May 25, 2010
I used to have a 20" Samsung 204b LCD monitor like half of all poker grinders. I was gonna get another one to have a nice, symmetrical set-up, but I never got around to it, so I used an old, fat Samsung CRT I had had for a couple of years. Â When the LCD died a while back, I was left with only the CRT. I wasn't playing poker at the time, so I didn't bother getting a new second monitor.Â
Recently, I decided it was time to go back to twins. I asked around to see what monitors all the cool kids are using these days. Apparently the most popular setups for poker grinders are a 30" with one or two rotated 20"s on the side or twin 24" widescreens. After pricing that out, I realized I didn't feel like going out and dropping $700+ on new monitorage, so I started looking elsewhere.Â
As is always the case these days, "elsewhere" means one thing: craigslist.
I searched for "monitor" in NYC and there it was: Viewsonic p95f+ 19" CRT monitor for sale - $20.Â Â
I googled a review of the monitor model. It said, "A very good monitor, although CRT is pretty much an obsolete technology." The review was dated January 2003. January two thousand and three!! This thing was obsolete before Moneymaker even started the main event. I googled the specs of the monitor: 18.5" by 18.5" by 18.8", 55lbs. Fifty-five pounds! Â That's a second grader for Christ's sake. This behemoth, which according to the reviews could deliver as much as 2048x1536 resolution with a 0.25 mm dot pitch, could be mine for less than the cost of a taxi ride. Done fucking deal. Â This thing must be mine.Â
To add to the adventure, the ad said the monitor was on the Upper East Side, a full hour each way from my Brooklyn apartment. Now some people might say, who would spend two hours on the subway, half of which would be spent dragging a ferociously heavy, unwieldy, and yet remarkably fragile box up and down stairs and across platforms? Â Furthermore, who would go through all that rigamarole for a big heavy box that was laughably out-of-date?
To those who would say such things, I would respond, perhaps you didn't hear me: twenty bucks for a 2048x1536 monitor. Twenty. Â
And yes, I said, "rigamarole" back there. This is a post about a 19" CRT monitor. Shit's getting retro here.Â
I dashed off an e-mail to the seller and told him I would buy it. Now the question was one of logistics. Now the question was one of logistics. I had to make sure I could actually move the thing. My roommates have one of those wire carts that people in the city use to schlep around their groceries, but a quick test with my Samsung CRT confirmed there was no way this thing would fit in there (although trying to fit the giant monitor into the tiny cart did remind me of a joke: what do you get when you cross an elephant with a poodle? A dead poodle, split in half.)
So the only viable option was an open hand cart, but I needed bungee cords. I went to the hardware store and got four 4-foot bungees with carabiner clips for $31. Yes, the bungee cords cost fifty percent more than the actual monitor.Â
When I went to pick up my beautiful new ViewSonic I asked the guy why he was getting rid of it (as if it was unusual to want to get rid of a fifty pound eight year old computer monitor). He raised an eyebrow. "Well, for one, without it my apartment is twice as big." Â Touche, craigslist man. Touche.Â
I wrapped my new baby in blankets and bungee cord and started back. As I left I thought, "The US-UK exchange rate is a joke. I can get fifty-five pounds for twenty bucks." Â Dragging this thing from 80th street in Manhattan to South Slope Brooklyn was exactly as big a pain in the ass as you would think it would be, especially considering I live in a fourth floor walk-up with no elevator. But it was all worth it when I finally plugged it in.
Look at those magnificent bastards. There's nearly a hundred fucking pounds of monitor on that rickety ass IKEA desk. Two mismatched 19" CRTs. My beloved Samsung is now, unbelievably, the smaller monitor. I call these babies Fat Man and Little Boy (too soon?).
Let's look at the overhead view.
Baby got back.Â
You maybe asking yourself, is that a webcam duct-taped to the top of that monitor? You're goddamned right it is!! Â It is Frankensystem. It is alive!!! Â And yes, that is a windowless closet that I have converted into a makeshift eighteen-square-foot office. Â I know what you're thinking: yes, the whole thing IS straight balla.Â
As I type this on my giant new monitor I think, I got a million extra pixels and I got a blog post. Best twenty bucks I ever spent.