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2 May 2013 23:55A little hardware project
I had a notebook display lying around for years. The notebook died and i thought to myself: "Hey, keep the LCD and turn it into a monitor!" Easier said (or thought) than done, though. Turns out, the internal connectors of LCD panels aren't standardized.
Each vendor uses different connectors and protocols. The controller is part of the notebook's graphics card and thus on it's mainbord. So if you want to convert video signals (VGA, DVI, whatever) into something the LCD understands you'll need to get or build a fitting controller. Soldering my own controller board and programming a fitting microchip sadly exceeds my expertise on those fields, so that wasn't an option. At that point the LCD usually went back into the storage cabinet, to be re-discovered some time later just to come to the same conclusion again.
Foster Dad John's Kitten Livecam. Yes, i love Cats. And Kittens even more so. I just couldn't get the kitten livestream off my screen. So there went my productivity.
Time to get a second monitor and get some of my workspace back!
That's where i remembered the LCD panel again. And this time, i was lucky. I discovered a blog of someone who did something like that just recently (don't remember which one, though), and he had the perfect hint: Chinese vendors on ebay offer to piece together the correct controller, connectors and firmware to turn your LCD panel into a working monitor with VGA and DVI connectors (even with HDMI if you want). So off to ebay i went and the search for "lcd controller dvi" did finally yield what i was looking for. I instantly ordered one for affordable 30$. A nice contact and several photos of my lcd connectors later a controller was ready and on it's way to me. Such a great service!
The arrival, however, took some time. It was stuck at the international airport for weeks. Mail tracking didn't yield any useful information, but i guess customs clearance was to blame. Anyway, it arrived eventually.
And that's basically it! All that remained was connecting the DVI cable and the power adapter and there we go! Finally a second monitor to keep twitter and the kittens within sight without sacrificing workspace! Yay!
Oh, one last thing: I had to reduce the display's resolution from it's native 1440x1050 to 1024x768 pixels. Sad about the screen space, but otherwise the DPI of both screens wouldn't match and the mouse cursor would jump around every time you move between monitors. It drove me CRAZY! But it's still a MASSIVE improvement, even at 1024x768.
3 Apr 2013 06:42It's a blog!
It took a lot of dark PHP magic, but i finally have a blog on this website! Yay!
I will use it to talk about stuff that doesn't fit into 140 characters and doesn't really belong into a discussion forum either.