punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

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Tech - Making the best of a dim situation

My pal ironkite is the best. He got me some monitors they were tossing at work (and might get me more). I was able to use one to give to geckoman, which, as we speak, is being delivered down to where he is in the Virginia Beach area. Gecko has fallen on rough times, and being no stranger to rough times, I wanted to help a friend out, you know?

The first monitor I tried didn't connect. I mean, the green light game on, then turned orange, so no signal. I tried fooling around with some stuff, but nothing came on the screen. I quickly gave up (saying I'll investigate it later), and tried monitor #2. It also didn't come on, and that's when I realized I had it plugged into the wrong video card (the test computer has two VGA outputs, the one on the mobo which is dead, and the one I replaced it with). I plugged it in the right one, it came on, but the screen was really dim. I fooled with the brightness and contrast, but it was still a bit dim, which usually means it's about to go bad. Oh well, I'll do some tests. I have a bootable CD with has video/monitor resolutions burn tests.

So, while I am doing a video screen test, I am cleaning the monitor. There was some sticker residue on it, and I wanted to get those off. I was cleaning a sticker that said, "Please do not place food, drink, or other objects on top of glass," (I guess it was under a glass shelf in its former life?). The cloth came back really dirty, and the monitor was changing color. A small dot of cleaner splashed onto the screen, and when I wiped it away, I found the screen was MUCH brighter.

It wasn't the brightness that was the problem. It was a dirty screen.

This struck me as REALLY funny. The whole monitor has a thin, gray, greasy-crusty film (I suspect smoker residue, although it didn't smell of tobacco), and when I wiped it off with the cleaner, the brightness was fine! And it passed the video burn test, so off it goes to Gecko! I wonder if the monitor was going to be tossed because it had a dim screen. Ironkite told me it's because of mass upgrades at work, but I can just imagine someone, including me, who would have given up on the monitor when all it needed was to be cleaned.
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