Daily Archives: November 30, 2010

Downsizing

Deprived of my 24″ monitor from Sun, last night I pressed my older 19″ monitor back into service.  That gives me a month to live with it and decide whether I feel the need to upgrade back to something bigger before the VAT rise.

The 19″ monitor was originally selected for several attributes:

  • It was one of the cheapest on the market.
  • Its general specs were pretty-much as good as anything at consumer-prices at the time (the main limitation being 1280×1024 resolution, the same as on many 17″ monitors).
  • Its power consumption was one of the lowest available, at about 40W (nowadays it seems I can get 24″ monitors in the same ballpark in the £200-300 range).
  • It has builtin sound, saving desk space.

First impression last night: I rather like being back on the smaller monitor.  The screen is a pleasure to view, and it actually has some significant advantages:

  • An easy-access on/off switch on the front.  The Sun monitor’s front switch left a nasty high-pitched whistle while ‘off’, so in practice I had to use an awkward-to-reach switch behind on the bottom.
  • Those builtin speakers mean I no longer have to faff about to turn on sound, with speakers periodically getting moved around when space is needed.  Though to be fair, going from two to one desktop computer would no doubt have simplified that anyway.

As against that, I realised the pleasure of the display was not entirely for real.  With lots of windows at the same pixel-size as on 24″ 1920×1200, they were oversized and taking most of the screen: the 19″ monitor was acting as a scaled-up version of the 13″ laptop rather than as a bigger display for multiple apps in luxury.  And the worst thing: an inadequate stand, so it has to sit on an ugly pile of fat books, notably an old yellow pages retained for that purpose.

OTOH, I’m comfortable with that laptop display, so why not the same on the desktop?  I guess the answer lies in some of the development work for which I tend to prefer the desktop.