2009-11-30

Ways to Use Your Screen Real Estate

Ways to Use Your Screen Real Estate

Using the following tools has worked well for me to add functionality and solve problems. Some funky configurations were required to get them working the way I and you might like for them to work.

High resolution monitor that you can't drive using your laptop.
MaxiVista - allows a desktop to drive the high resolution monitor and the laptop to control it and place content on that monitor.
KVM and Multi Monitor software
http://www.maxivista.com/

Can also use RealVNC to control the remote computer. Provides the KVM control feature but does not allow for displaying laptop windows on the high resolution monitor.
RealVNC
http://realvnc.com/


Want to have your screen saver turn off your monitor without having to go into power saver configuration.
MonitorOffSaver
http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Skrommel/index.html#MonitorOffSaver

Want to shut off your monitor and don't have a power button - for example on a laptop.
PushMonitOff
http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Skrommel/index.html#PushMonitOff
Uses Shift-F1 to power off the monitor. On the remote machine I set it to Ctrl-F1 so can shut that one off in Remote Control Mode, did not work when both use Shift-F1 as the key is intercepted by this program before MaxiVista can pass it on.

Or just run whatever commands you want as a screen saver
RunSaver
http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Skrommel/index.html#RunSaver

Extra multi-monitor features and task bar support for multiple monitors.
UltraMon
http://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/

Virtual Desktops
VirtualWin
I tried many and this one was my favorite for usability and not loosing windows and minimum strange side effects (also tried - Reflection Virtual Desktop ,Vista/XP Virtual Desktop, and others)
The Reflection Vitrual Desktop was great but does not work with more then one physical or virutal monitor since instead of virtual monitors it really creates a virtual sized large monitor.
Check out the modules (KvasdoPager - but only shows primary display) and extra icons sets (I like 3x2)
http://virtuawin.sourceforge.net/downloads.php


MaxiVista Version 3.0.28 - Extra configuration information
In the era of green most people have the monitors power off, not display pretty pictures from webshots.

MaxiVista has a few features useful in the Misc. section. One selecting "Disconnect secondary PC when" and select "Current session is locked" instead of the "Always keep MaxiVista activated" option. This will result in the features in MaxiVista that are preventing the Secondary PC from powering off the monitor to do so.

In the "Power related settings" where you would expect the feature that allows powering off the secondary PC monitors there are some features that might help as a word around.
MaxiVista behaves differently in "Extended Screen Mode" and "Remote Control Mode" for these features and expectedly so. Quick explanation, when in "Remote Control Mode" the keyboard and mouse events are being sent to the secondary PC. In these cases the secondary PC will power off the monitor when no events occur for given period, events on the primary PC are not seen by the secondary so it will do its own thing. In this mode the "Prevent hibernation/standby on secondary PC" will keep that machine from going to sleep by turning off that setting on the secondary PC until disconnection occurs. In "Extended Screen Mode", the same is true and it is important to understand that no keyboard or mouse events are going to the secondary PC and just the full size window showing the display coming from the primary PC is visible. To prevent the monitor power off or the screen saver from coming on in this mode

I also find that MaxiVista does not always find the clients when they come back from Stand By mode, so just restart MaxiVista on your primary PC.
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