Tablets to the rescue as my computer monitor has a stroke

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Electronics break. More precisely, electronics break when there’s a holiday that makes sure replacements and repairs can’t happen for days, like now during Easter. Which is why my less than 3 year old LCD monitor though that it was about time it died on me, starting last night as the entire thing turned white. The usual troubleshooting steps later it became clear that it wasn’t the computer, but the monitor that was dead (it can’t even display internal menus and startup logo for the screen), but to my surprise I could actually hit the thing with my fist and it came back to life. For a few hours. That time it didn’t come back to me until I opened it and checked all the connections, but even then it had only about 12 hours in it before it once again died. This time it seems to be dead for good, and as I can’t find any physical defects with solder points, cables or anything like that, I’ve seen no other option but to order a new one.

That doesn’t leave me computer-less though, it simply leaves me without my desktop computer. My laptop is still up and running, and even if it died I have a few old laptops that I could duct tape together again for one last run.

Then there are my tablets, which are actually more useful right now than this laptop. The iPad has taken over the role as my desktop computer’s screen, using our all-time favorite remote desktop app, Splashtop. With the dead screen being the only external monitor I have, Splashtop is invaluable to be able to use my desktop computer at all right now. As for what I need the desktop, well, I’m about an hour away from finishing a 20 hour audio book that’s open in a media player on that computer. It also has my media library, including video, and I’d very much like to watch those this week, not next week when my new screen will arrive.

That brings me to the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. With my desktop computer being the only computer I have that’s capable of playing HD reliably, those videos have more obstacles to overcome to be played than just making it over to a device with a screen. Splashtop is fully capable of actually streaming video that way to the iPad, eliminating the need for conversion even since it’s just showing the computer screen, but local playback is always nice. As irony would have it both my Galaxy S II phone and Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus tablet are capable of playing pretty much anything you can throw at them, and so all I had to do was inset a flashdrive into the computer, use the iPad to remote control the file  transfer, and insert the flashdrive into my Galaxy Tab. 7 inches is a tad smaller than my 24-inch monitor, but 720p files look pretty good on the 1024 x 600 screen regardless.

So there you have it, another valid reason for buying a tablet: “just in case my computer monitor dies”. I guess that’s also a reason to have something like Splashtop installed even if you don’t need it normally. On the plus side my new monitor will have HDMI instead of just DVI, which should fix the issue I’ve had with my Samsung devices not being able to use the screens properly through HDMI to DVI adapters. With the next major holiday not being until Christmas over here in Norway, I have a nice 8 months before I have to worry about what will break then.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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One thought on “Tablets to the rescue as my computer monitor has a stroke

  • Avatar of pat
    April 6, 2012 at 4:13 am
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    That’s what I did when my Macbook’s screen died. I just used splashtop and used the iPad to control it. I’ve been using my iPad and iPhone for everything this last week. Now it’s ready to be picked up from apple.Tablets might not be ready to replace computers but it is way easier using them than loading up my MacBook to do something simple. Actually the main reason to have my Mac is to backup all my gigs of photos and videos. If apple would approve iCloud I just might make the switch to tablet only.

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