One of my "30 Tech Tips in 30 Minutes" given to the Cleveland County Bar Association Meeting in Norman last week was about the benefits of using two monitors. Law practice technology consultant Hank Ryan was in the audience and he actually gave the best quote, "It’s like power windows. Once you use dual monitors, you’ll never go back."
Two monitors are an incredible productivity tool. Don’t just take my word for it, read this New York Times article on the topic. Windows XP is programmed to accept more than one monitor. Copying and pasting between two documents goes much more quickly when you can have one document on one screen and one on another. Leaving Outlook open on one monitor allows you to glance up to check while waiting on an important e-mail while doing document drafting on the other. There are lots of other benefits.
If you’ve converted to a laptop for your main computer like me, setup is a breeze. Just plug a monitor into the video outlet on the back of the computer (or hopefully the docking station you are glad you purchased) and go to Control Panel, Display to set it up. If you have a desktop computer then you either need to install a second video card or a sophisticated video card with two connectors. Well, that’s what I thought until recently, anyway.
Edmond, Oklahoma lawyer Dana L. Murphy contacted me after hearing this tip at the OBA Solo and Small Firm Conference. She asked if I had ever heard of the Tritton See2 USB 2.0 SVGA Adapter, which I hadn’t. It is an SGVA adaptor that plugs into a USB port. Well, she decided to risk the $89.95 and, after installing the accompanying software, it worked like a charm for her. She noted "I am not a techno-nerd and I figure if I can get it to work, anyone can."
So for all of you who wanted dual monitors, but recoiled at taking a screwdriver to your computer or installing a card, here you are. Try it, you’ll like it.
Oh, and speaking of Norman, Oklahoma, my home town was named #40 in Money Magazine’s Best 100 Places to Live