Three Screen Development

Three Screen Working

So this week I got my new machine set up, and have joined the prestigious ranks of three screen software developers. Having said that – it’s not quite the arrangement that Bill Gates has, in that it’s two machines driving the three.

The laptop is pretty obvious on the left, and the primary screen for my new machine is on the right. The screen in the middle is connected to both the laptop (via a VGA cable) and to the new machine via a DVI cable, so I can switch it between the two machines depending on what I’m doing. As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m using Synergy to tie the whole lot together, sharing a single keyboard and mouse, and linking the clipboard on the two machines. It’s not quite as convenient as having all three monitors on a single machine, as you can’t move windows between all the screens, but it is still pretty useful.

Generally I have my e-mail on the laptop screen, and then develop on the two larger screens. This actually threw up and interesting case of ‘to clever by half’ from the graphics card in the new machine. I had the smaller screen on the right plugged into DVI socket number 1, and the widescreen monitor into DVI socket number 2, but it helpfully decided that I really wanted the higher resolution widescreen monitor as my primary screen, and swapped them over in software. Eventually after some digging around I found the relevant settings to switch the right hand screen back to being the primary monitor, leaving me able to swap the centre screen between the laptop and the new machine as required.

Incidentally, with regards to the Vista experiments, the new machine is still generally running Windows XP, primarily because our companies chosen anti-virus software is currently not Vista compatible.

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