Ideal Working Environment

My Home Office

I have just fine tuned my working environment and have come up with the ideal setup.

OK the monitor heights are a bit wonky but I very rarely span monitors, I like to have discrete items open in each and focus on one monitor at a time.

In this picture I have outlook split between monitors 1 & 2, thunderbird between 2 and 3 and firefox crossing all 3.

Hardware Setup

I have three physical machines, left to right, my work laptop, my RedHat FC5 PC and my Windows XP home PC.

The laptop and the FC5 box have a KVM to I can use both at the same time, this also gives me an easy way to extend my laptops desktop onto the “middle” monitor and use a proper keyboard and mouse.

The Windows PC is just a “normal” singles creen setup.

Software Setup

I have started using the amazing software from MaxiVista to allow me to stretch my desktop over the network onto another PC !

In the setup pictured above, I am running my laptop in a “normal” dual head setup and I am then extending my laptop desktop onto my windows PC and monitor 3. This gives me a three headed setup for my laptop driven by a single keyboard and mouse.

Remote Control

The fun does not end there. Instead of extending my laptop desktop onto my PC I can run the software in “remote control” mode. On monitor 3 I see my PC desktop, but I can control the keyboard and mouse on my PC from my laptop. I simply slide my mouse across from monitor 2 to monitor 3 !

Although I have a keyboard and mouse for each system, I can do everything from one !


It is amazing how much more productive you can be with this setup, having two reference documents open full screen on monitors 1 and 3 and then editing your work on monitor 2 is amazing. However, do beware of having all of those “distracting” applications open: e-mail, instant messaging, rss feeds, I have started to ration myself and only check these twice or three times during the day.

Misc Hardware

Just in case you are wondering:

To the right just out of shot is the hifi, NAS box and two ADSL routers.

To the left behind the laptop is a spare power strip, all the cables, the desk phone charger and the KVM.

At each extremity of the desk is a speaker and under each end is a PC.

Leave a Reply

To respond on your own website, enter the URL of your response which should contain a link to this post's permalink URL. Your response will then appear (possibly after moderation) on this page. Want to update or remove your response? Update or delete your post and re-enter your post's URL again. (Learn More)