Setting up a dev environment on my laptop so that I can code a bit while littleun's doing her schoolwork.

This laptop's monitor, like most laptops, is garbage. A miserable 768 lines makes even looking at a website feel like peering through someone's letterbox.

Minus 24px top and bottom for system panels. Minus the same again for window chrome (title and close/max/min buttons). In a browser, minus another 30-odd for the address bar and tab list (even when there's only one tab open!).

The end result is... well, I hope you like doing very wide spreadsheets, 'cause that's all a 16:9 laptop's good for.

So I'm auto-hiding the top system panel, to give me back 24 lines there. Losing the bottom, another 24 lines - this is painful 'cause that's where I put my clock, window lists and CPU/disk/network/RAM monitors, but I can put those on the left instead since it's height I'm hurting for, not width.


Finally I can use a clever feature of MATE I'd never used before - when a window's maximized, you can remove the window title and close/minimize/maximize buttons from the windows themselves and put them on a system panel. I put mine on the top panel, which is set to auto-hide. If I wanna minimize a window, I move my mouse to where the buttons would be and they appear.

Now pressing F11 doesn't do much of anything 'cause all the top and bottom stuff's already not there.

· · SubwayTooter · 1 · 1 · 4

It's still awful 'cause my desktop machine upstairs has a $5 4:3 Goodwill monitor turned on its side to give me *sixteen hundred glorious lines* but it's... as good as 768 lines is ever gonna get.

Which tbh is "still crappy."

768 friggin' lines for a computer monitor.

That was shite in 2002 FFS. These days you'd expect better than that out of a bloody telly. This is just miserly.

Update on using a modern laptop: I went on best buy's website and had a browse around to see what contemporary laptop displays are like, thinking maybe this lappy was an outlier from a dark age (it's from the late 2010's). About a quarter of modern laptops are still 768-line! Most of the rest are on 1080, which is still pretty crappy.

This really does beg the question, if a lot of people who use PCs instead of phones are on laptops with wide/short displays, why do so many websites have a massive bar at the top that stays there covering a third of the screen while you scroll down?!

This laptop I have was crap when it was new and I raccooned it away from being chucked in a skip, and even this thing has a Home key I can press to immediately go to the top of the page!

AND WHILE I'M AT IT if you're gonna put a miserably short screen on a laptop then anyone using that laptop is by necessity going to be scrolling all the damn time - SPEND THE EXTRA DOLLAR AND PUT A FRIGGIN' SCROLL WHEEL ON IT! What the hell!

Or even an extra ten cents for a middle mouse button!

What on Earth is going on in these laptop-making company offices?!

Every mouse and trackball manufacturer for the last 20 years: "A mouse with only two buttons and no scroll wheel? The heck are you gonna use it for, an Amiga 500? Get outta here, scroll wheels are standard, even if we sold it for five bucks nobody's gonna buy that crap."

Laptop makers: "Aye two's plenty that'll do job's a good 'un that'll be a grand please"

Laptop makers: if you claim that touchpads aren't absolute trash then find me a person who voluntarily uses one with a desktop

@ifixcoinops I remember having a second hand 486 with its original monitor that could do 1024x768 in 1998 🙄

@danielcassidy Twenty bloody years ago I got a secondhand 19" QXGA monitor at Bowlers for thirty quid. That's 2048 * 1536, if you wanted a monitor that'd only go to 1600 * 1200 you could save a tenner, if you were a fancy lad with fifty quid in his pocket you could go for a 21"er. Infinite contrast ratio, 120hz.

And folk are impressed with 4k.

@ifixcoinops 🖐️ I do!

I have a stand for my laptop that puts it at a better height for my eyes/neck, and then use one of those ultra cheap wireless "media center" keyboards with a touchpad.

Actually just now considering whether I should buy a new one, since the one I've had for seven years now is a bit sluggish (is that the right word?) to type on. The rubber dome membranes have seen better days.

Nothing wrong with the touchpad though. Haven't had a computer with a mouse for five or six years.

@ifixcoinops I've met only one, and she was an ergonomist I knew >20 yeara ago.

@ifixcoinops I got dragged for sharing this recently, but I similarly use a 1440x900 monitor only because goodwill doesn't sell HDMI monitor around here, I don't know what I would do with all the screen real estate if I suddenly had a massive monitor at home

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