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4K Is For Programmers

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the you-are-no-longer-satisfied-with-your-display-setup dept.

Displays 520

An anonymous reader writes "The 4K television revolution is upon us, and nobody is impressed. Most users seem content to wait until there's actually something to watch on these ultra-high-res displays, and also for the price to come down. However, Brian Hauer has written an article promoting a non-standard use for these displays. His office just got a 39", 3840x2160 display for each of their programmers' workstations. He now confidently declares, 'For the time being, there is no single higher-productivity display for a programmer.' Hauer explains: 'Four editors side-by-side each with over a hundred lines of code, and enough room to spare for a project navigator, console, and debugger. Enough room to visualize the back-end service code, the HTML template, the style-sheet, the client-side script, and the finished result in a web browser — all at once without one press of Alt-tab.'"

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where do I sign? (4, Funny)

xombo (628858) | about 9 months ago | (#45917121)

Must... reopen... Dell financing account.

ask the nsa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917691)

they know dell

39" display for workstations? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917139)

Sounds like a startup with too much of other peoples money to spend. Who would want to crane their neck around that much. Even 27" feels awfully big at a reasonable distance.

Re:39" display for workstations? (0, Troll)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 9 months ago | (#45917181)

Indeed, if I were an investor in this company, I would be quite angry. If he's spending his own money then whatever...

Re:39" display for workstations? (5, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | about 9 months ago | (#45917231)

Indeed, if I were an investor in this company, I would be quite angry. If he's spending his own money then whatever...

If you were an investor you'd be upset at a company spending $500 a head replacing programmer's monitors? Sorry, but that's idiotic.

Almost any non-negligible productivity improvement is going to recoup $500 over the lifespan of an LED monitor.

Re:39" display for workstations? (-1)

hattig (47930) | about 9 months ago | (#45917683)

These monitors are probably a bit more than $500 each at the moment.

But if your developers are $100k each a year, $1k or even $2k for a three to five year lifespan is not a problem, especially given the productivity increases claimed.

But if their previous monitors were fairly new too, then they are splurging money a bit.

Re:39" display for workstations? (4, Insightful)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 9 months ago | (#45917289)

Yeah, because spending $500 on a monitor is just outrageous. That's an insane amount of money to spend on equipment for someone paid several times that amount every week.

Re: 39" display for workstations? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917733)

Response from management:

Eh, accounting says we don't have that kind of money and down in the basement we have some old green screen apple ][ monitors. Programmers just look at text anyway right?

I have a business meeting in cancun, and will be out of the office for three weeks...

Re:39" display for workstations? (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 9 months ago | (#45917293)

So let me get this straight:

You'd be angry that the company was spending some tiny fraction of the programmer's total annual cost (salary + taxes +pension + health insurance + building overheads + support overheads)--even smaller when you amortize it over the life of the monitor--to make the expensive programmers more productive.

You're nuts.

Are you also angry that they've got decent computers rather than underspecced, second hand $100 shitboxes?

If it costs you $10k per year to make the programmer 10% productive, that's going to be a substantial win unless you have very cheap programmers.

Re:39" display for workstations? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917577)

I once saw an entire team of 10 decent programmers turned into door stops because spending 10 dollars more for each one was 'too much for the budget'. Yeah so is losing 3 weeks of work out of them while we RMA monitors and buy the right ones ANYWAY. Out of the computers that were bought 5 for DOA. One actually had screws loose in the case. I picked it up and heard ratle ratle ratle. "let me get you a different one you do not want this one". I was able to build 1 working out of those 5. Instead of doing my real job of writing code.

You dont have to buy people 10k rigs. But dont buy the 200 dollar special at sears and hope it works.

Re:39" display for workstations? (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 9 months ago | (#45917731)

If it costs you $10k per year to make the programmer 10% productive

Does that mean it will cost $100k to make the programmer 100% productive?

Re:39" display for workstations? (4, Interesting)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | about 9 months ago | (#45917325)

you're kidding right? a monitor will last you easily 6-7 years (my monitor at work is nearly 8 and it's still running just fine) and a large/high-res monitor will give you a noticeable increase in productivity, and you are angry about a $100/head/year expenditure? maybe you'd want his programmers not to have desks but just a sheet of plywood on some sawhorses since that'd be cheaper? stools instead of ergonomic chairs?

If anything, if I was an investor I'd be more angry about him cheaping out on a repurposed tv and not spending $2-3k for a 'proper' 60Hz 4k monitor (mouse lag would drive me nuts) but that's just me.

Re:39" display for workstations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917513)

Jealous much?

Re:39" display for workstations? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 9 months ago | (#45917237)

Bingo. My first thought when I read TFS was "my neck hurts already."

4K is for sprendthrifts.

Re:39" display for workstations? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917329)

Why do so many people think a large screen is going to hurt their neck? Is it because you sit with your face five inches from the screen? You know, doing that is going to hurt more than your neck, even with a small screen. I've got a 30" 2560x1600 monitor on my desk here, which is so old that the computer that ran it died last week, and I never experienced any neck problems at all - the trick is, you don't press your nose on the screen while using it. I know it's weird, but seriously folks, sitting so close you'll get neck strain from a large screen is also bad for your eyes!

Re:39" display for workstations? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 9 months ago | (#45917459)

At 16 inches, going from UL to LR of my 24", and being able to read the time requires head movement. Not sure what kind of multi-faceted insect eyes you might have but not everybody has 200 degrees of peripheral vision.

Re:39" display for workstations? (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 9 months ago | (#45917607)

Try it some time. It's amazing how quickly people will talk trash about something they've never tried.

I used a 37" 1920x1080 monitor for years before it started having image persistence problems. From 2' away, I had full view of the entire screen from both eyes (and my nose isn't tiny). I could see every part of the monitor perfectly without moving my head. It was a great monitor.

Now I'm using three 27" 2560x1440 monitors. I kinda miss the low DPI of the old monitor but I like all the extra work space. When I wrap up my current traveling phase and settle back into a house, I'm planning to replace these monitors with three 37-40" 4k displays. I figure the interfaces and driver issues will be worked out by then.

Re:39" display for workstations? (5, Informative)

jddeluxe (965655) | about 9 months ago | (#45917279)

If you RTFA you'd find that these are Seiki 4K unit that marked down to $500 each after Xmas, making them more cost effective than a multiple monitor setup

Re:39" display for workstations? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917649)

They're garbage Chinese displays. I wouldnt subject myself to that for 8+ hours a day.

Re:39" display for workstations? (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#45917377)

A 39" widescreen (16:9) has an area of about 650 sq inches (~40in x ~19.12in). A 22" widescreen is about 207 sq inches (~19.2in x ~10.75in). I use three 22" widescreens at home, which is a pretty optimal setup, but I would gladly trade it for a single 39" because it gives you slightly more viewing space, but changes it from a very long X axis and very short Y axis to a balanced X and Y axis, which seems like it would be a little more ergonomic. You can't compare it to a single 27" monitor because that's not its competition... multiple smaller monitors is what a 39" would replace.

My concern with a screen that size would be that the sides are that much further from you than the center. With multiple monitors, I can tilt them to maintain an optimal distance. With a monitor this large, you might be better off with one of those slightly curved LCDs they're starting to come out with,

Re:39" display for workstations? (1)

hattig (47930) | about 9 months ago | (#45917579)

It's not really that much worse than having two monitors side-by-side (e.g., I have two 22" monitors), except it's a single contiguous space ... and twice as high.

I'd probably want to put the monitor further back on the desk though otherwise it would just be too imposing.

Re:39" display for workstations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917591)

I use a 40" HDTV for my monitor and it's fantastic! I hate it when I have to use a smaller one.

Multiple Monitors... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917149)

My multiple screens already do that AND the text is large enough for me to read...

Re:Multiple Monitors... (2)

ZahrGnosis (66741) | about 9 months ago | (#45917269)

Yeah, I have a three-monitor setup that is pretty dang sufficient. Plus, I can use window-maximizing on individual screens rather than have to manually space or automatically tile all my windows (which leads to weird window sizing that I don't like in most OS'es). Three 24" monitors take up more space, but they still actually fit on a reasonable desk, and unless you're going top of the line (which you may need for photo or video work, but not for programming), they're going to be a lot cheaper than a single 39" 4k screen even with other comparable specs (brightness, refresh, gamut, etc.).

Not that I wouldn't love one, but no, this is not 4k's silver bullet.

Re:Multiple Monitors... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#45917431)

He seems to have gotten this on sale after Christmas for $500. However, I bought my three 22" monitors on eBay (new) for about $80 each. The 39" still has slightly more total area, but I find window management easier on multiple monitors (especially using only Windows 7's built-in window management).

Re:Multiple Monitors... (0)

ranton (36917) | about 9 months ago | (#45917597)

Operating systems have only just recently started to make very large screens as useful as multiple smaller screens. For me to use a 39" 4k monitor, I would need to be able to easily snap a screen to each 4 quadrants of the screen. If it takes me more than a couple seconds per quadrant I will most likely stick with multiple 27" monitors. I already have problems with sizing windows on 27" monitors, especially on my Mac.

There will come a time when very large 4k displays are very useful for developers, but for right now get them two 27" ones any day.

BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917167)

BFD. I can do this with my Samsung MD230x6 and Eyefinity6 graphics card.

Been using 2K for a few months (2, Funny)

iONiUM (530420) | about 9 months ago | (#45917179)

And it is really awesome for coding. I'm sure 4K is even better.

Re:Been using 2K for a few months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917359)

It's 4 times better

Re:Been using 2K for a few months (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917635)

At 16 inches, going from UL to LR of my 24", and being able to read the time requires head movement. Not sure what kind of multi-faceted insect eyes you might have but not everybody has 200 degrees of peripheral vision.

keywords [fashionmessengerbags.com]

Why not just multiple monitors. (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 months ago | (#45917187)

Personally, While 1 large monitor could have some advantages, I feel that many smaller monitors actually work better. Most window managers don't really handle a single large monitor as well as many small ones. For instance, I can just maximize a bunch of different applications, each on different monitor. Only takes a few clicks. To do something similar with multiple monitors, I'd have to do a lot of manual movement and resizing of windows to get things to line up right. I have 3 17 inch (4:3) monitors on my desk right now. 17 inch monitors are fine for a single window. I could see how having them slightly larger would be nice, but I'd much rather have 3, 17 inch monitors than a single 40 inch monitor, no matter the resolution.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (3, Funny)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 9 months ago | (#45917305)

Yeah, but what about those Quake breaks?

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917307)

See, you're not a leat programmer. A really awesome programmer has a 4K, 5K, even a 6K monitor - whatever it takes!

And a real lite programmer also has tons and tons of gpus/cpus/hpus/peeyous - whatever ti takes man!

Because we're lite! Real lite - we're so lite we spell leet the French way - lite!

So, one day when youy're good enough to be Lite, you can get your 4K and maybe a 6K monitor!

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (3, Insightful)

ModernGeek (601932) | about 9 months ago | (#45917309)

The problem that you describe is just an indicator that our software has not yet evolved for this type of display. Solutions to the problems that you have described are sure to pop up as creative individuals start a race toward different solutions.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917439)

Windows 8.3, now with '1k' icons. yeay ....

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 9 months ago | (#45917465)

I think you're right ModernGeek, Windows currently snaps applications to full-screen or half-screen, I'd expect them to add a corners option eventually if these displays get popular. With so many UIs available for Linux, I expect it to get done there sooner than Windows.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917593)

With so many UIs available for Linux, I expect it to get done there sooner than Windows.

Cinnamon (and possibly others) already has this in a user-friendly drag-and-drop way, and full-on tiling window managers like Awesome have been around for ages.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (1)

laffer1 (701823) | about 9 months ago | (#45917319)

I completely agree. For programming, multiple monitors is great. I can have documentation or a local copy of the web app running in one display and my code window in the other. I have two displays at work, one in portrait and the other landscape. Works very well for web development.

Now, this giant monitor might be great for gaming.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 9 months ago | (#45917487)

It's only 30fps. I've been thinking about getting one of these for development for a few days now, but wouldn't want to hook one up to my media/gaming PC.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (3, Insightful)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 9 months ago | (#45917703)

Wait for it...

60Hz is just starting to show up. Dell's got two monitors available now and 1 that should be available real soon now that do 4k at 60Hz over DisplayPort 1.2a. There are a couple other monitors out there that also do 60Hz and a TV with HDMI 2 that'll be out soon. Unfortunately there aren't many video cards that support it yet and firmware/driver issues are just starting to get ironed out. Give it another 6 months and you should be able to get a good setup for gaming. (Of course, then you might have trouble with 4k support in existing games.)

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (4, Insightful)

zakkudo (2638939) | about 9 months ago | (#45917375)

That's probably true for most users. But when you disable raise-on-click and and choose to raise windows with either another mouse button or alt-click, maximize starts to seem really *really* silly. I personally work with windows on top of other windows, making better use of my screen real estate than most people.

Now mentally, I could see how many small monitors helps you to organize windows like workspaces. That would be a plus.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917421)

I hear you, I'm currently running 2x19" in portrait + 24" in center. But I'd love to just switch to a larger high def display.

There's always this: http://winsplit-revolution.com/ which allows you to subdivide larger screen into smaller virtual screens and arrange everything to your liking.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 9 months ago | (#45917425)

I think the idea is that eventually you'll have 3 40" 4K monitors :)

At least, that's what I'd like to see.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917437)

Hell yes.

I run a 1600x900 (15.4") laptop on the right hand side and 2 24" 1920x1200 displays in front of me.
(Laptop is raised on a stand so the tops of the displays align.)

Typically I have Outlook, softphone, helpdesk and chat applications running on the laptop screen, so I can glance at it once in a while to see if anything urgent comes in.
The 2 big ones run Visual Studio and other development tools on one and everything else (multiple Ofice, RDP, VNC and browser windows) on the other.
The RDP Windows often toggle between windowed and full-screen, but don't interfere with the development stuff.

24" is not too big. I don't need to stretch my neck looking back and forth and I can still look around them to keep somewhat in touch with the rest of the office.

I would love to add a 4th display to the left, but the laptop (Sandy bridge/HD4000) can only drive 3 displays.
I am considering a USB monitor, but I haven't managed to convince my boss yet that it is worth the expense.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917527)

Same here. I have three monitors at work and I would not exchange them for a single 4K display because I have two computers hooked to those screens with a keyboard / mouse switch. I just have to switch the source on the monitors to be able to work on a large desktop on one computer or two smaller desktops at the same time on two computers. Besides I am pretty sure that it is way cheaper to buy four 1080p monitors then a single 4K. You just need to have enough video outputs to feed them.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (0)

MrHanky (141717) | about 9 months ago | (#45917575)

The thing is, a normal 1080p 22" screen or 2560x1440 27" screen sucks at text rendering. Just look at any modern phone, and see how beautifully text is rendered. Now look back at your monitor. Even with all sorts of anti-aliasing magic, whether you're on Windows, OS X or X11, it just does not look good. 2560x1440 on a 13" monitor is just about acceptable. Sadly, the industry has been pushing multi-media and 1080p instead of pushing the boundaries, which is why any old computer can run all the new games today, and no one needs to buy a new PC for anything.

Also, what you're looking for is a tiling window manager.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 9 months ago | (#45917611)

My Dell 27" 1440p monitor came with an application that let you "snap" windows to various locations, more so than the normal two-side-by-side Windows does. You could set up various modes, from a few asymmetric two-side-by-sides at the least dense, to (I believe) a three-by-three grid. I ended up not using it, since the productive stuff I do with it actually works best with just the Windows normal setup.

I'm sure there's similar free software for your OS of choice if Dell managed to put it on their driver disk.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (3, Insightful)

Twinbee (767046) | about 9 months ago | (#45917657)

It's only a matter of time before Window Managers and Windows itself catches up. There are in principle NO advantages to a multiple monitor setup. In principle you could essentially emulate multiple monitors with one big display. In fact it's better to have a single big display because then you also get the height which reduces neck strain. You also would avoid the gaps between the displays, and permit overlapping windows between each section.

Unfortunately, I feel this band-aid of using multiple monitors has held back the rise of bigger monitors in general.

I don't use fullscreen @ 30" (1)

grimJester (890090) | about 9 months ago | (#45917661)

I've had a 30" 2560x1600 monitor for maybe five years now and don't even use fullscreen for Eclipse. I don't tile windows which sounds like what you want; I just have a bunch open, some side by side, others behind the ones in front but usually with some part visible I can click on to bring them to the front.

I've used two screens before and think that's pretty good for some uses as well. I just don't see a need for extra screens if the main one is large enough. I suspect "large enough" means no commonly used application needs the whole screen. For me 24" is still below that limit.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (2)

TheBilgeRat (1629569) | about 9 months ago | (#45917685)

I have a big 4k monitor and an "older" 21 or so inch that I turn in portrait. That combination works best for me, as I can have API info open on the vertical while I code in the main screen. I can tell you, however, that it isn't just the real estate, its how insanely crisp the monitor is. Fonts are gorgeous from 8 point to absurdly huge. My monitor is routinely borrowed on "impress the client" presentation days for the hands on.

Re:Why not just multiple monitors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917717)

not to forget, the linux graphical desktop environments are absolutely HORRIBLE at remembering window positions and sizes.... that fact is the single-biggest usability issue for linux on the desktop.

and even on windows, there are some applications that are poorly behaved. we had to move some people to multiple monitors (like you, multiple 17in 'square' AR) instead of one larger widescreen simply because some applications they require always ran maximized and could not be changed or did not fully support window placement on secondary displays.

Use Cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917189)

Some things are useful for some but not for others!

News at 11

Character size? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#45917195)

I like the idea of a higher-resolution monitor letting me fit more in to the same space, but what's the physical size of a legible character on one of those things?

Re:Character size? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917351)

Pretty much the same as on 19" fullHD display.

It's the same PPI, you insensible clod!

Re:Character size? (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 months ago | (#45917367)

Well, to be fair, at 40 inches, 4k actually starts to make sense. It's basically the same as 4, 1080p monitors, each being 20 inches. So, you could basically get a similar layout by purchasing 4 smaller monitors, and then arranging them in big rectangle. Plus, as I said in another post, arranging windows is easier on multiple monitors.

Re:Character size? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917489)

4k makes sense at half that size; we just don't expect it yet. High-DPI monitors look beautiful, provided the interface displayed on them is similarly high-dpi. I've been watching them make their way up through phones and tablets to laptops, waiting for the day that I could have one at my workstation.

I never want to see a pixel again.

Tools for windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917199)

Are there are any good tools for treating a big monitor like this as four monitors so I don't have to manually resize everything?

Re:Tools for windows (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 9 months ago | (#45917373)

LG's got some sort of "screen splitter" software for their 21:9 monitors. Lets you break it up into 2, 3, or 4 virtual monitors of various sizes. Probably start seeing something similar built into new video drivers.

Should have bought servers to match... (1)

Philip Mather (2889417) | about 9 months ago | (#45917219)

...the link is already Tango Down.

Three monitors is plenty. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917221)

Hell, I only have two and get work done. Lack of 4k is not holding me back. If you've got at least two LCD monitors, you're doing fine.

Dude! I'm With You. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917233)

Dude, I'm with you. I'm all for 4K! But:

The MONEY!
I have to replace the GPU or even the PC.
The neck cramps.
The sunburn.
The eyestrain from the glare.
Seiki?

Still, I'm tempted.

Alt tab is pretty safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917235)

Neck problems ahead

You can only see so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917257)

I don't get this acres of workstation space equals more productivity, you can only focus on so much space at a time. It really takes longer to turn your head and/or refocus your eyes on different areas than a simple alt+Tab would do. The benefits pretty much tapers off for me anything over over 2 19'' Monitors.

Philip J. Fry (5, Funny)

operagost (62405) | about 9 months ago | (#45917271)

SHUT UP and take my money!

Re:Philip J. Fry (4, Insightful)

danlip (737336) | about 9 months ago | (#45917637)

Shut up and take my employer's money.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917273)

A good programmer needs vi and a terminal window, not much else ;)

But then again, apparently this is a web "developer".

I do look forward to more high DPI screens however. I'd love to have a 4K 24" monitor or something along these lines.
Like the retina display on the MacBook Pros.

Re:Meh (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 9 months ago | (#45917693)

I would weep with glee to have 200 rows of legible text in a vi window, with room for eight such windows side-by-side on my screen. In fact, I'd probably be a lot happier with full vi keybindings (which my fingers still remember after all these years) instead of an editor that expects me to mouse around for text selection and menu commands.

Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917291)

I don't want other distracting shit on-screen, only the content I'm interested in. If I'm cross referencing files, a key combo merely reinforces the mental context switch required to move from one file to the other.

Also 4k denotes a (cinema) display device capable of displaying 4096 horizontal pixels, not an ultra HD display with 3840 pixels.

Window manager? (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 9 months ago | (#45917301)

Which window manager handles such a large display best? Modern desktop environments, whether we talk about Gnome or Windows or Mac OS X, tend to work best when you let one window take over the entire screen. Mac OS X and modern Gnome with the top-of-the-screen menu bar in particular is fairly unhelpful with a sufficiently large screen.

Can you just split it into four subscreens and do a reverse Xinerama? It makes me a bit sad that this is the state of the art after 30 years or so of GUI development.

Re:Window manager? (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 9 months ago | (#45917599)

Which window manager handles such a large display best? Modern desktop environments, whether we talk about Gnome or Windows or Mac OS X, tend to work best when you let one window take over the entire screen.

Windows actually handles this pretty well with the Snap [microsoft.com] feature.

All you have to do is press Win+Left to get a window to take up exactly the left half of the screen, or Win+Right to take up just the right half. So having two windows side-by-side is very quick and easy. Also, if you vertically resize a window to touch the top or bottom of the screen, it will automatically size to fill the whole vertical space, while retaining its horizontal dimensions.

Re:Window manager? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917679)

Cinnamon handles my dual 2k screens at work pretty well. I have corner and edge snapping in a reasonably user-friendly format, and the panel bars (or bar, if you prefer) are thin, unobtrusive, and only on one screen. Really, though, for 4k I think you'd need more robust tiling; something like Awesome, for example.

Hardly (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#45917323)

"Four editors side-by-side each with over a hundred lines of code, and enough room to spare for a project navigator, console, and debugger. Enough room to visualize the back-end service code, the HTML template, the style-sheet, the client-side script, and the finished result in a web browser â" all at once without one press of Alt-tab."

Not even. When I'm programming, I currently use 2 monitors with total horizontal resolution of 3600 pixels... and I still have to switch windows A LOT.

2 of these would be sweet. But they're too large. If you put the same number of pixels in a 28" screen, two of them would be just about right.

Re:Hardly (1)

QQBoss (2527196) | about 9 months ago | (#45917493)

Dell, Acer, and others announced 28" 4K monitors over the last week at CES, all right around $799 [appleinsider.com] . A little bit pricier than the Seiki, but they come with DisplayPort and are able to do 4K@60Hz, IIRC. I am currently using 2-27" 2560x1440 with a 3rd 1080p that I watch TV and movies while I am working. I probably won't upgrade until HDMI 2.0 becomes commonplace.

Inclined to agree ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#45917327)

I have no interest whatsoever in changing my TV over to 4K resolution -- because there's no content, because I don't care and don't see the benefit, and because my current big screen and associated stuff is still really new.

But, I'd dearly love to have that kind of resolution for my monitor. That much screen resolution and real-estate would be awesome, especially in a dual monitor setup.

However, it's still technology, which means I refuse to be on the bleeding edge of it. I know a lot of people who bought HD TVs early in the game, only to find out that the evolving spec and addition of DRM made their TVs obsolete before they ever really got to see them fully used.

I predict there will be at least one generation of this technology which ends up getting abandoned and the purchasers will be left holding the bag.

For TV, I figure just because Sony et al want to believe I should be replacing my TV stuff every few years -- well, that's not my problem.

Re:Inclined to agree ... (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 9 months ago | (#45917619)

>However, it's still technology, which means I refuse to be on the bleeding edge of it

If this was $2000, or even $1000 I'd agree with you, but at $500 many of us can easily afford it and get plenty of use out of it, despite knowing that we'll be replacing it with a true 120hz 4K display for a reasonable price in a couple of years. I also don't see support for these monitors being dropped. Nvidia and AMD aren't going to stop allowing selection of 4K resolution at 30hz.

Re:Inclined to agree ... (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 9 months ago | (#45917705)

I have no interest whatsoever in changing my TV over to 4K resolution -- because there's no content...

Actually, Netflix announced that they will begin streaming 4k content today: Netflix App to Stream 4K on New TVs Immediately [go.com]

Dual Dell 30" 1600p (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 9 months ago | (#45917333)

Currently at work I and all of my co-workers all have dual Dell 30" 2560x1600 monitors. I agree that screen real-estate (resolution, not directly the physical size) makes a huge difference. I wouldn't go back to a single 1200p (never 1080p) setup ever again; I have dual 28" 1200p screens at home for the same reason (not the 1600p ones because of cost at home). However, I am unsure of the 39" form factor for a single monitor; I think I'd rather have dual 30" monitors at lower res than a single 4k at 39". Though, the new 31.5" 4k screens from Dell/ASUS/etc would be a nice replacement for my 30" ones...

Nobody is impressed? (1)

katterjohn (726348) | about 9 months ago | (#45917349)

But 4K ought to be enough for anybody!

640K (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917361)

4k is already, but I'm waiting for 640k; that should definitely be enough

160 of them please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917371)

I need a machine that can drive 160 of these monitors.
640K should be enough for anyone.

kinda off topic but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917401)

believe it or not, I still code programs on a 15 inch CRT and an 800 MHz Celeron desktop. My computer is running Windows 95/98 and I still use Microsoft Visual studio 6. I do programming in dot net 1. wow, I feel old fashioned. I don't use alt-tab to switch between programs. I use the taskbar on the bottom. :)

Thanks for posting the article though.

Too big (4, Insightful)

Oceanplexian (807998) | about 9 months ago | (#45917409)

For the time being, there is no single higher-productivity display for a programmer.

You can currently buy a 2560x1440 27" display for around $350. The Seiki display they refer to is actually two 1920x2160 panels stitched together and limited to a painful 30hz. Second, the monitor is not 4k, it's 3840x2160 which is only UHD. 4k is 4096x2160.

Finally, this is a nearly 40 inch display. They look ridiculous as a computer monitor and the ergonomics suck.

Just give us 4k in a 27-30" form factor for people that aren't blind. I'm amazed that phones can have higher pixel densities than computer monitors.

Re:Too big (2)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 9 months ago | (#45917673)

The Seiki display they refer to is actually two 1920x2160 panels stitched together...

Citation?

None of the reviews on Amazon mention a visible seam, and I find it very hard to believe that could be done without one.

HTML template, the style-sheet, scripts? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917417)

Since when are web-monkeys considered programmers? Did I miss the memo?

I've already seen this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917419)

Then graphics toolkits and IDE developers will start wasting even more space for their GUI componets and even 4K will not be enough...

"All this has happened before. All this will happen again."

Seems like a ergonomic nightmare. (0)

guidryp (702488) | about 9 months ago | (#45917427)

The width might be reasonable, but the vertical change looking up/down the screen is likely neck strain inducing.

Beyond that they are using cheapo TVs, not monitors and the minimum brightness is very high. Fine for a TV, not so hot on a monitor you stare directly into all day.

I would MUCH rather have two smaller computer monitors, than one large cheapo TV.

30 Hz (0)

Luthair (847766) | about 9 months ago | (#45917435)

Is just painful for use as a monitor as far as I've heard.

slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917455)

It seems slashdotted but I so wanted to see screenshots... where's my fantasy-website, damnit slashdot!

Re:slashdotted (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 9 months ago | (#45917647)

Take four screenshots from today's standard 1920x1080 displays and tile them together, 2x2. Voila.

Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917477)

I don't like working with large monitors. At work we went through a phase where every few months our monitors were upgraded in size. I found I liked a screen up to 20 inches in size. Anything larger than that and it bothered me, I found it distracting, like my eyes couldn't find the right place to focus. I ended up downgrading from about 24 inches back to 20 and found I worked better that way. Some people may enjoy giant screens, but I just find it draws my attention away from my work.

Biometrics security will be obsolete (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 9 months ago | (#45917479)

When you have enough resolution to zoom in and accurately reconstruct Kim Kardashian's retina and fingerprints.

Re:Biometrics security will be obsolete (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#45917653)

But 40" won't be enough to view her ass.

Video Card Question (3, Interesting)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 9 months ago | (#45917485)

So what sort of video card do I need to drive a few (2 to 4) of these at one time?

Inverted T works for me (1)

the stapler (658635) | about 9 months ago | (#45917553)

I've been using 4 23inch monitors in an inverted T layout for years now. I slowly scrounged up a matching set as other engineers upgraded their monitors. Its nice to have one monitor just for email and crud out of the way of 'real work'. I even have another 19in monitor off to the side just for the console of my Linux dev box, but I usually use X forwarding to access it from the main workstation.

Yeah, I could probably be talked in to trading all these for a 39in high resolution setup. But I'm pretty happy with this setup, and I can angle the sides in for a better viewing angle. And this was a pretty cost effective setup.

size vs resolution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45917571)

Resolution yes please, physical size... meh.. I actually think there is a limit to what is practical, size wise, for a workstation.
Personally 24"/27" seems to be the sweet spot...

Too big and hello neck strain, repetitive strain injury etc..
I mean we like to sit at a desk etc, etc.. so a 39" up in my face doesn't sound very comfortable.
And having to turn my neck to use the space sounds a recipe for repetitive strain injuries.

Currently I code on 3 x 24" (@5760x1200) dells and all that real estate is very very welcome, and does increase productivity (nvidia surround is nice too :) ) but the physical width less so...

Been wanting to try 1 x landscape (center) and 2 x portraits on the sides, which could be best of both.
Would be interesting to hear other developers coding experience with monitor setups..

REPLY (0)

ditrix (3493719) | about 9 months ago | (#45917613)

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Gosh, ya think? (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 9 months ago | (#45917627)

I've been clamoring for larger, higher-resolution displays since the days when I chose a 16x64-character TRS-80 instead of a 24x40 PET or Apple II, and longed for the luxury of a 24x80 terminal.

The sad thing is that now, with higher-DPI displays finally coming into the mainstream, my eyes are losing their ability to focus on close objects. My iPad could display hundreds of columns of text, but I wouldn't be able to read them. Yeah, yeah, computer glasses.

I spent quite some time drooling over the 4K displays at my local big-box retailer -- one of the demo images was multiple newspaper pages, and yep, the detail was all there. I'm starting to think hard about how I can arrange a desk so one of these beasts can fit on it.

One interesting note: Panasonic just announced a 20" 4K "tablet" (yeah, right) with a 15:10 aspect ratio and 3840x2560 resolution. I've been clamoring for taller displays, too, and I'd welcome this aspect ratio -- but I wonder if a 39" desktop display has finally reached the point where it could be too tall. I also, partly because of those focal-accommodation issues, begin to wonder whether it's time to hold out for one of the curved displays.

Ah, who am I kidding. I'm cheap and stuck in my ways -- it'll be years before I make the leap.

The Other 4K (5, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | about 9 months ago | (#45917667)

Was I the only one who thought about the 4K demo coding contests when reading the headline?

Not so much... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 9 months ago | (#45917695)

> Hauer explains: 'Four editors side-by-side each with over a hundred lines of code, and enough room to spare for a project navigator, console, and debugger. Enough room to visualize the back-end service code, the HTML template, the style-sheet, the client-side script, and the finished result in a web browser — all at once without one press of Alt-tab.

"Yeah, got one of those. It'd do all that, except the OS only allows me to display one fullscreen app at a time. In really REALLY high resolution, though. There is that."

PC Gaming (1)

Dunge (922521) | about 9 months ago | (#45917697)

Of course 4K movies are not ready, and cable television is far to be. But for PC gaming everything works out of the box even on very old games and it's awesome.
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