Taking the wider view

As there was still no sign of the monitor I decided to undertake a long download. This would obviously stop me installing the new monitor (assuming it arrived) and as this would be highly frustrating, I was sure it would act as an induced delivery. Nope. Grrr.

So I turned to my last weapon, the washing-up. Not much of a weapon, I know, because washing-up is so easy to interrupt, but it was better than nothing and would keep my mind occupied for a while.

It worked! Barely had I got my rubber gloves wet when the doorbell rang. We have this swish entry phone now so I bellowed “Hello! Hello!” into the microphone. You have to shout because people don’t seem to realize what an entry phone is. They don’t expect a voice to come out of the wall.

“Delivery,” said a voice, eventually. I pressed the button that releases the front door and listened for the click. There was none. [Sigh] This delivery man obviously doesn’t know about door buzzers. Fortunately, we are on the ground floor so I went to the front door and took delivery of the monitor sign-and-print-ere-pleez.

Then I went and finished the washing-up. Highly disciplined we tigers, you see. Not easily phazed by the delivery of monitors and other exciting toys.

Then to the unpacking. First, read the check list to make sure everything is there. It is. Now look for the Quick start booklet, pamphlet or sheet. None. Oh yes, cunningly hidden in the plastic envelope with the installation disc. Installation disc? Oh lumme, this is going to be more complicated than I thought.

Now, deep breaths, deep breaths. Let’s find where the present monitor plugs in. Aha! Gotcha. Insert VGA cable. Plug in power cable. Stick audio cable into whatever hole seems to take it. Drape cables becomingly over the furniture. Now where in fernandel do you attach the cable to the monitor? There are no holes! Oh yes, cunningly hidden under the bottom of the frame so you can’t see them.

The sound cable doesn’t fit. The support bracket is in the way. What we do do now? Bing! Light-bulb moment: take a look at the jack you stuck into a hole in the computer. Is it perchance smaller? Yes! It still doesn’t go in. Grunt, squeeze, push, jiggle, snap. Right, it’s in.

Now for the moment of truth: switch on computer. Erm, no, first switch on monitor. Monitor does not come on. The green light does not light. What the fernandel is happening? Will it have to go back? Oh no! Give it a good poke with a tigerish fingernail. Aha! Greenly glowing light have we. Now switch on computer.

Yes! Oh yes! We have vision, most glorious vision! Most widely screened and glowingly colourful vision! But no sound. My music plays in vain and you can’t lip-read a midi file.

Back on hands and knees, poking around the back of the system box (so glad Tigger made me buy a trolley with wheels for the box so we can wheel it out easily), poking the jack into every hole I can find until… music! We have sound! My ear runneth over and my joy is complete.

A little experimentation with settings reveals a screen resolution that suddenly allows me to see all those blogs and Web sites that hitherto ran off the edge and needed me to scroll sideways to view them. Bonus.

Finally, though it seemed superfluous, I inserted the installation disc. You never know, there might be some extra bell or whistle therein.

“Needs Vista,” said the disc.

But we don’t have Vista, do we? We don’t even have any plans to have Vista. So the only option available is the last one: Quit.

But do I care? In a word, no: the monitor is great and my photos look fantastic. Our window on the online world is restored and it is a wider, more colourful window.


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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8 Responses to Taking the wider view

  1. Ed says:

    Glad to hear you’re so pleased with your monitor !
    Talking about door buzzers. I don’t remember seeing them in England when I stayed there. To get me open my flat, one had to slam the lid of the letter box…

  2. SilverTiger says:

    Thanks. The monitor is performing well so far.

    Door buzzers are coming into use here more and more, partly because of high-rise apartment blocks and partly because of security fears.

    The houses we live in are “protected”, that is, they are deemed to be of historic interest and worth and so no alterations are allowed and any additions, such as door entry systems, have to suit the Regency style of the house. Our doorbells are therefore set in a sober brass plate.

  3. David says:

    My Tigers are disciplined creatures. Finish a project before tearing open the new toy is not my forte. I would drop everything to see what the new toy looks like.

  4. SilverTiger says:

    Actually, I am very self-indulgent. Occasionally I like to make a gesture in the opposite direction, teasing myself, as it were 🙂

  5. Ted Marcus says:

    An LCD monitor works best at its native resolution (look that up in the documentation) and usually at a 60Hz refresh rate. It shouldn’t need an installation disk since Windoze can interrogate the monitor directly to determine its capabilities.

    For a free software improvement, download Microsoft’s “ClearType Tuner PowerToy.” It enables and optimizes “sub-pixel rendering” to significantly improve the appearance of text fonts on LCD monitors. Microsoft should have included it in Windoze, but it’s easy enough to remedy that deficiency.

  6. SilverTiger says:

    Thanks for the information.

    The monitor’s documentation doesn’t seem to specify a native resolution. I used the visual check in ClearType Tuner PowerToy but each resolution seemed to pan out about the same.

    I couldn’t see very much difference between the print samples, either. I chose one and think I see some changes as a result but these are subtle so I may just be imagining it.

  7. Ted Marcus says:

    Sub-pixel rendering only works at native resolution. So if you see no difference between settings in the tuner, it could be that you’re not running at the monitor’s native resolution. The documentation may specify a “preferred” resolution rather than “native,” or bury the needed information in a bunch of specifications in the back of the documentation.

  8. SilverTiger says:

    I have been through the paper documentation again carefully and there is no mention of native or preferred resolution. I put the disc in again and found the manual. It wasn’t obvious that it was there – you have to click on “19” standing by itself – but I found it.

    I still cannot find any mention of the above phrases anywhere in the manual’s 20 pages.

    As the monitor is ultimately destined for the new machine and as its appearance on the present machine is quite acceptable, I propose to leave the matter for now. Perhaps Tigger’s brother can shed some light on the matter as he is familiar with this make (Hannes.g)

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