See Double By Design

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN


I’ve been thinking of installing a second monitor on my desk so I can simultaneously view two pages of a spreadsheet. But I’m not sure whether my computer can accommodate such an arrangement, and I don’t know how to find out. Also, is this a job I can do myself, or do I need to call in a technician?

I believe your decision to go with a dual monitor arrangement is wise. You’ll find they will make your work proceed smoother and faster. In fact, if you have a laptop in addition to a desktop, you can link the laptop monitor to the desktop instead of buying a new monitor. And, yes, it’s easy to do it yourself.

Before you can install the second monitor, you need to check whether your computer’s video card can handle it. To find out, click on Start, Control Panel, Display and the Settings tab. If your computer is capable of running two monitors, you’ll see two boxes with numbers—a 1 and a 2—on the screen (see screenshot below).

If only one numbered box appears, your desktop computer will need a new video card. If you want to buy it online or you need more details on how to set it up, do a Google search with these words: Windows XP Display Adapters for Multiple Monitors and DualView .

Adapters are easy to install in a desktop PC. Follow the instructions that come with them, and be sure to discharge your static electricity by touching a metal object before you open the computer cabinet.

When you’re done, restart the computer. It will automatically detect the adapters and install the correct drivers.

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