Dead CRT

My beautiful Sony sf300 20 inch CRT just died. This isn’t too surprising, the CRT was acting cranky but I was hoping it would last a few more months before it died. This was the worst possible time for a sudden breakdown. I’m right in the middle of a project, so I had to run out and buy a replacement monitor. Saturday night at 8PM is not a good time to shop for a new monitor. The only place that was open was Best Buy, and I’ve never ever been satisfied with any product I bought at Best Buy. But I really didn’t have much choice, so I bought a cheap 17 inch Samsung LCD.

I hate LCDs, I prefer a CRT for critical color work. Back when I bought the sf300, it was extremely expensive, a top-end monitor designed for color calibrated work. Its color was always very accurate, even up to the moment it died. I think I bought the sf300 around 1993 so I suppose it had a good, long life.

The Samsung LCDs are supposedly the same LCDs used in Apple Cinema Displays, but I’ve seen the big 30 inch Cinema display and the text is a hell of a lot clearer than this Samsung. You get what you pay for. And this is what is most disappointing, I had to spend money I was reserving for a new system. I’ve been thinking of buying a new PowerMac Quad G5 and a 30 inch Cinema Display, but I wanted to wait a couple more months. I had a great scheme, I can register as an Apple Developer for $500, and buy a quad G5 and a 30 inch display for a huge discount, I think I recall pricing out systems with discounts as high as $1800. So an Apple Developer registration really pays off if you plan on buying a high-end system, you spend $500 and get back $1800.

But this was an emergency, I wanted to get back up and running fast. I was prepared to buy just the 30 inch Cinema Display, even without the Developer discount, so I called the nearest Apple Store. If they had a video card capable of running the Cinema Display on my old MDD dual-1Ghz G4, I would have bought it and picked it up in the morning. But there is only one video card that can do the job, and they didn’t have it. That Radeon 9800 Pro card costs $250, almost as much as this cheap Samsung LCD display. The fastest I could get a 9800 card was Tuesday, by mail order. Oh well, so much for that idea.

I was hoping I’d get over the next few weeks and then splurge on a new system, I figured I should buy one last PowerPC system to get me past the Mac Intel transition. I was hoping to move out of Iowa and buy the system once I got to a new residence, to avoid having to move more hardware, but now I’m not sure what to do. I don’t really want to buy a $250 video card for an old machine, when that’s almost 10% of the price of a new machine. So Monday, I guess I’ll call up Apple and become an official developer, and get a new system, and then I can return this piece of crap LCD to Best Buy.

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