stacked

Starting next week, I’m switching to a hybrid work plan, with Mondays at the office and other weekdays remotely from home. There’s flexibility built in, and also the possibility I might convert it to 100% WFH later on. We’ll see.

I have two 22″ monitors at work at 1680×1050 each (although in my recent computer upgrade I was offered a third, and turned it down.) At home, I have one 29″ 21:9 ultrawide at 2560×1080, so approximately 1.76 work monitors’ worth. That, plus borrowing my spouse’s webcam very occasionally, served me fine through the pandemic lockdown.

(The Onion, apparently from 2012? I would have guessed a few years older.)

But I’ve decided to get serious.

While there’s no horizontal room for more monitors, nor much bigger than what I already have, there’s vertical space aplenty. Ergonomics dictate that one’s visual focus should mostly be a little below eye level, but the occasional glance upward isn’t a problem. So after some deliberation I’ve bought a second 29″ 21:9 display, a stand to mount the two in a stacked configuration, and my own webcam.

I looked into curved monitors — I’m not sure they make good sense at this size, given their generally higher cost and questionable benefit. Probably great for some types of games if you’re talking 40″ or more though.

I also briefly considered side-by-side monitors rotated to portrait orientation. Seems like it’d be great for some uses, not ideal for others, and a disaster for gaming. Think of all the times when you want to or have to hold your phone sideways, and then imagine that you just can’t.

Anyway, when WFH, I can keep Remote Desktop on one monitor and use the other for notes/Teams/browsing/MP3 player/remoting to a second machine. For music, I’m sure Bitwig handles stacked monitors very well, and it’ll be beneficial to have Sound Forge and my notes both visible for editing/mastering. For gaming… probably not that helpful most of the time, though occasionally having a guide/notes on one monitor will be nice.

Speaking of which, I’m either going to uninstall Guild Wars 2, or go ahead and try End of Dragons. I’ve leveled several characters to 80 in the past few months, with one of them finally achieving 100% map completion and the rest making me think “what’s the point?” when I hit the level cap. A lot of the level 80 elite specs require a bunch more skill points before they become fully effective — until then they might be weaker than standard builds. My Deadeye is pretty great though, so I could see running the new content with her. For that matter, I’ve never actually done the Heart of Thorns stuff. Nor whatever it is that gets you a flying mount. Okay, maybe I won’t uninstall just yet.

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