When I turned my office into a spare bedroom, I bought a 15” TFT screen so the computer would take up less room, now that it was only going to be used for frivolous things like surfing the net. Following the example of a couple of people in my office, I decided to hook up my redundant screen to my brand new PC at work in addition to the screen I already had there. Of course, when I say "I", I mean "someone else who’s kind enough to help me out". I’m not particularly technically minded, but I’m exceedingly good at identifying other people who are. So lovely Rikki installed a Matrox dual DVI graphics card on my computer, tweaked a few things, plugged cables in various places, and voilà – one PC, two screens!
I’m really happy with the result, especially as the display on my main LCD screen is a lot sharper than before (something to do with the digital cable). I always work on several documents at the same time, plus the Internet for research purposes, and having two screens means that it is a lot easier to switch between documents. I’ll normally use the main screen for the document I’m working on, and the other screen for any reference document, website or glossary. I highly recommend it, quite apart from the fact that it is a great way of making the most out of an unwanted screen.
Cnet gives a quick description on how to add a second monitor to your computer. If you, like me, work on a Dell computer with a graphics card built in with the motherboard, things aren’t quite so simple. The driver for the new graphics card must be installed in safe mode to avoid a conflict with the old driver. Once this is done, the old driver can be disabled (not uninstalled!). And you’re off !
Working with two screens
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