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July 4th, 2017

An Ode to the Coming of the 4K Board

Our irrepressible Phil Shapiro thought you might like to hear something on the Fourth that isn’t a national anthem or the 1812 Overture. And who knew he could sing or play an instrument? We’re considering renaming his column, The Penguinista Minstrel.



The Screening Room

Every jump in computer resolution technology brings with it a cornucopia of new creative and business opportunities. When I noticed recently that an affordable 4K hobby computer board was being launched on Kickstarter, I felt moved to compose this song — Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the 4K Board.

Interestingly enough, I was just wondering last week when a 4K single board computer would come on the market. That kind of computer would significantly expand creative opportunities for 3D immersive graphics, as I described recently in this overview article about JigSpace. Imagine the rich media, interactive children’s stories that could be created for display on 4K displays. Dr. Seuss would surely smile down upon that.

Oh, and for those who might be wondering, the musical instrument I’m playing is called a grand strumstick, invented by a very talented luthier, Bob McNally, in New Jersey. You can learn more about it from the strumstick website. A few years ago I wrote about the strumstick] on PCWorld.

I play the strumstick because it’s a very easy to play three-stringed instrument and I want others to experience the joys of music making. Music making is good for the mind. How do I know? Just search for the centenarian piano player, Randolph Hokanson, YouTube videos. He and I should maybe do some duets together.

For the past 10 years, Phil has been working at a public library in the Washington D.C.-area, helping youth and adults use the 28 public Linux stations the library offers seven days a week. He also writes for MAKE magazine, Opensource.com and TechSoup Libraries. Suggest videos by contacting Phil on Twitter or at pshapiro@his.com.

2 comments to An Ode to the Coming of the 4K Board

  • I care more about (in this case: the LACK of) something more basic to computing than display resolution: GIGABIT ETHERNET!
    How hard can it be, folks!
    Thanks for providing the comparison to the Odroid C2; I’ll buy those, thank you very much. My eyeballs don’t do the computing.

  • Former maker

    When I made those instruments 45 years ago (I was not the first or the namer) we called them Magic Twangers. As a dulcimer maker, I hated making them. When one blew up on me (the sides split as I was getting ready to string it up) I quit.