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Journal Chacham's Journal: Monitor Woes 2

My monitor, which i bought in ~95 has died. A Samsung SyncMaster 17 GLsi, i bought in when people told me 17" monitors was a waste of money. Well, i saw one and never turned back.

After a couple years or so it started showing the infamous Samsung quality, and the monitor would need the cord jiggled in order to work properly. Otherwise, the screen would start doing crazy things. Finally, i had to whack it. Until recently, the whackage was anywhere. But, for the last while, it was dead center on the monitor. A good punch and it would show me a picture.

The worst part of the experience was a loud snap. Over the years, every once in a while i'd hear a loud snap, and the picture would show. On Friday, i heard that snap (or at least i think i did) i also think i saw a spark somewhere (can't quite place *where*) and the power light won't even go on.

Well, lucky for me, i have vnc server installed (though not running by default) on this Win98SE machine. And, i had this nifty 21" monitor on my desk sitting right next to the Samsung. A Hitachi SuperScan Supreme 803. Nice monitor. I plugged it in, and nothing worked, got the inf file from hitachi's website, and nothing doing. 640x480 works, anything higher will not. There were 14"-15" debates in years past, but i think we can all agree now, that 640x480 is simply unworkable.

Well, the Hitachi shows 1024x768 when connected to a laptop. My neighbor has another instance of this model, and it works on his Win2k box at 1024x768, though i'm sure i saw it do 1600x1200 as well. And, this monitor was running X at 1600x1200 on my other computer, before the HD sputtered.

A friend suggested it was the video card. So, i removed the NVidia Geoforce 2 MX 32M AGP card (i tried the latest drivers from NVidia's website already) and stuck in the Voodoo 3500 (AGP/TV) card from the other computer (which worked at 1600x1200 with this very monitor) and stuck it in the Windows box. It too will only go to 640x480.

The monitor will show bootup messages, but will not show the BIOS screen or Windows Logos on startup. At this point i'm at a loss. I think i'll have to give up on this monitor with this computer.

On another note, recently i realized that my monitor (the Samsung) was using the most electricity in the apartment. I tested this by watching the disk on the meter fly around. My electric bill should probably be under ten dollars, yet it is closer to thirty. I should probably do a real test and measure killowats over time. In the meanwhile, i'm wondering if an LCD monitor saves that much more on electricity, and if they are worth it.

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Monitor Woes

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  • Your Hitachi monitor is either a fixed frequency or multisync monitor that does not have that many "syncs". It was probably not made for a regular Ol' pc. I have a bunch of nice, huge monitors that work with these HDS X-Terminals, but getting them to work on a PC is a bear. I can get them to work in Linux with some tweaking of the video timings, but Windows will not allow me to manage the timings well enough to get those kinds of monitors going.

    However -- do not despair! Although it's been many years since
  • Start off lowering the Hertz - under the advanced setting on the of your video adapter. Start at 60, and work your way up from there. I've got a few 21" Hitachi monitors - the oldest is an 803 which can do 1600x1200, but I took it down a notch for a better refresh rate.

"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system] made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977