Friday, September 08, 2006

The joy of sprawl

No, this post isn't about zoning laws. Over in Slate, Paul Boutin extols big monitors. If you want to make the upgrade, but are on a budget, then I recommend multiple monitors. I'm composing this post through Blogger in a Firefox window on my center monitor. On my left monitor is another Firefox window showing Paul Boutin's article. On my right monitor is another Firefox window showing my Gmail inbox, partially covered by terminal windows showing me things like my math department email via pine. Yes, I've three monitors, each a 17" LCD, connected to a single computer, with a combined resolution of 3840x1024. (My picture on the right, being two years old, shows the center monitor before I found him friends.) These three monitors are a vertical extension of the desk on which they lie. Most obviously, the three monitors' combined width approximately equals that of the desk. Also, just as I've three disorganized stacks of paper side by side on the desk, each of my three open Firefox windows has many, many open tabs. (And then there's all the other open windows....)

Having recommended multiple monitors, I should add that unless you know what you're doing, I'd advise trying two monitors before getting a third, especially given the great selection of dual-head graphics cards out there. (I use three single-head graphics cards, one AGP and two PCI; xinerama puts it all together.)


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