Multiple Monitors or PCs? Check Out These Must-Have Freebies!

Video demo of free software for ultiple monitors and PCsSEO rock star Danny Sullivan wrote about his monitor set up on his personal blog not too long ago. Danny recently joined the dark side and went Mac, purchasing a laptop after realizing he had the only PC laptop at a recent company meeting. He’s sold on the Mac now, but needed some MacBook Pro solutions for his multiple monitor set up in the post.

Since I don’t have a Mac, I didn’t really have any solutions for him, but it got me to thinking about my own computer and monitor arrangement and how well it works for me. And, I have to give a lot of the credit to free software. See the image below for a look at my monitors and the laptop in its stand. Danny’s got a cool three-monitor stand for his screens. I’ll get there.

My laptop and dual monitor setup

Sorry for the image quality, but it’s the best my iPhone could do. ;-)

Here’s quick rundown of my personal PC situation. My main work computer is an HP M9080N PC running Windows Vista. When I purchased it, I decided to max it out on hard drive space, so it’s got 1TB between the two hard drives along with a 700 GB personal media drive and a 160 GB pocket media drive.

My primary monitor includes speakers as you can see. I’m using a Tritton SEE2 USB 2.0 VGA Adapter to power a second monitor, which sits on the right of the main monitor. To the left, I have a Toshiba laptop that is provided by FramesDirect.com, who I work for as their SEO in residence. This laptop is connected to their servers by VPN for Exchange email, access to their control panels, VOIP system, etc. For a while, I had a separate wireless mouse and keyboard set up for the laptop, but as mentioned in my post Share a Mouse with Two or More PCs, using a free software tool by the name of Synergy, I am able to share the desktop PC mouse and keyboard across all three screens by way of IP addresses. It’s almost like having three monitors.

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SMX West 2008 Wrap in Pictures

Here’s a wrap-up of the day by day and some of the sessions I attended at SMX West 2008 in Santa Clara, CA, February 26-28, 2008.

SMX BASH

SMX Bash with Bruce Clay and Danny SUllivan

Bruce Clay & Danny Sullivan (with attractive young woman – sorry, I didn’t get her name!) at SMX Bash to kick off the conference.

Just a shot of some of the folks enjoying the SMX Bash to kick off SMX West 2008 in Santa Clara

A shot of some of the folks enjoying the SMX Bash to kick off SMX West 2008 in Santa Clara.

Great backpack for SMX West 2008

Danny said that there was a lot of discussion over the bag to offer at SMX West, but they came up with a winner. Unlike the totes I got at every other conference I have been to, this one is a backpack with several compartments, totally cool and something I will use long after I leave Santa Clara. Congrats to the folks at SMX West!

Day 1

Danny Sullivan keynote at SMX West 2008

Danny Sullivan gives his take on Search 3.0, blended search, and 4.0, personalized search, in his keynote. Sorry it’s a bit blurry. Taken in the dark with my iPhone.

A pre-session photo of Search Engine Land's Venessa Fox and Sean Suchter.

A pre-session photo of Search Engine Land’s Venessa Fox and Yahoo!’s Sean Suchter.

SMX West Search Bowl

Danny Sullivan quizzed teams from the big four search engines and a team of search marketing all-stars on search history at SMX West 2008 Search Bowl.

The Google team won SMX West 2008 Search Bowl

The victorious Google team took the SMX West 2008 Search Bowl trophy, defeating teams from Yahoo, Ask, Microsoft and the SEM All-Stars. Continue reading

SMX West 2008 Search Bowl Winners – Google!

The Google team won the SMX West 2008 Search Engine BowlThe Search Bowl capped off the first day of SMX West 2008 with Danny Sullivan moderating a search history game show style competition between teams from the Big Four search engines – Google, Microsoft, Ask and Yahoo! – along with an SEM All-Stars team.

Well, as usual, Google kicked butt and took home the trophy.

SMX West 2008 continues at the Santa Clara Convention Center with a keynote address on Wednesday morning from Louis Monier, Vice President of Products at Cuill, a new search engine attempting to set new standards in the filed of search. Monier is formerly with Google, eBay and Alta Vista.

SMX West runs through Thursday.

SMX West Search Engine Bowl

Danny Sullivan SMX West Keynote

Danny Sulivan's keynote at SMX WestDanny Sullivan giving his keynote address at SMX West 2008 in Santa Clara, CA. He discussed the evolution of search from strictly web page results to the current blended results that he refers to as Search 3.0 and the coming Search 4.o, personalized search.

He also gave his views on the current attempt by Microsoft to take over Yahoo (Danny really likes having three big players in search). He also touched on the idea of standards for the SEO industry and how it might be time to revisit the idea.

Sorry the photo is a bit blurry. That’s the best I could do with my iPhone in a dark room.

More sessions to come. I’ll try to post quickies like this as I can with more in depth articles to come after the conference.

SMX Bash Kickoff

Danny Sulivan and Bruce Clay at SMX Bash.Here are a few images I snagged with my iPhone at the SMX Bash which kicked off SMX West 2008 in Santa Clara. In attendance were a number of search celebrities, including Danny Sullivan (who I finally met in person), Bruce Clay, Detlev Johnson, Chris Sherman, Neil Patel and others.

First I got a shot of Danny and Bruce (sorry, I didn’t get the attractive young lady’s name).

The cool SMX West 2008 bag.

Next, I just had to take a photo of the bag that Danny and company came up with for the conference. Rather than the typical tote type of bag that you get at most conferences (and that gets tossed in a closet and forgotten), the SMX West bag is a backpack full of pockets and totally cool! I heard Danny say on a recent episode of Daily Searchcast that a lot of thought and discussion went into the selection of this bag. It’s obvious the folks at SMX West wanted to provide something special and they did.
Thanks guys! I’ll be dragging this baby around for quite a while.

Last but not least is a shot of the SEO crowd enjoying the SMX Bash on Monday night.

The SEO crowd enjoying SMX Bash.

The week promises to be terrific and more than enlightening!