Tuesday, December 28, 2004


I just received a new machine at work (AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2.2 GHz 1 GB RAM). Its main purpose is to be a Windows build machine for my current project, but I'm also using it for my day to day development work as well, because it is really fast.

I've become accustomed to using two monitors. My laptop and a 21 in. Sony CRT. I love high resolution so I run my laptop at 1600x1200 and the CRT at 1920x1440. However, the new machine put me in a dilemma: how do I use the new machine but still have two monitors.

First thing I tried was using Window's Remote Desktop to connect to the new machine from my laptop. However, Remote Desktop is limited to 1600x1200 and I wanted 1920x1440. So next I tried various versions of VNC (UltraVNC, TightVNC-unstable, RealVNC), but they where all too slow at 1920x1440.

Jason suggested that I try Win2VNC.

What does Win2VNC do? From the website: "This program will let you use two screens on two different computers as if they were connected to the same computer." Run a version of VNC server on one machine and run Win2VNC as a client on another. When the mouse moves off one screen it appears on the other allowing you to control both machines using the same keyboard and mouse. You see the updates on the actual machine's display. Its kind of like having a KVM switch that is triggered by the mouse moving off the screen.

The only problem that I found was that the mouse wheel didn't work. However, using this version of Win2VNC fixes that problem.

Of course, now I have two machines capable of running two monitors. All I need now is some more monitors. :)


Eric Burke said...

Thanks for the reference. Using multiple monitors is like owning a DVR -- you just don't know what you are missing until you try it. Having only one monitor is such a drag on productivity for me.

Justin said...

Multiple monitors can be nice, but if I had to choose between two smaller monitors and one 24 inch 1920x1200 monitor, I would always pick the latter. I've decided this is the minimum required size for software development. :)
Btw, I run this size at home and connect just fine to my mac mini and older Athlon 64 3400+. (My main machine is a new Core2 Duo 6700 running Vista.) Remote desktop, at least the latest one, is not limited to 1600x1200.