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Grendel Goes Widescreen
hardware : by Tommy - October 31st 2006, 02:34PM
Well, after many years of faithful service, my trusty (crusty?) old 21" CRT gave up the ghost. I bought it several years ago from xulphlux.com" target="_blank">Valt, who found a business selling their used monitors on the cheap. (A 21" for $50?! How could I pass that up?)

It served me well. My games were large, easy to see and I loved it. Writing programs with that much "real estate" was a breeze. At high resolutions, you can really open a bunch of windows and read them all.

So, yesterday afternoon while watching "How It's Made" on Discovery Science Channel, my monitor made a quick popping noise like a racheting socket wrench does. The tube went dark and all was lost. I was relieved it was just the monitor, because from the sound of it, I thought my case fan had come loose and hit the motherboard somehow, shorting something out. So when I saw the system was fine, and the tube had gone out, I wasn't too peeved. (Besides the fact that I have a 17" CRT in the attic as a backup)

So my monitor is out - what to do... I first got on my laptop and looked at Newegg. They had a sale on a Hanns-G, which Notorious had told me was nice. I was about to purchase that very monitor when I decided I should also see what deals were to be had at the local retailers. We first went to Best Buy, nothing to exciting there, but I did feel that 19" was just in my budget and I liked the size of it. We then went to Office Depot, again, nothing too exciting. Just as we were about to leave, I saw a Hanns-G that was on sale. It was the same 19" widescreen that I saw on Newegg for $190, and here it was in the store for $30 less (sans tax). Out of stock, but the price tag was pretty low. Oh well, it was worth a look. The sales guy told me to call back in the morning to see if they get any more in.

This morning I called the store to see if they received any more stock, which they hadn't, and then I called the Tyler store. They did have the monitor in - last one. I told him to hold it and so between my morning classes I ran over to Tyler and got the last one. It looks wonderful - no glaring dead pixels. Widescreen is my new friend.


+ Tommy G.
  Oct 31, 2006 15:58
After getting the monitor setup, I ran into my next question. VGA or DVI? The definitive answer? DVI all the way.

I know, it's digital, yippee. Turns out that the conversion between digital signal to analog connection then back into digital picture creates some data loss and the picture just isn't as rich. Keeping the signal digital from the computer to the screen asures that the image is displayed properly and the colors are exactly what the system renders - no loss.

Three cheers for DVI.


+ James S.
  Oct 31, 2006 16:42
I'm suprised the monitor lasted that long. Mine went out about a year or more back and had to get another to replace it in my arcade machine. That is an excellent price for a WS LCD though, if I had the cash I might be tempted to try and get myself a similar new LCD.


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