You've probably read about the hazards of excessive exposure to computer monitors and the magnetic fields they...
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emit. But as developer Torin Blair found out, that is not the only ill you can contract from a misbehaving monitor. This is his story...
I got a call early one morning from a user who had problems with her monitor. The monitor was waving back and forth slowly on the vertical axis. Being the prompt and speedy technician that I am, I immediately brought a new monitor to her desk and set it up. A few minutes later she called me back to her desk. Apparently, changing monitors hadn't solved the problem; the screen was still waving back and forth.
I proceeded to check drivers, lower refresh rates, lower desktop resolution etc., all to no avail. Figuring that there was either an OS or hardware problem, I brought in another machine. Lo and behold the new machine didn't solve the problem either. The monitor was still slowly waving vertically back and forth. I swear it was starting to cause us a bit of seasickness!
I was really starting to lose my mind now (and almost my stomach). I turned off the machine, brought back her old one and proceeded to open up the machine to put in a new video card. While I was working, I suddenly noticed the items sitting on the client's desk. Sitting right next to her monitor was a "kinetics toy" (it was sort of a perpetual motion machine running off MAGNETS!), and then the light went on in my head. I put everything back together, and calmly told her to move the new toy to the far side of her desk.
I couldn't believe that after nearly three hours of troubleshooting it was electromagnetic intereference from that toy that was causing her problems! Moral of this story? Don't bring toys to work!
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