It’s all about the pixels!

Yesterday I went down and picked up some some servers and workstations that were donated to us. This company runs a trading floor, and I started salivating when I walked in to the place. This is what a typical desk looks like:

Yep, that’s *sixteen* monitors per machine. A typical desk has just shy of 21 million pixels covering nearly 20 square feet to play in. There are no cube walls, because they’re all made of monitors.

The upside to this was that the workstations we were donated ran these pixel rigs in their former lives. And they all were stuffed full of PCI video cards (GeForce FX5500 for the curious). Naturally, I snagged a couple out of one of the stations to put in my WhatsUp monitoring station. I was disappointed to find that it only has 2 PCI slots.

I expanded on my own pixel rig, which I had recently reconfigured by mounting the 24″ screens to the top of my cube walls in order to reclaim some much-needed desk space. Here is the result:

Left to right, top to bottom:

  • Acer X241W, 24″ 1920×1200, running WhatsUp Gold and keeping an eye on the facility map and my rack
  • Acer X241W, 24″ 1920×1200, running WhatsUp Gold with 2 IE panes. The one on the left is monitoring network traffic and response, the one on the right is monitoring disk usage,.
  • Dell E153FP, 15″ 1024×768, running Google Earth with Area 51 radar overlays from WeatherTap (probably gonna replace this with a 17″)
  • Dell E177FPb, 17″ 1280×1024, running VirtualCenter console
  • Dell E207WFPc, 20″ 1680×1050, running WhatsUp Gold, with the wireless bridge workspace. This is a dual-input monitor that is also hooked to my laptop
  • Dell D820, 15.4″, 1920×1200, main workstation laptop

The brains of the monitoring station run on a Dell Optiplex GX620 with 3.2GHz P4, 3GB RAM, Radeon X600 primary (AGP) and two GeForce FX5500 secondaries (PCI). The WhatsUp backend runs on a Dell PowerEdge 2650 with 4GB RAM and dual 2GHz Xeon processors.

Total pixels: 10,773,152

I still have one additional monitor output I can use. If I put a 17″ on that one and replace the 15″, I’ll be cruising at 13,918,880 pixels.

I love my job 🙂

6 Comments On “It’s all about the pixels!”

  1. Ian,Just out of curios what company the first picture is of. I know a guy who does that here in KC.Mike


  2. The Cybernetic Entomologist

    It’s an outfit in old town NKC that does trading. Pretty cool setup.


  3. I bet it is the same one my friend works with. I know it is in NKC.


  4. thoughtsofresurrection

    Ian – Great stuff! Thanks for sharing :)Andrew Conard


  5. you make me sick.and jealous.that is all.


  6. The Cybernetic Entomologist

    If you want to come over and bask in its glow, you’re welcome to anytime.


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