May 302018

So last year the chiropractor said my x-rays showed the beginning stages of arthritis in my neck, and that this was likely the cause of my recurring head and neck aches.  They’ve been getting more frequent lately, so MBH suggested I order a dual monitor desk mount with the idea that I would get a couple of decent monitors and hang them in a more ergonomic position.

So we went to Best Buy to purchase a couple of monitors that were on sale.  Unfortunately, they were out of stock at the store we went to, but said they had them at another store, and would ship them to the house at no charge.  Yay!

But when they arrived, I realized they weren’t VESA compatible, so I wouldn’t be able to use them on the new mounting system.  Luckily, I realized this before I opened the boxes.  So we went back to BB for a simple and easy return.  Then I found a decent pair on Amazon and ordered them.

And you would think that the problem was solved at that point, right?


My laptop is a 17″ Dell XPS laptop.  It’s a real workhorse that came with Win 7, and a GeForce M555 graphics card.  That card has mini-DP, and HDMI output ports and is capable of supporting the laptop monitor and two external monitors.  Now, the laptop came with a mini-DP to VGA adapter, so I’ve always run the laptop and one external monitor.  I’ve never been able to use two externals though, because all my monitors only had VGA and DVI input ports… and I just realized that the IT geek in me is starting to come out.  Suffice to say, the old monitors weren’t compatible with the remaining HDMI port.

But the new monitors both had HDMI ports.  The idea was to be able to close the laptop and run on the two externals, with them both moved into that more ergonomic position I spoke of.  Only when I plugged the HDMI cable into the second monitor, it didn’t work. (sigh)  

No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the laptop to see that last monitor.  So I went online to see if anyone else had come across this issue.  Unfortunately, there were a LOT of people who had.  The problem is, some have the issue, some don’t.  Some claim it is cause by upgrading to Windows 10.  Others claim it’s the push for 3D optimization in Win 10.  Yet others claim the graphics card can only support the mini-DP OR the HDMI port, but not both at the same time.

And yet others have posted pictures showing that they have all three monitors working at the same time with no issues whatsoever.  Bottom line, no one seems to know what triggers the problem, or how to fix it when it presents itself.

So I’ve decided to bypass the graphics card issue altogether.  They sell external graphics card adapters that attach to your laptop via USB port, and they’re relatively inexpensive (about $30 for the one I ordered).  It should arrive in a few days and I’ll hopefully be able to get my writing setup optimized the way I want it.  For now, I still have the laptop monitor, and one of the new monitors that’s hung high enough that I’m able to look up when I’m writing.  I can already tell the difference in how it affects my neck.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the eventual change to properly placed screens will alleviate the majority of the neck aches.

Other news…

Baby Bird had some pain of her own last weekend.  I’ve mentioned before that she’s living in New Mexico now, working on her Masters in Art Therapy.  As such, she’s learning to adapt to a much different environment than she’s been used to in south central Texas.  There’s the temperature extremes and the thinner air at her altitude.  Recently though, she woke up at 2AM to a stinging on her back.  A bit of slapping and thrashing revealed the culprit to be Scolopendro heros, AKA the giant desert centipede.  If you don’t already know (and I didn’t until recently), these little suckers sting like wasps, injecting venom with their front legs.  Baby Bird said she just hopes it didn’t lay eggs in her ear.  LOL  Yep.  that’s definitely MY daughter.

Writing news –

Not a lot to write about here.  The new Amber Payne novel is really flowing now, with a current word count of a bit over 60k at the time of this writing.  I hope to have the first draft complete in the next few weeks.

Let’s see… what else?

Just got an email this morning from Corey Snow.  He says he hopes to have the last of the Year 12 audiobook recorded by the end of this week.  I’ll still have to go through and listen to it and give final approval, so it won’t actually be available for sale for a bit after that, but it’s great to see it in the final stages.

Oh!  guess who’s going to be a guest speaker at an upcoming seminar?  Yep, I was approached as a local writer to talk about my experiences in finding voice talent to convert my written titles into audio books.  It’s funny, when WB Ward (the main speaker for the seminar) approached me, he wanted to know if I thought I would be able to speak for about 20 minutes on the ins and outs of auditioning voice talent for audio books.  At the time, I thought “Twenty minutes?  Am I going to be able to fill twenty minutes?”  I was convinced I would have about ten minutes and then have to start taking questions to fill in the rest of the time.

Then I started taking notes on what I was going to say.  Now I realize why WB was so adamant that I had absolutely no more than twenty.  I’m working to thin it down, but it’s going to be close.  LOL.  Let’s just hope I don’t get up there and freeze.

All right, I’ve rambled long enough.  Amber Payne is calling, so I’d better get back after it.  You all take care, and I’ll talk to you next time.  :bye:

 Posted by at 11:20 am

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