RE: Business case for dual monitors

Subject: RE: Business case for dual monitors
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Greg Holmes" <greg -dot- holmes -at- gmail -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 15:50:10 -0400

Greg Holmes objected:

> I guess it's just matter of preference. Big monitor, yes.
> Wide monitor, definitely. LCD, absolutely.
>
> But I tried dual monitors for a bit and it was just ...
> annoying to me. Even when everything worked perfectly[1], I
> really didn't feel there was any benefit. They were both wide,
> so they really couldn't both be "in front" of me. I had to
> have a primary monitor and one "off to the side". It was more
> annoying and time consuming to be turning my head then it
> was to just flick ALT+TAB and keep my gaze forward. Three
> sides of my primary screen were a bumper for my mouse
> like normal, but one side was an abyss where the mouse
> cursor kept falling off ;)
>
> [1] Which it didn't. Example: oh, I must have dragged an
> email off to the side monitor once, so *clearly* that means
> I want *all* new emails to open over there from now on.
> Not.
>
>
> Anyway, I understand why dual monitors are better in theory, but
> for me personally experience didn't bear that out.

Well, if it matters - and it does to me - my dual monitors are a pair of
20.1-inch "old"-format (4x3, not wide-format) DELL 2007FPBs with
1600x1200.

That's more overall real-estate than many wide-screen LCDs, and more of
it is vertical, meaning that the two outside edges are not all _that_
far from the center of my visual attention. Also, on a pixel basis, I'm
better off than anybody with 20-ish-inch wide displays (because theirs
are shorter in the vertical dimension (both in the height measurement
and in the vertical pixel count), and better off than most who have
22-inch wide monitors (because I haven't seen many that exceed 1600x1200
unless you care to pay a LOT of dollars.

Unfortunately, nobody seems to be making what used to be the standard
ratio monitors any more. They're all wide but shallow. Good if they
match movie format for those who view movies on them, but not as good
for a nice tall couple of pages of document, side-by-side. It's a
function of the templates used for LCD screens. Like cutting patterns
out of swaths of fabric. You can get more wide-aspect LCDs out of one
big template than you can get 4x3 LCDs out of the same piece of
material. So they trumpet the wide aspect as though it's a real bonus
.... as the carpet salesman said:
"Never mind the quality! Feel the WIDTH!!" :-)

I see several people with dual wide-screens and the on-screen object
size (including font/letter-height of regular text) adjusted for best
readability at their preferred distance... showing just the top 2/3 of
each page, and scrolling down to read the rest.

Yeah, yeah, I know that young eyes can cram a full page of Word doc into
vertical 900 pixels (instead of my 1200) and still read it comfortably
all day, but the middle-aged and older farts are the ones who were
surprised how much they had to accommodate the wide-but-stubby screens,
rather than their new displays accommodating them.

YMMV

Kevin
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References:
RE: Business case for dual monitors: From: Greg Holmes

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