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Why Are We Losing Vertical Pixels? 1140

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the for-you-uriah dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Switching from 1600x1200 to wide 1680x1050 to HD 1600x900, we are losing more and more vertical space, thus it is becoming less and less simple to read a full A4 page or a web page or a function call. What's the solution for retaining the screen height we need to be productive?"
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Why Are We Losing Vertical Pixels?

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  • Losing resolution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by VGPowerlord (621254) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @12:52PM (#33811202)

    This depends entirely on the monitor you buy.

    I went from a 1600x1200 CRT to 1920x1200 LCD. In other words, I lost no vertical resolution.

  • Re:Solution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PixelThis (690303) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @12:54PM (#33811236)
    That's my solution, two monitors... one vertical and one horizontal.
  • Re:Obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MarcQuadra (129430) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @12:56PM (#33811322)

    It's getting hard to find 4:3 displays bigger than 19", or with higher resolutions, or with better underlying technology.

    It's sad, but it seems everyone has fallen for the 'wider is better' idea.

  • Re:Solution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GIL_Dude (850471) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @12:58PM (#33811376) Homepage
    That's my solution too: I have one "real" panel (a 20" 1600x1200 4x3 panel) and one "short screen" panel (22" 1680x1050 16x9) that is rotated 90 degrees. Word processing docs and web pages work great on the short screen (wide screen) when rotated. In fact, I am typing this post on the rotated screen right now.
  • by Saint Stephen (19450) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @12:58PM (#33811384) Homepage Journal

    All the monitors are 16x9 now (1920x1080). I have the same problem - I don't want to go "up" to 1920 from 1600x1200 (20" 4:3 flat panel I have from 2002 - cost 1000$) and lose 180 vertical pixels!

    I tried to find a 16x10 but there are none in the stores and hard to find even on newegg etc. I asked on some forums and it's just because they aren't making them anymore.

    Bummer.

  • Re:Rotate (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yurtinus (1590157) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:03PM (#33811528)
    What monitors do you recommend that have worthwhile vertical viewing angles? I tried rotating one of my screens but it seems the cheapo Dell displays at my office just aren't designed for above/below viewing. Makes me wonder who was on the design team that thought adding rotation to a cheap panel that has no vertical viewability was a good idea...
  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:18PM (#33811970)

    Apple used to have an A4 monitor: portrait and indeed the size of a sheet of A4 paper, and "paper white" CRT type. From the time that a colour monitor was not standard. It never gained much traction, but for word processing it was pretty cool (I've actually worked with one for a while).

    I can imagine web browsing also works quite well on such a monitor - but well at the time the www was barely there yet.

    OTOH: those modern widescreens you can consider as two portrait monitors seamlessly linked together. Even though I've an older (non-widescreen) monitor I do tend to have my windows narrower than the screen already...

  • Re:Public transport (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Yetihehe (971185) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:28PM (#33812238)
    My boss says I should rest a little more and get more life outside work (so that when I work, I am more productive). But YMMV. Maybe you should change work?
  • Re:Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:28PM (#33812248) Journal

    It's harder to design menus for left or right positioning because our languages flows horizontal, not vertical.

    For example if I drag the Windows tab bar to the left ("zip"), it creates a mess. It's taking up FAR more room on the left than it did on the bottom. The same would be true if you moved the Web browser or Word processor menu to the left or right.

  • by Amouth (879122) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:46PM (#33812748)

    not really - right now i'm using a 17in 4:3 with 1280x1024 res.. show me anything under 20in with more than 1k vertical? we are losing vertical - they might be gained on the horizontal.. but actually most of the new ones have overall less pixes for the same quoted screen size in inches..

    also note the last time you saw a monitor quote it's dot pitch? LCD's don't apply to the prior way of measuring it because they don't have separate sub pixels but what dot pitch did enable was easy way of comparing pixel density from one monitor to another..

    considering that higher density screens are more expensive to make and are more likely to have defects in large runs - there no doubt in my mind that monitor makers where happy to stop using dot pitch and not replace it.

    the fact that when you go to buy a laptop you can get a 15in screen with a 1367x768 which which would be equivalent to a .278mm dot pitch - keep in mind you could get CRT's with dot pitch ~.2mm around 10 years ago. where is my LCD with that option?

  • Re:Snap (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mikael_j (106439) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:33PM (#33813944)

    I suspect it's Windows he's talking about. The common way to use Windows is to have all your windows maximized and most apps are written with this in mind. And most people using Windows have a nasty habit of having fairly low-res monitors (I know several "hardcore" gamers who have $2,500+ rigs hooked up to cheap-o monitors only capable of 1440x900 or so, but great response times though).

  • Re:Solution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:43PM (#33815278) Homepage Journal

    I have two monitors; one is portrait, and one is landscape. When I turned the portrait one (an HP 2207, it came in landscape configuration), OS X knew it had been turned, rotated the portion of the desktop accordingly, and the only thing left for me to do was choose how I wanted the portrait space to sit adjoining the landscape space.

    If I need to work on a page, I usually use the portrait space. If I need to work in landscape (I'm a photographer, it's common), I use the landscape space.

    I think this problem has been solved, and solved very well, for quite some time. You can use one monitor like my HP that is aware of its orientation, or you can use more than one and have one or more of each. Of course, this does assume that the OS is competent to deal with it, but I know that at least, OS X is.

  • Re:Solution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by node_chomsky (1830014) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @04:18PM (#33815866)

    Didn't apple put one of those out a few years ago? You tilted it on it's axis to get a landscape or portrait view?

    A company called Axis made a 16-bit greyscale monitor like that for layout on Apples in the early 1990's, I use to have one, it was cool, but the extra mounting hardware it used for that feature had to be so heavy duty it made the thing very lumpy and big, and there really wasn't any good place to put it on a desk. My mother used it until it broke in the early 2000's for writing. I hated and loved that thing. The high quality of the image mixed with the lack of color gave it a very charming worthlessness. Like an IBM Selectric typewriter, in that, it is outdated and all of it's virtues are pointless next to modern technology and it has none of the romance of an Underwood or Brother manual, but it still has weird character that is hard to deny it.

    I wish I still had that Axis monitor.

  • Re:Sideways! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @04:47PM (#33816418) Homepage Journal

    we have them all over the place here, they all look fine. People use them to look at scanned legal documents. Usually they have one monitor 'normal' and one turned 90 degrees

  • Full HD (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Oryn (136445) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:00PM (#33816634) Homepage

    It really bugs the hell out of me the way manufacturers like sony and asus have the cheek to put out a laptop with a 1440x900 screen or a 1600x900 screen and call it "Full HD". As far as I'm concerned Full HD is 1080 pixels vertical and 1920 pixels horizontal, since when does 900 = 1080 and 1440 = 1920?????
    Unsatisfied with the screen res on my laptop I decided to upgrade it myself.
    Luckily after a long phone call to a supplier, I was able to convince them to send me a 1920x1200 LCD panel that was a direct replacement for the 1440x900 panel, They told me it was unlikely to work, but it works great :) If anyone is interested I used a panel designed for a sony and fitted it to an asus g70. It cost me about 160ukp for the panel and about an hour to fit. I was able to try my g70 on a 1920x1200 panel first to see if it would drive it. Most LVDS LCD panels are interchangeable provided that they use the same backlighting technology.
    Size and aspect ratio can be an issue too. I'm sure that case modders could make even a screen of totally the wrong aspect look ok. I guess it boils down to having the bottle to mod your brand new laptop. Yeah yeah I know someone is going to reply telling me the g70 is 2 years old, well simplyasus were selling off old stock cheaply, so I got a bargain.

  • Re:Solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Altrag (195300) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @07:11PM (#33818282)

    Remember that fonts sizes are based off the size of your physical display, and have no relation to the number of pixels used to render them. If you're lucky enough to use a program built to do that.

    Fixed that too. Go take a look at Steam or Winamp* for some nice popular counter-examples, and I'm sure there's loads more. Sure there's "skins" that might have bigger fonts defined, but its up to the user to locate and install such skins -- they don't come with the programs.

    Of course there's a very good reason why programs fail to handle font sizing properly -- its hard! Laying out controls is a pain in the ass as it is.. trying to make them dynamically adjust to match the size of your display and/or non-standard font choices makes it several times harder. I think the new WPF stuff from MS was meant to partly aid in this issue, but I haven't really played around with it (XML -- the standardized way to complicate your software!) and I have no idea what there might be in the open-source world that tries to take the hassle of font changes away from the developer.

    *I haven't used Winamp since I discovered Foobar2000, but this was certainly the case last time I saw it.

  • Re:Sideways! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:49PM (#33830830) Homepage

    ...Nearly, because you want to be viewing it from just slightly above...

    That is not physically possible since the monitor is taller than my torso. It is a 22" display.

    My 22" display is about 25" tall including the border, but not the stand. The stand, at the lowest possible setting, adds another inch or two. With my chair at the highest setting my eyes are about at the center of the display. I cannot comfortably reach my keyboard at that height and 5'9 my feet barely touch the floor. So the goal of getting my eye level to the top of the display seems impossible unless the top of my desk was at my knees when I sit down.

    I don't understand how anyone can use a display this large in portrait mode unless they are 7 feet tall.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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