Getting more efficient with two screens

I work in multiple programs at the same time. I’ll have Word open, sometimes Photoshop, and always an open window for Chrome and Safari. I only realized today that I should be able to operate two screens at once. My fairly new iMac has what are called Thunderbolt ports, two of them, consequently I should be able to run two external monitors. But let’s just stick to one for now.

At my local Best Buy I found an inexpensive monitor with a bright screen and a brand name I had never heard of: AOC. (external link). But it was only $120 so I wasn’t taking much of a chance. I also bought the necessary adaptor for the monitor to work with an iMac. It’s called a DVI Mini DisplayPort Adaptor and it was around $20. When I got home I found that the box did not include the necessary DVI cable to hook everything up, so I had to go back to the store, spend another $15, and, finally, I got my system working.

Everything came together as soon as the power and monitor cable were connected. I was a little disappointed that the new monitor was brighter than my iMac. So I went into “System Preferences” and discovered that I had my main screen dialed too far down. I brought the level of my iMac up a tad and now both screens match.

It’s nice to work on the main screen with my first task, while having the second screen waits on my different e-mail accounts. In the future I will have a Word document on one screen, while I compose a blog entry on the other. Maybe I can’t write or edit faster, but I can now be more efficient.




Too many years with a one button mouse

Too many years with a one button mouse has kept me from knowing all the terrific features that are delivered by a two button mouse. Picking synonyms in Microsoft Word by simply choosing a word and right clicking is a new, great joy. And invoking a thesaurus at the same time is an even happier happening. Why did I take so long to discover this?

The “Magic Mouse” that comes with an iMac is a single click device. One button. Making it into a two button device is done with software: you enable its two sided function by selecting that choice in your System Preference settings. You then click on the right side of the mouse and voilà! Thanks to Linda Dodge for pointing this out. Now, does anyone need a beat up, hardcopy thesaurus?



Two directions for the internet. And freelancers.

Where are we going with the internet? Google says that it will rank sites higher which have mobile compatibility. Yet all things video continue to lead the internet. Low bandwidth versus higher bandwidth. For freelancers we will have to get used to both. We’ll have to write shorter sentences, shorter paragraphs, and we’ll have to start learning about video. Among other things.

Today I have retired my six year old iMac. It had 4 Gigs of RAM. My new machine has 16 Gigs, enough to do some pretty heavy duty video processing. But why am I doing this? Millennials call us authors “creatives.” That means we can’t just be about writing. Today, we have to be familiar with editing text, images, audio, and moving pictures. It’s called creating content. And it’s what every website owner expects of us. Soldier on.

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