Forums: Television Hardware: Two Screen Computer Set Up

 
  • Avatar of akdorsey27

    akdorsey27

    [1]Jul 14, 2006
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    How can I have two computer screens but set them up to the same CPU?
    Edited on 07/14/2006 5:45pm
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  • Avatar of dju010

    dju010

    [2]Jul 15, 2006
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    Well I think your question is more:
    How do I hook up two displays to one graphic card. The CPU has nothing to do with that.

    Well first you have to know if your graphic card supports a second display (all newer models do). Then you have to see if you have two ports on your card. Then you simply hook them up (sometimes you need adapters VGA -> DVI or the other way around). Then often the graphic cards recognises both monitors and things are handled automatically. Otherwise you have to set it up manually in the display setting of your system. But usually not much work.

    It can get a bit difficult when you want to use one monitor as video output. I have currently some issues with that...
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  • Avatar of akdorsey27

    akdorsey27

    [3]Jul 15, 2006
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    Well I was thinking of getting a new computer and I know windows and dell's can do it but not sure about apple.
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  • Avatar of dju010

    dju010

    [4]Jul 15, 2006
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    Of course Apple computers can do it as well. For example:
    All Notebooks have this mini-DVI ports (you'll need some adapter) where you can hook up a second monitor to the notebooks.
    Same applied to the Mac mini.
    I'm not sure about the iMac's, but when they have an external DVI port as well, then it will work there as well.
    The "big" Apple computers G5 can do it for sure. With the correct equipment you even are able to hook up two 30" screens!!
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    _Islander_

    [5]Jul 15, 2006
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    dju010 wrote:
    With the correct equipment you even are able to hook up two 30" screens!!

    I have seen it done myself - the result is quite...

    ...big!

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  • Avatar of dju010

    dju010

    [6]Jul 15, 2006
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    _Islander_ wrote:
    dju010 wrote:
    With the correct equipment you even are able to hook up two 30" screens!!

    I have seen it done myself - the result is quite...

    ...big!



    No it's simply not big - it's HUGE!!!

    I currently work with two 19" screens and that's absolutely enough. I could imagine myself to work with 21" or even 23" screens, but two times 30? I don't know how you even can use that!
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    illuminatus_07

    [7]Jul 15, 2006
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    dju010 wrote:
    _Islander_ wrote:
    dju010 wrote:
    With the correct equipment you even are able to hook up two 30" screens!!

    I have seen it done myself - the result is quite...

    ...big!



    No it's simply not big - it's HUGE!!!

    I currently work with two 19" screens and that's absolutely enough. I could imagine myself to work with 21" or even 23" screens, but two times 30? I don't know how you even can use that!

    * mouth waters at the thought of two 30'' screens *
    Are you kidding? The possibilities are endless!!!
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  • Avatar of _Islander_

    _Islander_

    [8]Jul 16, 2006
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    dju010 wrote:
    _Islander_ wrote:
    dju010 wrote:
    With the correct equipment you even are able to hook up two 30" screens!!

    I have seen it done myself - the result is quite...

    ...big!



    No it's simply not big - it's HUGE!!!

    I currently work with two 19" screens and that's absolutely enough. I could imagine myself to work with 21" or even 23" screens, but two times 30? I don't know how you even can use that!

    Oh I don't use it myself, I've simply seen it done in an Apple shop. I have one 19" screen, and that's pleanty huge for me.
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  • Avatar of dju010

    dju010

    [9]Jul 16, 2006
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    illuminatus_07 wrote:
    dju010 wrote:
    _Islander_ wrote:
    dju010 wrote:
    With the correct equipment you even are able to hook up two 30" screens!!

    I have seen it done myself - the result is quite...

    ...big!



    No it's simply not big - it's HUGE!!!

    I currently work with two 19" screens and that's absolutely enough. I could imagine myself to work with 21" or even 23" screens, but two times 30? I don't know how you even can use that!

    * mouth waters at the thought of two 30'' screens *
    Are you kidding? The possibilities are endless!!!


    Sure.
    But think about it. When you sit in front of them, you can't see everything. You can only see what is on one screen. When you use two 19" screens like I do, you see about 90% of both screens.
    Sure you can have so much cool things in such a system, but you always work on one and then take a look at the other screen. That's what I tried to say with my first post.

    And of course, if I could afford it, I would buy it immediately!
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  • Avatar of 123home123

    123home123

    [10]Jul 16, 2006
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    I tried out a 2-monitor setup for a brief period. I had just bought a new monitor so I decided to connect both monitors. It's problematic if you're using the monitors for gaming because the space in between the monitors is directly in front of you. Same thing applies to movies and videos. Even if you have thin-frame monitors, you will still have that "line" right down the middle of your view.

    Two monitors would be much better if you're doing research and writing. In this case, two monitors could make your life much easier. You can set up reference materials on one screen, and your paper on the other. Of course, you could get a Logitech mouse with the program switch button instead. Some of their models have a small button on the top of the mouse that lets you switch between programs (like Firefox and OpenOffice/MS Office) in a fraction of a second. You don't have to move the cursor down to the bottom of the screen to find the other program and select it. I just tap the button twice very quickly and I go back and forth between reference materials and the word processing program. The mouse doesn't take up additional desktop space like the 2nd monitor would and it uses a lot less power.

    It's pretty easy to set up two monitors--as long as you have the proper graphics card. You should also have a relatively modern CPU (processor). Most modern cards from nVidia and ATi have dual video outputs. I have always had nVidia cards so here's what I know about them. Using the nVidia software, you can easily switch the view on both monitors. They can show duplicate images or they can show the same image stretched across both screens. You can play around with the display setup. I'm sure ATi has very similar software.

    As for my experiment with 2 monitors, after a few weeks I realized that on most days I didn't even bother turning on the 2nd monitor. The novelty had worn off. After a couple more weeks, I decided that I could put the desk space to better use, so I sold off the old monitor.
    Edited on 07/16/2006 9:32am
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of _Islander_

    _Islander_

    [11]Jul 16, 2006
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    123home123 wrote:
    Of course, you could get a Logitech mouse with the program switch button instead. Some of their models have a small button on the top of the mouse that lets you switch between programs (like Firefox and OpenOffice/MS Office) in a fraction of a second. You don't have to move the cursor down to the bottom of the screen to find the other program and select it. I just tap the button twice very quickly and I go back and forth between reference materials and the word processing program. The mouse doesn't take up additional desktop space like the 2nd monitor would and it uses a lot less power.

    Alternativly just use alt+tab - quickest way to work
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  • Avatar of minimax34

    minimax34

    [12]Jul 18, 2006
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    I'm not really in need of new monitors! I have the New Imac duel 2ghz 20" :d
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  • Avatar of 123home123

    123home123

    [13]Jul 25, 2006
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    _Islander_ wrote:
    123home123 wrote:
    Of course, you could get a Logitech mouse with the program switch button instead. Some of their models have a small button on the top of the mouse that lets you switch between programs (like Firefox and OpenOffice/MS Office) in a fraction of a second. You don't have to move the cursor down to the bottom of the screen to find the other program and select it. I just tap the button twice very quickly and I go back and forth between reference materials and the word processing program. The mouse doesn't take up additional desktop space like the 2nd monitor would and it uses a lot less power.

    Alternativly just use alt+tab - quickest way to work

    Alt+Tab works but it requires you to contort your hand in an awkward position unless you use one hand to hit an Alt button and the other to press the Tab button. It's ok to use on occasion, but I find that it gets problematic if I have to use that button combination over and over.
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    dju010

    [14]Jul 26, 2006
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    I don't think so. You press alt with your thumb and tab with your ring finger, the hand is placed a bit further to the left, than usual, but I don't see any problem in that. Well I admit, I use the keyboard whenever possible, copy, paste, even in th explorer window. I think it just takes too long to move your right hand over to the mouse
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    _Islander_

    [15]Jul 26, 2006
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    What, Home? Have to agree with dju010 here, though I personally use my thumb for alt and my middle finger for tab. I've got big hands, I'll admit, but the buttons are what, 3cm appart? Thumb on alt, whichever you like on tab, and your laughing.
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  • Avatar of 123home123

    123home123

    [16]Jul 29, 2006
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    It's probably because I have a small keyboard tray that slides out from underneath the main part of my desk. I've found in the past that if I use Alt+Tab over and over, I tended to contort my hand into an awkward position, unconsciously. It's not a big deal to do it on occasion, but when I'm working on a guide, I switch back and forth between programs very frequently. (I keep track of submission stats and pending submissions on an OpenOffice document.)

    I find the program selector button on the Logitech mouse easier to use because I already have my hand on the mouse so I don't need to move over to the keyboard and look for Alt and Tab buttons. It breaks my concentration and I like to get things done as quickly as possible.

    No matter how I arrange it, when I try to use the Alt and Tab keys at the same time, it puts my thumb in a very awkward position. I try to keep my hands hovered over the ASDF and JKL; keys so that I don't have to look at the keyboard when I'm typing. Again, part of my habits to make my computer tasks go more efficiently. I'm always looking for little shortcuts here and there to help me get through computer tasks more quickly. For example, the BBCodeXtra extension helps me to add hyperlinks, text formatting and font colors in just a second or two. I get the precise control of manual coding and the ease of use of the WYSIWYG Editor (which I turned off because of all the strange little bits of code it adds automatically).

    Anyway, whatever works for people is ultimately the best thing and there's no "correct" method for switching between programs. I've just found that the program selector button helps me avoid the unnatural contortions when trying to use the Alt+Tab combination and it lets me switch back and forth between programs in a fraction of a second without having to move the cursor down to the bottom of the screen and break my concentration or lose my place on the page. If I have to move my arm to use the two keys comfortably, I have to reset my hand over the keyboard, something which breaks my concentration and causes a minor annoyance. As I said, I like to be efficient and get through computer stuff in as little time as possible (without shortchanging the accuracy of any submissions or edits I make). When I'm particularly busy at work, I don't have much time to spend here so I'd like to get through all the necessary tasks (guides) and social activities on the site (blogs and forums) as quickly as I can. That way I won't neglect the guides or my friends, and I can still get some time for sleep and other "real-life" activities. I know all this only saves a little time, but when I'm working on a guide, I like to move at a pretty rapid pace while guarding against errors. The fewer minor interruptions, the better.
    Edited on 07/29/2006 7:18pm
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  • Avatar of akdorsey27

    akdorsey27

    [17]Jul 31, 2006
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    On my laptop I can hit the atl button with my thumb and tab with my index finger but their alot closer than on a desktop.
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