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King Desktop

Why the Desktop is Supreme Discipline for both Hardware and Software

[⚙️Technics]       [🌐WWW Manual]   [🔧PC Tech Info]   [👑King Desktop]   [🎷Music]   [🐬Delphin]

Table of content of JMB's King Desktop Page

Why is such an article necessary?

Opinions – Mobile Mania, Pressure for Change, Superficiality

Such technical nonsense is quite common today, even tech companies don't give technical details and one can easily find graphic cards with feature DP: yes, HDMI: yes without given the version. Other prominent examples can be found in the list about ⚙️Technics or the list on the pages 💔Stress.

Ruining the Discussion by Contaminating it with the Facts😎. 

Facts – Need for Ergonomics, Resolution, Quality and Size of the Screen

Of cause the question of which device can reasonably be used for which task can be answered without any problem or doubt – if one realy concentrates on the facts, comparing needs of the usage for a given task and the power a device can provide for the user. But one must switch off the influence of convenience – people not wanting to learn something new – and sadly also prejudice / fake news and addictions (especially concerning 💔Smartphone and Internet, in a comparable way as due to heavy drugs; cf. 💺support for combating such addictions by Autogenic Training).

Snapshot of Categories

CategoryOutput: ScreenInputPower
*** vvv    vvv ***
Workstation> 22" Keyboard & Mouse + ... mains power
Desktop> 17" Keyboard & Mouse + ... mains power
*** vvv    vvv ***
Laptop11.0"-17.3" Small Keyboard & Touchpad / TrackPoint both
Sub-Notebook..9"-13".. Small Keyboard & Touchpad / TrackPoint both
*** vvv    vvv ***
Tablet7.0"-12.9" Touchscreenlithium-ion
Smartphone3.2"-6.5" Touchscreenlithium-ion
*** vvv    vvv ***
Server–NA– –NA–mains power
For details see Valuation below.


Essential for long and yet healthy VDU work is a height-adjustable desk, a comfortable height-adjustable office chair with adjustable backrest, as well as armrests (alternatively an exercise ball – at least for the sake of variety), place for wrist rest in front of the keyboard, a full keyboard (no server or laptop keyboard, large enter key and seperate cursor block; I recommend an illuminated keyboard), a straight view to the center of the screen in upright posture (necessary to avoid muscle tenseness in lumbar region, in shoulder or neck area; a stable position similar to the 💺cab driver posture known from Autogenic Training is advisable).

Quality  (Screen)

Next to the general quality of work equipment like chair or desk special characteristics are in focus: flicker-free screen (at least 60 Hz; no neon tube for illumination), minimal reflection of desk and particularly screen incl. its rim (no elegant but bothersome black sleek finish and no [Wikipedia-en-Icon]glossy displays, like urgently suggested by occupational safety: [glare screens would be] ergonomically questionable and not suitable for  work in an environment with strong light sources – i.e. using anti-reflex foils on glare displays: typically found together with toy devices like Smartphones and Tablets, concerning Laptops it finally gets increasingly rare {similar for TVs with HDR [🆧]}; it is best to take care for non-glare / matt / anti-reflex displays right from the start – and not be taken in by [Wikipedia-en-Icon]euphemistic terms of advertisements {like e.g. CrystalBrite, Glossy, Polish, TrueLife, Crystal View, SuperFine, BrilliantView, UltraBright, BrightView, VibrantView, MagicBright, Xbrite, X-black, Clear Bright, TruBrite, Clear SuperView} and not to be an easy pray for the ideology of smartphone addicts that reflexes are invisible on their beloved devices).

Screen:   Resolution and Size

Desktop Publishing (see 📜LATEX), Preliminary Printing Stage, Image Manipulation, Digital Photography, Optical Data Reduction (e.g. in 🎓Astronomy, as I worked with 2000×2000 pix CCD frames mid 1990-ies and optical 1-1 review is important), Image Data Evaluation (e.g. Medcine), ...
It should be obvious that screen resolution for professional usage ought to be similar to detectors or printing processes – sometimes even higher. So it's quite clear that current technology leaves a lot to be desired – and is starting to reach analogue resolutions of tens of years before.
To enlighten this further, two tables follow below, one for European paper sheet sizes (ISO 216, also known as DIN ?A?), the other for screen resolutions, both giving typical parameters with number of printing elements / pixels and diagonal to directly compare the quality.
But note the different aspect ratios – DIN ?A? uses 2 = 1.41421..., while the modern screen resolutions have 16:9 = 1.777... (i.e. NTSC, 2k, WQHD, 4k, 8k, 16k; e.g. 16:10 = 1.6 is used with CGA, WSXGA, ...; 4:3 = 1.333... is used with VGA, XGA {i.e. first standards of the PC era}; 5:4 = 1.25 is used with SXGA; etc.).
Data of [Wikipedia-en-Icon]DIN A Page Sheet Formats (ISO 216)
FormatSize AreaDiagonal Number of pels
DIN A10 3.7 cm × 2.6 cm 0.000962 m2 = 1/1024 m2 0.0452 m = 1.8" 0.134199 Mpel
DIN A9 5.2 cm × 3.7 cm 0.00192 m2 = 1/512 m2 0.0638 m = 2.5" 0.267840 Mpel
DIN A8 7.4 cm × 5.2 cm 0.00385 m2 = 1/256 m2 0.0904 m = 3.6" 0.537076 Mpel
DIN A7 10.5 cm × 7.4 cm 0.00777 m2 = 1/128 m2 0.1285 m = 5.1" 1.083917 Mpel
DIN A6 14.8 cm × 10.5 cm 0.0155 m2 = 1/64 m2 0.1815 m = 7.1" 2.167834 Mpel
DIN A5 21.0 cm × 14.8 cm 0.031 m2 = 1/32 m2 0.257 m = 10.1" 4.335660 Mpel
DIN A4 29.7 cm × 21.0 cm 0.0625 m2 = 1/16 m2 0.364 m = 14.3" 8.718767 Mpel
DIN A3 42.0 cm × 29.7 cm 0.125 m2 = 1/8 m2 0.5144 m = 20" 17.437535 Mpel
DIN A2 59.4 cm × 42.0 cm 0.25 m2 = 1/4 m2 0.727 m = 29" 34.875070 Mpel
DIN A1 84.1 cm × 59.4 cm 0.5 m2 = 1/2 m2 1.03 m = 41" 69.750139 Mpel
DIN A0 118.9 cm × 84.1 cm 1 m2 1.46 m = 57" 139.500279 Mpel
DIN A0++ 125.0 cm × 91.4 cm 1.1425 m2 1.5485 m = 61" 159.379069 Mpel
DIN 2A0 168.2 cm × 118.9 cm 2 m2 2.0598 m = 81" 278.986328 Mpel
DIN 4A0 237.8 cm × 168.2 cm 4 m2 2.9127 m = 115" 557.972658 Mpel
  ) for landscape [🖵 or 🖼️], i.e. wider than high as seen by standard screens (portrait [📱 or 🖼] would be rotated by 90°, i.e. higher than wide as typical for Smartphone use);
  ) at 300 ppi  (pels per inch – being unit of printing point density;   pel: printer element;   " = inch = 2.54 cm).

Example Data of typical Screens
Resolution Size Diagonal Pixel Pitch Pixel Density Number of Pixels
CGA = 320 × 200 pix  {~GTR} 6.0 cm × 3.8 cm 2.8" 2"-5" 0.19 mm 135 dpi 0.064000 Mpix   
VGA = 640 × 480 pix  26 cm × 19 cm 14" 5"-11" 0.4 mm 63.5 dpi 0.307200 Mpix   
XGA = 1024 × 768 pix  27 cm × 20 cm 15" 8"-17" 0.26 mm 97 dpi 0.786432 Mpix   
SXGA = 1280 × 1024 pix  29.7 cm × 25.1 cm 17" 11"-22" 0.24 mm 106 dpi 1.310720 Mpix   
WSXGA = 1440 × 900 pix 37.0 cm × 23.0 cm 17" 11"-23" 0.256 mm 99 dpi 1.296000 Mpix   
2k = 🆝 = FullHD = 1920 × 1080 pix 47.5 cm × 27.0 cm 22" 15"-29" 0.25 mm 102 dpi 2.073600 Mpix   
59.8 cm × 34.0 cm 27" 0.313 mm 81 dpi
QXGA = 2048 × 1536 pix  {iPadAir Retina} 19.7 cm × 14.8 cm 9.7" 17"-34" 0.105 mm 242 dpi 3.145728 Mpix   
WQHD = 2560 × 1440 pix 59.8 cm × 34.0 cm 27" 19"-39" 0.235 mm 108 dpi 3.686400 Mpix   
4k = 🆞 = UHD  =  3840 × 2160 pix 63.0 cm × 35.0 cm 28" 30"-58" 0.163 mm 155 dpi 8.294400 Mpix   
69.7 cm × 39.2 cm 32" 0.182 mm 140 dpi
121.0 cm × 68.5 cm 55" 0.315 mm 80.4 dpi
5k = 5120 × 2880 pix 59.8 cm × 33.6 cm (≥) 27"     39"-78" 0.117 mm 218 dpi 14.745600 Mpix   
8k = 🆟 = UHD2  =  7680 × 4320 pix 88.7 cm × 49.9 cm (≥) 40"     58"-117" 0.115 mm 220 dpi 33.177600 Mpix   
16k = 15360 × 8640 pix 110.8 cm × 62.3 cm (≥) 50"     118"-235" 0.072 mm 352 dpi 132.710400 Mpix   
  ) pix: pixel = picture element  (used not only as area unit, but also as length unit of width x and hight y);
  ) The Diagonale is given in inches, first a special value followed by a reasonable range (for 150-75 dpi, the comfort zone; according to the equation: d /["] = √(x2+y2) / ρx|y, cf. following table of reasonable Pixel Densities and Distances);
  dpi: dots per inch  (unit of pixel density ρx|y).

To have a means to decide if a resolution is reasonable, i.e. not wasting pixels for too high densities or making picture elements / pixel matrix visible which can result in headaches, one needs to calculate the distance to the media (i.e. typically paper or screen) at the point the pixels as entities dissolve which should be slightly below the typical distance to the medium. The resolving power of the human eye is 135" = 0.0375°, i.e. largest distance to resolve pixels is pixel size divided by tan (135") (who needs a small Maths refresh may consider looking at 📋my trigonometry summary), or as more suitable transformation:
d = 1528 · 2.54 cm / ρx|y /[ppi|dpi].

Thus one can get a first impression by the following table:
ρx|y / [ppi|dpi]36001200600 30015010075 50201053 1
d / [cm] 12.925.938.851.7 77.61943887761294 3881

I marked typical distances for paper, desktop screen and TV in bold font, i.e. for paper 300 ppi is OK and more may be good for a nicer impression or usable with a magnifying glass, for desktop screen 75 dpi and slightly above may be appropriate, above 100 dpi the pixel waste starts, and for TV with at least 2 m distance 20 dpi is appropriate. And it's nice to note that with 40 m distance even 2.5 cm may not be really resolvable.
[Amateur 🔭Astronomers may have examples of [Wikipedia-en-Icon]binary stars at the nighty sky where the mainly atmospheric [Wikipedia-en-Icon]seeing can be judged if one can separate the components or not. It's not magic, it's just pure sciences. 🤓 ]

Valuation of Categories

As already seen in the snapshot section above, the list is ordered by screen size.
Thus,    Servers mark the end, while typically they can be found at the top of such a list (having huge amounts of computing power, main memory, and storage – and frequently full redundancy to eliminate single points of failure; and thus highest prices).
The other three categories can be regarded as splitted in main category and a sub‑category:
   Smartphones and Tablets have different sizes, but share the same technique and OS (not to speak of the many problems);
there are lots of special devices below a Laptop but above a Tablet which may be best grouped together with    Laptops;
and last but definitely not least Workstations are just professional    Desktops, and this is the most professional place to work with a screen.
The following list should present the decisive features which should be seen in light of the necessities mentioned above for long work being ergonomics and quality.

😎 )
The Headline is derived from the citation:
      There is no surer way to ruin a good discussion
         than to contaminate it with the facts.

             — [Wikipedia-en-Icon]Cecil Adams


At a time when electronic devices didn't even exist, no [Wikipedia-en-Icon]Tamagotchi (a digital pet), no Smartphone, it was already apparent that human beings had the tendency to get their priorities wrong regarding inanimate things.

              Things are there for Human Beings
                and not Human Beings for Things .

              — [Wikipedia-en-Icon]Don Bosco (1815‑1888; Italian Priest and Social Education Worker)

As long as technology is helpful to people and not harmful, it is good and reasonable.
If this changes to people having to care for technology, to adapt to it and personally suffering from that, something is severely wrong.
Should this tendency ever reach the extreme, with people no longer taking an active part in handling and controlling technology, mankind is just comitting suicide.

So everyone should take reponsibility for making technique beneficial for people and not make people better fitting to technics. The latter will first result in an enourmous health problem which can be seen already about 💔smartphones and tablets – but this will not be the end of this harmful evolution ...
In case of questions / problems with this page or my site please contact me via:
      E-Mail:  📧jmb@jmb-edu.de
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First version: 13th October, 2019
Last update: 01st January, 2024