A Really Large Monitor

by Gary L. Ratliff Sr. (eronstuc)

Two very interesting things happened on March 8, 2012. First, I learned that the March issue of the magazine was out and I downloaded the PDF format version. Second, my new 1080p High Definition TV arrived. Unlike Walmart, which is providing a three month period to layaway items during the Christmas season, QVC provides the ability to pay for items over a period of months. The Roku I mentioned in the February issue was paid for in four easy payments. As I was jumping around on the tube, I stopped and learned that they had a high Definition TV available for five easy payments. When I ordered it, they told me that my TV would arrive on March 13th. Then they gave me a tracking number. And by checking my email, I learned that it would be coming in on the day’s run. It arrived at 1:00 pm. After that, I was quite busy setting up all the items for the new system.

As I already had one computer which runs Windows 95 connected to my 720p HDTV, I decided to see what my best computer would look like at 1080p. On Tuesday, I had met an old former workmate from the MagneTek QC department. He mentioned that as we are either both over 70, or soon will be, our hearing and eyesight are not what they were when we were inspecting parts. Now my appraisal of the eMachine may have to be truthfully revised. We removed the USB devices and cables for the printer power supply, mouse and keyboard from their sockets, and moved the table into the front room, then re-attached these same items  to the computer. Upon boot, only this error message appeared on the new HDTV screen:

error: df0 cannot get C/H/S values

grub rescue>

Well, what command do you try to make magic? Boot, reboot, go. The three-finger salute spelled out doesn’t do anything either! The remedy was to place a Live DVD with The Full Monty in the drive, press F12 to get to the boot menu and tell the machine to boot from the DVD drive. Now I have a full set of tools to write this article and to see how the new HDTV performs as a monitor. In the March issue of the magazine, a window is mistaken as an HDTV!


Here you can see some of the items which have been attached to the various ports of the HDTV: To the right is a 27” standard TV. The 32” HDTV with the internet page from the Full Monty is shown in the middle and the Roku is shown under the HDTV. The 17” monitor and the speakers of the eMachine are shown on the left. On top of the 27” is a VCR and a DVD player. Attaching the VCR to the Roku allows you to make VCR copies of the movies. Where I live, Turner Classic Movies is good for movies without any commercials.

After I had downloaded the March issue, I was able to view it at a whopping 300% magnification which just filled the screen comfortably. So with this, I don't have to spend time looking all over the place to see just where I have laid down my glasses.


In the midst of this, my daughter told me that my dog Liz had gotten lost while in her care. I called many animal shelters and vets in an attempt to locate her. I finally resolved that Liz was not going to be returned. If you found a dog this cute you most likely would keep it too. This is from Facebook which is provided by the Roku.

Now we returned to the problem of getting the eMachine to boot. Surely just moving the computer from one room to another should not be such a traumatic experience for a computer! As I had web access, I searched for eMachine support and entered into a chat with one of their technicians. I had encountered the tech named Andy who thought that because he was a computer engineer with eleven years experience he should ask me to part with $38.00. HaHaHa! I’ve had near thirty five years working with computers and know how to look up data as well as this joker.

Anyway, the tech suggested that a system recovery be performed. So I performed a recovery first to preserve the files I had downloaded. I did a second one to produce a recovery to factory defaults. Both of these methods yielded the same error message that originally appeared. As you see, my pictures of the monitor taken with the camera have the flash showing, which hides the lower part of the text. Anyway, here is Windows showing just how well it is designed. I think I could have moved my HP out and it would have performed perfectly. My good rating for the eMachine may well have been unfounded. (Perhaps Tom Kent was right!)


One thing to be thankful for was that I have downloaded over 100 various distros of Linux live CDs or DVDs from DistroWatch. After reporting my experience at not being able to get Windows to boot, another tech said they would have a set of recovery DVDs sent to me.

I thank you all for inquiring about why you had not heard from me. When Trudy passed away, her last request was for me to take care of her little dog. Moving in to a No Pets Allowed apartment and placing the task of keeping Liz was perhaps an unfair burden on my daughter. In parting, I will say I miss Liz very much. There is a video of her and Toby on YouTube if you would like to see these champs in action. There are also videos showing how to set up a multi-boot multi-tasking system, too. From my Facebook page, here is my profile picture and a final tribute to a very cute little dog.