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If you ever had two monitors on your desktop computer, and that could include your laptop when it is on the desk, you “would never go back”.

First of all, the only thing you need is a second video card, which today often comes with new equipment and can be added to older machines.

So, let’s say you had two 19 inch monitors, not so very pricey today. Your dock could rest well out of the way on the far left and leave you the full use of the remaining 37 inches.

Most of us multi-task on the computer – we type a letter but need some facts, so we bring up a related document and layer it on top of the first. Then we need to use the browser to find a name or story to illustrate the point we are making and perhaps use Wikipedia to confirm some aspect.

In genealogy, we need our family database open, and then we (1) search the Internet, (2) e-mail a cousin, (3) run a Register or Ahnentafel Report, (4) and so on.

In tracking stocks, we open a spreadsheet and then open the browser to obtain price or earnings data.

Well, you get the point the screen gets pretty crowded. But with two screens you have 37 inches of territory left to manage, not 2 inches. Try to afford a 38 inch monitor. Not so bad as I said with two 19 ones. And of course they could be any other size.

How, you say. Well, the Operating System recognizes the two monitors and permits you to drag a display from one screen to the other. Or it will expand to cover all 37 inches if need be, and often you do require just a bit more than one screen will handle.

I have never done a time/motion study, but I would guess my productivity went up 20-30% when I bought the second screen years ago.

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