A Vertical Perspective, Part 2

It was probably a dumb idea to try rotating the screen while all the cords were still plugged in, but the monitor tilted so easily, giving the impression that being vertical was just as normal to this device as powering on. Nevertheless, I had to note that the USB ports that were once conveniently on the side were now being rendered useless by pointing to the ceiling, and short USB cords resulted in my peripherals dangling behind the screen. I also bumped into the Mac, which sits on the left, a number of times before being able to tilt completely over. It became obvious this move was a bit preemptive.

After turning the monitor back to normal, making some slight adjustments, and cleaning the little mess resulting from from my earlier primal experimentation, I set the monitor again to its side, plugged peripherals back in, and proceeded to treat it as the new normal. I didn’t have much to do on that newly rotated screen just yet so I went back to the unfinished business on the left display. It didn’t take long before an email arrived that had high importance. It was time to spring into action!

A particular point must be derived and reviewed from my earlier experimentation before we continue. It is essential to understand that my methods may be boorish, but I’ve locked down the precise nature of the way I learn. I can easily summarize it for you:

I’m too distracted to remember what I’m told; I’m too confused to remember what I’m shown; but I will always remember how I succeeded from trying it.

Emails were always done on the right display due to it being a reading-intensive process. Anything having to do with large amounts of reading became research, and research occurred on the right. So opening an email should be pleasurable.

It was massively underwhelming. The window looked like it was being dismembered in a trash compactor. Sidebars were overlapping so much that actual content was prohibited from view. A little resizing helped the situation, but what an adjustment it turned out to be. Browsing the web suffered the same fate. So did anything else commonly done on the so-far malign display, though it was more of a shock to see the immense amount of text that was able to be displayed at one time than it was the lack of cooperation from the apps. I was able to cope, but it was certainly different.

Minutes passed without much transpiring; it soon reached an hour before the end of the day. It had only been fifteen minutes since the experiment started, and yet, out of nowhere, came a disturbing sensation. My head became heavy, and a swelling pain started to pulse against my forehead.

There was no denying it; my brain was rejecting my vertically-oriented monitor.

I never, in all my nerdy experience, suffered a headache from an adjustment to my workspace. It felt like my frontal lobe jumped out of my skull and repeatedly slammed my face into the screen, smothering me in the error of my naïveté. And this wasn’t a chance headache or an unrelated occurrence, either. There was nothing significant happening that day. The office was blissfully quiet compared to the screaming my head was making from the Clockwork Orange beating I was receiving.

I tried in vain to remedy the situation. Multitasking vertically was way more awkward than it should have been. Turning down the brightness only antagonized my brain more. To add to the chaos, the Mac’s operating system had just upgraded to a new version called Yosemite, so the readjusting to newly designed icons and features poured fuel on my neurons before my eyes struck the match.

At some point I made all the apps full-screen, as that seemed to be the most natural way to make things less traumatic upstairs. 5:00 couldn’t come sooner. I quit everything, took some Advil, and managed the rest of the day by steering clear of vertical displays.

It was plainly obvious that many separate parts of me disagreed with whatever I was doing. My imagination was bruised, my eyelids sagged, and my head had been tortured by its own contents. It would have made sense to plan the start of the next day by going back to the way things were and forget any of this ever happened. Surely I wouldn’t want to continue working on a setup so disastrous, would I?

…what can I say? I can be a real stubborn bastard, sometimes.

Next: Part 3 — A fresh perspective.

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