Sunday, May 15, 2011

Take a Look at This

I upgraded a monitor a little while ago. The price of large monitors came down to a reasonable point, so I decided to replace a fully functional 19" LCD with someting larger. I went with a 28" I-Inc. Yes, I said 28" diagonal measurement. No, I had never heard of I-Inc, either, but it's working just fine.

Here is a before and after comparison. Yes, my computer desk exists in a constant state of clutter.

To give you an idea of of the scale, that poster of Ramona and Beezus is 27" wide. Oh, and the scrumptious young lady in the background picture on the new monitor is Eve Myles, in a promo picture from the BBC series Torchwood.

So you're wondering why the monitor on the right is sideways. It's because web sites are taller than they are wide, like a sheet of paper. When you view web sites on a conventionally-oriented widescreen monitor, you have a bunch of unused space on the right side and you have to scroll down numerous times to get to the bottom of the page. By flipping the monitor, most web pages fit perfectally side-by-side, and I don't have to scroll as often as you do to get to the bottom of the page. It's not just web pages, some spreadsheets, word docs, programs and pictures like to be vertical, so I like to have one horizontal and one vertical monitor.

With the new and exciting, however, comes some downsides. The new monitor's native resolution is 1920x1080 with 32-bit color. However, my computer wll only support 1920x1080 at 16-bits. That may not sound like much of a difference, but it's huge. Colors turn grainy and are generally unviewable, so I've opted to run the monitor at a resolution of 1680x1050. That doesn't give me the real estate I'd hoped for but at least the colors aren't headache-inducing. I could get a new video card that would support a higher resolution but that increases the overall cost of the project and, most importantly, it's one more decision to make so I haven't done anything about it yet.

Another downside is realizing that the vertical monitor is a piece of garbage. When I got it in 2007, it was fairly expensive, and as a Samsung 23", it was considered top of the line. Right from out of the box, I thought it looked no better than the generic 19" next to it. The Samsung also wasn't very bright, but I just went with it. Then the power switch broke. You can't turn it on or off with the power switch anymore, but by using the menu or auto buttons on the bottom. The problem with the menu button reassigning itself as a power button is that I can no longer adjust the brightness. Now sitting side-by-side with a very bright 28" monitor, the Samsung looks remarkably dim. To sum up this downside, the new monitor has shown me that I really need to upgrade the tall monitor as well, which would, by definition, double the cost of the upgrade project. Another decision I don't want to make.

I'll leave you with the full image of the Ramona and Beezus poster, in case you aren't familiar with it and, really, just because it's cute.

No comments:

Post a Comment