Employees at DMC receive a fairly top of the line laptop when they start. However, computer manufacturers often update their product offerings, so we don't all end up with the same model. Our two most recent employees both received the same laptop, a newer model that we did not have previous experience with. Unfortunately, when these laptops were connected to a second, external monitor there was a slow flicker that scrolled up the screen. This didn't make the monitor unusable, but was a definite annoyance, especially with software like LabVIEW that really needs some extra screen real-estate.
So one afternoon, we decided to tackle the problem. After a little bit of troubleshooting we determined it was a ground loop between the laptop power supply and the monitor power supply. My electrical engineering kicked in and I presented obvious solution of sawing off the third prong on the monitor. After a good amount of coaxing I convinced my mechanical engineering associate that this was a "mostly safe" course of action. The flicker is gone and so far there haven't been any electrical shocks...
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