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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

New monitor, hurrah!

I didn't get the HP3065 I was bidding for on Ebay, it went for more than twice as much as I was willing to pay. Which is just as well, because the Korean monitor arrived today.

And it is beautiful!

It's a 27 inch 2560 by 1440, replacing a 24 inch 1920 by 1200 monitor. The colours are great, the text is crisp and sharp, and it cost me about £200, plus vat. I'm using it right now.

The last time I treated myself to a really good monitor, it was the Sony W900, which was 24 inches (but 22.5 inches of actual screen) and was 1920 by 1200. And heavy? I risked an injury every time I moved it. It weighed 92 pounds. Ladysolly isn't much more than that.

But it died quite a while ago, and I've been using a fairly ordinary LCD since then.

The Qnix 2710 is an LED monitor; maybe that's why it's so much brighter? And it weighs like a feather, maybe 15 pounds? I can lift it with one hand. If you've ever schlepped a 92 pounds monitor, you'll know how happy that makes me.

There doesn't seem to be a way to adjust the angles at which I view it, but I don't mind that because its angle is good. And the manual is entirely incomprehensible, unless you can read Korean.

There are no dead or sticking pixels, or at least none that I can see. And the 27 inches is genuine; I measured it.

Setting it up was not easy. I'm using Fedora release 19 (Schr√∂dinger’s Cat), and most of the people running Linux these days seem to be Ubuntu. So it took a bit of work to see how to set it up, most of what I googled was for Ubuntu. But Fedora and Ubuntu aren't that different, so I was able to work it out. Here's the trick.

I used http://xtiming.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/xtiming.pl to create a "modeline", and until I told it to use 30 Hz for the scan rate, the screen was just a mess. I don't know why I tried 30 HZ, this monitor is supposed to be able to do 60.

Then I used xranr to tell it about the new setting:

xrandr --newmode  "2560x1440@30" 143.93 2560 2592 3136 3168 1440 1473 1480 1513

Then I told it to add that to its list:

xrandr --addmode DVI-0 2560x1440@30

Then I used "display settings" to enable the new monitor (connected to the dual-DVI port of the computer). That gave me a dual-monitor system; I could slide a window past the edge of the screen, and it would appear on the other screen! But that isn't what I wanted, so I disabled the old screen.

I still have one minor glitch - when the computer starts up, the display is on the VGA port until I start X windows. My fix for that, is to connect the VGA port to another monitor using a KVM switch, just for while I boot up the computer. Slightly annoying, but I very rarely start up this computer, it's normally on all the time.

Still to do: I plan to move the old 1920x1200 monitor to replace a 1920x1080 that has an annoying habit of blanking for no reason, and it has to be switched on and off to bring it alive again. That's the monitor I have on my Windows machine (used for Memory Map, GSAK and iTunes). And that old 1920x1080 will probably replace a 1280 by 960 that I have in my workshop, used as a display while I fix things. Or possibly as the workshop workstation (used for logging in to servers while I'm in the workshop, or for googling information needed to get a computer working).


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