One on one with the PC………

The CQWW DX CW contest was a blast and before the contest I did some thinking as to how I could best take advantage of the computers that I have at VE3WDM. I brain stormed the week before and came up with the idea that my main desktop PC would run my K3, logging program and propagation stuff. I could use a net book laptop to look at QRZ.COM, email and so on. So it was decided one monitor would look after the main PC "stuff" and the other would be hooked up to the net book and run the other "stuff". This plan worked great and I
was able to multi-task during the contest between two computers using two nice LCD monitors. The next day after the contest the net-book was snuggled in it's case and it was time to use
During the contest with both monitors

both LCD monitors on the main PC as it always had been done....As the PC booted up the one monitor display read "not connected". I then preceded to connect reconnect and change out the video cables but nothing had worked. I was still getting the "not connected" message floating around. I then in WinXP had a look at my video card. Maybe I just had to tell the PC to recognize the other monitor again. In the process of trying a dual monitor setting I did not read the warning that was counting down from 15 seconds. I just said "ok". Well now both monitors were blank with the message "not connected" Well that went well!!! It was off to Google to solve my troubles. Seems the net-book could had changed the monitor refresh rate and or resolution settings. Settings the main PC was not able to recognize and thus the message "not connected". According the the advice derived from Google searches I have to boot in VGA only mode. It was simple, I was told "wait for the Windows logo to appear and press F8". Easy if both monitors were not blank!!! So began the many restarts guessing when to press F8. Well in time I was successful and was able to get into VGA mode and repair both monitors. All is working well now and lesson learned. It turns out the net-book changed both the refresh rate and the resolution.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “One on one with the PC………”

  • Chad KJ4VYI:

    haha Ive had the same issues going from a laptop with an extra monitor to a desktop with dual displays — only to find out that the power supply for the desktop had so much rfi that i just moved it to another room and wen back to my old trusty Toshiba and the extra lcd screen — funny thing is i can have the powersupplies for the laptop and the lcd screen setting very close to the radio and have no ill effects !!! ( but i did move them after testing a few things)

  • Casey Bahr, NA7U:

    I *hate* it when that happens! LOL!!

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Chad, it’s nice to know I was not alone with this issue. I do have a spare monitor that has no use other than for the laptop….now that seem like a better idea.

    Hey Casey, the more I try to improve the more it seems to happen!!

  • Matt - N0BOX:

    Just out of curiosity, were you using two separate computers with two separate mice/keyboards rather than one computer/mouse/keyboard with two separate monitors because it was easier to have different input methods for different functions? I recently made a “virtual” clone of a small PC (a low-powered Ubuntu Linux box) which I now run in Virtualbox on my high-powered Windows 7 PC (built for 3D gaming), then hooked the monitor from the Linux box up as a secondary monitor on the Windows box. I run Virtualbox fullscreen on the secondary monitor, so it’s just like having two separate computers, except that I can copy and paste between the two computers, now.

    I have noticed, however, that I don’t have to worry about accientally typing stuff in on one computer that I meant to type in on the other computer (which is important when it comes to passwords if you have an internet chat program running all the time!). Did you find yourself having this issue while contesting? I would have found it easier to be running everything on one computer with extra mouse movement than to run different hings on different computers while trying to keep keyboards straight in my head!

  • Mike Ve3wdm:

    Good morning Matt, in a normal situation I run WinXP and on the same PC I run two separate monitors. For the contest I just wanted to add the laptop which ran Windows 7. Now by adding I mean it was a separate PC with the use of the other monitor. So yes I was using two of everything and it does take some time to get used to. As for Virtualbox I have never heard of that but was just doing some very limited looking up on Google about it. Looks very interesting and on another laptop……….the one I am using now it does have Ubuntu on it. The setup with Virtualbox on the second monitor on my WinXP machine sounds like something I want to look into. Thanks very much for the idea and for taking the time to let me know about it. Im going to do some more Googling about it.
    Thanks again for stopping by
    Mike

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