New flatpanels....

I have space on my desk at home now.

I used to have 2 nice 21" Sun monitors sitting on my desk. One was attached to a SunRay (which was tied to an Ultra-60 that I put down in my basement because it was warming up my office too much) and the other was attached to my PC.

This was all fine and dandy because they are beautiful screens, but they weighed 72lbs each and sucked 130W each in power (at leat accoring to the Sun System Handbook.) Actually, the weight and power consumption wasn't that big of a deal to me. What I did start to notice though is that they were just plain big. 20" deep. I found that with the desk that I had them on I was sitting less than 6 inches away from the screen at times. Not a good thing.

So on Monday, one of Office Administrators that I help out with technical issues came asking me for help with her iWork JDS PC that I set-up for her a while back. (She baked me cookies, so its a fair trade in my opinion.) Her CRT monitor had died. I impressed her by asking, "Did it die with a loud "POP?!?!?" I think that's how all CRT monitors die. Of course, it did die in that fashion. Anyways, she and her husband had gone out looking for a new montior to get to replace it and had found a good deal. Her JDS PC got the hand me down because the new LCD panel went on their Sony Media Center PC and its LCD went on the JDS PC.

Her problem now was that she couldn't get a display on the LCD panel. It booted up, but when it was supposed t go to a login screen, the graphics die. It was a simple fix because the system was trying to use a refresh rate that was way too high for LCD panels. I just put the JDS PC into the lab and hooked it up to one of the CRT's and kicked the refresh rate down and then attached it back to the LCD.

Another problem solved, and I'm getting cookies out of it too. Well, maybe not cookies. She said that I might just get some Schell's Beer out of it instead. That's fine by me too.

She started to talk about the new LCD panel that they found. Office Depot had a great deal on some LG 19" flatpanel monitors. They were selling the Flatron L1930B for $494. That by itself isn't a great deal, but they had $220 in rebates on it. This kicks the price down to something like $320 after taxes. (You might figure that I wouldn't buy another LG item after the fun with the dryer. Even though the parts for that dryer wound up being $90 for whole gas valve assembly, I still like LG and I wouldn't try to take apart an LCD panel myself and this one has a 3 year warranty anyways.)

Near as I can tell, the Flatron L1930B has been discontinued, which probably explains the huge rebates on it. There were some newer ones at the Office Depot store that had better contrast and refresh rates. (The L1930B has a 25ms refresh rate while the newer ones have a 12ms refresh.) For what I use them for, the slight change in specs don't justify a $200+ price jump.

I picked up two of them. I have space on my desk now and I'm not looking at the screen from a distance of 6 inches anymore.

Now all I need is a new PC. My old 800MHz Athlon is getting long in the tooth and the video card fan on it is making a nice grinding noise. I'm really leaning towards a Mac Mini or a Power Mac G5. I know its a big difference in price and horsepower. I won't decide until the end of this month when Tiger is released. I really want to do a bunch of video editing and that's the way to go. If I didn't do that, then I'd get a Athlon64 PC and put Solaris 10 on it.

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About

Phil is an Area Technical Engineer in the Central Area of Oracle's Field Service in North America. He has 15 years of experience supporting Sun's entire product line.

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