Saturday, July 14, 2012

I Still Hate Computers

So, I'm about to have to lay out some cash on a new monitor. This 17" LCD (less than five years old) is dying. When powering on, the screen just displays garbage until it warms up or something (didn't think LCD's had anything to warm up, but that is nonetheless the behavior it displays) and then the normal picture appears.

I'd chalk it up as my video card dying... but it only happens when the monitor has been off -- never any other time. Every day it takes longer for the picture to show than the previous day.

First day was only about ten seconds; this evening when I hit the button after getting up it took three minutes and change. Interestingly, during the garbage phase, the menu and auto-adjust buttons, zey do nusink.

This annoys me. As I type this, there sits behind me on a cheap particle board "tv stand" an Orion 13" television, bought for me by my dad in the latter part of 1996. Aside from having been used so much the paint is worn off the power button, it still works like the day it was new.

For some reason computer monitors never last, though. Damned programmed obsolescence.

Was in Best Buy a couple weeks ago; my dad wanted me along as consultant when he was buying a new laptop, and I had plenty of time to kill while he was talking to the sales moron.

I should note: I buy locally because I trust UPS with fragile electronics less than I'd trust a hippy with my wallet. I cannot speak for them on a national level, but the local UPS depot has a horrific percentage of damaged merchandise -- and what they don't damage, they have a good chance of stealing. So, I pay the "extra" and get it locally where I have someone to bitch at in person if it's broken.

Anyway. Saw in Best Buy they had several 21 - 23" wide screen LCD and LED monitors in the two Commstar bill and change range...

...What's that? You don't know what a Commstar bill is or why that's funny? Ugh, kids today...

So decently big monitors appear to be in the $200 range, and I'm thinking much as I don't want to blow the money, rather than cheaping out and getting another 17" model, I'll just cut to chase and buy a bigger HD model. I think I had it figured up that 23" was the biggest my desk will handle; so I'll probably get the 21 or 22" to leave a bit of buffer around the monitor (and so I can slide it back to keep it out of my face -- my eyes are bad enough as it is).

Seems like every time I get ahead, something is breaking. I'll tell you this, though: the PC industry is lucky I like my girls so much; if not for them, I'd have given up anything beyond the most casual of gaming years ago and would probably be rocking a netbook right now.

For the time being, I've activated a screensaver; and only turn the monitor off when I crash for the night/day/whenever I'm about to keel over. Haven't been able to get into the city; and the local Wal-Mart carries monitors... but their employees are the people too stupid to get jobs at UPS.

Well, I did want that spiffy Westinghouse 23" LEDHDLMNOP monitor I saw a few months ago for optimum Skyrim pretties... but damned if I don't resent the hell out of being forced to upgrade.

Goodbye, 458 SOCOM upper for my Colt...


  1. This is just a wild guess from someone who is hardly an expert on the subject... but I think after a given period of time the goo that's in these monitors loses its ability to properly conduct current.

    If it's any consolation, you're not alone. While my monitor doesn't need to warm up, it has developed a red line about one pixel wide running from the bottom right-hand edge of the screen to about two inches in. Not debilitating by any means, but aesthetically it's glaringly annoying. And since I'm still only working part-time, I've had to choose to deal with it. I could always use the monitor from the Dell, but I've grown rather fond of the widescreen dimensions.

  2. Nos - once you go from that dinky 17" to a 22" widescreen, you'll hate to use anything smaller. As for why it's doing that, most likely the dielectric in the capacitors in it is breaking down or leaking out - classic issue with the cheaper chinese-made electronics. Had one here at home and one at work with the same issue.

    And I'm pretty sure it was Comstar. one M. I'll bet you a C-Bill on it. :P (Card-carrying member of the Church of Battletech)

    I'm using a single 24" widescreen LCD now, trying to rearrange the desk so I can use a second smaller monitor and go dual

    1. ...the dielectric in the capacitors... yeah, that's what I said...

    2. Ugh.

      Stupid thing refused to turn on Sunday at all.

      Only got a picture this morning by letting it sit for thirty odd minutes with the computer booted while I watched a Babylon 5 DVD on the pathetic, archaic (yet still working) television.

      As for the M's in Comstar I've seen it go both ways -- I think it depends on which author is writing the cult that day. I'll cede to your expertise, though, as I haven't had my head in one of the novels since before they started that Dark Ages nonsense.

      I tell ya, you never realize how much you use a computer until you can't anymore. Yesterday, I was relegated to... cable. Ended up sleeping most of the day away instead. Twenty-four hours of being without PC reminds me why it's become my primary form of entertainment in this Skeever-hole of a town.

      On the up side, once I got a stupid picture out of this thing, I think it'll keep on keepin' on until I power it down again -- which I won't if I have a choice in the matter.

      Can't speak to the dielectric whatchamajiggers, as my few forays into proper electronics work tended to end in components burnt beyond function by the soldering iron.

      I am curious, though: is there any electronics on the market today that are not cheap Chinese garbage? I haven't had good luck finding any at any price...

    3. the market these days for consumer electronics is cheap chinese, decent chinese, cheap korean, decent korean, and decent but overpriced japanese. And both Korea and Japan may outsource manufacturing to another lesser country in the far east as well, like Malaysia.

      My choice lately has been Korean - LG mostly

    4. Actually, according to the box this Samsung is meheecan, of all things. I didn't even know they made electronics except for remote controls.

      Maybe they meant the box was made in Mexico? I dunno.

      Still, the quality seems good enough for the price; and it's not like their slave labor could be much more incompetent than the Chinese.

      I'd probably have sprang for Nihon if I could find it, but didn't see any on the rack in the familiar Japanese company names. You'd think Best Buy would carry Sony or some such, but apparently not.

  3. Samsung is good too, especially monitors - we have dual 23" Sammies on the desks at work for our shop running 1920x1200 . I was referring to general consumer electronics - We've got a couple of window-mount air conditioners in the house made by LG that are nice, a 42" LCD TV downstairs by them, and the fridge is LG as well.

    1. Looked at the LG monitors, but wasn't terribly impressed. Trouble with buying from Best Buy and similar though is they split the friggin' signal so many times on the displays that it's impossible to get a feel for the actual picture quality (or lack thereof). I think one of the 27"ers I looked at was an LG, though; and it seemed nice.