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Subject: Re: FLASH: Multiple-monitor systems (long)
From: Frederico
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 03:08:47 GMT

On 1/21/00 7:08 PM, unique via uniqueatptd [dot] net, said:

>I would like to know whether any of you regularly use more than one
>monitor when
>working with Flash, and, if so, how you organize your work environment.

(from an earlier post)
For myself, on five monitors (lower=17, 20, 17, upper=15, 15), I have the
primary stage on the center screen, the tool palletes, libraries,
resources, output inspector, etc, on the left screen, and the timeline
editor on the right. On my upper monitors, I have the browser windows
open for previews, so I can see the finished product in both IE and NN at
the same time. If the project has more than one movie that I need to see
at a time, instead of tiling, I can move them up to the additional
monitors, if the timeline is especially complex, I can rearrange as
needed to spread the timeline editor across the two on top, or the three
on the bottom, as needed.

Not only does this arrangement offer more space to view items without the
need to constantly mouse around bring this window or that window forward
(carpal tunnel stress, repetitive injury stress, additional neck and back
and arm stress, simple frustration) , but it also further reduces delays
in heady projects due to screen redraw times of large image files. It
also allows you to keep multiple monitor profiles via ColorSync, which
lets you simulate varied monitor quality/type/size, without constantly
changing the depth and resolution of your primary monitors, which can
lead to progressive degradation issues of your VRAM and produce
artifacts, screen redraw issues, etc.

Now, I could go on for a dozen paragraphs about how I have
AppleScript-automated browser switching to allow preview in all versions
2-5 for webpages, how it shifts to three versions of VirtualPC
(95/98/NT), and allows preview in all the Wintel versions, IE, NN, Opera,
etc, the fast switch to WebTV emulator, Lynx emulator, etc, easy
incorporation of content creation tools (Flash, Freehand, PhotoShop,
MediaCleanerPro, Quicktime, etc), into GoLive or DreamWeaver, but all
that is just the obvious (IMHO) evolution of alpha-testing your work in
as many simulated environments as you can before you send it to an
interim server to beta-test on genuine hardware.

Further advantages to two and three monitors is having your auxillary
apps open in background, either to the left or right for easier
comparisons, drag'n'drop, etc, such as Freehand, Illustrator, PhotoShop,
Quicktime editors, GoLive, DreamWeaver, FireWorks, etc.

You also gain a tremendous amount of real estate for posting PopUp
windows and DropDrawers for fast access to common resources.

Also, when you are new to a program, running through onscreen tutorials
is almost tollerable by having the tutorial open on one screen, and the
application on another, or when you need to access help files, or when
you need to view a project outline, so you can read and do at the same
time, without having to print and collate a manual.

More benefits roll on, such as displaying System monitoring tools like
Peek'a'Boo, Purge, CPU temp, network activity, disk activity, instant
message windows, email browsers, video conferencing windows, resource
folder popup windows, etc, all in background but still in view while you
do your work.

Much of the above is exceptionally handy when you are trying to
troubleshoot faulty application behavior, and, for us, corroborating on
projects via telecommute, also employing Remote Access, so that users can
share/view screens across TCP/IP, and video/audio conference at the same

The benefits roll on, such as sharing the monitors, mice, drawing tabs,
trackballs and keyboards with additional Macs, Wintel and Linux boxes, so
that you don't have to repeat like-hardware and setup space for your beta

Anyway, the bottom line in any profitable enterprise is productivity,
i.e., getting the most done in the least amount of time, so that you can
earn the most and relax more (and don't forget reduced physical and
mental stress, and the associated costs). Our studies and experience
show that productivity is increased by as much as 130% in many functions
just by having a second monitor, and, while each additional monitor
doesn't return nearly that much productivity, it never stops adding
benefit. If you consider an average hourly rate of $75, and weigh that
against the $100-$300 required for each additional monitor (used v new,
including video card), and factor in an increase in billable production,
it only takes a week or two, a month at most for each new screen to pay
for itself.

Remember, you don't have to spend $1000 on each extra monitor, and you
don't have to get a $600 video card to drive it. In the beginning, the
idea is to create more workspace for simple things like tools and and
resources, thereby increasing production and reducing stress and
frustration. As you become more profitable, you can spring for better
cards, better monitors, etc, but, you will always want at least one cheap
piece of crap monitor and slow card around to reflect what the majority
of low-end users will be seeing your work with.

Finally, as I said this here once before, I'd take two decent 17"
monitors, or even two good15" monitors over a single 22" monitor any
day, because you get more pixels, more real estate, and more flexiblity
to alter display to your needs without disturbing your primary work space
or preview space.


~ If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread,
they can sure make something out of you.~

-- Muhammad Ali

Think X

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