I've been a technology journalist for a very long time, and I've seen a great many technological breakthrough during that time. But the problem with having many (maybe too many) years behind you, is that you become somewhat jaded and sceptical. So while manufacturers are evangelising about their latest product or technology, I often find myself sitting there wandering what all the fuss is about. But once in a while a new technology appears that really does make me sit up and take notice, and sometimes that technology really is a new breakthrough.
Samsung's SyncMaster 940UX monitors have done just that, they've made me sit up and take notice, because these monitors represent the most important step forward in display technology since the introduction of the DVI port. You see the 940UX incorporates DisplayLink technology, which makes connecting multiple monitors, digitally to any PC simpler than it has ever been.
First up, if you're not running a dual monitor setup on your PC - why not? I can honestly say that there is no single upgrade that increases productivity more than having multiple monitors with increased desktop real estate. The ability to have more windows open, active and viewable at once, saves a surprising amount of time and clicking. Also, with a dual monitor setup, you can create an large desktop size, without paying through the nose for a large single monitor - plus, you're not having to throw away the monitor you already have.
So, why do so many PC users shy away from dual monitor setups? The simple answer is that the whole process isn't as easy as it could be. Yes, graphics drivers from both ATI and nVidia have come on in leaps and bounds over the past couple of years, and pretty much every graphics card out there will support dual monitors, but taking all the necessary parts and making them work together isn't always so simple.
Actually configuring your graphics driver to recognise both screens, in the right positions, at the right resolution and in the right orientation can sometimes be difficult. And even after you've set your screens up perfectly, you will often find that when you turn your PC on, those settings have randomly disappeared and you're left trying to figure out what went wrong - yes, this has happened to me on several occasions. This is why many corporate or even medium sized businesses have not gone down the dual monitor route - the fear of increased technical support calls, outweighs the potential increase in productivity.