Saturday, January 10, 2009

Screen space with a MacBook

Screen space
nifwlseirff on flickr
I really love my little MacBook, it's really portable (13in and light), durable (aluminium casing), and just so easy to use. Even the keyboard is easy to type on (backlit), although I find it completely wrong to hear the sound from the speakers under my hands as I type!

I was worried that switching to a laptop meant I would have to give up one of my two largish screens, but we managed to get it to work with both! Now I have three screens, with the larger, nicer monitor plugged into the external monitor port, and the second smaller monitor run through a USB video card. There are issues with some applications remaining stubbonly off screen after disconnecting the USB connection, but this is a minor annoyance.

The graphics intensive programs are always run on the non-USB run monitor, so I use that screen for programs or documents that I like to have sitting open for reference. Switching my eyes between the tiny laptop screen and the larger monitors does get difficult when I'm tired (which happens too often!)

I have an overful USB hub under the monitors, because I regularly use too many peripherals and can't be bothered switching cables! I haven't found the best way to disconnect/hibernate yet to fix both the unreachable applications, and safely deal with USB disconnection and power issues. I like to turn most things off overnight and when away from my desk, but the USB hub continues to draw power from the laptop, even if the laptop is hibernating and the power to the USB hub is off. The external drive is also slightly problematic (for Time Machine), although it seems to be very forgiving, it is noiser than I can handle overnight, so must be switched off. I'll figure out the best order soon.

The poor cats got split up, and there are regular fights over which cat pillow is better. Both are stubborn cats, and they often they end up on the same pillow! Unfortunately, I haven't found a MacOSX replacement for some of my regular applications (like my webcam software...), so the extra webcam (kitty cam) is not being used at the moment.

Completely unrelated, I didn't have notification of comments on this blog enabled! Sorry to those who have posted comments and never received a response! I do get notifications now :-)
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