New Monitor Joy
After the discussions with Trina I had scrapped my plans on bringing several computers on vacation and instead just brought my laptop and the Shuttle small form factor computer. It was a lot less equipment to pack and gave me an excuse to play with this new device to fully review how well it would work as a server. I was feeling pretty good about my decision. Trina had not yet realized that I had a new computer and really how ticked off could she get about a computer the size of a small breadbox? That theory would probably have held water if I had not made one severely large mistake; I forgot to pack a monitor.
My plan was so simple and was so flawless that I missed just that one detail. I left sitting at home the flat screen monitor I had designated for this computer. Now here I was over 1,000 miles from home with a computer with a wireless keyboard and mouse but with no monitor.
It was not as though I could just cruise home and get the monitor either. No I was now smack dab in the middle of Bedrock hanging out with the Flintstones.
This was rural Idaho where just within the last 4 years they actually got phone service. I am not talking cellular phone service; I am talking about standard old land line.
Just a few short miles from where I was staying was the last incorporated town in America to gain phone service. It was a pretty big deal too. No I had no choice but to try and find an outlet where I could buy a monitor. At that point I may as well put a big flashing sign over the Shuttle computer with a sign that read “Trina please lecture me on getting yet another computer”.
This was bad on so many levels that I was not even sure where to start. So what is a guy to do when he knows he is on the equivalent of marriage death row? Well I figured if I was going to get killed for getting another computer I may as well die in a spectacular flaming crash. If I was going to get a monitor there was no need to be stealth about it. I may as well get something incredible.
I briefly considered getting a 30 inch LCD with picture-in-picture and capable of high definition video using HDMI or DisplayPort. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on whether you are now siding with me or with Trina) no such monitor was available. Instead I would have to “settle” for a 22 inch LCD screen with DVI connectivity. I placed the order and it arrived just in time for our arrival at our destination.
I went with the Samsung 2253BW. My reasoning was two-fold. First it was in relatively abundant supply from several vendors that actually deliver to the desolate area of Idaho. Secondly it had most of the features I was looking at for a price I was willing to pay.
I unboxed the monitor and set it up. I was impressed with the way it went together and was immediately looking forward to using it. With a resolution of 1680×1050 it is not quite enough to show a full 1080i high definition signal but it is more than enough to support a 720p stream. The monitor is capable of HDCP so I will get full resolution from a digital connection for high-definition viewing. I have been burned in the past for this oversight so this was extremely important. The monitor has a stated 170-degree viewing angle and I can attest that it is indeed accurate.
The color and sharpness are first rate and the refresh rate is quite good. Overall I have been quite impressed with how it has worked. It is large enough that I can do detailed work on digital photographs but is not so intrusive that it overtakes the desktop. It wasn’t the easiest purchase I have had to explain but it was worth a couple of days sleeping on the couch.