My New Monitor’s Here! My New Monitor’s Here!

With apologies to Steve Martin.

I just got my new monitor (after the whole Office Move thingy I decided I didn’t want to move the big monitors again).  It’s a Del 2001FP which does 1600×1200 natively.

Oh man, I don’t know WHAT I was thinking of in waiting to get this puppy.  I have a 2001FP at home on my home machine, but I hadn’t realized just how nice it was as a work monitor.

This is one SWEET monitor.  It’s SO crisp.


Now all I need to do is to figure out how I can justify a second šŸ™‚


Comments (41)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I also have a Dell 2001FP and "sweet" is exactly right. As for getting two of them… I’m pondering getting a new video card that does portrait, which I think would be nice for coding (not that my functions are all that long…). Imagine two of these bad boys side-by-side in portrait mode. šŸ™‚

  2. Anonymous says:

    Being the window manager architect is usually the best way to get multiple monitor setups. šŸ™‚ Lots of them. šŸ™‚

  3. Anonymous says:

    Only one? I use two Viewsonic VP201Bs, each 1600×1200 off a X300 card. Two (3200×1200) is definitely better than on.

    Of course, what I really want is two 1920×1538 monitors…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, I have no idea how I ever coded with only one monitor. Having the spec open on one while coding on the other is the ONLY way to go for me anymore.

  5. I’ve used dual monitors for about 4 years now. But the difference the flat screen makes is amazing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just keep giving me reasons to hate you Larry =)

    I have a 19" ViewSonic CRT. I like the idea of duel but as I do a lot of gaming it would more than likely break stuff (plus I don’t have the room on the desk).

  7. Manip, it cost like $620 or so for the monitor. I was really surprised at how cheap it was.

    At work, it replaced a Multisync FE1250, at home, it replaced an IIYAMA 19 inch CRT.

    Btw, I’ll whole heartedly endorse the IIYAMA CRTs – they’re REALLY quite nice.

  8. Anonymous says:

    $620? Might have well be $620,000 *student*. šŸ™‚

  9. Anonymous says:

    > Now all I need to do is to figure out how I

    > can justify a second šŸ™‚

    You can’t. The longest waiting period that you can justify is 55ms.

    > Btw, I’ll whole heartedly endorse the IIYAMA

    > CRTs – they’re REALLY quite nice.

    Want any used ones? Around 2,000 to 4,000 yen per used CRT monitor (including Iiyama). Though if you’re in the right place at the right time, you might find someone willing to pay you a few hundred yen to take it off their hands, so they don’t have to take it to a store and pay a recycling fee to get rid of it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    You definitely want a second 2001FP Larry. I had a 2001FP with a 21" Sony CRT and eventually decided I wanted some desktop space back so ordered another 2001fp, now you couldn’t get me to go back. Simply amazing. I am now trying to figure out if I can get a third to fit in the space.

  11. Anonymous says:

    You need a second because these things are better set up *vertically*.

    I’ve got two vertically, and I love it. It is completely amazing how many lines of code fit on those things when you rotate them.

    The other reason you need two? All Fog Creek summer interns are issued two Dell 2001FPs. Do you want to say that 21 year old kids on summer internships have a better setup than 20 year a Microsoft vet?

    all the best, Joel

  12. Joel,

    Apparently, yes.

    One thing to keep in mind about me is that I don’t like asking for new things because I have a huge degree of "new toy lust". And, because lust is a sin, I actively work to stifle that lust (j/k on that one).

    But the reality is that I just don’t like bothering other people. And asking for things like new toys (hardware) seems somehow "rude".

    It’s a personal failing. Gordon Letwin (who was, in many ways, my first mentor) used to take me to task for settling for the tools I had instead of asking for the tools that would let me do my job better.

    But I was happy with the FE1250 – if it wasn’t until I realized how heavy it was that I started looking for something better.

    This is also why my laptop’s a 4 year old Dell C510 – it’s good enough for my needs, so why upgrade?

    And why my office stereo is a 15 year old Yamaha YST-C10.

    And why I did all my computer gaming on a 5 year old 1gHz P2 machine (until last year when Daniel and I splurged and got new computers).

    I love new toys, I just don’t feel comfortable spending the money for them šŸ™‚

  13. Anonymous says:

    Bang bang…. he hates CRTs …bang bang… more CRTs!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Now all you still need is a new keyboard:


  15. Uwe,

    Blanks are fine, but my latent tendonitis will turn into full fledged carpal tunnel if I go back to a flat keyboard.

    I’m a hunchbacked keyboard addict at this point.

    The only reason I don’t have carpal tunnel is because of (a) karate/tai chi and (b) the rounded keyboard. Mostly the Karate but the keyboard’s important too.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I do climbing to avoid hand injuries caused by excessive keyboard usage.

    Works pretty well and is a lot of fun šŸ™‚

  17. Anonymous says:

    Nice – I should be getting an HP 20" LCD ( at work soon – I’m just hoping that the new PC it comes with will support DVI. If it’s as nice as the screen on my (personal) laptop, I’ll be very happy!

    It’s replacing a Compaq S910 19" CRT that I’ve had so long I can’t remember when I got it (it’s more than 4 years, probably 5 or 6). But it still does its 1280×1024 job well enough – either that or it’s knackered, but my eyes have adjusted to match it šŸ™‚

  18. ElBiggus says:

    I’m glad you’re happy with it — I just ordered two of them as they seem to have plummeted in price all of a sudden, and I was holding off on TFTs until I could get a large 1600×1200 one for less than a couple of limbs.

    I’m not sure about the vertical orientation that Joel espouses, but a dual monitor setup is one of those things that once you’ve tried you’ll wonder how you managed without it. Don’t feel bad about ordering new toys – it’s not like your employer can’t afford it, and you should consider it a perk of having been there for such a long time. I’ve only worked for my current employer for a couple of years, and so far I’ve persuaded them to buy me about £80,000 of neat gear. It wasn’t *essential*, but I figure it saves about 2 hours a day through increased productivity and less hanging about waiting for stuff to happen so it’ll pay for itself after a while, plus it keeps me happy, and a happy worker is a busy worker. (Or something.)

  19. Anonymous says:

    I’m jealous…no external monitor for my laptop at work, had to bring in my trusty old Dell P991 CRT. For some reason, don’t feel the need for the dual head setup even though I had one for a while.

    Re: Natural keyboard…we had Dec Alpha Stations at college. Great machines, worst keyboards ever (I think Dec got sued by all their typists because of the keyboards). Two weeks into my first job, I was in excruciating pain…picked up a Natural keyboard, no problems since. Sometimes, though, I wonder if I need start looking something even more ergonomic…

  20. Anonymous says:

    I am with Larry on the "new toy lust" thing. When I get interested in something, I wait a few weeks and "really see" if I need it. If it makes it through, plus a bit of WAF (wife acceptance factor), then I proceed. 90% of the time, stuff does not make it.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Who pays for the toys there Larry? Is it Microsoft or yourself? Do you get a budget for new kit or is it based on needs? I’ve seen a few of the channel9 vids and a lot of the developers have a multi-monitor / pc setup.

  22. Anonymous says:

    You’ll be twice as productive? šŸ˜‰

    The 2001FP is not the widescreen version, right?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Monitors are like beds: Underappreciated when you consider how much they are used. You spend 1/3 of your life using one so why not get something top-notch?

    Amortize how you you would pay across the lifetime of using it and it’s pennies compared to something ‘cheap’ like a magazine subscription.

    I think I’m preaching to the choir so I won’t blather on. Be happy(er).

  24. Mike Dunn says:

    Not to play oneupsmanship, but I just got myself a Sony LCD that runs at 1900×1200 natively. Oh My Gawd it’s beautiful. šŸ™‚

    It was rather expensive but as the earlier poster said, a monitor is going to last a long time (the LCD is replacing a Sony CRT that’s worked flawlessly for 7+ years) so I wanted something top-notch.

  25. Anonymous says:

    That’s great but the 2405 is the one to rave about.. Atleast if you also watch movies and play games with it šŸ™‚

  26. Anonymous says:

    Does Cleartype work properly on a 90-degree rotated LCD?

  27. Anonymous says:

    3840×2400 IBM t221 is what you want, hard to justify at the price though

  28. Anonymous says:

    "Does Cleartype work properly on a 90-degree rotated LCD?"

    It looks a bit funny, and the shadows round icon text are broken (there’s a single pixel gap between the left side of the text and the shadow). It is "working properly", but due to the fact that most diagonal lines in text are angled <45 degrees from vertical the sub-pixel addressing plan doesn’t work so well due to them being "the wrong way round" (i.e. three times wider than they are tall).

  29. So I asked a friend on the ClearType team the "rotated 90 degrees" question and he answered:

    This is a funny area. Originally with ClearType we had two different algorithms, one for vertical stripping, and one for horizontal stripping. The vertical stripping works very well for Latin based text, as most of the features in the characters are vertical, needing fine tuning along the x-axis. The inter-character spacing can also be finely tuned with this method. The horizontal algorithm does not work as well for Latin text. The tops of round characters like ā€˜oā€™ and ā€˜sā€™ get some improvements, but aliasing can be fairly problematic with this orientation of stripping. The typographers on my team, who understand on-screen text, feel that the vertical algorithm on a horizontally stripped device provides better quality text than applying the horizontal algorithm on a horizontally stripped device. I do agree that there are some artifacts with this scenario.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I just replaced a 19" tube at home with a Samsung 21" panel – SyncMaster 213T. It also does 1600×1200 Natively, and it swivels to portrait mode which is really cool particular for web surfing. Definately want to get one for the office!

  31. Anonymous says:

    I second the multiple monitors comments for development.

    Don’t feel bad about asking for better tools! If no one had ever thought about better tools we’d be programming with pencils and paper. šŸ˜‰

    When I got my new dev machine, I opted for two Dell 1703FP’s instead of a 2001FP. I recently changed them from landscape side-by-side to portrait side-by-side. I thought I wouldn’t keep it that way for long, but the extra height of the windows really helps.

    I usually have about 20 windows open at any given time, and the ability to _see_ things without thinking about the z-order and where my window is and finding it in the taskbar, etc. is enormous. I don’t think I could ever go back.

    (Personal rant: I’m typing this comment in a tiny window that’s 400×180, or about 3% of my usable screen real estate. That’s pure foolishness! It’s like trying to read a book with a cover over it that only lets you me 1 sq. in. at any time. Why don’t we use scrolls any more instead of books and notepads? Because scolls suck. They’re a limitation of not having cheap paper and binding technology. So why do all our computer windows have scoll bars…)

    BTW, here’s a good resource site for multiple monitor stuff: And IIRC, one of the studies that I used to justify my multimon req was done by MS. (I can’t find it now, but here’s something that’s close: Here’s another one from Dell: There’s also a nifty utility from MaxiVista that lets you imitate a 2nd monitor on a PC/laptop that’s on the same network.

    For me, the productivity increase is probably more qualitative than quantifiable, but _I_ know that I’m more productive with both. I’d probably be even more productive with three, but I already get snide comments at the office. Moving my eyes is a lot faster than Alt + Tab.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I should add one caveat to my previous comment. It seems to me that working with landscape documents when my portrait mode is much worse than working with portrait documents when the monitor is set to landscape mode. I don’t know why; maybe I’m just more used to the latter.

    But if you’re someone who works with landscape documents a lot I don’t recommend putting your monitors in portrait mode. (Unless, maybe, you have three monitors and you stretch the document across all three. But I generally don’t like stretching a document across more than one monitor because of bezel issues.)