Three’s a crowd
I got a new mac mini last week and quickly conceded that i needed to get a new monitor, a third monitor. I just can’t go back to one monitor for one machine which is what i’d have to do if i were to run my PC and mac mini from my two existing monitors.
Anyone who has a dual monitor set up will understand, it’s incredibly frustrating losing one monitor, no matter how long it’s for. So the third monitor was bought especially for my new mac mini. So i now have two desktop computers & three monitors on my desk which will allow me to work faster and smarter. Even if it’s just a college assignment i can have the question open on one monitor, be googling in another and be writing text on the third. No switching, no flicking between windows.
Believe it or not, i’m already becoming dependant on the third monitor… i temporarily got them all up and running but i’m a DVI cable short. I hooked the new monitor up to my netbook via a VGA cable and left tweetdeck open on it.
When i shut my netbook down and turned off the monitor, i felt something was missing and i was instinctively looking to my right for twitter updates, even after just a few hours of use. It’s scary how quickly i find myself relying on it. So i’ve no doubt that in a few weeks time, i’ll just take all 3 monitors for granted and it’s gonna frustrate me working with two, never mind one. Whilst the trend these days is to move away from desktops to laptops, i’ve done the complete opposite and gone from one laptop to two desktops & 3 monitors.
For those of you that question the need for more than one monitor, (that would be most people who don’t work in IT or aren’t IT enthusiasts), it probably sounds & looks ridiculous but i wouldn’t knock it until you try it… with the right set up, i’m sure even the average home user could see the advantages. If you’re constantly flicking between windows and tabs, a second monitor for me would seem like an obvious thing to get… once upon a time i too would have thought of that idea as a complete waste.
The monitor itself
The first thing i noticed was how white the whites are! Check out the picture above! My old samsung monitors look yellow next to this one. Everything seems much brighter and sharper. It is of course Full HD too which helps and it’s 21.5″. My two existing monitors are 20″. Luckily, this monitor adds the extra 1.5″ on to it’s width rather than height, otherwise it would stand taller than the rest and look a bit out of place.
There’s a nice honest review here on trusted reviews. In summary, it says it’s a bargain basement monitor with no frills, but it’s also superb value for money and i’d agree with that. I’ll talk more about it once i spend more time playing with it…
A guy walks in to a computer shop looking for a DVI cable
The one negative thing about this new monitor is that it comes with a VGA cable. I have a DVI port/ adapter on my mac mini and two DVI slots on my PC (both of my existing monitors use DVI). So that means i have to go out and buy a DVI cable… no big deal, they’re fairly common and almost all modern LCD monitors and graphics cards use DVI. So this evening i went in to a local computer shop and here’s the conversation i had with the sales guy;
Me: “Hi, just wondering if you have any dvi to dvi cables?”
Sales Assistant: *slightly puzzled look…* “What’s it for? a tv?”
Me: “No, a PC monitor”
Sales Assistant: “Yeah but what’s it connected to?”
Me: “A PC”
Sales Assistant: “Well we have these monitor cables here” *points to VGA cables which i’d already looked at and he seen me looking at*
Me: “Yeah i seen them but they’re just VGA cables”
Sales Assistant: “What’s it called again? What is it?”
Me: “A DVI cable – those VGA cables are analogue, DVI is digital and my PC only has a DVI port on it.”
Sales Assistant: “Nah that’s too complicated for me…” *laughs*
Me: *laughs as well but for different reasons, then walks off*
I mean what the hell… if you sell computer stuff and are working in a computer shop you should know what DVI is or what a DVI cable does. It’s not like the vast majority of LCD monitors and graphics cards built over the past 5 years come with DVI ports or cables or anything 🙄
This is another reason to add to my ‘reasons not to buy tech stuff in shops’ list. Reason no.1 is expense. On this occasion i don’t mind paying over the odds for a cable because i’m guessing (and hoping) they can’t be any more than €10 in a shop. I’ll try another ‘computer’ shop in town tomorrow and see what i can find…
I realise all these terms and all this stuff i’m talking about is fairly technical, i understand that from an average man on the street’s perspective… but if you walk in to a computer shop, you expect those guys to know a bit about computers and i would have thought this would be ‘basic’ knowledge…