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Poll

Mark your preference(s)

  • Gaming station full monty (complete with elaborate hardware controls and sound system)
    1 (7.7%)
  • Home workstation full monty (printer-scanner, music instruments and/or home cinema)
    2 (15.4%)
  • Modest homebox (just the absolutely necessary peripherals)
    1 (7.7%)
  • Laptop/netbook (hardware keyboard separate from the screen)
    3 (23.1%)
  • Big-screen tablet (software keyboard)
    1 (7.7%)
  • Smartphone
    2 (15.4%)
  • Gaming console with internet connection
    0 (0%)
  • Different devices on different occasions and for different purposes (specify in the thread)
    3 (23.1%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Topic: The Hardware Thread (Read 29871 times)

  • ersi
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The Hardware Thread
The point of the poll was to include here the technology used to access the forums. For a while I thought of expanding the list with for example e-book readers, because these too sometimes have internet access, but I guess there are enough options already.

Discussion about e-book readers is  is still welcome. And about printed books (obvious hardware). For some people, wristwatch is the kind of technology they need most. All this is hardware subject for discussion in this thread. And of course computer parts.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #75
My current lifestyle does not generate the kind of crap that would solve problems like this.

In that case, you have just two solutions ersi:

a) get someone to hold the monitor vertically for you. Don't let the person to start complaining until you finish your DnD posts.
b) lay down on the desk and put your head paralell with the monitor. Good solution but will probably create another problem, you'll need your keyboard vertical...

:)
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #76
The reorientation is not for DnD posts, but to read PDF's more conveniently. Anyway, the monitor is big and clear enough so that I don't actually need to reorientate it too badly. In fact, it's so big that I physically cannot reorientate it on this desk - not enough space :)

Meanwhile, I have found monitors on sale that can pivot on their legs. Pretty cool. One of those will probably become my extra monitor at another desk.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #77
but to read PDF's more conveniently.

Never found a way I can read documents with more than one or two pages but to print it.The monitor interface simply is not adequated for long documents.

For long that I heard about what would be the solution but it didn't arrived yet to the market, some special ink at the blank pages of a book. Then, just insert a chip in the side part of the book (or usb, or whatever) and the letters will appear as if printed in the pages. :)

With only one physical book we can have the biggest library in the world.

I don't understand why really good inventions never appears.
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #78
Never found a way I can read documents with more than one or two pages but to print it.The monitor interface simply is not adequated for long documents.

I largely agree, except that the "monitor" on my ereader actually is adequate for what it is. Its advantages like a built-in dictionary and choosing your font-size weigh up against its disadvantages like its small size, no note taking capability in a way that is usable and no way to easily flip around between one section of the book and another. Electronic bookmarks don't work nearly as well.

For computer monitors, any mid-range tablet these days has a nicer display than almost all "proper" computer displays out there. My UHD monitor is okay but nothing special in comparison. Of course the principle of backlight is fundamentally uncomfortable no matter how nice and sharp the display gets, but trust me, reading on my UHD monitor is significantly nicer on the eyes.

For long that I heard about what would be the solution but it didn't arrived yet to the market, some special ink at the blank pages of a book. Then, just insert a chip in the side part of the book (or usb, or whatever) and the letters will appear as if printed in the pages.  :)

And write on it with a special pencil. :P

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #79
Do not forget the required special eraser... :)
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #80
This is what I had in mind.


  • Belfrager
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #81
This is what I had in mind.

The "kalender" is from 2014. Get a new one.

I seen no problem for such display. Just follow what I said before.
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #82

The "kalender" is from 2014. Get a new one.

I should get a calendar that displays about five years at once.


I seen no problem for such display. Just follow what I said before.

The thing with reading PDF's at full resolution is that after I set the PDF reader into presentation mode and turn the image, the monitor has to be reoriented physically to match that. And when this purpose has been served, turn the monitor horizontal again.

Notice the shelf in the picture. The bigger monitor had no space there vertically (and its stand only allows for very limited movement). I took the bigger monitor to another desk.

This smaller monitor is LG. It has the same resolution, but it's considerably smaller, 22 inches. It has a bunch of energy-saving quirks, one of which made me think at first, for half an hour or so, that the monitor cannot even connect to Linux computers but needs a special driver on the disk. The bugger kept saying "no signal" and switching itself off. Luckily I figured things out by now.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #83
Is that vertical monitor at the left in the picture showing a pdf page???
That is not Adobe Reader, is it?
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #84
It's Qpdfview. The book is a scan of the commentary of Panini's grammar. In Mate, you should have Atril to open PDF files.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #85
Yes, I have Atril in Linux.

The idea of a second vertical or horizontal display is a real good one. I use it for work for long time and got totally addicted to it.
Text edition, excel sheets, project, digital photograhy and for just general workflow it works great.
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #86

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #87
From the same blog

This evaluates my 27" Samsung HD as a "What is this I don't even" type of product. And, indeed, more pixels should be commonly available at this size.

However, for me it fulfils its purpose on the particular desk where I put it. I absolutely need it to cooperate with my netbook, and it does so very smoothly. My netbook cannot do any better. I don't need to turn the 27" screen vertical, because a webpage in text browser or a pdf shows up well enough in it in half screen. And when I occasionally watch a movie, the screen is perfect for that, better than I have ever had. So, my requirements are rather low-end.

The other monitor is a 21" LG. Along with lesser size, its screen quality is noticeably worse, while the resolution is the same. Due to the worse screen quality and occasional minor flickering, it really needs a pivoting leg to show text upright properly - and it has such a leg. So, not complaining too much about that one either.

As was becoming evident, before looking for better monitors, we need better GPUs first.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #88
The same blog lists these features for an ideal display:


  • Usable screen real-estate for displaying code and tools throughout the entire field of view, minimizing bezels, scrolling, or window shuffling.

  • Concave screen surface centered around the programmer's point of view.

  • High pixel density to display text and information clearly.

  • High refresh rate to avoid the sensation of input lag.

  • Matte screen surface for use within office spaces without glare.

  • Good color accuracy.



This list assumes a few things that are not easy to accept. I would particularly take issue with the first two points.

Point one. If "bezels" means the frame where the screen is embedded, then in some sense I understand that they should be as thin as possible. However, the frame may also provide useful feedback with e.g. an indicator light to show whether it's turned on. So, frames should be no wider than needed, but they have their use, particularly the protective purpose when moving monitors.

My 27" Samsung has a very thin frame and it's totally cool. There's just one button (to navigate the display menu) behind the screen near the edge of the frame, so it's still accessible. That's cool too. There's a small indicator lamp in the front in the frame and I deem it necessary - it blinks when the monitor is plugged in but not outputting anything.

The other monitor has a bit wider frame edge with more buttons on the front. If the buttons are sensible (in this case they are, in my opinion, for example a Reader mode button that somewhat optimises the settings for text contrast), that's how they should be.

If you don't want frames at all, then you must be wanting to fit monitors seamlessly against each other. This is a special user case that cannot be generalised. Ideally, one monitor (to complement the first screen) should be enough. Two (extra) monitors should be the maximum. And I would not want them all seamlessly against each other. In my environment, some space between the monitors is important. There has to be some deskspace between the keyboard and screens where to put e.g. papers/books. Coworkers should be able to catch your attention without waving their hand in front of your eyes. And you have to be able to see out of the window by only slightly turning the head, without taking a step. Otherwise you would go nuts with work, that's for sure.

Don't look at screens too close. Particularly when watching movies, keep a distance a few metres.

Point two. If "concave" means curved (or worse - hollow), then this cannot be idealised either. You may want to change the orientation of the monitor from horizontal to vertical now and then depending on the kind of things that you need displayed. Only a flat monitor is good enough for this.


  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #89
This list assumes a few things that are not easy to accept. I would particularly take issue with the first two points.

I'm inclined to agree. I don't think it's particularly desirable to fill up your entire field of view, especially with a light-emitting monitor. But I do know where he's coming from. I can easily lay out several books or journals next to each other on my desk, but on my monitor I have to switch back and forth. A second monitor of the same type I've got now right next to it would definitely help with that, but I'd also hate the loss of non-monitor view that'd come along with it. Of course that wouldn't apply if I were looking at a wall rather than (partially) into the room. On a wall I still don't know whether it would be desirable, but at least there would be no obvious downsides.

Another point where I'd disagree is that even though I consider 16:9 a travesty, above a certain size it's really not that bad. My 24" monitor is roughly the same height as an A4 sheet of paper, which was still a little obnoxious on FullHD because of a lack of pixel density, but it's acceptable on UltraHD. On 27" a sufficient pixel density (which would mean more than UHD, but that aside) means you have the vertical space of A4 plus space for vertically oversized GUI elements like you get in many current operating systems. Of course, sometimes having more space is nice. On your desk, even a small one you can typically easily 6 A4 sheets of paper next to each other. But I think to me this doesn't necessarily mean that I'd want a bigger monitor, but rather that I'd want a better e-reader or two on the side.

I'd like to expand on my oversized GUI remark as well. For you see, somehow over at Apple and Microsoft they think all GUI elements should simply be scaled x2. I think that's an outdated paradigm, necessitated by a former lack of pixel density. I use my menu etc. at what you might call x1.4 (DPI setting of 130), while I use most of my content at what you might call x1.8 to x2. It used to be that smaller than 10px was illegible on account of too few pixels. Now 16px gives me the same size 8px used to, except it's perfectly legible.

Point two. If "concave" means curved (or worse - hollow), then this cannot be idealised either. You may want to change the orientation of the monitor from horizontal to vertical now and then depending on the kind of things that you need displayed. Only a flat monitor is good enough for this.

That does raise the point that perhaps a second monitor on the side should be vertical (at least in the present climate), but I think it's overlooking the fact that this guy's ideal monitor is a ~55" complete field-of-view filling beast with a 5:4 aspect ratio. I'm pretty sure he's not saying a "small" 24" or 27" monitor should be curved.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #90

Point two. If "concave" means curved (or worse - hollow), then this cannot be idealised either. You may want to change the orientation of the monitor from horizontal to vertical now and then depending on the kind of things that you need displayed. Only a flat monitor is good enough for this.

That does raise the point that perhaps a second monitor on the side should be vertical (at least in the present climate),...

You mean like having two (extra) monitors, whereof one horizontal, the other vertical, for different purposes? I'd prefer a single one that I can rearrange for different purposes. There's a limit to multitasking and, after a certain number of hours, there's a need to grab something else than a mouse.


...but I think it's overlooking the fact that this guy's ideal monitor is a ~55" complete field-of-view filling beast with a 5:4 aspect ratio. I'm pretty sure he's not saying a "small" 24" or 27" monitor should be curved.

Actually, I think I saw some pics on the blog that show curved monitors of that size. For example, this image was attached to the first article you linked.

Are they curved? Somewhat, looks like. (I couldn't find the YT video in the picture, but I found this cool review of Surface Pro 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKcMqCAYkpk which seems to be an ad for dockable GPU's at the same time, if I'm getting it right. I didn't know such things existed.)

But yes, I am overlooking that his ideal monitor would be an oversized beast. I'm deliberately overlooking this because virtual content of such size, particularly at close range, would be mind-numbing sci-fi, a present and future that I don't want. Such a monitor would be literally radiating your brains away.
  • Last Edit: 2015-12-20, 13:17:11 by ersi

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #91
You mean like having two (extra) monitors, whereof one horizontal, the other vertical, for different purposes? I'd prefer a single one that I can rearrange for different purposes. There's a limit to multitasking and, after a certain number of hours, there's a need to grab something else than a mouse.

No, I meant only one extra monitor, not a "second second" (=third) monitor. :P Sure, you might flip the orientation of the extra monitor, but the most sensible default configuration would probably be one horizontal and one vertical. Maybe not. I don't know; I merely put my laptop next to my screen sometimes (using Synergy for control) to display some documentation or whatnot. But actually I've hardly ever done that anymore over the past year, ever since I acquired my UHD screen. I can comfortably put two things side by side, combined with a couple of workspaces that serves my purposes. I don't know how I ever got anything done without workspaces on Windows in the past.

Actually, I think I saw some pics on the blog that show curved monitors of that size. For example, this image was attached to the first article you linked.

Right, in that scenario it does make some sense.

Such a monitor would be literally radiating your brains away.

As you know, my ideal monitor contains no light source, but only reflects environmental light. For a monitor similar to a sizable painting, it makes the difference between a nightmare and something I'd at least consider getting if the price weren't too high.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #92

Such a monitor would be literally radiating your brains away.

As you know, my ideal monitor contains no light source, but only reflects environmental light. For a monitor similar to a sizable painting, it makes the difference between a nightmare and something I'd at least consider getting if the price weren't too high.

It would radiate the brains away even by purely environmental light. I have been to Louvre. Oversized paintings are a nightmare. No wonder those rulers and courtiers lived as if in a different world compared to normal people - the paintings and frescos on the walls and ceilings convinced them they actually were a different world. Luckily we actual normal people only visit a day and then walk away.

In scifi movies you see translucent touchwalls. The virtual content on such a screen surrounds the person from every angle. The person is enclosed in it. Even if the screen doesn't emit light of its own (unlikely; it has to emit something to alert you occasionally), the virtual content impresses itself on you, intertwining itself with the mind. Technology like this is the next plan, I suspect.

I prefer sizes that can be physically handled, taken and put away as needed. If it's too big to be lifted and carried by one hand, then it's too big. My 27" Samsung is just about the limit. It's a decent movie screen and reasonable for two text documents side by side (with better resolution it would be good for more, but at this resolution I don't make the mistake of staring it too close). Bigger than this would be too big. The next monitor I bought was considerably smaller.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #93
It would radiate the brains away even by purely environmental light. I have been to Louvre. Oversized paintings are a nightmare.

Perhaps things have changed since I was there in '02, but the Louvre isn't exactly an example of a museum with very good lighting.

I prefer sizes that can be physically handled, taken and put away as needed. If it's too big to be lifted and carried by one hand, then it's too big.

Ah, but my hypothetical 55" reflective monitor would just roll up and be easily transported in a cardboard tube, much like a real painting. ;) But yeah, 1.4m diagonally seems a bit excessive unless you want to use it from fairly far away. Which for your eyes might not even be a bad idea, come to think of it.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #94

Ah, but my hypothetical 55" reflective monitor would just roll up and be easily transported in a cardboard tube, much like a real painting. ;)

Sort of cool idea, but wouldn't this mean you would also need to carry along the stand to put it on so that it would stay straight and smooth? You know, like with a real painting. When you paint, then the canvas is stretched on a stand, and when you display the painting, then it's on a wall, stretched in a frame. When it's rolled up, it's not in a usable mode.

On a related note, I have been eyeing some of them flexible keyboards. Some are done so that they light up nicely in the dark.

Seems like an awesome thing to roll up and take along anywhere, right? I actually don't think so. Such malleable things are only as good as the surface where you put them on. To me it seems that if you don't find sufficient surface, e.g. you are stuck on a train or in a tent, then you cannot use it. Solid shape is better for a keyboard, because it doesn't need any other surface. I'd say it's the same with screens.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #95
Sort of cool idea, but wouldn't this mean you would also need to carry along the stand to put it on so that it would stay straight and smooth? You know, like with a real painting. When you paint, then the canvas is stretched on a stand, and when you display the painting, then it's on a wall, stretched in a frame. When it's rolled up, it's not in a usable mode.

Last I checked monitors also came with stands. In fact the stand that came with my monitor is a lot harder to transport than the monitor itself or even than my much superior monitor arm. I'd much rather they sold monitors without stands. There's the VESA standard for a reason. Anyway, a painting, frame and all, really isn't that heavy. In rolled-out form you just have to be a little more careful with it.

Seems like an awesome thing to roll up and take along anywhere, right? I actually don't think so. Such malleable things are only as good as the surface where you put them on. To me it seems that if you don't find sufficient surface, e.g. you are stuck on a train or in a tent, then you cannot use it. Solid shape is better for a keyboard, because it doesn't need any other surface. I'd say it's the same with screens.

I've hardly got anything useful on my desk other than a couple of pens and some paper that I could easily take along on a train. Even my Le Petit Robert which is currently lying in front of me is far too unwieldy for that. As far as I'm concerned these are almost completely separate matters. Anyway, that's just a general point. On the matter of keyboards I'd say the sturdier the better. My keyboard weighs 1.36 kg thanks to the steel backplate. Should monitors be sturdy? I don't know; I kind of like the idea of a sheet between sheets except it can change at will.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #96

Last I checked monitors also came with stands.

They do. Monitor stands and arms are inevitable when you intend to use the monitor. A rolled-up monitor would win some space only as long as you are merely carrying it without using it, such as taking it home after buying. It would be a more substantial win if there were public stands for monitors in many places (according to VESA standard or such), just like there are places to charge the mobile phone right now.

But tablets have already been invented, so monitors are already as portable as can be. Still I see no use for a tablet myself. This year they were pushed particularly aggressively, but I managed to buy not a single tablet.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #97
In your quest for the perfect monitor you're forgetting this:
Quote
Project description
Redshift adjusts the color temperature according to the position of the sun. A different color temperature is set during night and daytime. During twilight and early morning, the color temperature transitions smoothly from night to daytime temperature to allow your eyes to slowly adapt. At night the color temperature should be set to match the lamps in your room. This is typically a low temperature at around 3000K-4000K (default is 3700K). During the day, the color temperature should match the light from outside, typically around 5500K-6500K (default is 5500K). The light has a higher temperature on an overcast day.


Download page. I doubt very much that it works correctly but who knows... :)
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #98
In your quest for the perfect monitor you're forgetting this:

That's not an issue if the monitor only reflects light. Anyway, I don't change the color temperature during the day, but I do change my monitor brightness. It's at "0%" if I use it at night and usually about 15%-20% during the day. I can't fathom for the life of me the people who complain about a lack of brightness in monitors.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #99
That's not an issue if the monitor only reflects light.

Are you using a mirror instead a monitor? vanity... :)

I know nothing about monitors that only reflects light.
Color temperature and brightness are two unrelated things. Many times I enter into buidings where the light's color temperature it's simply not adequated for human beings. Maybe it can be used in a morgue.
A matter of attitude.