Let’s start with the visual…
This new monitor configuration keeps popping up the engineering team and after walking into enough offices thinking, “Useful or flashy?”, I decided to give it a whirl.
The basic usage pattern is unchanged. The left screen is for the active workspace whereas the right screen is the palette screen — utility windows like calendar, Twitter, instant messaging, and stickies which require a glance now and then, but aren’t playing in the primary workspace.
After getting over the initial shock of the verticalness of the right monitor, I have the following thoughts:
- The windows you see on that monitor are unchanged in terms of shape from the original configuration. They tend to be tall, narrow windows which means they fit perfectly on the rotated monitor and they have new room to grow.
- While this screen shot doesn’t show it, the vertical monitor is a great space for scads of semi-translucent terminal windows. MmmmmmmMMm Terminal Windows.
- That’s the stand of the monitor jutting off the right hand side of the picture. I haven’t looked at how it’s attached to the monitor to see if it’s non-trivial to remove, but the resulting angle of the monitor leaning back against the bookshelf is, well, pleasant. It’s leaning back more than the primary workspace and it gives the monitor a relaxed attitude.
- It’s likely a result of the new shape, but I’m suddenly feel I’ve discovered the bottom of the right monitor.
You can see the evolution of my desktop as well as my fascination with baseball caps here and here, but it’s more important to understand why you need all these pixels by reading the original Messy Thinking article.