Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Mon 29th Aug 2011 09:50 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces "Recently, Brendan and I have been arguing about what can reasonably be expected from a multi-monitor OS (among other graphical stack things). We've reached the conclusion that nothing replaces real-world user data. So anyone interested, please answer this survey about multi-monitor setups and expectations ! (Results will be published here once the amount of answers has reached a steady state, I'd say in a month at worst)" (Source)
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my experience
by fran on Mon 29th Aug 2011 12:07 UTC
Member since:

From my own experience. (sorry for mistakes…don’t have much time for proofread now)
In many working environments a multi-monitor is a necessity not a luxury. (Do you hear boss?)

My progression went as follows.
I first worked on a single 19" LCD.
Only one screen could realistically be opened at a single time.
To split my accounting application and excel spreadsheet in that screen is impractical.
To save time I relied a lot on printing and also when detailed email instruction was received in Outlook I had to print that out also.
Not to mention the time of frequently open and closing applications.

I got a 23" LCD
Now I can split my screen while enough visible fields.
Now I save time and printing costs. Not to mention your productivity.

It also is great for leisure.
When you play a game it's also more immersive.
Also when I open up Kindle through its Chrome extension in one screen and open a developer book like "PHP cookbook" or something I can do the exercises on the other second screen.
That second screen is split into notepad or php designer and a browser.
So it is a great learning setup also.

I got a second 23"LED
Now I usually have windows open at once. One full screen and the other split.

Some things some people should now.
Buy your LCD or LED with maximum inputs.
For instance the cheaper ones only have D-Sub inputs. Get one with DVI and/or HDMI.
There are just so many models still on the market with only D-Sub that some less informed people frequently make the mistake of going for the "special" only to realise the mistake later.

You also might run into difficulty setting up a multi monitor setup with only D-Sub. D-Sub is not supported in most of today’s graphics cards.

Also you don’t need an expensive workstation graphics card to run two or sometimes more monitor setups.
Check the outputs on your planned or current graphics card. Many graphics cards come with 1 DVI and 1 Hdmi output. You can still run multi monitor setup with these. You might need an adapter though. But they are cheap. (For DVI there is HDMI quality loss)

Install two or more browsers.
Install two or more spreadsheet programs.
For instance now you can have two spreadsheet open alongside each other like Gnumeric and Excel. This is handy with some tasks.

My conclusion.
With the increased productivity and lesser printing costs that bigger or second monitor pays for itself very quickly. It's also great for studying.

some other links

Reply Score: 5

RE: my experience
by WereCatf on Mon 29th Aug 2011 12:32 in reply to "my experience"
WereCatf Member since:

Install two or more browsers.

Why? You can just use ctrl+n to open a new window and move that other window to the 2nd monitor.

My conclusion.
With the increased productivity and lesser printing costs that bigger or second monitor pays for itself very quickly. It's also great for studying.

I have a few extra monitors lying around and I've tried multi-monitor setups a few times, but... I've never found any real use for them, they only serve as a distraction instead of being useful. I find it much easier to just alt-tab or resize windows so that I can fit multiple ones on the same screen so I don't have to move my mouse or eyes over such a long distance; I can just get a glance at all I'm doing with minimal eye-movement.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: my experience
by fran on Mon 29th Aug 2011 12:48 in reply to "RE: my experience"
fran Member since:

it's for e commerce purposes.
I work in chrome. but the link to the products is in a spreadsheet i open in another browser.
When i then open the product page (firefox defaul browser setting) it will open on the right side next to chrome.
The setup is thus. Chrome..Firefox in the first and Excel on the second screen.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: my experience
by andih on Mon 29th Aug 2011 20:06 in reply to "my experience"
andih Member since:

Ive got an 24 at work, no way I need anything more than that: Thanks to awesomewm.

Without awesome (tiling wm) I would probably need 2 or 3x24", but what the heck.. If you have a big screen already, try a tiling wm before buying an extra screen, you'll be amazed to see how much space is used on useless bars, crap and blank space, and how useful it is to have tiling + several "desktops". I love the way awesome works. Switching "desktops" and moving programs around is done with keyboard shortcuts and is probably faster than turning head to a second screen:p awesome <3

Two screens + traditional wm + a lot of open windows = sounds like a unproductive mess to me.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: my experience
by bert64 on Tue 30th Aug 2011 13:19 in reply to "RE: my experience"
bert64 Member since:

Couldn't agree more, a decent tiling WM plus multiple virtual desktops is actually much easier to deal with than 2 or more physical screens... I have 2 24" screens on my desktop and i hardly ever use it, i do 99% of my work on the laptop which has a singly 17" 1920x1200 screen.

I can see multiple screens being useful when you need to monitor lots of things but not necessarily interact with them very often, and as a second best substitute for someone who's stuck with a lousy window manager that doesn't do tiling or proper multiple desktop support.

Reply Parent Score: 2