An Almost Perfect 2×23" Rotated Monitor Setup, Oct 31

Well, after being bitterly disappointed about the recent wrinkle in my 2×23″ rotated monitor display grand plan, I’ve got a workable and near-perfect solution. I now have both monitors working in portrait mode (giving a screen resolution of 2400×1920), with one keyboard and mouse that works across both … thanks to this article at Lifehacker and Synergy. In essence, my PowerBook powers the Apple Cinema display and my Toshiba Tecra M4 Tablet powers the Philips 230W … and Synergy makes it appear as one extended screen. The one thing lacking is the ability to drag windows between the screens. Copy and paste across the screens work … just not window dragging.

Some of the other options I looked at and discounted were:

  • Digital Tigers SideCar for the Mac … it might have worked, but at US$1299 plus postage I didn’t want to run the risk of not being able to rotate the monitors once it arrived.
  • A MacPro from Apple. Staff at my local Apple computer store had never heard of others doing what I wanted to do (am I really that strange?), and the sales staff hadn’t even seen the screen rotation controls in System Preferences. Grrr. And it is unclear whether both DVI ports on the MacPro support rotation, or merely one thereof.

So in conclusion, it definitely works, I’m 90% happy with it … for 100% perfection I think the answer is a 15.4″ one of these paired with a 30″ one of these (with screen resolution of 2560×1600). Maybe next year … (hey Ben, I’ll take mine for my 35th birthday rather than Christmas!)

UPDATE (Nov 2): Kent asked for picture. And also, I changed to powering the second 23″ from my ThinkPad T60, freeing up the Tablet for tablet stuff. The ThinkPad also does 1920×1200 rotated, whereas the Tablet didn’t.

Categories: Miscellaneous