Geek Rants

Spinland Workstation Upgrade

  • October 22, 2015

desk with new monitor

New doin’s at Spinland! Got the new monitor installed this morning! Now my (formerly) main 27″ Apple display is the secondary to replace that dinky 20″ one that was not even close to what I needed for what I do. Making room for decently-sized monitors was the main driving force behind my losing the hutch from my desk.

I went with a 32″ Dell because Apple is way behind the power curve right now in monitor tech. I get why: they are holding out for releasing new 5K displays, they are all in with Thunderbolt to feed them, and Thunderbolt 1.0 can’t handle the needed bandwidth. When the newer Thunderbolt standards come online I expect Apple to come out with the most mouth-watering (and spendy) display on the planet but I can’t wait that long (and I’m damned sure not changing out my computers for many years to come).

I got the Dell marked down 50% from list and at that price it was a no brainer. Trying out a swivel stand for it but not yet 100% sure I like it. We’ll see.

Apologies for the crappy lighting. My Studio’s ambient light is rather dim in the pre-dawn hours and I could either have the monitors washed out or the rest of the scene too dark to see. This shot was in the latter camp and I did some Photoshopping to bring out the dark areas.

My one issue right now is I can see a very small bit of lean to the left in the Dell. On the plus side I know why: when I clamped the swivel stand to my desk I wasn’t 100% sure where I wanted the monitors to go and I placed it more centrally on my desk than I probably should have. In the current setup the swivel arm is extended almost fully left, as you can see here:

swivel stand detail

Even though the stand is rated for 33 pounds, and the monitor only weights 18.6, physics will not be denied. Archimedes famously said:

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.

Given the length of that lever arm I created, and that the monitor is very wide so there is a nontrivial percentage of its weight at the extreme left edge, you have a lot of force on the whole system and that (again, very slight) lean is inevitable. What I plan to do is live with it for a while until I’m certain this is the layout I want to keep, then I’ll go through the hassle of taking everything down and moving the clamp mount over so it’s more centrally positioned behind the Dell.

In the meantime it’s time to hit the saddle, get some work done, and enjoy the new setup!

Added note: one thing is for certain: the Apple display still kills the Dell in sound quality. The Dell’s speakers are tinny and clamped while the Apple’s are deep and resonant and incomparably better-sounding. Apple’s attention to detail is still unmatched.

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