Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Luxury? I think not


There has been some criticism of my decision to treat myself to two monitors. Well, it's actually been self-doubt on my part. Am I deranged for thinking I need this? Is it going to be like Arthur's moon boots?

But then I looked at my screen and saw this:

I have my local Polycom window, my local desktop with related stuff open on it, my remote desktop through GoToMyPC (mad props for adding sound, Citrix!), and then I was connecting to a server that I needed to work on through XP Remote Desktop.

I think my two-monitor rig is a justifiable expense, dear readers.

2 comments:

Joshua Bloom said...

Hi there, Stella.
I'm telecommuting myself from AZ back to Boston. Luckily I don't have to do the East coast schedule unless really pressed.

Don't think twice about the dual monitors. They should be immediately rolled out to every person in every office who works with more than one application at a time.

There's some good research on the performance gains with more screen real estate. Check out this link for more info.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/magazine/16guru.html?ei=5088&en=2864cc65d74cefb8&ex=1287115200
Here's a relevant quote from that article:
"But did more screen area actually help with cognition? To find out, Czerwinski's team conducted another experiment. The researchers took 15 volunteers, sat each one in front of a regular-size 15-inch monitor and had them complete a variety of tasks designed to challenge their powers of concentration - like a Web search, some cutting and pasting and memorizing a seven-digit phone number. Then the volunteers repeated these same tasks, this time using a computer with a massive 42-inch screen, as big as a plasma TV.The results? On the bigger screen, people completed the tasks at least 10 percent more quickly - and some as much as 44 percent more quickly. They were also more likely to remember the seven-digit number, which showed that the multitasking was clearly less taxing on their brains. Some of the volunteers were so enthralled with the huge screen that they begged to take it home. In two decades of research, Czerwinski had never seen a single tweak to a computer system so significantly improve a user's productivity. The clearer your screen, she found, the calmer your mind."

If you want to get jealous though, check out my monitor setup :)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbloom/237895523/in/pool-81853392@N00/

Keep up the blogging, I'm glad to know there are other people out there working like I do.

Best,
Josh

Stella Commute said...

Thanks for sharing that study, Josh. My boss was supportive of the two-monitor setup, but nothing makes us happier than research that supports our deepest desires.

Do you know what I envy most about your rig? It's not the bewildering array of monitors...it's the juxtaposition of your patio and that sweet little laptop! When I take my show on the road, it's generally to go back to the Real Office, so there isn't much of a justification for a laptop for me. It would be very nice to sit by my little fishpond and "work". Or actually work!