Friday, February 23, 2007

Heaven on my desktop

Welcome to my little slice of heaven. It took a bit of work but I got it all working together. It turns out that a signal splitter is not what you need to get a dual monitor rig working. You really need to have two different monitor outs on the PC. Once I figured out how to use the analog cable to wire the original monitor to the analog out (a white connector), and the SVGA cable from the new guy to the SVGA out (the standard blue monitor connector) that's when the magic started to happen.

I can see that it's going to take me a little while to really work out an entirely proficient workstyle with all this luxurious screen real estate. For today, I'm divvying up my interruption windows (IM, local email) on one screen and my remote desktop on the other screen.

Top benefits I've discovered in the four hours I've had the dual monitor rig working:

1. When I minimize a window from the secondary screen it sinks down to the task bar on the main screen. When I restore, it pops right back where it was on the secondary screen. As I get used to this, I'll have the habit of looking where I put things for my commonly used apps.

2. When I am doing a GoToMeeting screen sharing session, it only shows my participants the main screen. I can have assorted other stuff popping on my secondary screen without disrupting the flow of the meeting. This is useful when I need to ask questions of a colleague in the background of a meeting, and then come back to the meeting with the answer.

3. The skeptical members of my family who might have been pooh-poohing the necessity of getting another monitor and spending an hour or two wrassling with getting it hooked up properly were completely blown away by the absolute coolness of dragging and dropping windows from one monitor to the other. They were shocked and awed.

Now I just need to make myself feel aesthetically satisfied with how my mission control-esque setup looks. It really geeks the place up in a way I hadn't anticipated.

2 comments:

Joshua Bloom said...

Hey there,

Just to be mildly pedantic for a second, they are monitor outs from the computer to the Monitor. I don't know why I'm compelled to tell you that...

Yeah the actual reason I'm posting is because I wanted to tell you about Ultramon
http://realtimesoft.com/ultramon/

It gives you lots of extra control over your windows. Check it out you might like it.

-Josh

Stella Commute said...

Oh, that looks like good stuff. More experimentation is clearly necessary. Thanks for posting this highly highly useful link, Josh.

And thanks for reading!