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Old 03-11-2004, 11:54 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
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Why Windows sets up monitors so easily?

I'm just wondering why is it so simple to set up the monitor settings in Windows while for Linux, we need to know the horizontal and vertical refresh rates. It makes me so cautious in case my settings set my monitor on fire.

What is their secret?
Old 03-11-2004, 12:58 PM   #2
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That is a really good question. I wish I knew. It'd be nice if the XFree86 configuration was smart enough to detect stuff like that. The same could be said for other stuff that is often a pain for newbies (and even oldbies) to figure out, like mouse configuration. Best Linux mouse configuration I've ever seen was in muLinux; it said "please move your mouse around for a while so I can detect it." After moving it around for a few seconds, the cursor moved with it; configuration done. Why can't they all do that? You'd think it'd be easy to probe all the common ports to see if there's mouse-like input coming from them, so people don't have to know that their mouse is attached to /dev/psaux or whatever.

I guess for monitors, it's not too safe to try a bunch of video modes to see what works, since the wrong one could make the monitor explode or something. But surely there's a way... monitor refresh problems are definitely one of the most common things we see here on LQ. Linux isn't very useful if your display doesn't work right.

Eric S. Raymond wrote a great piece on the shortfalls of Linux configuration recently. I'd urge everyone to take a read - especially if you're in a position to do Linux development.

Last edited by wapcaplet; 03-11-2004 at 01:03 PM.
Old 03-11-2004, 03:23 PM   #3
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The monitor has its settings hard coded so Windows ask the monitor for those settings. LINUX asks the minimum and maximum settings but it doesn't ask additional questions like safe video modes which are also hard coded. Also monitor manufactures do not make any software for LINUX to give it more information what the monitor can and can not do.
Old 03-11-2004, 04:23 PM   #4
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But XFree comes with a default setting for monitors, haven't had any trouble with that. And if you do, you can always find your monitor specs on the internet, or in the booklet that came with it...


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