30″ Monitors Rock But Smugmongous Is Really Cool
Posted by Bob Warfield on December 8, 2007
Recently I bought a Dell 30″ monitor. I got a new one from eBay for circa $1000, which seemed like quite a deal to me given that it hadn’t been that long since I paid nearly that for a much smaller monitor. I was immediately enthralled with the thing after setting it up. Playing first person shooter games you can just about get lost in the image and motion sick it’s so immersive.
For certain tasks, screen real estate can be very important. I once heard Alan Kay say that using a windowed user interface wasn’t like a desktop at all. He said it was like taking everything off your desk and throwing it into the bottom of a trashcan and trying to work on it there. For coding, web page design, or whatever else you use your computer for, there finally seems to be enough real estate on the 30″ monitor.
I also found that as I’ve gotten older, I’m reaching that uncomfortable state where I don’t quite need bifocals, but there are zones of discomfort where things are hard to read. Initially, I would take my glasses off and it worked. Now, for certain things, I move the glasses out on my nose a bit. It was starting to be annoying, but the 30″ monitor makes everything easier on the computer.
Just as I had settled into loving this thing, I caught Robert Scoble’s video interview of Smug Mug founder Don MacAskill. MacAskill demos their new services on a pair of 30″ monitors. The SmugMug site has the cool ability to open a window that spans both monitors with tons of thumbnails and a giant view of the currently selected thumb. Holy photo sorting Batman! I need this thing. It’s so hard to be able to wade through tons of thumbnails, and the Windows Explorer makes the thumbs too small anyway. I may have to give this a try, although I don’t know where I’d even put a second 30″ on my desk.
SmugMug is a really cool business, BTW. Watch the interview. I met MacAskill briefly at the Amazon Startup Project. I’m hoping to interview him some time soon–waiting to hear back on their interest.
P.S. It was so annoying not to be able to get the interview to pop out on Scoble’s site. It popped out once with Seagate. I zapped that window and then could never get it to pop out again and zoom up. Oh well.