Despite the fact that my bookshelves are as overcrowded as my local hospital, I just added significantly to the load. I was in my favourite thrift store today looking for a book to use as a floating book bookshelf and instead found The Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary, in three volumes, no less. What first got my attention was the endpapers, which show examples of ancient writing from all over the world. The cuneiform example is especially cool because it is embossed so the other side of the paper has raised cuneiform on it. Volume Three is what sealed the deal, though. It is full of topical dictionaries, the most fun of which has to be the section on rhyming (Cockney) slang. I also found a nice little Collins edition of The Moonstone, an adaptation of which I saw and enjoyed recently.
In case you noticed something odd about my monitor, yes, it is indeed standing on its side. If you would like to teach your monitor this trick, there are a couple of steps. The first is to get a monitor stand that pivots (or rotates—the terminology varies). The second is to get the display to rotate. Some video cards may have this functionality built in, but if not you might be able to modify the driver to allow the display to rotate. All I had to do was add a few lines to my video driver and then I was able to set the rotation using the video driver icon in my system tray (you might have to go into your display settings to make this icon appear). If you want to go this route I would suggest going to the online support forum for your video card and asking around. The other option is to buy software such as PivotPro, but why pay when you can do it for free?
Since going vertical I’ve never looked back (or sideways). Now I can see most if not all of the content on a web page without scrolling. (How odd that we call vertical motion scrolling when scrolls commonly went sideways… but I digress.) It’s really the only sensible way to view written information. (If you want to watch a movie (or use Google Earth, which doesn’t like rotation) you can easily switch back to landscape while you work.) As I understand it, the reason monitors have a landscape orientation is because the engineers just copied TV technology and never thought to change it. There are now some high end monitors that have pivoting built in, but a pivoting stand and a little programming will do the trick.