for me. Meanwhile, I’m back in my comfy spot. Calibrated and good to go.

– Tom

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One Response to “The Joy of Calibration!”

  1. It’s camera calibration theat bothers me. Like most instruments a calibrated one is a happy one- thanks for the insight into the care you take, glad to know you have moved in ok Tom!

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