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EX1 - Multi Monitor Spreadsheets

This is an area that we are extremely interested in. Not just for ourselves but for our clients.

We think this is going to get very big, very quick. LCD monitor prices are falling rapidly and the quality of the display is zooming. Laptops are already showing up with altered aspect ratios. Big screen Plasmas are still out of the reach of most of us but this will change over time. Most new computers ship with video cards that have both analog and digital outputs. This means a huge number of you can plug in a second flat panel on your existing video card.

A windows screen print of an Excel spreadsheet from a dual LCD display workstation is shown below. The Excel window is essentially twice as wide as a normal single monitor display. Windows sees the second monitor as just the right half of the desk top. You can drag and drop across monitors. In general it’s just like a double wide desktop. Unfortunately at this point there is still a pair of bezels in the middle. This will change. We expect wide aspect monitors to begin cropping up. The price may be initially steep, but like always it will fall dramatically with time. Until then, the divide between monitors is something your eye will immediately adapt to.

Windows XP will support up to 10 monitors on a single workstation! The possibilities for an advanced user interface/workstation are enormous. From our point of view Multi monitors (at least two) is a “no brainer “ for power users.



Dual Monitor Screen Print: Production Planning Tool





















Who wouldn’t like to see Excel up on one screen and the VBA editor up on the other, unless of course you are not an Excel automation type. See what I mean below: same screen print with Excel on one monitor and VBA editor on the other monitor.



Dual Monitor Screen Print : Production Planning Tool (Left) , Visual Basic Editor (right)




















 

If two monitors are good , then why not three?



Look at these triple monitor desktop screen prints from an Excel Web Interactive Stock Selection and Modeling tool. Who says data tables and spreadsheets can't be visually exciting?  We had to make the screen print images smaller so that you can actually see them in your browser without scrolling to the right. Imagine what they looked like full screen on our three 20.5 inch monitor workstation.

Yes , what you are seeing with each print below is a different but single worksheet in a single automated Excel workbook.

The two columns on the left of the worksheet below contain 80 or more stock call letters. Touching any one of those cells with your mouse, causes Excel automation to query the World Wide Web and fill all the other cells and the chart with the latest market information on that stock . It as well, instantly writes the query results and downstream calculated values to an Access database.



Triple Monitor Screen Print : Web Interactive Stock Selection and Modeling Tool - Detailed Web Query Section Exporting To An Access Database











 

The data in the cells below and the graphic chart is actually being imported to Excel live from the World Wide Web.
This is a slight bump up from the beautiful old ticker tape machine shown as a contrasting ornament on the worksheet!!!


Triple Monitor Screen Print : Web Interactive Stock Selection and Modeling Tool- Web Query of Two of Eight Major Model Selection Groups












Triple Monitor Screen Print : Web Interactive Stock Selection and Modeling Tool- Database Query of Modeling Results 










 

Looking Good!!

There is a lot going on here. At true north usa we are starting to sharpen our skills with respect to controlling what you see, and what goes where in this multi monitor environment. We think it is going to be great for people who are always working with charts and data. Now your charts can be on one screen and the data can be clearly visible on the other. With the new NVidia video card software and windows XP, a single user can have up to 8 unique desktops (not displays but desktops). If you have three montiors you can essentially fill 24 virtual monitors ( 8 desktops each with 3 monitors) with applications. They are all available instantly but you can only view one desktop at a time.  You can have desktops specifically arranged for different tasks and/or applications. Shortcut keys allow you to move between desktops. It works amazingly well.

There are a number of hardware vendors focusing on this market. Although pricey, they are quite a thing to behold. No continuous wrap around displays yet, other than DOD type stuff, but if you haven’t seen what’s being offered treat yourself to the following links.

By the way, it has already hit mainstreet. Dell is selling them as a standard offering. See Dell link below.


Stay tuned.

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Phone: 863.676.3248
Fax: 863.679.9254
Email: info@true-north-usa.com
true north usa LLC
225 East Stuart Avenue
Lake Wales, FL 33853-3712
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