A few months ago one of my laptops suffered a terminal dysfunction of its screen – it looked like the backlighting had failed. As I don’t have an external monitor here in Darkest Somerset I wasn’t able to test that theory immediately, and I decided not to buy a monitor until I was sure I had diagnosed the problem.
Then I went to Calfornia for a few weeks, bought Kevin a Wii for Christmas, and fell in love. There was no way I was going to be able to wait until my next planned US trip in March 2010 before my next Wii fix. So I bought one. And because there is only one functional TV in the house, which is my mother’s primary source of entertainment when it is too cold to go into the garden, I needed a screen.
Of course I only needed a really cheap screen, but these days it is hard to find anything other than an HD-ready flat screen TV. It looked like I was stuck with buying one. So I looked at a small one and noticed, to my delight, a VGA socket. One cable purchase later I had not only a functional Wii but also a functional laptop, provided that I don’t want to use them at the same time. What’s more, as there’s an indoor aerial in the house, I also have a semi-functional television (reception on an indoor aerial here is not that great, but not a disaster either).
I note also that because I have the BBC iPlayer on both the laptop and the Wii I can actually have rather better TV should I want it. My DSL connection isn’t quite fast enough for streaming TV at the moment, but there’s an upgrade available from my ISP at no extra cost. My only concern there is that the new deal has a download limit and I need to check how likely it is I’ll get hit with overage charges, given how much time I spend online, and how bandwidth heavy streaming TV is.
So this is how technology ought to work. One screen, many different purposes. It is nice to see something working properly for once.