September 26, 2011


Up until last week, I'd been using the same computer monitor since 1999--a 21-inch IBM P202 that weighs slightly more than the moon. I bought it for $400 from "a guy" who, if rumors are to be believed, spent some time in jail later on for dealing in stolen electronics. Back in the day, such a monitor was retailing for over $3,000, so I can't say such rumors were unfounded.

Time is a cruel mistress, as they say, or as I just wrote right now for dramatic effect. In the decade plus since buying my monitor from the trunk of that young felon's car, I've gone through no less than four computers, yet the monitor remained a stable anchor upon my desk. Alas, over the last month, the brightness started to fade and the colors lost their crisp quality. In short, the monitor was dying.

So, last week, I bought a 22" wide screen television with a computer-ready port and, while I'm generally happy with the purchase, I have to say I'm disappointed with the wide-screen quality. Maybe I'm missing something here, but it's just not quite what I was hoping for. I suppose I'll get used to it, and there's really no going back to the P202, sadly, but my expectations have been seriously dashed.

Thankfully, my spine won't be on the verge of telescoping downward when I have to move my monitor the next time, but I sure do miss some of the visual benefits of the old girl. You always miss some of the visual benefits of the old girl, don't you?

What really annoys me about the new television/monitor, however, is all the unnecessary technology that came bundled with it. Hear me out here--I'm not anti-technology, but I am anti-unnecessary technology.

For example, the television came loaded with the capability to access the Internet; specifically, I can access Facebook and Twitter--among other Web sites and functions--and post updates using the TV remote control. I very briefly fiddled with this capability, but I simply just don't see the point. Don't get me wrong, I like both Facebook and Twitter, and I use both regularly, but I do so using a computer equipped with a keyboard, which is, you know. . . FAST.

Maybe I'm just not "hip" or "with it," but I can't imagine a more unlikely scenario than pulling up Facebook on my TV and entering a status update using a TV remote control. I mean, really. It would be faster for me to chisel a message into a slab of granite. The same goes for Twitter updates. By the time I've hunt-and-pecked my way through the ridiculous TV interface, any message I may have crafted would be outdated by about five days.

My unnecessary technology gripe actually goes even deeper, and it stems from the ethereal nature of the Internet, which has left a scattered trail of pop culture technologies in its wake. Recall MySpace, for example, or any number of defunct online forums, blogs and Web pages in general, all of which were basically usurped by Facebook and Twitter. And, while I like Facebook and Twitter just fine, I'm fairly certain it will only be a matter of time before both of those are usurped by the next big thing--and hopefully I'll invent that thing, because I could sure use the money.

My point is, once Facebook and Twitter have been left in the digital dust, I'll be sitting here with a television/monitor equipped with technology that is no longer just unnecessary, but completely obsolete.

And then I'll have to explain to my kids why the television has all this obsolete and useless functionality loaded on it, and I simply won't have the time for that, because I'll be fabulously wealthy after having invented the next big social networking sensation that killed off Facebook and Twitter.

How's that for a paradox?

Posted by Ryan at September 26, 2011 09:27 AM | TrackBack

Got the display set to the native resolution of the monitor? If you're set to anything else, you'll get a degraded image.

Posted by: Keith at September 26, 2011 11:37 AM

The resolution is set right. As a computer monitor, it actually works fine, but Web pages, or at least a lot of them, don't format well to the widescreen format.

Posted by: Ryan at September 26, 2011 12:14 PM
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