I recently wrote about MaxiVista – some software which allows you to turn an old laptop into a second monitor. I still use it at work everyday to get three screens of happiness. However , what to do at home? I’ve only got two screens at home and frankly it makes me sad. As far as I’m concerned three monitors is the holy grail of productivity.
My old Compaq iPAQ was sitting next to my laptop looking at me all forlorn – I haven’t used it much lately, now my phone does everything it used to do, so it was just sitting there using electricity. I thought to my self
“How cool would it be if I could use that as a third monitor”
Yes, this is the sort of thing I think about. Since I only use the third monitor for Getting Things Done, such as my scheduling sheet and my time tracking, the smaller screen would actually do the job. Even Synergy would have done the job, as it would have allowed me to easily edit a Pocket Excel document, and 88 Miles works on PocketPC. Alas, Synergy for PocketPC doesn’t exist (no suprises there).
What does exist though, is SideWindow by Innobec. Seriously, they have created a piece of software that, just like MaxiVista allows you to extend your desktop to another computer – except this time the other computer is you PocketPC! Crazyness.
Now unfortunately my PocketPC doesn’t have WiFi, only Bluetooth so the connection is a little slow (and flaky), but it works! If does discconect for no reason occasionally, but I suspect this is more to do with my dodgy networking hack (I connect my iPAQ to my server via bluetooth and BlueZ, which in turn connects to my laptop via WiFi.).
SideWindow has a screen rotate feature built in, so you can run your new screen at a more natural landscape layout, rather than the less then useful portrait. Obviously 320×240 pixels isn’t really much real estate to gain, so the clever people at Innobec allow you to scale the window to fit more in (right up to 1024×768!) The more you scale the less readable things get – I’ve found 640×480 is a nice comprimise between readability and speed, however if you have a fast network connection you might get away with a higher resolutions.
It’s $15 to buy, and probably isn’t for everyone, but it’s still on of those “Cool” things to show off to your geek friends.