Multiple Monitors

Then I started using two screens on the job. You know, it’s been very accommodating. Now I’m wishing I had one or two more at home. If you’re someone that spends a couple hours a week on your computer mainly for corresponding or paying bills, then having one monitor is probably enough.

If you spend any amount of time at home studying or writing or compiling any kind of media – like your family pictures, videos, and music – two monitors (or more) will not only save you time, it actually relieves tension on your eyeballs.

No, I don’t actually have any “facts” to back that eyeball statement, but from my own experience, I feel less tired using my two LCD screens at work then my one LCD at home. The advantages keep growing as I use them. Organizing research and pages are so much easier. And you get to move your head around diminishing that inevitable cursed kink in your neck or back.

As an editor, it’s been fantastic to have one screen keeping notes and one screen to do work on. There’s so much more space to work with. It’s like the difference between keeping your books and papers piled on a tiny little desk or having a nice big drafting table.

For businesses, having a couple screens or more can make your work speedier, more organized and accessible, and enable you to easily handle several projects at once. For CEOs and busy managers, supervisors, etc., the multitasking advantages will astound you. Your employees will literally sing halleluiah with indulgent utility and convenience.

For gamers, well, most of you already understand the awesome output of two or more screens. Imagine having four to six or more, all combining into one picture! Holy big picture, Batman!

Yeah, it’d be great to have, you say, but I’m no technogeek. Neither am I, but there are a couple different and mercifully easy approaches to take.

Depending on your PC system, you may be able to plug more than one monitor into the back if you already have more than one port. Your computer has settings in your control panel to add monitors once they are plugged in.

You will probably have to add ports to your PC, which is usually fairly simple and affordable to do. There are adapters, ExpressCards, docking stations, and video cards.

The adapter I’m familiar with uses your USB port to add one additional VGA port to your PC or laptop. This option is super simple and handy for all users.

For you laptop owners, there are ExpressCards or PCMCIA cards that add a port and can be expanded with additional cables for even more ports.

Docking stations are pretty simple, too. They can also have added functions, depending on the station. Stuff like audio connections for your stereo, Ethernet and USB ports, as well as the video ports you’re after.

For those who feel more confident in their technical abilities, you can physically add video cards to your PC box. You can find cards that have two or more added ports on them. These add to your existing VGA or DVI port.

If you want to go all out and get a display system, which would be the easiest, there are complete units that include two to eight screens with awesome software to manage these screens. For people who have a lot going on, like traders, busy corporates, gamers, stock brokers, internet gurus, etc., these systems are worth every penny.

I predict these kinds of setups will eventually replace or be integrated into our TV systems. They probably already are in some circles. I’m not in that circle, but I’m learning. And it isn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

The advantages of having more than one monitor makes sense to me now. Truthfully, I get tired of looking at my monitor. I’d much prefer a book or hard copy in my hands. I can’t wait until that invention hits the market. A book-like computer? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Until then, having two screens is the closest I can get to having pages. Maybe I’ll even try three.