WXGA vs WSXGA+

I’ve upgraded the WXGA screen on my HP nx8220 to a much brighter WSXGA+ display. In other words: from a 1280×800 pixel resolution to a stunning 1680x1050px.

As a consequence of this, my blog now looks like this:

before:

blog@1280

after:

blog@1680

I’ve added a black 2px frame to the screenshots so highlight the actual difference in sizes. I am still undecided if this was a good move – am currently working with a 120dpi font instead of the usual 96dpi under WinXP – but then: it gives me the freedom to actually just rescale the screen to a much lower resolution whenever needed.
Unfortunately, each TFT screen only works best at a certain screen resolution, so this one being the 1680x1050px one, I will have to leave it at this high resolution for a serious “screen impression”. 1280x800px have been fine with me though, and I think it makes more sense to add another, 2nd screen (via a docking station) to move messengers & utilities to the side.
The upgrade came in handy as I had the opportunity to strip down a used & broken machine and use all the good parts on my own machine (especially an almost new keyboard, which is awesome).

Also, I am wondering if this will improve any webdesign projects / photo editing I am doing on my machine. Despite of the improved screen resolution, the brightness of all colours is just great. But then – all content appears to be very very small…

[update:] Ok, there you go….switching back to 1280x800px and downgrading to the previous 1,86 GHz CPU (instead of a 2,13 GHz) did the job for me. No more headaches from focussing my eyes on small details on the screen + no more fan noise coming from an over aggressive fan. The weekend is saved…

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Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at Saniblog.org. You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Google+.

6 comments » Write a comment

  1. Yup. The ultra-high resolution of today’s monitors is excellent. I have a nice collection of 80’s-era 8-bitters at home. Those machines from the times of Atari, Commodore, Acorn, and, of course and most of all, VEB Robotron. Among a huge box full of calculators; my oldest one from 1979 (works with six AA-batteries to illuminate the LED-display – the LCD wasn’t invented yet at the time).
    Well, anyway, what I was going to say about the displays: If you connected one of those machines to your TV, the graphics was anywhere between 40×20 ASCII in none to 16 colours, and some high-res of various format up to 768×576 of a normal TV-screen. Actually, the capabilities of a C64 were really quite acceptable; the graphics-capabilities were always restricted by memory-size and CPU-limits.
    My first real PC was a Commodore PC-10 in 1986 or so. In school, we had several APPLE IIe, and my dad used an IBM PC-XT. These machines were all of comparable standards, the graphics were varying. Apple already paid a lot of attention to it; the follow-up versions (Apple IIgs, Apple III and the Macintosh) had the first graphic desktops. The IBM XT had almost no graphics at all, but the text-display was otherwise excellent. Perfectly clear, no flickering, each pixel coming out 100% sharp. For somebody who didn’t care for anything but word-processing, it was perfect. The Commodore PC was a typical Microsoft-thing. Not perfect in anything really. The graphics were CGA-standard and lightyears behind even an older, weaker and cheaper home computer. The display was okay, but IBM was better. The only thing that spoke for it was it’s price, and the fact that it had a little of everything, making it useful for schoolkids as well as their parents. But you kept on reaching its limits – which goes for any Windows-computer until today.

    What it means is, that it was a big step from the TV to good monitors. Another big one was from the CRT-tube to LCD-displays on desktop-computers. Some good devellopment has been made with the frequencies of the display as well; early ones could be set to higher resolutions, but caused you headaches after a while, because the rate at which the image built up was then too slow, causing it to flicker.
    For gamers, the graphics-capabilities can never be high enough. I also believe that constant development is essential, so when I buy myself a new computer, I will certainly pay attention to the screen-resolution among other features.
    But for what I’m doing, today’s normal standard is fully satisfactory. I wouldn’t spend money on tweaking the performance of my computer. Instead, I’ll just continue using it as it is for it’s usual life-span of maybe three years. After that, it’s going to be a present to somebody else, while I get myself a totally new one.

  2. Well…it is. That’s why I’ve downgraded the machine again and sold the other screen on eBay (had a used machine here so exchanging wasnt a problem).

    What I am looking for is a decent desktop setting for KDE and/or WinXP which provides smaller fonts on the browser. Something like a “slim skin”. Especially the default settings on KDE suck and I am tired of tweaking it.

    @Turbo, wewe pls – could you guest-blog here about your work one day? Would be nice!

  3. @JKE – I’d love to, brotha. Really. But I need something to write about. I can’t just write “something interesting” without a given topic.

    A couple of times in the past I thought about starting my own website. There sure would be enough to put on it. Tips for beginners, some kind of an audio-biography, or even a dedicated pilots’ site with useful information about whatsoever.
    I abandoned the idea again and again, thinking that I don’t have the time to do it really professionally (and the internet is already contaminated with useless bullcrap websites as it is – just look at http://www.dsnairobi.de). I want to do it perfectly or not at all, and I don’t have the html-skills of someone like you, Cedric or Chris(58).

    But if you have some ideas, I’d be very happy to contribute whatever I can. :-)

  4. Wewe wacha…that domain is still registered on my name, so pls – anything bad directly reflects on to me :-)

    Website! Simpoool! ==> wordpress.com, und dort eine schöne Vorlage aussuchen. Fürs Anpassen braucht man auch keine html skillz bzw. da reicht basic knowledge (hab ich ja auch nur).

    Termin im August geht klar?

  5. August: Welcher Termin denn?
    Sieht, ehrlich gesagt, nicht so gut aus mit freien Terminen. Ich bin da für ein paar Tage in Amsterdam, um mein 737-Type rating zu erneuern (Simulatorcheck), und anschließend in Berlin, wo ich für http://www.cockpit4u.com einen Einführungskurs betreue. Ansonsten bin ich da nicht in Deutschland.
    Was liegt denn an? Kenia-Party??? :-)

    Besagte Website ist leider grauenhaft – kannste die nicht einfach an die MGS verkaufen?

    Eigene Website: Nee, primär ist es der Zeitfaktor. Ich komme nicht dazu, mich da hinein zu arbeiten. Schau’ mal unter http://www.smartcockpit.com – so was in der Art ist eine “richtige” Seite, aber dazu muss man echt seine gesamte Freizeit investieren.