This Is Locomotion - Design, Code, and News

Archive for 2008

Calibrating a Dell 2408WFP with Spyder Elite 3

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

This article is for designers and photographers who are struggling with colour calibration issues on the Dell 2408WFP. Having bought a Dell 2408WFP 24 inch LCD in the last few months I decided over the past few days to calibrate it. The main problem with the 2408 is that the colours are over saturated and the monitor at least to my eyes seems ridiculously bright. At first I tried calibration through the Apple Calibrator Assistant which can be found under Display > Color > Calibrate – but having no luck there I tried a combination of using both the LCD settings and found that the Wide Gamut setting in the colour profile manager seemed to solve most of my issues… or so I thought.

I recently was working on a redesign of our site which has a number of red elements and noticed upon sliding the palette onto my Macbook Pro that the colours in the red hue were most definitely off on my 24″ dell display. Perplexed I tried further calibration steps – but with no luck. Utterly frustrated I zipped down to my local mac reseller and bought a Spyder Elite 3 hardware calibration unit.

The following are the settings I adjusted my LCD to before running the hardware calibration:
Gamma: Mac
Colour Settings Mode: Graphics
Preset Mode: SRGB
Brightness: 10
Contrast: 90

I know that the brightness seems terribly low but this seems to be a relatively normal adjustment for this particular monitor after finding a number of posts on the topic at MacRumors and on Adobe’s forums. I have also tried manually setting RGB values to both 60 across the spectrum and also tried 70 for all values. I chose SRGB as it seems that it’s the closest least saturated match to my MacBookPro.

Next I ran the Spyder Elite 3 software and ran through the hardware calibration and it seemed to behave a little better. The reds were still a few shades off what I thought the MacBookPro would be but at least they are reasonably close now.

Then I found this comprehensive review of the Dell 2408WFP. The author notes:

For those who need to simulate the standard sRGB space rather than use the monitor with its extended gamut, the 2408WFP offers an sRGB simulation mode via the OSD preset modes. Considering many users will not have extended gamut sources or content, this feature is nice….in theory. I switched to this mode, while leaving all other settings at their defaults to establish whether the colour accuracy or other settings were any better than in the ‘Desktop’ preset. As you can see, gamut and luminance remained a long way out from the desired levels, and colour temperature was actually a little worse at 5831k. dE was sadly not improved at all, in fact, it was worse with an average of 7.3 and a maximum of 23.0. As you can see from the CIE diagram on the left, the gamut triangle for the monitor now only just stretched outside the sRGB space, and was now pretty much in line with normal CCFL backlighting (72% NTSC coverage). If nothing else, at least this mode accomplishes that!

Then I noticed this comment:

Firstly I calibrated the screen using LaCie’s software suite while also changing the monitor to the ‘Custom’ preset mode, affording me access to the RGB colour controls. During the calibration process the screens brightness was adjusted to 20%, with contrast being left at 50%. RGB values were altered to 92, 90 and 98 respectively. It should be noted that OSD adjustments only form part of the calibration process with the majority of changes being made automatically at the graphics card LUT level.

So I decided to give this configuration a shot. Brightness, contrast, and RGB values were once again adjusted. I found blues to be oversatured and grays just a little too bluey as well – but I’ve now been staring at this screen looking at colours for 2 hours and it’s time to take a break.

Despite what the article says about SRGB I still find that my initial calibration I mentioned earlier in this article has provided me with what I feel is better colour correction. If anyone has found a better way to calibrate this LCD I’d dearly like to know. [UPDATE] I just found another good series of questions and answers here.

New websites and open source projects

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Well it’s officially September and our big summer code push is almost over. We’ve just finished off a handful of new websites which we will be showcasing in our design portfolio this month – but the bigger news is that we’re preparing to launch our first 2 big open source products. We will also be relaunching our own website with a fresh design to accommodate our new products.

There are no official timelines yet for when we will launch them, but it likely will happen close towards the end of September / beginning of October. Both open source products will be based off of the Zend Framework and will most likely be released under either the MIT license or the BSD license. The products are also uniquely positioned, meaning that both don’t have direct competitors in the open-source market as there isn’t anything else out there that provides the functionality that they do. We are still working on naming both products so instead of giving everything away now we’ve decided to wait until the end of the month.

85 Firefox shortcuts

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

If you are a big Mozilla Firefox fan (like we are) then you might be interested in this short list (heh) of 85 Firefox shortcuts for the PC and for the Mac.

Collaborative workplace in Victoria BC

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Today while looking through some of my favorite blogs I found an awesome article about creating a collaborative work environment (or is it known as a collaborative workplace?). The company who originally spawned the idea is located in Phoenix but I wonder if it would be possible to create a similar working group here in Victoria. I know I’ve had some interest from a few designers here in Victoria on the Jelly concept, but it looks like concept is more of a full-time work environment.

Phoenix is the 5th largest metropolitan area in the United States, and has the distributed talent and resources to become a powerful destination in the web industry. Unfortunately, it has always lacked the spark that brings everything together.

Local organizations that should be helping the web industry thrive have become bogged down in local politics, turf wars, or ego showcasing. Most web workers have given up on the hope that they’ll actually change anything.

Attempts to emulate Silicon Valley (or other web hubs) have typically failed, because they simply don’t fit the unique Phoenix culture and geography. We need to build a new community model, a Phoenix-centric one, to turn this city into a relevant hub of web talent and innovation.

That’s where Gangplank comes in.

If you have any interest… fire me an email at and I’ll start building a master list of individuals interested in the concept. I figure if we had a solid 3 to 5 groups who wanted to spit rent we could definitely get the whole thing going.

Loving the whole world

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Continuing on the track of posting unrelated videos, here’s another great one titled “I love the whole world.” One of the best commercials I have seen this year.

Frozen in time

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

It isn’t often that we post videos that are not related to web design, marketing or technology in any way, but this particular video caught my attention as it is quite artistic from a human motion perspective. Imagine walking into a train station where everyone was frozen in time but you.

Think Simple Now

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

While I have been a stalwart fan of introducing simplicity into all the websites we design, I have also been a fan of putting more effort into leading a more simple life. On that note I have recently discovered an excellent blog on how to lead a more simple life that I thought I would share. Think Simple Now is a blog dedicated to simplicity, creativity, clarity and happiness. I would highly recommend giving the posts a read through as they are both thorough and insightful.

Earth Hour

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008


On March 29, 2008, cities across Canada, and around the world will turn off their lights for Earth Hour, a WWF event to raise awareness about climate change and symbolize that, working together the people of the world can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

Earth Hour has grown from a single event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 to a global phenomenon that will occur across six continents and in as many as 20 cities in 2008.

Toronto was the flagship Canadian city to commemorate Earth Hour 2008 but dozens of others including Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal have already joined!

The goal is to get thousands of businesses and individuals to participate in this historic event, so we can show the nation and the world that Canadians are leaders in addressing climate change, one of the most critical issues facing our world today.

Simple Station is doing their part – do yours too!

Curiousity vs. Mediocrity

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

A very interesting clip from Seth Godin (marketing guru) on curiosity. A lot of it has to do with noise pollution – and the lack of curiosity being rewarded in the modern world.

“It is easy to underestimate how difficult it is for people to become curious. That for 7, 10, 15 years of school you are required to not be curious.” – Seth Godin

Busy February

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Wow! It’s hard to believe it has been a whole month since I last posted. February has been super busy for us. We’ve moved into our own design studio, which we are now in the process of renovating and we’ve been deluged with all kinds of new client work. I’ve been meaning to update our portfolio for some time but it looks like it is going to have to wait just a little while longer.

This week I’ve been up to the Yukon on business, leaving Nathan and Anthony to hold down the fort at home in Victoria. They’ve got their hands full so I’m certain they will hardly even notice that I’ve left. The weather up north has been quite good with most days averaging -5 to -10 degrees Celsius in Whitehorse.

On a particularly cold evening I had a chance to sit down at a good friend’s birthday party and meet two truly unique Yukoner’s who run Dechenla Adventure Nature Tours. After seeing photos of the lodge and surrounding area I’m hoping to find a number of solid outdoors men or women to put together a group to visit the place. The photos speak for themselves. Stunning!