Old Monitors

I finally hooked up a pair of old monitors onto my computer system last night which resulted in a small ‘yay’. It may seem a bit odd putting old monitors on, but the ones they replaced (an old Dell 17″ Trinitron and an ADI Microscan GT56 – again 17″ Trinitron) weren’t really that much newer, if at all. Sadly these two screens don’t appear to have built in anti-glare, but they are still nice Trinitron tubes. The screens are a matching pair of Iiyama Vision Master Pro 400 17″ monitors that I picked up from Jamies, so that must beg the question, “what was the point of switching?”.

Well these screens have dual inputs instead of the usual captive lead or single D-Sub. They still have the D-Sub, but in addition they have a set of 5 BNC connectors. This allows me to use a different lead that I’ve had kicking around for some time unused to connect to the computer, but more importantly it allows me to connect two computers at the same time and switch between them and therefore saves me a £200 outlay on a KVM (the cost of a Belkin twin screen USB keyboard and mouse unit with necessary cables). Although it doesn’t give me keyboard and mouse switching it does have one advantage over the KVM – it allows me to switch the screens individually.

All I need to do now is get another BNC cable and I can have one screen as primary for each of my Windows and Linux boxes and use the opposing screen as a secondary for the other. This gives either both screens dedicated to one machine or one on each. The only downside (bar the keyboard and mouse issue) is that it takes a few button pushes on the screen to make the switch – namely Menu; -; Menu; +; Menu; and whichever of + or – you need. Ah well, they were free and you can’t have everything – otherwise I’d have a couple of 19″ flat screens (which aren’t as good for games and therefore brings me back to “you can’t have everything” – not that I really play games much!).

As a quick postscript to this I’ll add that get-edid sadly doesn’t get all the information required to automatically pipe out into parse-edid and create the necessary section for my XF86Config-4 file (I really do need to make some time to migrate to X.org, but it never seems quite high enough priority). Also if anyone is familiar with these monitors and knows of a quicker way to switch
inputs then I’d love to hear about it 🙂

Oh, did I mention that they have ‘sync on green’, so if I ever get my hands on one of the original large case Playstation 2s and the Linux kit I’ll have a monitor that works with it – anyone got one going spare 😉

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