Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

Remember your first 17 inch CRT ???

Remember your first 17 inch CRT ???

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I was looking at my desk today and reminiscing about what it looked like when I had it made.  It was 1986 and I had been in my new home a little over a year.  I was poor but had finally saved enough money to create my study which included some custom shelves and the desk in this picture.  I have a friend that is a craftsman.  He's really a structural engineer and artist with wood.  You should see the shelves he made me. 

As I recall those days, I had a Viewsonic and a NEC 17" monitor sitting on the back corners of the desk.  However, those monitors were huge in comparison and took up probably one forth of the surface area of the desk, maybe more.

Today, 20 years later, the desk is still awesome and and the display technology is superb.  Click the picture on the right for a larger view.  Now I have a 19" analog LCD on the left, a 24" Widescreen digital LCD in the middle, and a 20" digital LCD on the right.  All three are less than a month old and made by Dell.

No I didn't go crazy and buy three LCD's in one night.  The 19" E197FP came with a machine I purchased for my mother-in-law.  She got my 17" Samsung LCD and a wicked fast Core Duo desktop. 

The 20" 2007FP on the right was a replacement for an ailing 2001FP I purchased two years ago, but was under warranty.  Make sure when you buy an expensive component like this, that you think through the usage.  When you get a monitor with a machine, the warranty for the monitor is the same as the package.

The 24" 2407WFP in the middle was a purchase I made last week and it is an utter pleasure.  It will spoil you because it is very bright and clear.  I set the brightness at 25 during the day, and 0 at night.  I've been wanting this monitor for a while.  I was hopeful to catch one of those 20% discounts but instead I jumped on the 15% promotion price.  I added a year to the three year warranty so it's covered for four years.

I routinely have five to six machines hooked to the monitors.  Multitasking to the max.  The 19" console is for my SBS server and corporate network download machine.  The big boy is for gaming, work, email, etc.  Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 at 1920x1200 is a joy on it.  The 20" is usually playing MCE stuff so if you look close, you'll see Ghost Whisperer starting.

Now you know what the bridge of my Starship looks like and where I get my stuff done.  Wow.  What a change 20 years has made.  The poor iPod crowd has no idea what they missed.  Hell, they probably don't even know what CRT means. 

What's next for the next 20 years?  Should be fun. 

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  • As a matter of fact, I do.  Dell Ultrascan 17" I bought with a Dimension XPS R450.

    Here's a better one...do you remember your first hard drive?  (40 MB for me.)

    So...why not make one of your machines into a headless server and use it's monitor in a dual-screen setup?

  • IBM XT for me with a 10meg as I recall.

    The two monitors on the right (24 and 20) are hooked to my MCE 2005 gaming machine for a multimon configuration.  I use some aging KVM switchers for everything.  

  • I like the headless server idea. You could install Tight VNC (or RealVNC) and just VNC into it when you need to make changes and set it to open on one of the two monitors.

    I have three flat panel LCDs in my office, a 17" on the left, a 19" in the middle, and another 17" on the right. The left is the firewall, middle my desktop and any TightVNC domain workstation I work on, and the right the server (tight vnc) and a remote connection to the corporate anti-virus server.

    My appartment I want to get two 19" Dell digital LCDs.

  • The Dell Ultrasharp 1907FP is currently $247.  Seems like a good price to me.  I paid $500 for the 20" two years ago.

    Remote desktop rocks.  I use RDP a lot both at home and for work.  Of course, VMRC connections to a VM aint bad either.

  • My first 17" CRT was a georgeous Iiyama. I still have it now, it still works too well to just throw away. But it's not used daily anymore, it's on a spare machine in another room.

    My first hard disk was an IBM type 2, 10Mb with MFM interface (not IDE). It was enormouse too, wider than a 5 1/4 inch bay. Served me well though, with my superfast 4.77Mhz 8088 processor. iPods? Pah.

  • VNC?  are you serious?  That has to be the worst remote console program out there.  It's slow to the point of being unuseable.  RDC is a much superior product.  I'm not one to give Microsoft kudos easily but they earned that one.

    I usually RDC into my VM's.  It's much faster than VMRC also.  I'm a big fan of RDC in case you can't tell.  I've go most of a week without ever setting foot in the server room thanks to it.

  • Keith,

    Don't you find it uncomfortable to have a grey wall right behind your desk? Personally, I prefer to have a window behind it or at least some free space.

  • Actually, that's some boring wall paper, not a grey wall.  However, to the right of my desk out of the pic is a huge window with a nice view of my street.