Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Finally a Dual Monitor Setup

20091211294I finally got around to connecting up a secondary monitor to my MacBook. More screen space is always nice. But even though I’ve had a spare monitor around for some time, both in the office and somewhat also at home, I’ve been a bit lazy to get them connected. The reason is that I tend to get comfortable with a certain setup and I don’t want that setup to change. With a dual monitor setup, I have to get used to the fact that I will not always have the secondary monitor available.

What happens is that I move around a lot and use my MacBook in many places, not just my office and home. I thought that it might be a little disruptive to have a dual monitor setup in some places, but not others. When I settle down to get some serious work done, I like a familiar consistent “environment”. I wouldn’t mind drastic changes to this environment if I only needed to do something quick, simple, or just an infrequent activity. The trouble is when I want to settle down in some other place without secondary monitor to get some serious work done, and when I’ve gotten used to dual monitor, what do I do?

I’ve found what I could do with the extra screen space that might not always be guaranteed to be available. Throw non-essential windows, windows that are nice to have but not crucial to the task at hand, to the secondary screen. For example, it is nice to have Adium’s window opened, so you can keep the contact list open or a chat window open. These can go to the secondary screen. iTunes would be another good candidate.

When I return back to single screen mode, I wouldn’t find it so disruptive that all these application windows are consolidated back. They would usually end up being hidden in the back, or minimized, anyway. So that’s how I can lessen the disruptiveness of a secondary screen not always being present.

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