The last time I had a real job it was working for one of the world’s largest tech companies. It was both the culmination and peak of my Computer Networking career. I was fortunate to join the company when the Internet was just taking off and everything was still unexplored and exciting.
I ended up working in the Games group at Microsoft at a time when the company was expanding in all directions. Like many of the tech companies at that time, Microsoft was hungrily pursuing all opportunities on the Internet and gaming was high priority. The Xbox had not yet been invented and the big dog of our division was still Flight Simulator.
I considered myself a moderate gamer, going all the way back to the original Pong. I became partial to Sim and Strategy games on the Apple II, although I spent many after-hours at the Software Place playing Atari 400 baseball against my coworkers.
At the Microsoft Gaming Zone I was responsible for computer operations. I designed and installed the networks that accommodated our 100,000 plus simultaneous users. It was a job that required long and sometimes thankless hours of work. Outside the company, people only hear about you when things go wrong.
In the online space we were pioneers of sorts. There weren’t many Websites that collected as many eyeballs as we did and it often created unique problems. I remember having conversations with vendors where I would tell them how many simultaneous users we had and they would just laugh, assuming that I was joking. When they realized I was serious, they quickly admitted that there was no way their app would scale to meet our volume.
That’s where the meetings usually ended.
Large scale online gaming is one of the most demanding applications you can create and if you’re going to get into it you better be prepared to hire some brilliant designers and coders. I get a chuckle out of all these Kickstarter MMO’s that claim to be the next big savior of the genre. They want to create an large scale game with a few hundred thousand or perhaps million dollars. Good luck getting the talent you’ll need to run the thing.
One of the enduring things to come out of the Gaming Zone was Asheron’s Call. If you’re not familiar with it, AC was one of the first MMORPG’s on the Internet. If you are familiar with it and were around for rocky launch, I’m sorry about that, but please don’t throw tomatoes, I can assure you it wasn’t my fault.
Along with Everquest, Ultima Online and a few others, we were the first of many online RPG’s leading up to the World of Warcraft explosion that happened between 2004 and 2006. Online gaming would never be the same after that.
Back then I was not much into RPG’s, and rarely played. But I helped out testing when I could. I realized at the time that games like this were going to be huge and a boon to all sorts of technology products. People were going to want faster processors, gobs of RAM, higher speed Internet, and of course better monitors.
Fast forward a few years and I’ve become a big fan of MMORPGs. Although Asheron’s Call is gone now, and WoW is still king, there are many beautifully done and engaging games like Elder Scrolls online and Final Fantasy XIV. Personally, I’m partial to Lord of the Rings Online, but that’s just my taste.
Whether you play MMORPG’s or some other type of high res game, your experience can always be improved by having a better monitor. There are a lot of choices out there, but few companies do it better than LG. Their 34 inch Ultrawide IPS monitor is a thing of beauty.
Dual monitors have been a requirement for sometime among gamers, but Wide-screen is increasingly becoming the norm. The LG34UM68-P uses a Freesync technology that virtually eliminates tearing and stuttering common to demanding 3D games like MMORPGs.
LG 34UM68-P 34-Inch 21:9 UltraWide IPS Monitor with FreeSync
- 34 inch, 21:9 UltraWide Full HD IPS Monitor.
- sRGB over 99%.
- On-Screen Control with Screen Split 2.0
- Game Mode
- Height and Tilt Adjustable Stand
- 178/178 Viewing Angle
- 8bits, 16.7 Million Colors, 5ms GTG Response Time
- 75Hz Refresh Rate, 21:9 Aspect Ratio
- 2560×1080 Resolution, 5M:1 Contrast Ratio
The UltraWide 21:9 aspect ratio makes games and movies more immersive than ever. The clarity of 1080p pixel Full HD resolution with IPS is a game-changer. Simply put, from any viewing angle, everything looks more crisp and detailed in Full HD.
Some customer reviews
I do video editing and bought this monitor to replace two older LG monitors so that I would be able to spread the editing application across both monitors without having the dividing bezel down the middle. It was also relatively easy to set this monitor up to act as two independent monitors which was necessary so that I could also work on one side while having a full screen preview on the other (the reason for two monitors to begin with.)
This monitor ROCKS! At under $400, you CANNOT go wrong with this ultra-wide beast unless you’re running a low-end graphics card (works great with my GTX 960).
The LG 34UM68-P is made primarily for gaming and at 21:9 it’s perfect for movie watching. So know what you’re getting into with a 2560×1080 resolution. It’s going to be a little grainy for text and general use even with LG’s fantastic menu options. If you are planning on getting one of these do it if you’re a gamer not just because it’s one of the more affordable 34′ monitors.