After working on a brief until very late last night, my brain was burnt from reading long documents on a small, horizontally oriented screen, and flipping back and forth between what I was reading and what I was writing.

It marks me as a serious geek that the obvious solution is to get one of these:

Question for the Linux video geeks out there (yes, probably this means you, Keith ;): are there video cards with Free drivers that will drive something like this? It isn’t anything fancy, just dual VGA or DVI outputs. I could care less about 3D fanciness; this is about displaying gobs and gobs of text.

(Not that money will miraculously fall from the sky to pay for this particular monitor or anything, but there are cheaper variations on the theme, and since I will be living reasonably cheaply in North Carolina over the summer maybe I’ll be able to take a look at this in the fall.)

17 thoughts on “lust”

  1. Using “Free drivers” that stuff will be most likely like “press pgdown for a new page of pdf, wait 2 seconds for the redraw” and you can only dream of compiz/Beryl. Most of the chipset/free driver combinations can rotate the page, but you lose more or less the acceleration stuff and a huge amount of performance.

    I’ve played a lot with a pivot display using Geforce6800, Radeon 9250, and GMA950. The Free drivers + pivot is a pain in the ass. Nvidia/ATI and proprietary drivers and those displays would be SWEEET.

  2. It depends how those monitors report themselves, and how you set them up. For the dual-portrait mode, if they really are natively 1200×1600, then any given dualhead-capable card should be able to deal with them (radeon and intel really). If they require the driver to do the rotation then that’s hella lame but the first comment is pretty accurate, we don’t really have accelerated rotation done yet.

    Since they show dual-landscape at the bottom too, we can assume that they’re natively 16×12. But there too, any given dualhead driver should be able to set that up.

  3. That looks very much like two of the monitors I am using mounted in portrait mode.
    They are 1680×1050 (1080P) and cost $270 from Compusa.

    Standard NVidia card has no trouble driving two of them with DVI using XGL/Beryl.
    I have them in landscape sitting next to each other combined into one giant Xinerama display.

    The stand screws onto the back, a little creative metal work and you could build this display for $540.
    Bezel clearance would allow them to be mounted as you see them in the picture.

  4. BTW, those Compusa monitors don’t include DVI cables. $5 mail order, $40 at the store.

  5. I used to do exactly this at home with a pair of Dell 2001FP LCDs, an NVIDIA 6600GT video card w/ dual DVI outputs, and the Evil Binary NVIDIA Drivers. I’m not so sure the stand is worth an additional $1100+ over the cost of the LCDs.

  6. Did anyone notice what video is being diplayed on these monitors in the “landscape mode” example picture? The “Yes Men”!

  7. In the past, I had a dual screen setup with a Thinkpad R52 laptop with the laptop screen and an external TFT. This was with an ATI X300 board, with free radeon drivers included in This setup is called MergedFB, and should be supported on any ATI Radeon card which is supported by the free drivers.

  8. I agree with sb about the Dell 3007WFP. It’s $825 cheaper, doesn’t have a big gap in the middle, and has a higher resolution of 2560×1600. The downside is you need a dual-link DVI port on your video card–not a video card with two DVI ports, dual-link is a different standard. You can get an nVidia card for well under $100 dollars with dual-link and it will work with nVidia’s binary blob drivers.

    It’s hard to find a video chipset with free drivers (like Intel’s 945GM) with even a signle DVI port, let alone two DVI ports–you have to by a motherboard just to get the chip and the motherboards have only a VGA port, no DVI. LAME!

  9. I have this setup working on nVidia drivers.
    You need to setup TwinView, one monitor _above_ the other and XRandr rotation 90 degrees right. Works perfect. :-)

  10. Two Dell 2407FPWs are nothing to laugh at, either. $1380 total ($720 cheaper). They don’t fit together quite so closely, but they’re 24″, 1920×1280, and swivel into portrait mode.

  11. Weighing in on the dual 24″ versus the 30″, I’ve always prefered dual monitors in Xinerama mode. I really like the convenience of being able to maximize a window to one monitor as a convenience factor.

    (I know I could use sawfish and hack it yada yada, whatever. I’m never going to.. *g*)

    The downside to the dual setup like this would be watching movies.

    If you win the lottery, two of those on either side of a 30″ could be sweet, however. And would make for awesome flight sims ;)

  12. This looks remarkably like the screens that I saw through the windows at almost every desk at Google, while at the Ubuntu summit. Should work with Ubuntu then.

  13. Luis, I am driving two Dell 1907FPs with a Radeon X600 under Gentoo with v8.32.5 of the binary ATI drivers (in landscape, not portrait mode). Pluses: lots and lots of text visible at the same time, and it was easy to set up X to treat the two screens as a single desktop at 2560×1024 (there are some interesting 2560×1024 wallpapers out there; this is apparently a common enough configuration to have inspired several people to set up web galleries of art optimized for this size). Minuses: no fullscreen video playback (setting fullscreen mode just blanks the rest of the screen around the clip but doesn’t enlarge it to fill the available space); also this is my office setup, so I haven’t tested how well it would work for gaming, but I imagine the answer is, fairly poor. :-)

  14. How about a Matrox G450 card ? These have two heads (like 2 video card in one) and Free Software drivers. You can pick one up for under $20 (on ebay for example).

    The image made by these cards is stunning – put a nvidia card next to a matrox on the same type of monitor and you’ll see the difference.

    Why are these cards not more common in hackerdom ?

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