At 01:32 PM 3/5/2002 -0500, Robison Michael R CNIN wrote:
>in order to drag
>parts around on the pcb, i need to zoom out to find them
>(i'm aware of the edit/jump feature, but its awkward to use
>when everything isn't in view),

The command which Mr. Robison should probably be using is not Jump but Move 
Component. If one enters Move Component mode, clicking on an empty space 
will pull up a dialog with a list of components. One can enter the 
component name or pick it from the list. This way one can remain zoomed in 
on the part of the board on which one is working, yet bring in a part which 
is somewhere else.

There are options in the Move Component dialog, the one that will probably 
be most desirable is "Move Component to Cursor."

>  and in order to keep from
>zooming out to where i lose scope on part numbers, i have to
>run at 1600x1200.  this is fine as long as i don't have to
>look at the bottom of the window to see some node information,
>or minimize the screen and read my email.  then the text is
>simply too small for my old eyes.

Small text on a 1600x1200 monitor can indeed be hard to read; part of this 
is intrinsic; i.e., it could be a problem even if the monitor's focus was 
completely sharp; but focus is also very important.

I have one 21 inch monitor from Mag Innovision which was quite highly 
recommended. But it could not be focused, apparently; it was sent back four 
times, each time another one was provided, so this was not a problem with 
just one unit, though it might be a problem with the technician who was 
adjusting them. (The monitor was sharp at the left and right edges and 
relatively fuzzy in the middle; I verified this with test patterns; Mag 
kept telling me this was impossible, but that I could send the monitor 
back. In the end they wore me down; I should have simply returned it for 
refund.... but I didn't.)

Now I have two newer monitors, a Mitsubishi Diamond Prol 91TXM and a Dell 
1600HS, I think that's the number. Both of them are quite sharp. And both 
were quite cheap, under $200 on

I'm 57, and as is normal for my age, focus can be a problem; part of the 
solution, for me, is glasses that I use just for the computer, they are 
bifocals, with the upper section made for focus at monitor distance and the 
lower section made for focus a little closer, i.e., papers on my desk in 
front of the monitor.

>i have the go-ahead to buy anything that costs less (total,
>including shipping) than $2500US.

Now, that is a *huge* budget for monitor purchasing at the present time. 
You can buy two LCD monitors for that, or one high-end LCD monitor which 
might even be 1600x1200. LCDs are definitely sharper than CRTs, sharpness 
is inherent with active-matrix and similar displays since there are real 
and distinct pixels lighting up. But that only deals with one of three 
sources of readability problems.

(To recapitulate, they are [1] poor monitor focus; [2] angular size of 
pixels as seen from user's position is too small; [3] improperly corrected 
or incorrectable vision of user -- the latter two are related.).

You will get better results with two monitors than with one. Now that I am 
using two (both are at 1600x1200, so I now have a 3200x1200 desktop), I 
would never go voluntarily back to one monitor unless it was truly 
enormous. Trust me.

Even if you went back to lower image resolution, say 1280x1024, two 
monitors would give you a desktop of 2560x1024 or 1280x2048, which is not 
only larger than you are likely to get with a single monitor, but the 
actual size of the letters will be larger, i.e., it should be more readable 
even if the eyes are having problems.

Windows 98 SE and Windows 2000 support dual monitors (or even more than 
two, I think) with two video cards, but I'm using a Matrox Dual Head card 
that handles two monitors together, and it comes with software that makes 
managing the desktop easier; for example, web pages can ping-pong, so you 
always see from where you came, or, right now, I am reading and writing 
mail on the left screen and I have the mailbox for this mailing list open 
on the right. Or I can write about PCB commands with PCB open on the other 
monitor, lots of room for both, or I can have the schematic open on one 
monitor and PCB open on the other, etc.

I'm thinking of adding a third monitor; after all, I have that Mag with 
poor focus, but there were some suggestions on this list a few weeks back 
about how to focus a monitor....

There is a web design business on the ground floor of this building, not a 
fancy place, pretty small; there were three people working in there when I 
walked by the other day. Each one of them had at least two monitors. 
Whether they were separate computers, I don't know... I would not now hire 
someone to do professional work on a computer without giving them two 
monitors, just as I wouldn't give the person that old 486-25 sitting in the 
storage loft.... I'd give a *receptionist* two monitors....

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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