Around three years ago, I bought a new graphics card for my PC. I think the old one had set on fire or something, I forget the specifics. As with any piece of hardware, there were numerous extra cables that didn’t seem to do much at all, and I was about to throw them all back into the box, never to see the light of day again, when my friend handily pointed out “That one is for adding a second monitor”.
I’d seen people using multiple monitors before. Once at my cousin’s work, there was a guy using six screens in a 3×2 formation. It was ridiculous, but I still looked on in awe. Realising I had a spare monitor in a cupboard somewhere, I thought hey, why the hell not.
Since that day, I have never gone back. Whenever I now use a computer that has a single monitor, I sigh constantly and become frustrated. How am I meant to compare two full pages at once? Switching windows is for big losers. If you’re a games journalist, let me explain to you why you need to go dual.
My left-hand screen is my work screen. I have my Thunderbird email taking up the left half, with Tweetdeck on the right. I always type on the left screen too, as it allows me to have Firefox up on the right screen, and take in everything at the same time. I also have my taskbar on the left screen, so essentially my right screen is solely for internet browsing and game playing.
It sounds so simple, but it makes my work feel so much more streamlined. I can drag crap onto the left-hand screen that is distracting me – such as MSN conversations, emails, etc – and hide it behind Thunderbird until I feel like taking it out again. I constantly think about getting a third screen, but then always remember that 1) I don’t have the space and 2) let’s not be stupid.
You need a second screen in your life – you won’t believe how you’ve managed to survive without it.