Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 03/05/2012

Now You See It, Now You Don’t


Amur Tiger, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

It’s evident, Dear Reader, that I have fallen somewhat behind the times; whilst this might not much of a surprise for many (or all) of you, it was a revelation to me…. my new laptop lacked a VGA port on it! Wherever possible, I always try and operate two screens on any of the computers I work on, whether this is my desktop machine or my old laptop, so having had a spring clean in my office I decided to rearrange my desk space to allow my new laptop to take pride of place and plug in a second screen to the system. With 3 available monitors, two DVI (digital) and one VGA I decided to try and utilise one of the screens whilst I composed today’s blog. Having a second screen attached (or third, or even forth) may sound a bit unnecessary to many who have not had access to such a system, but it is incredibly productive when you need access to documents for research purposes. With Google Docs open on my main screen, I then have a multi-tabbed browser open on my second screen where I can flip between open web pages searching for relevant information for the daily missive – though more for clarification than plagiarism (any such references would be cited if had just copied and pasted… actually, by not using other people’s wording I’m making it more difficult for myself…. D’Oh*).

Back to the point, having liberated the VGA cable for one monitor ready to plug into the new laptop, in the post-dusk gloom of my office, I gave a cursory glance around the casing of the machine to try and locate the appropriate port. In the semi-darkness, I thought my eyes were playing me up and so having switched on the room light looked again. Nope, it was conspicuous by its absence.. the machine didn’t have the familiar 9 pin VGA socket and it certainly didn’t the larger DVI port. Of course, we’ve come rather late to the whole flat screen TV, blu-ray home cinema system and so HDMI has somewhat passed me by and so it never entered my head that this would be the video signal connector on the machine to allow HD video to be transmitted to larger screens.

I’m also a bit “old skool” when it comes to other computer components so the eSATA connector, allowing me to connect external devices such as hard drives or blu-ray drives was another port I had thought would be on the machine. Two ports I had paid some attention to, were a pair of USB v3.0 ports which when connected to a USB v3.0 memory card reader will allow me to transfer photographs from my memory cards onto the laptop so much quicker than before (and boy can that take some time – in fact, when transferring images from Compact Flash, I use the camera’s ability to copy from Compact Flash card in the camera’s first memory slot onto the SD card in the second slot, and then use the SD card to upload through the inbuilt card reader, and this is still faster than using USB v2.0 to transfer directly off the card!)

I’ve just watched a program about giant snakes; apparently 10 years ago over 800 Burmese Pythons, which were being bred for the Pet Trade in Florida, escaped when a major hurricane destroyed the environment in which they were housed. With the abundance of wetland environments, coupled with the perfect hot temperatures in Florida, the escapees have flourished and there are now an estimated 10,000 of these snakes loose in the wild. They’ve also supplanted one of the previous native apex predators, the Alligator; unchallenged, their numbers can and will swell showing the danger when introducing non-native species into an environment whether on purpose or by accident can have. I am willing, however, in the name of science to allow Aston Martin to introduce one of their Apex car (DB9 please) into my garage and I will report back as to its influence on my environment!

* Citation: Homer Simpson!

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Responses

  1. Great post and i have done the same thing with my computer. I have dual monitors. You’re quite witty too about the Aston Martin and i too would be willing for one of those cars to be released in the wilderness of my garage. Haha.


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