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 (Schrödinger’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 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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