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Expanding Your Screen Real Estate with MaxiVista

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If you need dual displays on a PC, you can pop in a video card that supports multiple outputs. Laptops, however, aren't as easy to expand in this fashion. Kulvir Bhogal shows you how to set up multiple monitors for your laptop across a network using software called MaxiVista. No new hardware required.
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One of the great benefits of having a laptop computer is that your machine is portable. While the portability of a laptop is a great offering, unfortunately, laptop screens can be quite restrictive. You can’t add multiple video cards to the laptop machine that allow you to run dual-display setups, despite the fact that displaying your desktop on multiple monitors is natively supported by Windows XP, 2000, ME, 98, as well as many popular distributions of Linux. Desktop computers even have the luxury of being able to use high-end, multiple-head video cards, which allow you to run a dual-display system using one video card. In short, it seems that if you have a laptop, then your screen real estate is restricted to the confines of your laptop display. Some high-end laptops such as the IBM ThinkPad T41p natively support multiple monitor display via an embedded second video card, but what if you laptop doesn’t have such a feature?

In this article, I’ll show you how you can establish a dual-display setup on Windows using a software application named MaxiVista. You’ll be able to extend your display without having to do any invasive surgery to your laptop.

Curing Your Screen Real Estate Envy with MaxiVista

MaxiVista allows you to use another PC on your network as an extended display of your primary PC. To reiterate, in order to extend your display onto the monitor of another computer, all that is required is your PCs to be connected on a local network. You do not have to physically connect the monitor of your secondary PC to your primary PC. Also, the appropriate MaxiVista software needs to be installed on the primary PC as well as the secondary PC (i.e., the PC whose screen you want to borrow). With MaxiVista, you can move toolbars and application windows from your primary display across to your virtual (secondary) display as if you had one large monitor. In short, MaxiVista lets you move beyond the confines of your existing display. You can lessen the need to have to have one window hidden behind another because you have nowhere for the windows to go. Rather, you can place your windows across the screen real estate you gain courtesy of MaxiVista. MaxiVista is officially supported on Microsoft Windows 2000/2003/XP for your primary PC. For the secondary PC, MaxiVista can run on Windows 98/ME/2000/2003/XP.

At the time of this article’s writing, MaxiVista was available for a free 14-day trial download. It can be downloaded from http://www.maxivista.com/. MaxiVista’s price is quite the bargain. The application comes in different flavors that are priced differently. I’ll be focusing on the Standard version of MaxiVista.

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