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Choosing a Second Monitor to Use With a Laptop (Notebook)
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March 10, 2013, 09:08:26 AM
All right.  Calling on my TurbCAD User Forum friends out there that are computer-system savvy:



Background:  I usually draw houses.  That's a pain enough on my 17.3" laptop screen.  Now I am involved in a lengthy project for a large commercial building that is 200'x115' with 2-acre site-plan.  I do not have a (functioning) desktop system, nor a stand-alone monitor for that desktop system.

I'm thinking that I what I want to do is:  Add a second monitor to my laptop- along with a separate USB keyboard, and work with that.  I'm thinking something like 27" is going to serve me and be in my price-range (<$300).

----
Physically shopping here locally (Best Buy, Office Depot, Office Max, etc.) I narrowed down to a 27" 1920x1080 LCD monitor (300 cd/m2 brightness; 1200:1 typical contrast ratio, 15,000:1 dynamic).  Just to be sure it would work with my laptop, and that I would be happy with the resolution, I brought my laptop down to Office Depot and had them actually hook it up.

Though I have a HDMI output, the monitor wasn't HDMI capable; we plugged it into my DVI (VGA?- it's 15-pin) port.  We adjusted my display properties to 1920x1080 resolution, but I think/feel that my video-driver was just "making up" the resolution (my laptop's native resolution is 1600x900)- resulting in the pixels being larger than they actually are.  Basically, I wasn't happy with the way my drawing looked on the larger second monitor- not "crisp" enough.  I don't think I would be satisfied with the monitor, working with it for hours and days on end.

----
Question:  Taking a look at my laptops specifications (linked below), what would be the best specifications and connection capabilities of a large (27") second monitor that would result in ±100dpi resolution and be crisp and clear when viewing CAD objects?  (keep in mind, that I'm not thinking 3D modeling and rendering at this time; I know my lack of actual video-card is going to limit me on that)

Also:  My little bit of knowledge and research makes me think that- since I mostly work in 2D with a lot of Black Lines and Objects on a White background- I want a higher contrast ratio.  Would that be correct?  What is the minimum contrast ratio- "typical" and "dynamic"- that I would be looking for and would fit within my budget of $300?

Thanks for any help and input.  -Alvin

(my HP G72 260US laptop specifications here: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02159504&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&product=4217273&tmp_track_link=ot_search

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Alvin Gregorio
(mostly Residential Architectural 2D; no formal CAD Training; intermittent TurboCAD user since yr. 2000 [ver6.5])
---TurboCAD: V21PP; V20.2PP; V19DL; V11.2Pro; Windows-7-Pro/64-bit; Intel-Core-i3 CPU; 2.27ghz; 4GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics (CPU based)


* March 10, 2013, 09:45:10 AM
#1
If you have a 1600x900 graphics card... and are using it with a 1920x1020 monitor... you don't want to use the monitor at full screen, as things will not look as clear and crisp as they should. Setup the monitor accordingly... although you will have a black border around the edges of the screen, things will look much better... although not as good as it would if you had a graphics card that supported the resolution of the monitor. LCD monitors look best at native resolution... just the way it is.

You may want to consider a HD tv rather than a monitor... as long as the tv has the correct connections. I have mine hooked up to a 32 HD tv... looks great.... and you can find some great prices on them at times... often around $200 or so.

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March 10, 2013, 09:54:19 AM
#2
If you have a 1600x900 graphics card... and are using it with a 1920x1020 monitor... you don't want to use the monitor at full screen, as things will not look as clear and crisp as they should. Setup the monitor accordingly... although you will have a black border around the edges of the screen, things will look much better... although not as good as it would if you had a graphics card that supported the resolution of the monitor. LCD monitors look best at native resolution... just the way it is.

You may want to consider a HD tv rather than a monitor... as long as the tv has the correct connections. I have mine hooked up to a 32 HD tv... looks great.... and you can find some great prices on them at times... often around $200 or so.

Hi Greg.  Thanks for the input.  I never even thought about getting a TV; I just assumed the quality:price ratio (when using it as a monitor) wouldn't be practical.

As to your first suggestion:  If I set the display on the 1920x1080 monitor to 1600x900- would that/wouldn't that make the actual size of my viewable display the same as the 17.3" laptop-screen I am using now?  (that's what I'm trying to avoid; I need it BIGGER)

Thanks, Alvin

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Alvin Gregorio
(mostly Residential Architectural 2D; no formal CAD Training; intermittent TurboCAD user since yr. 2000 [ver6.5])
---TurboCAD: V21PP; V20.2PP; V19DL; V11.2Pro; Windows-7-Pro/64-bit; Intel-Core-i3 CPU; 2.27ghz; 4GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics (CPU based)


* March 10, 2013, 10:28:15 AM
#3
No... it will just put a border around the edges of the screen. When you force your 1600x900 graphics card to fill up a 1920x1080 screen... everything gets stretched and looks fuzzy. Even with the border around the edges.. you're still not going to get a clear, crisp picture like you would running the monitor at default resolution... if you get one at all.

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8GB RAM
Radeon 5450 1GB
Windows 7
Redsdk  - Off
Editing History - On
v19.2 Platinum, x64


March 10, 2013, 10:58:11 AM
#4
Alvin,

Be aware that you will be using both monitors. You can put your palates and tools on one monitor and have the other just for your drawings. You may not need a 27".

Your project isn't in Mojave by any chance?

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mike
TC user since v3. MacMini 5.1. 2.3 GHz. 16 Gig RAM.
TC 19 Pro 64 bit. Windows 7.


March 10, 2013, 11:54:50 AM
#5
Alvin,

Be aware that you will be using both monitors. You can put your palates and tools on one monitor and have the other just for your drawings. You may not need a 27".

Your project isn't in Mojave by any chance?

Thanks Mike.  Being able to put my palettes and toolbars (and email & Internet Browser) on another (my laptop's) monitor is exactly why I want a second monitor...  well... that and the fact that I'm getting tired of all the zooming-in & zooming-out; and panning; and leaning into the monitor to see it better; and just the fact that all of that is starting to take a toll on my back and legs.

----
Optimally, I would have a stand-up desk; with three high-quality 27" monitors; on fully-articulating arms; and a correct-high comfortable stool that I could sit on occasionally.  Having been a framing-carpenter for so many years, this sitting down all day, leaning into a monitor thing is really hard for me to do.

----
No, the project isn't in Mojave; it's out of state.

-Alvin

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Alvin Gregorio
(mostly Residential Architectural 2D; no formal CAD Training; intermittent TurboCAD user since yr. 2000 [ver6.5])
---TurboCAD: V21PP; V20.2PP; V19DL; V11.2Pro; Windows-7-Pro/64-bit; Intel-Core-i3 CPU; 2.27ghz; 4GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics (CPU based)


* March 13, 2013, 06:33:01 AM
#6
Alvin,

I used some cheap folding tables to raise the height of my desks so I could stand.

http://www.bunnings.com.au/products_product_table-blow-mould-4ft-folding_P3191274.aspx?search=tables&searchType=any&searchSubType=products

I took the sliding legs out because I am only short. This made them about an extra 2 inches shorter. You may not need to take the adjustable bottom legs out.

My back has improved since going back to standing.

You may be able to get similar products there.

Cheers,

Ken

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* March 13, 2013, 03:45:40 PM
#7
 Alvin, FYI;  Did a search using "two monitors" and found thread # 14: General Discussion / Re: Poll
« by John R on February 08, 2010, 05:07:23 PM »
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 03:49:49 PM by Dale Augsburger »

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MicroDaug........Ruff......Ruff


March 13, 2013, 07:44:35 PM
#8
Alvin,

I used some cheap folding tables to raise the height of my desks so I could stand.

http://www.bunnings.com.au/products_product_table-blow-mould-4ft-folding_P3191274.aspx?search=tables&searchType=any&searchSubType=products

I took the sliding legs out because I am only short. This made them about an extra 2 inches shorter. You may not need to take the adjustable bottom legs out.

My back has improved since going back to standing.

You may be able to get similar products there.

Cheers,

Ken

Thanks Ken.  I've been using four TV-trays stacked two-by-two.  Hah!  I have two extra folding-tables in the garage (shoot- my desk is a cheap/plastic folding-table); I think I'll try your method until I can afford something more professional.

I'm 6'-1"- just a touch on the tall side- so I think two tables on top of each other would be just right.

Now I just need to find a good, comfortable, and good-height desk-stool for those times when my sciatica kicks up and I need a rest from the standing.  Getting old sucks.

-Alvin

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Alvin Gregorio
(mostly Residential Architectural 2D; no formal CAD Training; intermittent TurboCAD user since yr. 2000 [ver6.5])
---TurboCAD: V21PP; V20.2PP; V19DL; V11.2Pro; Windows-7-Pro/64-bit; Intel-Core-i3 CPU; 2.27ghz; 4GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics (CPU based)


March 13, 2013, 07:55:07 PM
#9
Alvin, FYI;  Did a search using "two monitors" and found thread # 14: General Discussion / Re: Poll
« by John R on February 08, 2010, 05:07:23 PM »

Hi Dale.  Checked out that thread.  Seems like monitors- and, surprising to me, screen-resolution ratio- are very much varied amongst the Users.

I'm leaning towards Greg T's suggestion- that I go out and buy a decent TV to use as a second-monitor for my laptop; I could use a TV in the room I do my drafting in.

I gave it a try with my 16:9 ratio 42", but it was too large, and not being that expensive, the quality wasn't that good.  It is a 42" Vizio I bought about three years ago for about $500.  But, like Greg said, this thread: setting the TV's resolution- via my computer display settings- to 1600x900 helped the quality.

-Alvin

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Alvin Gregorio
(mostly Residential Architectural 2D; no formal CAD Training; intermittent TurboCAD user since yr. 2000 [ver6.5])
---TurboCAD: V21PP; V20.2PP; V19DL; V11.2Pro; Windows-7-Pro/64-bit; Intel-Core-i3 CPU; 2.27ghz; 4GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics (CPU based)


March 14, 2013, 10:58:03 AM
#10
Bear in mind that a TV is not a monitor in terms of how close you can be while looking at it.  moniters  are made for vewing from  very close, TVs not so much.

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March 14, 2013, 06:18:47 PM
#11
Bear in mind that a TV is not a monitor in terms of how close you can be while looking at it.  moniters  are made for vewing from  very close, TVs not so much.

Thanks Cliff.  Seems that I still have some research to do (and, perhaps, some trial with my laptop at a bricks-and-mortar store) before spending my dollars on a second monitor.

-Alvin

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Alvin Gregorio
(mostly Residential Architectural 2D; no formal CAD Training; intermittent TurboCAD user since yr. 2000 [ver6.5])
---TurboCAD: V21PP; V20.2PP; V19DL; V11.2Pro; Windows-7-Pro/64-bit; Intel-Core-i3 CPU; 2.27ghz; 4GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics (CPU based)


March 30, 2013, 02:37:16 PM
#12
Well...

I ended up purchasing an ASUS VE278 27"; 1920x1080; 2ms r.t.; 2-HDMI input w/ speakers for $350 (before California sales-tax and "recycling"-fee).
 
----
Though I have a large (27") screen, with 1920x1080 resolution, I'm not happy with the dots-per-inch (DPI).  I did just enough research to make the purchase, but should have taken it one step further.  If I do the math:  I have 81 DPI, compared to 106 DPI on my 17.3" monitor and the standard (I think) on a lot of monitors in the $100-$300 price-range.  Turns out bigger isn't always better.
 
I could have paid about $80 less for a 24", high-quality, Samsung SyncMaster monitor with 1920x1080 resolution, and had that same ±106 DPI- and all other specs. the same.
 
----
So, my advice:  If you are making a monitor purchase in the future- assuming money is a factor- don't go with the biggest.  Try to find an affordable 1920x1080, good-quality monitor that is less than 27"- something like 24"- if that size would suit your needs.  And- until they come out with even newer/better technology- look for HDMI input(s) and <5ms response time.
 
----
Dang it.  I'm not $380 happy with my monitor.  (There are no adjustments I can make; the DPI is the DPI)

-Alvin

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Alvin Gregorio
(mostly Residential Architectural 2D; no formal CAD Training; intermittent TurboCAD user since yr. 2000 [ver6.5])
---TurboCAD: V21PP; V20.2PP; V19DL; V11.2Pro; Windows-7-Pro/64-bit; Intel-Core-i3 CPU; 2.27ghz; 4GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics (CPU based)


March 30, 2013, 03:00:17 PM
#13
Alvin and others that may find of interest,

I know its a bit late but still an interesting solution for some is a piece of software called Maxivista that can turn another PC or laptop screen into extra desktop space.

I always have two laptops when I am working, one (my main workstation detailed below) and another tablet convertible when the other is busy rendering and I can continue using TC on this machine.

I have tried it and it works very well - even over a wireless network :-)

All details here: http://www.maxivista.com/download.htm

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Daz…

V2019 Plat 64bit, Lenovo P72 Laptop, Window 10 Pro for Workstations, Intel Xeon E-2186 CPU @ 2.90 Ghz (6 cores/12 threads), 32GB RAM, 512GB & 1TB SSD's, Nvidia P5200 c/w Max=Q Design GPU, Display UHD 3840 x 2160 pixels
TurboCAD user since V3 and Turbocad 3D V1.


March 31, 2013, 02:32:41 AM
#14
Alvin and others that may find of interest,

I know its a bit late but still an interesting solution for some is a piece of software called Maxivista that can turn another PC or laptop screen into extra desktop space.

I always have two laptops when I am working, one (my main workstation detailed below) and another tablet convertible when the other is busy rendering and I can continue using TC on this machine.

I have tried it and it works very well - even over a wireless network :-)

All details here: http://www.maxivista.com/download.htm

Hi Darrel,

yes, very interesting.  So, a question; is it genuinely possible to control the second PC from you primary one?

Are you able to control separate installations of TC on your two laptops, from just the one?  In a nutshell, can you transfer (copy/paste) a file from one to the other and then have it render on the secondary machine, while you work, undisturbed, on your main PC?


Regards Tim

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2016/2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2018/2019 + Lightworks (64-bit versions) + AnimationLab 5.2.
Windows 10 Pro 1903 (Build 18362.476) 64-bit


March 31, 2013, 03:06:33 AM
#15
Tim

I would say yes, not tried it myself but the home page mentions "Clipboard Synchronization" see screen grab below.

The trial version ran out on me so when I can afford to purchase it I will.

KVM Software

Control up to four computers with one single mouse and keyboard:

Simply move the mouse cursor to the monitor of the PC you would like to control with the mouse and keyboard of the Primary PC. No manual switching necessary. The keyboard and mouse input is transmitted using an Ethernet, Wireless, Firewire or USB network connection.

Clipboard Sharing

MaxiVista makes exchanging data between computers as easy as 1-2-3:

Copy files, file folders, bitmaps or formatted text to the standard Windows clipboard. MaxiVista automatically transmits the clipboard contents to all connected computers.

No KVM hardware required

There is no extra hardware such as KVM switches or cables required. It even works over Wireless networks. Multiple monitors are also supported.

If you are looking to remote control one main computer from multiple PCs, you might want to check out our other product MultiMouse.

If you are looking for a dedicated Mouse and Keyboard Sharing software solution that is Mac and Windows compatible and supports an unlimited number of compters and monitors, please check out our other software ShareMouse which is specialized in mouse and keyboard sharing.


Like I said I was surprised how well it worked over a wireless connection. The installation was so easy.  :)

They even have a version that works with iPads that turn it into a second monitor :)

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Daz…

V2019 Plat 64bit, Lenovo P72 Laptop, Window 10 Pro for Workstations, Intel Xeon E-2186 CPU @ 2.90 Ghz (6 cores/12 threads), 32GB RAM, 512GB & 1TB SSD's, Nvidia P5200 c/w Max=Q Design GPU, Display UHD 3840 x 2160 pixels
TurboCAD user since V3 and Turbocad 3D V1.


March 31, 2013, 03:42:56 AM
#16

Daz,

thanks, I'll give it a try, as I do have a neglected Dell laptop available - are you sure you're not working on commission?

You should be!  It looks just what I need, and, a reasonable price.  8)

Regards Tim

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2016/2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2018/2019 + Lightworks (64-bit versions) + AnimationLab 5.2.
Windows 10 Pro 1903 (Build 18362.476) 64-bit


March 31, 2013, 03:56:43 AM
#17
Yeah,

Glad this is of use to you Tim, it is ideal for your redundant laptops. I would have all my TC palettes and tool bars on that screen.

No, I am not on any commission.

I was googling when I was looking into using another laptop to increase my desktop space, I came across this nice piece of software.

Nothing is going to beat having a wired connected monitor but this is useful for us that have laptops with good screens to make use of.  :)

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Daz…

V2019 Plat 64bit, Lenovo P72 Laptop, Window 10 Pro for Workstations, Intel Xeon E-2186 CPU @ 2.90 Ghz (6 cores/12 threads), 32GB RAM, 512GB & 1TB SSD's, Nvidia P5200 c/w Max=Q Design GPU, Display UHD 3840 x 2160 pixels
TurboCAD user since V3 and Turbocad 3D V1.


March 31, 2013, 12:56:42 PM
#18
Yeah,

Glad this is of use to you Tim, it is ideal for your redundant laptops. I would have all my TC palettes and tool bars on that screen.

No, I am not on any commission.

I was googling when I was looking into using another laptop to increase my desktop space, I came across this nice piece of software.

Nothing is going to beat having a wired connected monitor but this is useful for us that have laptops with good screens to make use of.  :)

I have just been using the demo, with all our working PCs (XP 32-bit and Win 7 64-bit) and it works.  As the machines are not all in the same location I had to get Mrs S. to monitor what was happening.  She wasn't so impressed (yawn - zzzz!) as I was.  :)

However, it means I could remotely get TC to render images and animations, from my desktop, and, in the meantime, get on with other editing.  A dedicated, wired Ethernet connection might be the best bet, long-term.

So, I could have a second monitor, extra desktop real-estate and working spare PC, operated as one, as it were - I like it!  For me, this is the best option I have seen.  So, hand me my cheque book!  :)

Regards Tim

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2016/2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2018/2019 + Lightworks (64-bit versions) + AnimationLab 5.2.
Windows 10 Pro 1903 (Build 18362.476) 64-bit


March 31, 2013, 01:01:57 PM
#19
Tim

Glad it worked  :) Sorry your Mrs was not impressed. Some women are so hard to please  ;D

Please make your cheque out to Mr D. C. Durose....  ;D joke!

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Daz…

V2019 Plat 64bit, Lenovo P72 Laptop, Window 10 Pro for Workstations, Intel Xeon E-2186 CPU @ 2.90 Ghz (6 cores/12 threads), 32GB RAM, 512GB & 1TB SSD's, Nvidia P5200 c/w Max=Q Design GPU, Display UHD 3840 x 2160 pixels
TurboCAD user since V3 and Turbocad 3D V1.


March 31, 2013, 02:30:11 PM
#20
Tim

Glad it worked  :) Sorry your Mrs was not impressed. Some women are so hard to please  ;D

Please make your cheque out to Mr D. C. Durose....  ;D joke!

Well, the deal's been done.  8)

You got a mention, in the "Where did you hear about us"  comments box.  So, I can't be blamed, if your freebie doesn't arrive!  ;D

Time will tell, if this software can prove it's worth . . .

Thanks again.

Regards Tim

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2016/2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2018/2019 + Lightworks (64-bit versions) + AnimationLab 5.2.
Windows 10 Pro 1903 (Build 18362.476) 64-bit


March 31, 2013, 02:35:09 PM
#21
Thanks for the mention Tim!  :)

Keep us informed of your findings using this software. It will help all TC'ers who yearn for more desktop space  :)

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Daz…

V2019 Plat 64bit, Lenovo P72 Laptop, Window 10 Pro for Workstations, Intel Xeon E-2186 CPU @ 2.90 Ghz (6 cores/12 threads), 32GB RAM, 512GB & 1TB SSD's, Nvidia P5200 c/w Max=Q Design GPU, Display UHD 3840 x 2160 pixels
TurboCAD user since V3 and Turbocad 3D V1.


March 31, 2013, 03:19:15 PM
#22
Thanks for the mention Tim!  :)

Keep us informed of your findings using this software. It will help all TC'ers who yearn for more desktop space  :)

Will do!

Regards Tim

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2016/2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2018/2019 + Lightworks (64-bit versions) + AnimationLab 5.2.
Windows 10 Pro 1903 (Build 18362.476) 64-bit


April 04, 2013, 09:53:19 AM
#23
Well...

I ended up purchasing an ASUS VE278 27"; 1920x1080; 2ms r.t.; 2-HDMI input w/ speakers for $350 (before California sales-tax and "recycling"-fee).
 
----
Though I have a large (27") screen, with 1920x1080 resolution, I'm not happy with the dots-per-inch (DPI).  I did just enough research to make the purchase, but should have taken it one step further.  If I do the math:  I have 81 DPI, compared to 106 DPI on my 17.3" monitor and the standard (I think) on a lot of monitors in the $100-$300 price-range.  Turns out bigger isn't always better.
 
I could have paid about $80 less for a 24", high-quality, Samsung SyncMaster monitor with 1920x1080 resolution, and had that same ±106 DPI- and all other specs. the same.
 
----
So, my advice:  If you are making a monitor purchase in the future- assuming money is a factor- don't go with the biggest.  Try to find an affordable 1920x1080, good-quality monitor that is less than 27"- something like 24"- if that size would suit your needs.  And- until they come out with even newer/better technology- look for HDMI input(s) and <5ms response time.
 
----
Dang it.  I'm not $380 happy with my monitor.  (There are no adjustments I can make; the DPI is the DPI)

-Alvin

I have discovered that if I place the (large) 27", low-pixel-density, monitor about 24" from my eyes, wear my non-reading (near-sighted-  not too bad of vision, though) glasses, and work in TurboCAD with Background Color to "Gray" or "Dim Gray", and "Convert foreground color..."* (I used to/usually work with a "White" Background), the apparent clarity of my Lines, Text (especially Text), and other Objects is much improved and less of an issue.

-Alvin

*That "Foreground color conversion" is one of the "upgrade" features in the current version(s?) from my version 11 that I find to be very beneficial.  
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 10:08:07 AM by Alvin Gregorio »

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Alvin Gregorio
(mostly Residential Architectural 2D; no formal CAD Training; intermittent TurboCAD user since yr. 2000 [ver6.5])
---TurboCAD: V21PP; V20.2PP; V19DL; V11.2Pro; Windows-7-Pro/64-bit; Intel-Core-i3 CPU; 2.27ghz; 4GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics (CPU based)


May 08, 2013, 01:07:50 AM
#24
Hi all,

*** Here's an update ***

I have now been using MaxiVista for the last few weeks, with various versions of TC (v10 upwards), on three different 32-bit PCs and one 64-bit PC - I purchased MaxiVista Mirror Pro version.  The software has been, generally, very impressive and runs with little overhead.  It works exactly as described.

I am currently running with v19 on my main desktop, with v20 on a little-used Dell laptop.  This allows me to continually work with TC v19 while v20 is rendering an animation, or, I can easily switch over to increase the size of my desktop, as needs must.

It works, which is all I ask.  It enables me to control two (or more) machines/screens with ease.  I wouldn't return to my old single-screen setup by choice.  And, working with TurboCAD has become more enjoyable and productive. Does that sound like a recommendation?

Finally, thanks again for Daz for pointing me in this direction.  8)

Regards Tim

Logged
You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2016/2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2018/2019 + Lightworks (64-bit versions) + AnimationLab 5.2.
Windows 10 Pro 1903 (Build 18362.476) 64-bit