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Multihead or 30" monitor

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Lately I've been considering upgrading to a multihead or large® monitor or both to increase my productivity. Any of you guys have any advice regarding this? My specific application is (mostly) office work that requires me to have multiple windows open at once. I think I might be wasting time, alt tab alt tab alt tab, but I suppose turning your head also takes time. For one monitor, any good autoresize/locate window programs out there?

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Lately I've been considering upgrading to a multihead or large® monitor or both to increase my productivity. Any of you guys have any advice regarding this? My specific application is (mostly) office work that requires me to have multiple windows open at once. I think I might be wasting time, alt tab alt tab alt tab, but I suppose turning your head also takes time. For one monitor, any good autoresize/locate window programs out there?

Ecept in the case of video editing, I've always been in the school of a single large monitor of 2560 by 2048 resolution. This enables me to work comfortablyh in Adobe Premiere, PhotoSHop, Ecel, and other screen hogs. Video is the only application where it makes sense to have a second monitor because of the different colorspace requirement.

(Pardon my old laptop PC--the key between Zand C an G an J are broken)

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Actually, I have to vote for multiple monitors. We've used multi-head pc's for years at work. One of the reasons that people used giant monitors is that Windows boxes used to be really hard to get set up as multi-heads compared to Mac's etc. Another advantage of using mutliple monitors is cost. You buy a couple of 15" monitors for just about nothing. Having a big monitor with as much screen space would be expensive. One other thing we worry about is downtime. IA multi-head setup allows redundancy. If one goes out, you still have others to view your data. Mind you, I can see if you are working on a program that does image manipulation or page creation, a big monitor would provide a seamless work environment. I remember seeing full page sized monitors on macs that were purpose built so that they would display a document page all at once so that the designers could have a wholistic view of the page.

Some of the trading stations we've got have four or eight heads. That would require a ridiculously expensive wide screen to compensate. Plus, we can't afford any downtime. Usually, each monitor is dedicated to a specific application. One runs charts, one runs totalview, etc. Still, for my home use my main computer has two monitors. I will use both on occasion since i'll run a full window of StampManage (my stamp software) and my laptop monitor runs my scanner software and web browser. It saves me from having to toggle between windows but is overkill for sure. Plus, multi-heads look cool.

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I've been using dual or triple monitors since windows 98. As a web developer, I use one screen for design and the other to view my work. In general, it's great when you need to keep instructions on one screen and the work on the other. I currently have a 22" widescreen and a 19" sidescreen - I'd go bigger, but it wouldn't fit on my desk!

By the way, the 3D tab view (Win+Tab) in Windows Vista makes working with multiple windows much easier. If you don't have Vista, consider TaskSwitchXP.

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Actually, I have to vote for multiple monitors. We've used multi-head pc's for years at work. One of the reasons that people used giant monitors is that Windows boxes used to be really hard to get set up as multi-heads compared to Mac's etc. Another advantage of using mutliple monitors is cost. You buy a couple of 15" monitors for just about nothing. Having a big monitor with as much screen space would be expensive. One other thing we worry about is downtime. IA multi-head setup allows redundancy. If one goes out, you still have others to view your data. Mind you, I can see if you are working on a program that does image manipulation or page creation, a big monitor would provide a seamless work environment. I remember seeing full page sized monitors on macs that were purpose built so that they would display a document page all at once so that the designers could have a wholistic view of the page.

Well, if you're working with data, multiple monitors can work out fine, but then you must have enormous desk real estate to support all those monitors, where one huge one, like the Apple 37" Cinema display, would fit nicely. What always turned me off was the bezels dividing up my desktop. But I come from a graphic design and CAD world, where the more pixels we can get on a single large screen, the better.

As for reliability, that's almost academicly theoretical today. I can't recall ever having a graphics card fail. It is extremely rare. And then you would have to shut the PC down to replace whatever card it is, even a multihead, just to restore full function again.

On my video editing system, the main monitor is a 21" high quality color-calibrated CRT, which provides enough real estate to run Adobe Premiere Pro and Sonic Scenarist, which both require lots and lots of screen space to work efficiently. The video output is viewed on a separate Sony PVM1261Q professional grade broadcast monitor. In this application, for industry standard color accuracy, the video must be monitored on an NTSC1953 phosphor colorspace. Hence, it also gives the ability to see if the frame is composed right, if interlacing is in the correct order, and if color and saturation is good. That is one example of a multiple output with specialized monitors that has a practical requirement.

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Well, if you're working with data, multiple monitors can work out fine, but then you must have enormous desk real estate to support all those monitors, where one huge one, like the Apple 37" Cinema display, would fit nicely.

My downtime/money point really had to do with monitor breakage as opposed to card burnout. Either through burnout or physical damage (hey, this is the brokerage industry and people throw things), monitors die. You can hot swap a new monitor in without losing any time. The racks we've got them on at work take up almost no space. They are either wall mounted or on a central partition between desks that face each other. Plus, they are all really thin Dell flat panels. The montior rack is also a cpu holder since we use really small footprint desktops.

Obviously, we don't need to know didly about pantone calibration. Plus, you want your monitor to display the image as perfectly as possible. I don't have to worry about that since I'm data dependant. Though one thing I've found that is fun having multiple monitors was playing games like Harpoon. The multiple monitors really recreate the whole CIC feeling. Still, my need as you pointed out is data display, not visual display.

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