computer bits

Frank Frank
Wed Dec 4 18:40:16 EST 1991


In article <1991Dec4.042556.10329 at nrcnet0.nrc.ca> num208ww at MBDS.NRC.CA (Warren
Wakarchuk) writes:
>We have a
>MacIICi with the Apple 13inch color monitor and we have a 286 PC with
>VGA.  There is in my mind no contest between the two.  The Mac monitor
>just does not cut it.  Even for non-color applications the readability
>is still not great on the Mac monitor.  My suggestion would be to
>check out the third party monitors ie NEC multisync, which are
>compatible with both types of systems.  There are no "slots" for
>"cards" inside a Mac so you get what comes from the factory in terms
>of video.  I don't know enough about the Mac video but they might have
>a higher resolution available from the factory, which will require a
>better monitor than the standard "high" resolution Apple monitor.

I am not sure I would agree with your ideas.  The field is biased and
opinionated to a large degree (I am *very* biased).  The reason you have
different 'readability' is due to the resolution in the monitors and the video
cards that drive your monitors, but this not a mutually exclusive department. 
The VGA video card can provide you with a higher resolution than Macs and their
video drivers.  There are 2 ideas to note: 1) Almost all Macs and third party
video cards for Macs drive the monitors at a 72 dots per inch (DPI) resolution.
 The Apple 13" color is a 72 dpi screen with 8 bit color (256 shades).  PCs and
their resolution vary greatly from card to card and monitor to monitor (you
must mate card and video well), but VGA can provide resolution towards 120?
dpi.  2) For real time production and graphics reproduction, the Mac monitors
at 72 dpi are superior because they have a high refresh rate, how often the
computer redraws the screen (30 Mhz for the Apple RGB and 64 Mhz for a larger
hi-res monitor like the Supermacs or E-machines) and they have what we call
WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get).  WYSIWYG means that the display on the
screen is on a 1:1 ratio of your output up to the 72 dpi resolution (on a
postscript printer, the output will actually be higher).  PCs have a lower
refresh rate ( I don't recall the # (as you can see, I'm Mac biased)).

On advice of purchasing a color monitor for your IIsi (not PC), there are a
couple assumptions.  1) You want a color monitor for a reason (you plan to have
color output in some form (color printer, slide maker, polaroid screen shots),
have color games you want to try, or are tired of black and white.  2) You
don't plan to do full page desktop publishing (DTP) or press quality graphics.
On #2, I hope this is true with your budget "~$500-700".  About #1, if its
games or boredom, the 13" RGB is fine.  If you plan to use the color monitor in
your applications, you need a higher quality screen.  For our graphics
facilities, we have a Mac IIx 4/80 with a 19" Supermac 8-bit monitor and a Mac
IIci 20/80 with a E-Machines T-16 8-bit monitor.  The T-16 is an excellent
monitor for our work (uses a 16" Sony Trinitron tube).  It costs ~$1600 street
price through several third party vendors and is easy to install.  The Supermac
is quite a bit more ($~2800).  Output is to a 4K slide maker and a Linotronic
230 imagesetter.  We wouldn't survive with a smaller monitor.

As for video cards, E-machines, Supermac, etc make cards for the mac (where
there *are* slots (either a video slot or a NuBus slot))and their prices are
comparablee to PC video cards.  Your IIsi comes with a small 13" 8-bit video
card hardwired, though, to drive the 13" monitors.  You'll need a new card for
larger monitors.  

The best thing to do, is go to a local dealer (friend, lab, or anyone with a
non-Apple monitor) with several monitors and browse.  Don't buy from him (third
party vendors are much cheaper), but look and get a feel for what is there and
what you want/need.

Frank Yue  ..Mr. Safety
taub at hmivax.humgen.upenn.edu



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