If you ever bother to go to my AOL blog By The Way, then you’ll know that yesterday I gacked up a multi-monitor sort of set-up for here at home, in which my laptop is running two monitors: the laptop monitor and the monitor that came with the new computer I bought as a media server/Athena’s computer (her previous computer’s motherboard zapped itself into oblivion, making Athena very sad), and the they’re both connected to my primary computer by way of a wireless LAN.
However, as I was congratulating myself for my ingenuity, one of the Whatever readers offered another suggestion — a program called MaxiVista, which creates a virtual video card you can use to use your laptop as a second monitor for your desktop computer. I checked it out and after about 30 minutes, I went ahead and bought the software, and now I’m getting what I really wanted, which is a second screen for my desktop computer.
But wait, here’s where it gets really cool (from the dork point of view). MaxiVista does not (as far as I can tell) have the capability to rope in the the third monitor I have (which I was using as the second monitor for the laptop) but while the laptop is running the second screen for the desktop, the third monitor I have is still usable as a monitor for the laptop. So I still have full laptop functionality even when the laptop’s screen is slaved to the desktop. And since you can minimize the desktop second screen on the laptop (thus calling up the laptop’s primary screen), functionally speaking, I get the use of two screens per computer, using a mere three screens. Now I feel like a friggin’ geeeenius.
Aside from being just geek cool, this is very useful for me because at any one time I usually have about 40,000 windows open on my computer. Anything that gives me more real estate to do everything I have to do is okay by me. The only real problem is that sometimes I forget which keyboard I’m supposed to be using for what screen, thus leading to jerky comical movements as I correct mid-stream and lunge for the other keyboard.
Incidentally, this is the point where I throw any pretense of not being a full-on nerd right out the window. All the signs were there, of course: The geek education, the various jobs in the high-tech industry, the writing of science fiction and what have you. But since I can’t actually, you know, code or do math, I never gave myself over to the full geek label. But I think wiring up a threeway monitor set-up qualifies, both as a minimum technical requirement and also for thinking it’s so damn cool. I don’t claim to be a secret master of nerd-dom or anything like that; I know some of them, and I know I don’t rate. Even so, this has got to count for something. Can I be in the geek club now? Please?