... seeking simple answers to complex problems, and in the process, disrupting the status quo in technology, art and neuroscience.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rotate Your Second Display

Originally posted 04-24-13:

Have you noticed how web content and computer displays are pointed in different directions?

If you open almost any webpage on a laptop or desktop computer you’ll see blank white bands along the sides. Even worse, you won’t see much vertical content. This is because most documents and web content scroll vertically, yet most displays are presented horizontally. And the sites that ARE formatted horizontally, are so wide they are difficult to read. Why is this? 

It’s because of the movies.

Since movie and TV’s 1080P format with their 16 by 9 aspect ratio is now the sweet spot in volume display manufacturing, we have this strange situation where computer content does match the display presentation.

This is why you see people rotating their phones and tablets so often. Unfortunately, with laptop or desktop computers it’s a bit more clumsy to rotate the display. But the very thing that caused the problem (volume price point), provides a reasonable solution – buy a second monitor and turn it sideways.

This is actually easier than you might think. There are lots of optional vertical monitor stands, and most computers (including laptops) already have a second video port. So get a second display, turn it sideways, configure Windows screen settings and poof! The problem is solved.

Give it a try. It’s like having a whole new second computer.

And it's one that actually fits your work.