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  • Flat screen Monitors?

    Can anyone be a "Rumor Killer" please? I went shopping for a
    flat screen monitor, and the sales clerks are advising me that
    flat screen monitors cannot support Powerbasic/Quickbasic
    SCREEN modes. It only works in one mode, they say. I am not
    getting one if that is indeed the case! Also the LOCATE
    function will not work, or so they say.

    Can anyone confirm/contradict that please?

    Thank you.

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    [This message has been edited by Robert Carneal (edited September 20, 2001).]

  • #2
    They are probably referring to the <U>graphics</U> screen modes (ie, SCREEN 2 (CGA), etc). Over the past few years, many graphics cards have been quietly dropping support for some VESA and MODEX graphics modes, so I would hazard guess that this situation is no different for flat-sceen manufacturers too.

    Can they be more specific about what modes (text and graphics) they do support? I assume text mode (SCREEN 0) would be fully supported. With a list of actual spec's, you may find it easier to make your decision.


    ------------------
    Lance
    PowerBASIC Support
    mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>
    Lance
    mailto:[email protected]

    Comment


    • #3
      <Copy from Lance>
      Can they be more specific about what modes (text and graphics)
      they do support?
      <End Copy>

      Well, I asked that question and the best answer I can give you
      is their facial expressions went into "haze mode." (Think "in
      one ear, out the other.") Basically they said if it doesn't
      work for me, why was I still interested in it? "Sir, why buy
      something that won't work for you at all?" Then I asked them if
      the monitor didn't work for me THAT horribly, then who in the
      world can use them? No answer. I am beginning to think it must
      have been my bad luck to get clerks who weren't sure of what
      they were saying.

      I might just go to Tiger or PC Connection, but I was trying to
      get it locally.

      Robert


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      [This message has been edited by Robert Carneal (edited September 20, 2001).]

      Comment


      • #4
        What those sales clerks probably mean is that flat screen (TFT or DSTN) have a native resolution which is fixed at, for example, 1024x768 pixels. This means that there are 1024x768 RGB pixels build in in the screen. It would ofcourse be best if the output from the computer is the same resolution: it gives the most crisp image.However, that is not a must. Every TFT display I've seen so far is capable of displaying other resolutions without a problem.

        If another resolution than the native resolution has to be displayed, there are several possibilities. First, if a resolution from the computer is smaller than the native resulotion, the display will interpolate the missing pixels to make the picture full screen, or there is a black border around the picture., However, if the resolution of the outputted image is larger than the native resolution, pixels will be omitted.

        Example:

        TFT screen with a resolution of 1280x1024

        Output of 640x480 : every vertical pixel will be displayed twice, every horizontal pixel will be displayed 2 of 3 times, or:
        output of 640x480 : there is a border of 320 pixels on the left AND on the right side, and a border of 272 pixels on both the top and the bottom of the screen.

        Output of 2560x2048: every other pixel will be omitted.

        If you want to be sure, go to your local dealer and check if the display complies with the VESA norms. If it does, it should have no problems displaying the screens you create.

        It's very simple to try for yourself: If you are at the store, ask them to connect a Windows98 of 2000 PC to the monitor. Start fiddling around with the resolutions, make sure to try both low and high resolutions. If you are using text only screens (so no graphics), go to the command prompt, and press CTRL-ENTER to make it full screen. This will show you how a native DOS screen is displayed.


        ------------------


        [This message has been edited by John v Poelgeest (edited October 09, 2001).]
        It Ain't Much, if it ain't Dutch

        Comment


        • #5
          <Partial copy from John v Poelgeest>
          to try both low and high resolutions. If you are using text
          only screens (so no graphics), go to the command prompt, and
          press CTRL-ENTER to make it full screen. This will show you
          how a native DOS screen is displayed.
          <End>

          John, The information abot the text sounds very reassuring.

          This is getting off on a tangent, no graphics? I am also amateur genealogist, and have hundreds
          of photos. Should I be considering a regular monitor instead?

          Robert


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          [This message has been edited by John v Poelgeest (edited October 09, 2001).]

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          Comment


          • #6
            I'm using a SyncMaster 570VT as I type this, in OS/2 and MATROX
            graphics adapter, but that doesn't make much difference. Every
            mode I've tried with the 'standard' PB 3.5 for DOS screen mode works
            in this monitor. And I did a LOT of research into all the brands
            which were available to me before I bought it.

            I can tell you that the most interesting part of this is that the
            deal works just as has been said here. These monitors are optimized
            for the maximum resoltion that is available on each one. Period.

            I can change graphics display modes at will in any OS/2 session, just
            as you folks in WIN do. However, if I back it off of the max that
            it is set for, what happens to text is interesting! If the display
            cannot fill the pixel mix with an exact match in width, for example
            three pixels in exact divide, and it needs three, it will substitute
            only ONE pixel lit up with that vertical bar segment for that particular
            part of a text letter! In other words, you get a decent looking
            display for text for SOME resolutions, and a really decent display for
            the maximum, but those in between will be lousy!

            The upshot of the whole thing is that it, at this point, seems about
            useless to buy a 17 incher for TEXT work! You might as well stay
            with the 15 incher for TEXT work. The reason is that at 1024 X 768
            for the 15 incher, and 1240 X 1024 for the 17 incher, going to the
            higher priced model will simply make your text smaller for clear
            reading! You defeat the whole purpose of going to the larger
            model to get more readible text, by thinking that you can just
            expand a 1024 X 768 display on a 17 incher and get better readibility!

            It just doesn't work.

            This is *NOT* true in CRT monitors, at least in comparison tests that
            we did. Here with discount, the Samsung was the best money buy
            for the clarity with the rebate coupon offered. At 17 inches, it
            just wasn't worth the current price to pay some $650-700 USD for it
            for text work, when $350-400 will do just as well for the SAME SIZE
            PHYSICAL display for what you are reading!

            By Christmas, I think you can look for at least another $50 to $100
            dollars more drop in the 15 inchers, which is the marketing sweet
            spot at the moment. At the same time by then or shortly after that
            the 17 inchers should come down to under $600 USD or so. Also by
            then, you can expect to, perhaps, see, I'm told, better ways of
            arranging the displays for interpolative rendering of the screen in
            text adaptive modes. If that is true, this 'feature' may go away,
            somewhat. However, if it does, it won't be for the current batch
            of what has been already made and will be available for cheaper.

            I wanted the 17 inch one. I gave up and settled for what was just
            adequate, and will let the market re-define that in a few months.

            Meanwhile, for TEXT mode as standard in the PB 3.5 product, just
            stock out of the barrel, I either have to get the MATROX dislplay
            down to about a CPI 5 or so, or up to an 8 or so. There is no such
            thing, at least in the OS/2 graphics as an inbetween.

            The letters are either one pixel in width for the vertical lines, or
            they are two .. but not unless the divisor is exactly equal in
            what you call for so that it can match that.

            FWITW


            ------------------
            Mike Luther
            [email protected]
            Mike Luther
            [email protected]

            Comment


            • #7
              Why not take a test program into the store and check it out? This
              is, of course, if the sales reps will let you.


              ------------------
              There are no atheists in a fox hole or the morning of a math test.
              If my flag offends you, I'll help you pack.

              Comment


              • #8
                Mel, I tried that. I guess I am going to have to name the store
                I went in. One was Office Depot- he said they would NOT allow
                me to put a virus on their computers! Then I caught the manager,
                planning to complain. She said "no problem. The ones at Office
                Depot run text without a problem, and it ran an advertisement
                movie- one of Office Depot's. I managed to talk her into playing
                "The Matrix" and that was really out of focus. She was surprised,
                saying she was told it worked "just like a normal monitor." So
                she tried some Disney DVDs and they to were out of focus. Yes,
                it was a DVD player. Then she tried some educational games that
                had graphics with the same results. Too bad, I was set to buy it,
                and I still would like to get one.

                Then I tried an electronics store, the clerk said I could put
                anything I wanted to on a computer to check out the flat screen
                monitor, +but+ I have to wait for the manager to get back from
                his trip. He "assured" me it would play "anything and everything
                a normal monitor will." (Wow.)

                Thank you.

                ------------------

                Comment


                • #9
                  A CRT monitor has the virtue of variable resolution. An LCD monitor
                  is digital and has a single fixed resolution. If your application
                  uses exactly that resolution, great. If it uses a resolution that
                  scales perfectly to the monitor's resolution, also great. Otherwise,
                  the results could be fuzzy, grainy, lumpy, and/or truncated,
                  depending on the difference in resolution and how the display card
                  and monitor deal with it.

                  ------------------
                  Tom Hanlin
                  PowerBASIC Staff

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