Commerce Thursday

In keeping with my hit or miss tradition of recommending crap that you should buy, here’s my next installment of Commerce Thursday… roll the theme music.

The first two items are software. At some point in the future I’ll do an in depth discussion on how my use of multiple monitors makes me happy, if not more productive. In the meantime, here are two multi-monitor pieces of software that are NOT open source or free but you should go spend your hard earned dollars on them.

  1. MaxiVista - do you have two computers and wish you could use them like dual monitors on one computer? Maybe do a little remote control of one desktop using the other keyboard and mouse? If so, use MaxiVista.
  2. UltraMon - If you’re running multiple monitors, either through MaxiVista or without, you need UltraMon. UM helps you manage desktops images, have a toolbar on each monitor, send windows from one desktop to another, etc. Blah blah blah buy it. Trust me. I have multiple degrees and a white lab coat.

I’d get off my lazy duff and do a screencast or movie or something, but MaxiVista already did a YouTube video. Good for them!

They really should give me a kickback. I bet I’ll drive ones and ones of buyers to their site. Hey, I loved them both so much I bought the companies blogged about them.

In my opinion if you run MaxiVista you really need UltraMon as well. This is especially true if you run 3 monitors. With MaxiVista and 3 monitors I have noticed that when the screen saver kicks on, the monitor settings tend to get messed up. I find myself having to go into Windows video setup and move the relative position of the monitors around. UltraMon does a pretty good job of making sure that icons don’t run away, settings don’t change, and generally things behave right. About once every few days I find myself having to restart MaxiVista, but before UltraMon I had to restart MaxiVista 3-4 times a day.

And last, but not least, da beer. You seeing a trend here? Two data points makes a trend for me!

Trader Joes 2008 Vintage Ale - Picture from Flickr

Trader Joe's 2008 Vintage Ale - Picture from Flickr

Yet another beer from Trader Joe’s. The 2008 TJ’s Vintage Ale brewed by Unibroue.  FWIW, Unibroue has always had my admiration for best brewery name. I always picture a Belgian guy with a single heavy eyebrow across his forehead and a mustache laced with beer foam.

I liked this beer so much I bought a case! I now call TJ’s ‘the liquor store that sells groceries’ at least I think they sell groceries. I’m generally filling boxes with wine and beer.


  1. Kevin says:

    I found out (the hard way) that MaxiVista is not so Vista friendly. If your host machine is running Vista it requires you to roll back your video drivers to the XPDM versions or it simply won’t work (by design). You can run Vista on the secondary machine with no problems though.

    Another compelling reason for me to just roll back to XP at work too.

    Thanks for turning me on to the app; it’s great.

  2. J DeLong says:

    That’s a really good point, Kevin. I have not tried the use case you just described. I did try something whacked and was surprised it worked: you can take a two headed machine, run two instances of VMWare on it, and spread the monitor of a third machine across the two virtual displays. Not efficient, but it worked.

    One note about running maxivista on a Vista client, you have to run the maxivista software as an app and not as a service. It’s a vista security issue, and that’s cool.

    I need to do a more complete review of MV and try all these odd configurations. I’ll add that to my idea list.

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