N Plus One

I'm finally getting my list of things to do with linux that I've heretofore done with OS X down to only a few items. I need to set up xampp for the web development work I use and for hosting my local wiki, and I need to sort out something with RSS reading (which isn't so much a technological problem as it is a fact that I'm majorly behind and disorganized on RSS). Everything else is either a matter of linux programs being a little rough around the edges (pidgin? really?) or additional things that I never could do with my laptop (eg. fileservering for the house, dyndns, etc.)

At the moment, however, my biggest "linux transition" thought is a workflow issue. Basically I'm thinking about how I'm incorporating both a dual monitor setup and a laptop into my workflow. Because of the way that Awesome works there's a sense in which both of my monitors really can function as two different computers. Not to mention the fact that I also have this really rather awesome (and capable) laptop.

My first approach to using two monitors was to put them right next to each other, and I arranged my windows such that I put half of all the tasks on each screen an what I found, was that I used the "middle" half of both screens" almost exclusively, rather than balancing my computing evenly across both screens.

So my second strategy has been to position the screens so that I have a primary screen dead in front of my keyboard, and then a secondary screen on my right at a forty five degree angle. The primary screen has things like writing projects (work, fiction, blogging, research) and my email and IM client on the main screen. Then "refrence" things on the second screen, so like the web browser lives there, my notebook (also a web-browser, but to a local site), IRC and microblogging, and the Calendar app all love over there. I'm not sure that this is totally ideal yet, but it's a good start.

As an aside, I'd love to hear how people with more than one monitor make use of all the extra screen space. Particularly Awesome users.

My second issue/question is that my desk is too small to hold both the new monitors and the laptop, so I tend to have the laptop stacked off to the side and take it down when I want to go in the other room or do something that's still mac-centric. I wonder how people who have two distinct computers (laptops and desktops) deal with and make use of having two computers. The data synchronization isn't an issue, I think I have that pretty well sorted out, it's the work-flow issue. Particularly in a couple of weeks when the computers are functionally equivalent.

Thoughts? Suggestions? I can't fathom that this is something that people, far smarter and more creative than I, haven't already solved. I can't wait to hear it!

Onward and Upward!

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