Monday, 28 July 2014

Story of the Windows XP 'Bliss' Desktop Image

It’s not too far-fetched to believe that a billion individuals have seen the “Bliss” image that defines the desktop view of Windows XP, the seminal OS that Microsoft has retired recently. However you’d barely notice the real-world “Bliss” scene if you stepped out of your automotive and gazed at it nowadays.

Driving anyplace in California’s wine country are often treacherous. Roads curve back and forth, well, drunkenly. Bicyclist’s area unit common, and therefore the next bend may hide associate degree entrance to at least one of Napa’s finest wineries, a tour cluster jaywalking across the road, or maybe one or two on horseback, exploring the world.

In 1998, creative person Charles “Chuck” O’Rear was driving from Sonoma County through Chinese cabbage on his thanks to Marin County. His mission was to fulfill Daphne, the lady UN agency eventually became his married person. In January, as most California natives apprehend, the rains return, and therefore the hills explode into inexperienced for a number of months before the withering summer heat browns them another time. 

O’Rear, a 25-year veteran of National Geographic, drove down the road, then force over. That stretch of road twelve is slender and windy, with solely a slender shoulder for stopping one’s automotive. At all-time low of a steep mound may be a barbed-wire fence. And in 1998, once O’Rear took his notable “Bliss” icon, all he may see was associate degree emerald-green hill, a ridge behind it, and a number of puffy clouds. 

Fast-forward to the year 2000. Microsoft was on the point of launch Windows XP. company} had designed the new software system with the steadiness of its corporate OS, Windows 2000, and therefore the shopper options of Windows ninety eight and Windows ME. O’Rear was one in every of the primary photographers to use a service known as Corbis to digitalize and license his photos. And Corbis was owned by Microsoft’s chief govt at the time, Bill Gates.

“How several footage they checked out, I actually have no idea,” O’Rear aforementioned. However what he did do was bestride associate degree aero plane with the initial transparency and settle for a hefty check for his work. O’Rear can’t disclose the number, however he aforementioned it'd be an appropriate quantity back then—and remains thus nowadays.

But as Microsoft continues to transform Windows, so, too, do the house owners of the vinery. Sixteen years later, “Bliss” is nearly unidentifiable. O’Rear aforementioned he accustomed apprehend the landowners, however they oversubscribed to a brand new owner one or two of years past. And time marches on.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Bliss (image)

Bliss is the name of the default computer wallpaper of Windows XP, produced from the photograph of a landscape in Sonoma County, California. The image contains rolling green hills and a blue sky with cumulus and cirrus clouds. In the Dutch and Portuguese version of Windows XP, the wallpaper is named Ireland and Alentejo, respectively, despite the image being taken in California.

The photograph was taken by professional photographer Charles O'Rear, a resident of St. Helena, Napa County, for digital-design company HighTurn. According to O'Rear, the photograph was not digitally enhanced or manipulated in any way.

O'Rear has also taken photographs for Bill Gates's stock photography company Corbis and Napa Valley photographs for the May 1979 National Geographic article "Napa, Valley of the Vine". Although O'Rear's focus was on photographing winemaking in the Napa Valley, the hill in Bliss didn't have grapevines when the photograph was taken in 1996, five years before the release of Windows XP. The photograph was taken on the side of the highway 12/121[map 1] by a hand held medium-format camera. The approximate location is 3101 Fremont Dr. (Sonoma Hwy.), Sonoma, CA. The coordinates for the hill are 38.250124,-122.410817.

O'Rear's photograph inspired Windows XP's $200 million advertising campaign "Yes you can", by the San Francisco division of New York City advertising company McCann-Erickson. The campaign was launched on television on ABC (America) during one of ABC Sports's Monday Night Football games of the 2001 NFL season. The television commercials included Madonna's "Ray of Light song, whose TV rights cost Microsoft about $14 million.

On November 27, 2006, artist collaboration Goldin+Senneby visited the site in Sonoma Valley where the Bliss image was taken, re-photographing the same view ten years later. It was now full of grapevines. Their work After Microsoft was first shown in the exhibition "Paris was Yesterday" at the gallery La Vitrine in April 2007. and has later been exhibited at Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo,[citation needed] and 300m3 in Gothenburg.

In May 2010, a Flickr user uploaded an image of the exact same location, taken on May 2. The user, named Tony Immoos, said that the re-taken photograph from 2006 "was taken from the wrong location, approximately 350' farther Northeast", although it's the same hill.

In 2006, Sébastien Mettraux, a swiss artist made a photograph titled "Bliss, after Bill Gates, 2006". Mettraux, who lives and works near the Vallée de Joux, explained that it was taken in Les Esserts-de-Rives, Switzerland. A local rumour said that the hill of the Windows XP wallpaper came from this area in heart of the "watch valley". It is a mistake but the photography shows that the hill is a lookalike. This photography has been showed in the festival "Images'08" in Vevey .

Monday, 6 August 2012


Lissa is:
the old Venetian name for the Adriatic island of Vis
the German name for the town of Leszno in Poland when it had a Moravian college and a gymnasium
There have been two naval Battles of Lissa fought in the Adriatic Sea near the island of Lissa.
Battle of Lissa (1811) - 13 March 1811 British frigates defeat a French and Venetian fleet.
Battle of Lissa (1866) - 20 July 1866 Austrian fleet defeats Italian fleet during Austro-Prussian War.
Lissa is also a female given name, often foreshortened from Melissa.

Thursday, 18 August 2011


The plants are distinctive vegetatively, with a rootstock consisting of a slender rhizome or group of rhizomes (the "crown"). Storage roots consist of sausage-like water storing structures "suspended" from the rhizome by major roots. In this way the root system resembles that of dahlias. Above-ground shoots may be very short in some alpine Andean species (a few inches tall) or up to about 5 feet (1.5 m) tall in other species. Each year (more often in some hybrids) up to 80 new shoots are produced from the rootstock and each terminates in an umbel of a few up to 10 or so flowers.

Perhaps the most fascinating- and telltale- morphological trait of Alstroemeria and its relatives is the fact that the leaves are resupinate, that is, they twist from the base so that what appears to be the upper leaf surface is in fact the lower leaf surface. This very unusual botanical feature is easily observed in the leaves on cut flowers from the florist.

The flowers of Alstroemeria are generally showy. All six tepals (tepal denotes either petal or sepal when both are similar, as in lilies, amaryllis, etc.) are roughly similar. In some species two tepals are enlarged and vividly colored and act as "flags" for pollination. The ovary is inferior and the seeds are hard and rounded.

See also Bomarea, the other major genus in the Alstroemeriaceae. They are essentially twining Alstroemerias (though some species are not vining), with most species occurring in the Andes.

Alstroemeria is named after the Swedish botanist Baron Klas von Alstroemer.