Ever since I started using a dual monitor set up at home (two 19″ Samsung LCD monitors), I can’t live without two monitors. When I started my new job here, they gave me a fairly beat up old laptop. Which is fine, I can cope with 15″ to look at. The bad news was the max resolution is 1024×768, which I stopped using a number of years ago.
So I brought in my own 17″ LCD to use in conjunction with Windows XP’s fancy “extend my desktop” feature. Combined with Realtime Software’s Ultramon, makes for an excellent workspace (even at different resolutions.)
However, I found something that comes in handy as well. If you’re off to a meeting, and can only bring your laptop (and not the second monitor), don’t use the “disable secondary monitor” option in Ultramon. What I’ve started doing, is leaving it enabled while I’m off with the laptop. Why? Easily, to cause less clutter.
Windows XP still thinks you’ve got a second monitor attached, as does Ultramon. With some handy keyboard shortcuts (I’ve got mine set up as Control + > and Control + < to move windows to the other monitor), you can still dump programs you’re not using to the other “monitor”, even though it’s not connected. This allows you to easily move things you don’t need in front of you, to clear up your one (less than optimal resolution) monitor. Handy little trick, if you’re stuck with just a laptop.