Seeing Double

A little late, but I’ve been procrastinating… a lot… lately.

I was in Best Buy last weekend searching for a case for my new Canon G10 (more on that over at CWP… sometime), and worked with a guy who was willing to open packaging for me so I could slide my G10 into a variety of housings. As I talked with him, I discovered he had worked for many of the camera outfits in town, and had done some super-sized Apple consulting gigs, and was a BB Apple dude.


I asked after a FW400-FW800 converting plug for my MBP, and we strolled over into Appleland at BB. And what did my wandering eye see… but a 20″ Apple Cinema Display. Now, Apple stopped selling these months ago, and at the price they were retailing for, I wasn’t surprised to see one left on the table at BB. However, I noticed that it had a yellow tag next to it. Discounted? Nobody, nobody, nobody discounts Apple gear… but there the tag was, beckoning that I come by and look. Sure ’nuff, the monitor was discounted 200 bucks! That’s a huge discount, and I expressed some concern about this being the floor model, and not knowing what kind of trauma it’d beeen through. My BB dude walked over to a rack, opened a package with a display connector in it, and fired up the monitor off a conveniently placed iMac. It looked great. He warned me that they probably didn’t have the box or books, but as it sat it was functional, available and discounted. While he went behind the curtain at the store display, I was weighing whether I really needed this monitor.

You see, I’d been wanting a second display for my MacPro, and had settled for a 20″ “square” Princeton monitor for my second. I’d had it for years, but it didn’t profile the best, and frankly, it didn’t look very elegant in its charcoal plastic case as it sat next my 20″ all metal ACD beauty. But, with the recent changes at Apple in their display and display card technology, they’d taken a path less trodden, leaving me in the dust quickly with no upgrade path… unless I wanted to go a pair of 30″ ACDs. Cool, but way costly — I could put a pair of really nice lenses in my bag for what that would set me back.

So I stood there paddling this floor model back and forth… and my guy walked from behind the curtain with a 20″ ACD, brand new in the box, never opened.

After a little mumbling under my breath, I asked him if the discounted price went for this new, boxed beauty. When he said yes, I eeked out “Sold!” and proceeded to thank him profusely, ringing out, and leaving BB like I’d stolen something.

Finally, a great second monitor sits atop my desk, flanking my four year old 20″ ACD. Folks have said that Apple’s long in the tooth on these displays (despite them looking terrific both esthetically and visually), but I, for one, am glad of that, as it’s given me the opportunity to pair mine up. And at a bargain price, to boot.

There is one big difference I’ve noticed. The new ACD is a little cooler than my original — whether that’s a manufacturing difference or just the effect of the years on my older ACD, I dunno. But the old one is definitely warmer. I’ve calibrated them both in the same setting and lighting, and suspect I should do that again, now that the new one has had a chance to “burn in” a bit. For normal work, I don’t notice it, but in dual screen Lightroom, especially working on a black and white image, I can really see the difference.

In any case, I’m happy to welcome this twin son of a different mother into the fold, and look forward to a nice, long relationship with it. 🙂