Reasons to have dual monitors

If you had two monitors, what would you use the extra desktop real estate for? Joe Rosberg has some ideas -- try them at your own risk.

In a recent blog in which I wondered about TR members’ most common desktop support issues, I made a passing comment about how a user request for dual monitors might be one of those less serious ones, even suggesting that it might have been made in jest. Several TR members disagreed, and they reminded me that such requests might not necessarily be so frivolous.

After giving it some thought, it occurred to me how often I might even benefit from having dual monitors. Multitasking is something we all do, so why not multi-monitors? It's often called Desktop Real Estate, and the more you have the better, right? Well, assuming that you’re willing to give up some of your physical desktop real estate, which might be just as scarce, there is some merit to having two monitors.

Assuming that you decided your cyber-desktop was the more valuable piece of real estate (which in my case, it’s not -- a nice piece of oak desktop that I don’t want to clutter up even more), what are some of the reasons to justify having dual monitors? Here’s a short list that I started.

  • Sharing data between applications is becoming more common.
  • Two programs running, both with full screen.
  • E-mail program open in full screen mode.
  • Effectively work in two views of the same thing; for example, a plan view and a 3D view of a building design.
  • It could accommodate some sort of video conferencing, especially if having another application open is necessary.
  • ..........


  • Keep an eye on your TechRepublic contacts so you know when they’re online. The discussion forums do double as an online chat room, don’t they?
  • Keep a streaming news channel open so you know when to post a comment about the latest political news in the TechRepublic off-topic discussions.
  • Keep the online tabloid site open so you’re privy to the latest and greatest weird news; then you can start an off-topic discussion about it.
  • Out of the corner of your eye, watch a DVD of that old movie you’ve wanted to watch for years. Then post an off-topic discussion about your favorite old movie.
  • Be the first to see the new Friday Yuk in the off-topic discussion forums.
  • ..........

The two lists could go on and on!