Instructables

Using a computer with one monitor, but multiple screens.

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Having worked as a technician at a college doing computer support, I could tell some war stories. One of the things that really concerned was how resources were used. As a taxpayer, it really concerned me. For example I would have to set up four monitors on one computer. The cost of the monitors and the additional equipment required in the computer for the monitors to work at that time was over a thousand dollars. Now multiply that by at least twenty or more users times several campuses and you are talking quite a bit of money. I want to show you how to have just one monitor, but have the advantage of several screens to eliminate the extra expense, There are times when additional monitors are needed, but that is an exception. Ironically at least one of the monitors usually was just displaying the game of solitaire.

Note: you will want to have a recent machine with a good video card and plenty of memory. . The screen does not artifact like the picture. Just a quirk of the screen shot module.


 
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Step 1: Normal screen

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if you look down in the right hand corner of you screen you will usually see the workspace switcher and the trash. On my system I have moved it to the top panel. If you right click on the on an empty space on the panel you can add and remove. If you right click on the workplace switcher it self, you can change the settings like I have from two workspaces to four.

In the first screen is a typical desktop. with the mouse pointing to the switcher. It is empty because we do not have any windows open. In the second screen we have moved to the second workspace (just by clicking on it. ). Firefox was loaded and you can see a small image in the switcher to indicate that. In the third screen, we have moved back to the first workspace where no applications are open.  But Firefox is still open. You can tell that because the Firefox image is still shown in the workplace switcher.

So you can tool around the workspaces pretty easily. But I want more.

Dick Holman2 years ago
Most Linuxes have supported multiple workspaces from the start. I think it's a feature of the UNIX system as well, but I'm not sure, or it's because Mr. Thorvalds or the nice people at GNU Foundation wanted to have a more flexible system.

It makes many tasks so much easier, just a keyboard shortcut from screen to screen, & the Compiz Cube in particular makes all my Window$-victim friends jealous when they see it! :)
Computothought (author)  Dick Holman2 years ago
Most system have windows and I like to say mswindows instead of just windows when talking about Microsoft products. I'm sure that Mr. Torvalds would get a kick out of your spelling of his last name.
kalicharan2 years ago
can u mail steps to get it on ubuntu

charan.k87@gmail.com
Computothought (author)  kalicharan2 years ago
For what it is worth. Actually compiz is already installed you just have to install the manager to activate it. Not knowing what version of ubuntu you have this may work.
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1776629
Computothought (author)  kalicharan2 years ago
This install was on ubuntu. when you go to the package manager, just click on anything about compiz and (or emerald) then install it. Just that simple. The only issue might be an incompatibility with the video card you have.
HMBeck3 years ago
Spaces on mac!
Computothought (author)  HMBeck3 years ago
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1624
I love it! It is one of the most useful features of having a mac.
alexw21503 years ago
If you do Ctrl-Alt-(arrow key) you can switch between screens really easily.
Computothought (author)  alexw21503 years ago
Cool. Your right!
alexw21503 years ago
My computer doesn't do the 3-D one, it only does the slider one. Help please
Computothought (author)  alexw21503 years ago
What are you using?
What what; computer version of Ubuntu?
Computothought (author)  alexw21503 years ago
Ubuntu has had it for several versions. been around a while now. should be in the repos unless it is an older version that is no longer supported. I am running 10.04.
Ok got a different version and it worked
Computothought (author)  alexw21503 years ago
Cool.
Piranio3 years ago
Why can not Microsoft do something like that?
Computothought (author) 3 years ago
They now have multiple port video cards which makes it easier. I have done the multiple monitor thing with XP also using generic cards, but you have to have a machine with lots of slots. Those systems are becoming rarer. I do agree about users with ego trips in having to have multiple monitors.
caitlinsdad3 years ago
Four monitors on one PC a while back did cost a lot because of the special video cards and graphics drivers to do it. It was usually reserved for high end graphics or those workstations needing multiple windows open on the desktop. That functionality is now built into most operating systems, at least double monitor support if your hardware supports it. I recently tried Ubuntu and the KDE or is that GNU interface has native workspace switching. Most "power users" that have dual monitors or more, one with solitaire open, think that they are "important" and want to show it.