Archive for November, 2007

Using a third monitor with OSX

November 9th, 2007

It’s been a while since my last post and in the mean time I came across lots of great software. Yet nothing is quite like this one. If I’d been full of praise for Synergy and its properties of controlling multiple desktops (of different machines) at the same time (and place), this newly discovered package takes multitasking another step further. How to add a third screen to an already existing dual-monitor setup? “Buying” a triple-head video card is of course one way to do it, but in theory, it should also be doable by assigning a portion of (real) desktop to be accessible via VNC or a similar remote desktop client. For it to be actually useful, one could find a way to artificially extend (i.e. double the size of) an existing desktop, then view this extended chunk in a VNC client on a completely different machine – whose monitor preferably sits next to your dual-head setup.

And that is EXACTLY what folks at JINX from Germany did. Their ScreenRecycler is an absolutely fantastic piece of software – its drivers allow for a virtual extension of your desktop – in fact creating a whole new desktop that acts as a regular one. After installing the driver, rebooting and launching ScreenRecycler app, the new display shows up in Tiger’s Display Preferences. You can select its size/resolution and positioning against existing desktops:

My setup is a 12-inch G4 Powerbook (64 Mb VRAM) with 1024×768 primary desktop, external 1400×1050 desktop, and a Windows XP machine with 1152×864 monitor and RealVNC (recommended) installed. After starting Screenrecycler (as sort of a VNC server), launch Real VNC client in WinXP, type in Mac’s IP address on a local network…

…and Mac’s third desktop shows up on PC’s own monitor:

Totally awesome. Jinx is definitely getting my dollars for this brilliant piece.

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