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My Vista Ultimate Upgrade Experience Series - Multiple Monitors and MaxVista

Updated: at 11:17 PM

Series Theme

After going to many Microsoft shows and meetings and seeing all the cool new features in Vista, I finally decide to take the plunge. This plunge started around December 15th, and with all new technologies, the transition has been bumpy for me. My friend Richard Hundhausen who blogs at suggested I blog my experience for everyone's benefit so here we go.

Feedback Welcome

All this Vista stuff is very new to me and I expect I'll get things wrong in my posts. Please please please post comments on these posts with corrections and suggestions.

My Multiple Monitor Problem (MaxVista Stops Working)

Years ago I became addicted to programming on multiple monitors. First, using my portable with a small external monitor, then discovering I could use both the VGA and DVI ports on my portable and have two remote monitors, then finally, after reading a blog post by Scott Hanselman, I switched to using a product called MaxVista which allowed me to have 3 monitors! The other thing that was nice is using MaxVista, I could have just one computer that I used for all my programs and files, my notebook computer. Notebooks had gotten powerful enough and provided enough storage to make this a work well. How convenient!

Sadly, this era has ended for me. MaxVista no longer works with Vista for me. The following posts from MaxVista and Microsoft explain why. Basically, it boils down to the new graphics drivers in Vista don't support this ethernet method of sharing monitors. I hope this changes in the future, but for now no solution.

So, you're probably wondering how I've fed my addiction to multiple monitors? Back to 2 computers. Off to Fry's and about $2500's later, I now have a desktop computer with 2 Video cards and a large assortment of other things including a 2.4 Ghz 4MB Cache Intel processor and a few 10K hard drives. The performance is awesome compared to my Core Duo Acer 8200 notebook, but I do have the hassle of having to move data back and forth between my notebook and desktop as well as having to maintain two copies of the all my software. The Gig network support helps but I have already had some sharing "issues".

The Good News

Just so I can't be accused of being a complainer, I always like to say something good about Vista and how it has helped me. Here are some good things I've found with Vista.