Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It has been a while...

It has been a while since I've posted - so lots of things to talk about coming up. 

For a long time, I've had two monitors at home.  I got them back in 2001 right after finishing the first book Expert One on One Oracle - it was my gift to myself for finishing...  They cost a lot back then, it was a huge investment - but worth it.  They are both still going today (you can see one of them down below on the left - the other is with a friend).  Not only do they still work - but the entire dual monitor concept just changes the way you work (more screen, more stuff).

Two is no longer enough however - now I must have three.  But to get three video outputs was hard in my desktop - and I wanted to be able to plug into my TV to show pictures whenever I wanted as well (easily, not by ripping out the VGA cables and such).

I had been looking at wireless USB connections - but they all seemed slow and low resolution.  Till I hit this one:


IOGear GUW2015VKIT Wireless USB to VGA Kit

It supports up to 1600x1200 and everything lower.  Pop it off the back of the monitor and put it on the TV and voila', I'm using the TV as a monitor.  And - it is not slow, and it was really easy to install - no worries about "did I have a free PCI slot, or was it APG, did I need a half height card or a full size - etc".  Seconds after plugging it in - I had three monitors going:



Linux in the middle :) That is a full screen VNC window to my server - for answering questions and testing on.  I keep my email/status windows on the right.  To the left is the 'windows' screen.  

I'm really liking it.  Until I can figure out how to get more screens of course...

It is amazing how the amount of screen real estate changes the way you work.  I cannot do real work on my single screen laptop anymore - web browser, email - sure.  But trying to write an article/paper and use the database and have the browser and email going - impossible.

Apparently, I need a bigger desk at home...  For the fourth monitor.



Blogger paul said....

Not just more monitors nowadays, but bigger ones. I dream of 3x24" wide-screens. Sure beats the old Apple II with the RF modulator to the TV, or the green screen or my first EGA CRT/Microwave.

As for the bigger desk, 2 words...
"Wall Mount"
On pivoting wall brackets. One flat on the wall in front, 2 angled to either side.

Tue Dec 09, 09:30:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

You could add flat screens on the wall instead of paintings/pictures. After you have finished your work, you can start paintings from Picasso, Dali or xyz to appear on the flat screens...

Wed Dec 10, 02:14:00 AM EST  

Blogger Byte64 said....

No need for a fourth monitor,
you need to move to a couple of 30" Apple Cinema displays running on top of a 8-core Mac Pro

Trust me ;-)

Wed Dec 10, 03:00:00 AM EST  

Blogger Jeff Hunter said....


My word: ouratel (is the telephone appliance next?)

Wed Dec 10, 07:44:00 AM EST  

Blogger Bob said....

I hate to be a killjoy but if everybody has 3 monitors = 3 times the power = not good for the same reason that the planet cannot support the "non-western world" living like the "western world" currently does.
(ducks and dons flame-retardant jacket)

Wed Dec 10, 08:47:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I'm using this with a MacBook Pro, works great (using 2 x 22" LCDs + the laptop's 15" LCD). It supports up to 2 x 1920x1200 or 3 x 1280x1024 (plus the laptop's screen).

Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital

Wed Dec 10, 08:54:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I believe the three LCD's (that standby off within 3 minutes of inactivity) consume a lot less electricity than my 21" CRT of the year 2000 did.

In fact, my three monitors consume about the same or less power than that single CRT did . And given the instant on - it is in power saver mode a lot more than my CRT would have ever been.

20 to 50 watts, compared to 150 for a CRT

so, all in all - I believe I'm using less power today than I was eight years ago...

Wed Dec 10, 08:57:00 AM EST  

Blogger Brian Tkatch said....

Why is the keyboard so high up? Doesn't that hurt your wrists?

I've wondered about having a full window for email. I have tried it, and it is nice, but i don't deal with many emails, making it a convenience, not a need. In your case, though, i'd bet you receive non-stop emails, making it a real time saver.

How many emails do you actually receive on a typical day?

Wed Dec 10, 09:37:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....


the keyboard isn't high up - it is on the desk top. You cannot see my chair - but the arms of the chair are level with the desktop itself - so when typing - I'm sitting up and my arms naturally fall on the desktop...

It is not so much having a screen for email inasmuch as it is a screen for "talking and getting status and other controls"

so on that screen is the weather, a clipboard caching thing, volume control, network usage, calendar/todo list, instant messenger and email...

Middle monitor is Server land...

Right monitor is browser/ word processor/ whatever

Wed Dec 10, 09:43:00 AM EST  

Blogger Kevin said....

What are those long, thin objects sticking out of the top of your yellow coffee mug?
They're too think to be straws, and you wouldn't need six of them!
Perhaps some artifacts of a bygone technology?

Wed Dec 10, 10:35:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....


still have to sign papers for school and write checks from time to time :)

Not a coffee mug - a clay pencil holder "made by Megan" in school some years ago...

Wed Dec 10, 10:40:00 AM EST  

Blogger Kevin said....

Checks, you say? Hmm, I'm trying to recall... did that have something to do with an abacus?

Thanks for the tip, I just got a new TV for which the logistics of getting PC video to it would be challenging. This looks like it could be a solution.

Wed Dec 10, 11:26:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Paul said....

On the occasions when I dont have multiple monitors, I use VirtuaWin, set to three desktops.

Wed Dec 10, 12:55:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Well, monitors may be using less power today than 8 years ago, but 3 monitors today still use more than 1...
That said, you resolve issues for thousands of people and do the work of 10 people, if not more...

So, it's well worth it


Wed Dec 10, 03:14:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Can it work in Europe (not UK) ?

Thu Dec 11, 03:42:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I don't see why it would not work there - it is just a replacement for a VGA cable really.

Thu Dec 11, 05:44:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I thought more of the power (we have 230 volt) :-)

Thu Dec 11, 06:35:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

3 monitors? Whoa! I think it just warmed up here in the UK by 2 degrees... wonder why? How about a switching device? I use one - works fine.

Also, 3 monitors = 3 X manufacturing and transportation costs. Peak oil - we are sooooo nearly there.

It isn't terribly difficult to see why Dubbya received almost zero flak for tippy-toeing away from the Kyoto Agreement.

Thu Dec 11, 09:05:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Rob said....

I'm still looking for the perfect setup. I have thee linux servers running Oracle RAC and two notebooks on my desk.

Now if I could get one kvm switch and three or four monitors running that would be ideal.


Thu Dec 11, 09:25:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Bernie said....

And 1 monitor is infinity times more energy than zero monitors. Anyone want to compare electricity usage of a (modern) monitor with that of an electric car?

No one can save the world by making comparisons in a vacuum.

Thu Dec 11, 10:45:00 AM EST  

Blogger George Joseph said....

I Like to keep the resolution as high as possible in my monitor. It tricks my mind into believing that there is more space on my desktop to keep files i downloaded

Thu Dec 11, 11:18:00 AM EST  

OpenID tylermuth said....

You might want to check out WinSplit Revolution. Works great when dealing with a lot of windows, especially on multiple monitors. For instance:
- ctrl+alt+right-arrow sends the current window to the right monitor.
ctrl+alt+numpad-left-arrow makes the current window take up the left 33%/66% (toggle) of the screen.
ctrl+alt+numpad-right-arrow makes the current window take up the right 33%/66% (toggle) of the screen.

So, it's easy to send windows back and forth, as well tile a few windows on the same screen.


Thu Dec 11, 11:35:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Tom, your desk is entirely to neat and tidy... ;)


Fri Dec 12, 10:35:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

>> Can it work in Europe (not UK) ?

From IoGear product specs:
This product does NOT connect with any other wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cordless phones nor wireless control systems. The product is currently only available in the US market due to the Wireless regulations.



Tue Dec 16, 03:32:00 AM EST  

OpenID tylermuth said....

New Years resolution for you, make it on this gizmodo list. :)

Tue Dec 16, 09:03:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Birdy said....

Sir Tom
Just a thought that struck me... how do you find so much time to blog, answer queries on ur site and work at the same time... does your wife not complain :)
just kidding... keep up the good work Sir
you are doing a great lot of good for us developers

Tue Dec 16, 12:31:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


Your search is over:

IOGEAR MiniView Ultra KVM Switch GCS138 KVM switch

There must be loads of other similar gizmos.

Fri Dec 19, 08:46:00 AM EST  

Blogger Jörg said....

hey, is it right that you've managed to run the iogear guw2015vkit under linux ? If yes, can you short explain how ? Or is it just a boxed Linux you've running on the middle screen, cause i'm not able to see this exactly

thanx joerg

Mon Oct 18, 12:14:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....


that is a VNC display to a unix server running elsewhere in the house - it is not directly connected to a linux box.

Mon Nov 01, 04:47:00 AM EDT  


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