• Tips for the weekend – February 12, 2022 – do you need a second monitor?

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    Watch my video here demonstrating my USB monitor Do you need a second monitor – but not one that takes up a lot of room? At home I have a large main m
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    Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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    • #2424940

      For adding iPad as a second display there are couple of options :

      Astropad’s Luna Display (Mac, Windows)

      Apple’s Universal Control


      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2424943

      When I started using computers professionally, I started with a dual monitor setup. It was 1989 and we were about to enter the CAD-era. We started off with AutoCAD release 9; the version that added a lot more graphical controls. Main problem of AutoCAD was the pan and zoom-speed. Or better – the lack of speed. On a generic display, zooming and panning would take several seconds. Fine if you just started to use AutoCAD, but once you got the hang of it, these delays were an agony. So we invested heavily in state-of-the-art graphics cards and large monitors. For the first pc’s, we got hold of the Nth Engine, made by Nth Graphics; a Texas based firm. Based on a graphics chip chip made by Texas Instruments. Hooked to a 21″ colour monitor. Instant pan and zoom! The feature I liked most was the PIP, giving an overview of the drawing with a box of marching ants outlining the zoomed-in part. Pick up the box and drag it around to a different place and wham! Zoomed in on that part of the drawing. For the days, very impressive. And very expensive. When corrected for inflation, a set of graphics card and monitor would cost about 7000 euro today.

      Anyway, one of the advantages of having a special graphics card was the fact you now had two graphics cards. On for graphics and a smaller 15″ monochrome screen for text. Ideal setup!

      Remember, this was the DOS age. When Windows came along, it gave a tremendous boost to the graphic card industry, which also meant the demise of Nth Graphics and alike. But since 1989, I’ve always had a dual monitor setup. AutoCAD is replaced with Revit years ago and for this, I have the Project Browser and Properties Panel on the second screen, although both screens are equal in size.

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    • #2424950

      Obviously it depends on the use case.  During my work career in the pharma industry there was never a need for a second monitor.  As a retiree who mainly does financial analysis, office work and photography there still is not a need for a second monitor.  Even if I wanted one, there is a space constraint in my home office.  My graphics card and work station specifications would easily support one.

    • #2424958

      I have been using two monitors at home (I am retired) for many years, and I am lucky enough to have the space to do so. I frequently find myself using one application for base data (e.g. Excel) and another to write (e.g. Outlook or Word). Having both on separate monitors makes that task far easier.

      Monitors, I find, have far greater longevity than computers, so when buy a new computer I generally switch the monitor from the PC I am retiring to be the second monitor for my new setup. Apart from remining me how much better the new kit is than the old, it works perfectly.

      Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

    • #2424959

      Here’s my multi monitor setup.

      Under the desk left to right:

      1. Spectrum Modem
      2. TP-Link DECO W7000 Mesh Router (very new and loving it)
      3. Synology DS220+ NAS w/2 Iron Wolf 4GB drives in Raid zero.
      4. Below shelf TESmart Dual HDMI KVM
      5. Dell XPS 8920 Main driver
      6. Dell XPS 8700 Testing Platform
      7. 2 Cyberpower USPs out of sight

      Above the Desk left to right:

      1. 2 Samsung 27″ monitors on VESA stand. Uses switch to move between two computers.
      2. LG 23″ monitor seconded to the Dell XPS 137000 laptop (mirror mode since I don’t use the small screen at my desk. When on the desk I can use the same keyboard and mouse vis Synergy software.
      3. Logitech G710+ Keyboard
      4. Zelotes T-80 Big Mac mouse

      FYI: I’d NEVER go back to a single monitor. If I had the room I’d get a 3rd 27″ monitor in Portrait mode to work on Word Documents.


      May the Forces of good computing be with you!


      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

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    • #2424975

      Desktops – minimum two 23-inch max six 23-inch monitors.

      Also, two desktops feed two smart LED TVs in addition to their 23-inch monitors.

    • #2425011

      Two is good for general use. Always good to watch something on one, browse on the other. or Work with reading something on one for reference, then working on it on the other.

      I’d say you need three (or more) if you ALWAYS need something on screen that you’re monitoring. When I WFH I plug my laptop into my dock, that has my two big monitors connected. I work on my main two, and have the Teams chat on my small laptop screen (or my presentation notes when presenting).

    • #2425043

      I like to have my Zoom call on a different screen from whatever I want to refer to during the Zoom.  Thus, the Zoom call takes place on my Surface (better camera), and the Dell laptop has all the files, agenda, etc.

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

    • #2425054

      I decided against multiple monitors a few years ago because I could fit an 8 1/2 x 11 PDF and an 8 1/2 x 11 Word doc on the same 24-inch (16:10) monitor, both at 100%.  So if I want to transcribe a quote from the PDF to what I am writing, I can.  Works for me, all day ‘long.

      I write history and have too much paper around.  As I increasingly convert that paper to PDF, I occasionally see the need for another screen, but not that often.

      I have a second 24-inch monitor on the Internet computer a few feet away, and several in storage.

      All my monitors are circa-2007 CCFL monitors, using more energy and putting out more heat than LED, but easier on the eyes, which is why the federal government issued a  warning about excessive blue light’s effect on macular degeneration, and why manufacturers ever since have promoted gimmicks to “limit” blue light by filtering it through yellow filters.  I tried LED monitors but couldn’t stand the assault on my eyes.

    • #2425055

      This is my multi-monitor choice with 27″ Asus screens.  I also have 5 Windows 10 virtual desktops enabled and instantly flip between them with keyboard shortcuts:  Ctrl+Winkey+Right or Left arrow.

      I am not fond of cluttered desktops but the virtual desktops solve that annoyance.

      4 x5  = 20 monitorsMulti-monitors_cr


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    • #2425060

      I use my 15″ Alienware laptop’s screen as monitor #2 along side a 32″ widescreen as monitor #1.  I also use an external keyboard and trackball — so I use my laptop like a desktop when I’m at home.  I split my time between two houses equipped the same way — so I just have to toss my laptop and trackball into my computer backpack and I’m done.

      Interesting thread.  Thanks, Susan and all — I enjoyed the cool pics!

    • #2425059

      My use case is mostly just watching something while doing something else, and at least one is always using an online app. So I find my phone accomplishes what I need, without being in any way hooked up to my computer. I just send links over wi-fi if I need to move from one screen to the other.

    • #2425070

      Years ago we all got two monitors at work (accounting office). I found it to be so useful that I soon got a second monitor for our home Windows 10 PC. We now have a 22-inch main monitor and a 20-inch secondary one at home, with the secondary monitor always having Thunderbird open with email along with the KeePass password manager. The main monitor usually has Firefox, File Explorer and maybe Excel open on it.

      We also have a second PC running Linux Mint Cinnamon that has only a single monitor. Since my wife uses it pretty much only for email and browsing, one monitor is enough, but whenever I sit down to run Windows 10 under VirtualBox on it, I wished we had another monitor there as well. Right now it’s on a small table so there really isn’t room for one, but it illustrates how once you get used to running with two monitors, it’s hard to go back to just one.

    • #2425222

      I have been using one 24″ 1920 x 1200 (16:10 ratio), monitor for each of my work and home location.

      I’m lucky enough to find it suits my needs, size the acreage is large enough to fit two 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper and still have about 1″ boarder around both.

      Sorry if I’m not explaining it clearly.

      But I am very happy with the result.


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    • #2425261

      I use a second monitor, and I generally encourage multiple monitors for the users I support.  However, that’s definitely something in the area of personal preference, and how things fit into your workflows.  And for some people, even if there isn’t necessarily a felt need for additional display space, that’s one of the things that can quickly become something that somebody really likes, if it’s suddenly available.

      For me, on my primary working computer, I have a 15″ laptop, and where I do the bulk of my work from a 27″ external monitor.  I have the external monitor set to be the primary display, and where I use the laptop screen mostly for overflow, especially when I want multiple windows side-by-side.  Another place that the second monitor is helpful is with Zoom sessions, where I can use the laptop monitor for Zoom displays, and where I have the external screen for other stuff happening.

      I have contemplated the possibility of adding an additional screen (i.e., laptop plus two external screens.  I still have my old screen available that I could connect with a USB connector, although I’m doubtful if there’s enough desk space available with my current layout.

    • #2425270

      I am building very large graphics and have a 2560 x 1440 monitor.

      While I don’t require multiple monitors at this time, the information may be useful in the future.

      On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
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      online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1992 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox116.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
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