This may seem like a strange thing to get excited about, but I cannot believe the amount my productivity has gone up since I installed a second monitor this afternoon.
As I believe I have expressed in previous conversations, I am very hesitant when it comes to technology and the amount of extra work that comes with learning or relearning how to use newfangled things. I am quite aware that the idea of the dual-monitor is not a new idea. My boyfriend has had a dual-monitor set up for his gaming for going on three years now. But I have continued to trudge along at a snail’s pace when researching and typing notes on a single screen.
Until this summer I was working with Windows Vista, which I absolutely loved. I loved the ease of use and I found it extremely well designed. I also loved my Toshiba Satellite laptop that I purchased before beginning University in 2009. That laptop survived having a large Chai tea with two milk, two sugar, dumped accidentally into its keyboard in March of first year. It survived until this summer when I finally decided waiting an hour for a computer to boot up was slightly ridiculous. So I sadly began my search for a new computer, I really didn’t want to buy another one, I didn’t want to learn a new operating system, I didn’t want to back up all my files and move them to a new, barren computer. You may find this dramatic but I really hate buying new things, I suppose that is why I love history so much. I love the story that comes with antiques or hand-me-downs. Alas, a computer is not something that can be handed down anymore.
After weeks and weeks of trips to stores comparing the brands, options, and capabilities, I finally decided on, you guessed it, a Toshiba Satellite. This one however is 4 years newer, half the weight and 2 inches smaller which really helps avoid the constant back pain. The downside is that it came equipped with Windows 8 which I still do not understand fully. I will be on one page, accidentally move my hand and I will suddenly be looking at my photo albums. I miss my Windows Vista. It only took me 4 years, but I knew exactly how to use it.
Yesterday I began my very long list of readings for the upcoming week. Usually I print the readings off in very tiny font, two pages to a sheet and double sided, to get the most out of the paper. I was confronted with a problem, a lot of my readings were from websites where it was very difficult to copy and paste and edit down to my usual set of specifications. So I had to come up with a way to make it easier to make notes while reading without having to flip back and forth between word and the webpage and periodically losing where I was in the jungle that is Windows 8. I remembered I had a small flat screen my dad bought me in first year and with my new computer’s specifications there shouldn’t be any problems hooking it up. After a lot of rummaging I finally found a VGA cable and hooked up the screen. I changed the input on the flat screen to VGA and the screen came alive!! However, it was the exact same image that was on my laptop, slightly anti-climactic. I fiddled around with the settings and FINALLY found the option for Devices that led to “Second Screen”. I cheered! I chose the option to extend the screen to my flat screen and with that, I cheered again!
Then came getting back to my readings. I was amazed with how seamlessly I could move from reading to note taking without even losing my spot. I cannot believe I didn’t think to implement this sooner, it is the greatest technological advancement that I have mastered by myself within the last little while and I be happier. Hence this very optimistic post.