Multiple MonitorsRecently, we wrote about an Alaskan company that’s coming out with a dual-screen laptop. Actually, you can make your own laptop or desktop display two screens without ever going to Alaska. You can have dual displays with Windows XP, Windows 7, the Mac and Linux.

Here’s how: Plug in a second monitor. In Windows 7, click your mouse’s right button on the startup screen, and choose “screen resolution.” From there, choose “multiple monitors” and “extend these displays.” Another choice is “duplicate these displays.” In the Mac, go to “System Preferences” and choose “Monitors.”

At first, one of the two monitors will most likely just show your computer’s regular start-up wallpaper screen, basically just a blank. Using your mouse, put the cursor on the title of one of your open windows on the other monitor and drag it over to the blank monitor. Viola! as they say in fractured French, two monitors, each with a different display. You can drag as many windows over as you want.

We did this with a laptop and it worked fine. But we don’t like laptop keyboards. (Who does?) So we plugged a second, larger, keyboard into one into one of the USB ports on the laptop. By the way, if you run out of empty USB sockets on any computer, buy a “hub.” This adds extra sockets. They’re cheap.

If you feel lost in any of this monitor switching business, go to the computer’s “Help” menu. You’ll find it by clicking “start,” and then “help and support” in Windows. (Mac commands are always similar.) Then type “multiple monitors” into the help search box.

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