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The Real Deal 180: Monitors

Rafe Needleman and Brian Cooley talk monitor tech and advice with special guest Eric Franklin from CNET Labs.

Rafe Needleman and Brian Cooley talk monitor tech and advice with special guest Eric Franklin from CNET Labs.

Now playing: Watch this: Ep. 180: Monitors


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Real Deal 180 - Monitor tech - Show notes:

Guest host: Brian Cooley, Car tech guru.

Special guest: Eric Franklin, Labs monitor guru

Topic is MONITORS. What you need to know, what's new, and our tips.

First up: Formats.

We have VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, and I believe DisplayLink. What's what? What matters?

Aspect ratios and Rafe's rant on widescreen vs 4:3

Other specs to watch: Brightness - what's a Nit? LCD backlight types - LED better or not? Refresh rates?

What are the best monitors today?

Brian and I are multi-monitor nuts. Everyone has the capability - most cards are dual out. Laptop plus plug-in is dual out.

Benefits - "secondary" monitor for docking widgets, IM alerts, Twitter apps etc. Also for PowerPoint, can have a console with a timer and notes, and project just slides.

For windows get Display Fusion. Lets you put keyboard shortcuts on half-zoom, push to 2nd monitor. Can put different wallpapers on different monitors. Can extend taskbar across monitors. Free features limited but good. Also check out Ultramon if you don't like DisplayFusion.

Brian on Monitor mounts


1 *********************************************

Hey Tom and Rafe...

I recently saw this link about not leaving laptops plugged in all the time. What's your experience with this? At home I have a desktop computer and also the Asus 901 netbook for travel and surfing from the couch sometimes. My netbook has a great battery life once it's charged up. I usually get about 4-5 hours or so from a single charge depending on what I'm doing. One thing I have noticed about the battery though is that it does not hold a charge well when it's not being used regularly. Sometimes I'll go a month or two without using it and the next time I get it out it's completely dead. Is this normal? What should I be doing to keep the battery in good shape?


Holly in NYC (hollyhock)

(Ravi in San Jose had a very similar question)

A: Li-Ion batteries don't like being kept topped off, nor running flat. Some laptops have utilities to manage this for you. TPads, for ex, will charge up to 100% then let battery run down a bit before charging again. Also, keep in mind that LiIon is very poor at keeping its charge when not plugged in. It decays. That means you DO want to top off before you go on a trip. Also means it's a terrible emergency battery tech.

2 *********************************************

After years of using Outlook for e-mail, I have decided to take the plunge and move my e-mail existence to gmail. I have already welcomed my Google overlords by synching my Outlook calendar with my Google calendar, and gmail already picks up my mail, but I still have several years of e-mails in Outlook that I would like to have stored in gmail, both for archiving purposes and so that I only have to search in one place for messages. Is there any way of importing the e-mails from Outlook into gmail while still preserving their data? In other words, rather than just forwarding them from to, which would add an unwanted layer of data (new sender, new sent date), is there a program that will convert those messages to something gmail will recognize as e-mail messages, reflecting the appropriate sender and date?

Thanks for any solutions (free or otherwise) you can suggest.

Christopher, The Administrative Law Judge in New York

If you're on Google Apps in biz, you're in luck. Google makes a free utility called Google Email Uploader: If you just use GMail, you can still do it, but it's a bit more involved: There's a guide at Digital Inspiration.

4 *********************************************

Hey Rafe and Tom,

I am going to setting up a home network soon and I was wondering if it's possible to run G and N wireless at the same time. I want to have N on the two main machines, but my phone can't be upgraded and the netbook really can't take advantage of the speed. Is it as simple as setting up two routers, one N and one G? My roommate recently broke all connections in the house by changing to an N router. All the machines, save one, were G and of course, couldn't connect. It took a lot of time and frustration to fix. I don't want to have to go through the hassle of resetting all those connections on a regular basis. Is it practical? Should I just give in and settle for G across the board?

Thanks for the help, Frontline99 a.k.a. AndrewHoover

Modern routers can do both G and N. You don't need two routers. Of course, you COULD have an N router on the same network as an older G router, but that'd be a hassle. I have a DLink DI-655, it runs both just fine.

COOLEY: I run an AP into one of the ports of my Wi-Fi router to get N. And Cisco has a line of relatively affordable pro AP's that are very good at running multiple radios and security layers simultaneously. (Aironet 1240/1250?)


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Next time: Tom's back. AND a special guest, Carmine Gallo, author of The presentation secrets of steve jobs. Topic, obviously, will be how to do great presentations.

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