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Dude, where's my pixels?! - Nothing to See Here — LiveJournal

May. 10th, 2008

07:35 pm - Dude, where's my pixels?!

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Date:May 11th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
A few months ago, I traded my desktop's old 19" CRTs, which I had set at a fairly high resolution, for a pair of 19" widescreens that are locked at 1440x900.

I'm with you: this fancy new-fangled widescreen stuff doesn't feel like an upgrade.

The loss of vertical screen range makes everything feel SCRUNCHED, and I've yet to find a way to get them to a comfortable viewing height. It's particularly noticeable when I'm working in a word processor, though even horizontally-oriented spreadsheets are something of a pain. I can't full-view most graphics without resizing, either, which makes browsing art sites less pleasant.

I find myself unconsciously holding my head at odd angles as if I'm trying to peer OVER the bottom of the frame, to see what it's blocking.

I'd love to be able to simply turn one of these 90 degrees into Portrait mode, but the drivers just don't work that way. That would be the ideal combination: one portrait monitor for page-formatted materials, one landscape for media.

A bigger monitor -- at least one -- is on my Upgrade List. One might do the trick; I use the second monitor largely for chat windows and side-reference material, and 1440x900 seems entirely adequate for that.
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[User Picture]
Date:May 12th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
I don't think there's necessarily anything inherently bad about widescreen (a widescreen laptop is easier to use on an aeroplane, for example, as it doesn't require as much room between your belly and the seat in front), but I think surpheon said it very eloquently: That the marketing halo surrounding widescreen enabled them to sell the sexiness of widescreen, enabling them to trim pixels without people paying as much attention because, well, of course the ratio will change.

Good luck with sorting out your desktop environment!

Having 2 monitors in the obvious configuration (side-by-side; the only one that really works -- I know someone who tried to do 3 across by 2 high, and he found that he couldn't really use the vertical space of monitors above other monitors) worked better back when they weren't widescreen, I think. Even putting two regular aspect ratio monitors side by side was pushing the golden rule envelope far enough, so putting 2 widescreens beside each other seems like it's seriously pushing it.

Though ... I guess some people find that 3 regular aspect monitors side-by-side works well for them, so perhaps 2 widescreen monitors side by side would work ok, if they had sufficient vertical resolution. Well, and physical height. Hmm.
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Date:May 14th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
Actually, the 19" widescreen works Just Fine as my secondary monitor, which is off to my left and at an angle. I use it for stuff that I largely just glance at, and I can arrange my IM window, my MUCK client, and at least one File Manager window there with no issues. It's the main one that's not really shaped right for anything but web browsing or Second Life.

And even that, I might fix if I could just get it elevated to a decent height...

I've actually kicked around the idea of an over-and-under arrangement, but I'd have to buy or build custom mounting brackets instead of just putting the things on my desk.
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