Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.
Maxivista review
Posted on 26-Sep-2004 20:48 by M Freitas | Tags Filed under: Reviews


In the last few months I've been involved with some coding for Geekzone and other sites we run. Suddenly we needed a server capable of handling ASP .Net, SQL Server and multiple domains for our in-house testing. I thought of buying a new computer to perform this role, but that would be overkill - a machine running Windows Server 2003, up 24 hours a day but used only a few hours - and for testing only, since the production servers are provided by a hosting company. Overkill, or overspending?

I decided to try Microsoft Virtual PC, and it actually works very well. After installing a virtual machine and configuring Windows Server 2003, I figured I only needed more memory on my desktop. An additional 1GB RAM did the trick, and that costed me way less than a whole new computer.

But the real estate space on my screen was getting a little bit too costly - I could only run so many programs before having lots of windows overlapping, and having to move things around.

The solution could be a second monitor, but that would require a new video card - and again that would cost. And again software came to the rescue. I tried MaxiVista, a software solution that allows another computer in my network to be used as a second monitor. Since I have a laptop available here that would be ideal.

Installation is very easy: the program is small and sits in the System Tray. From it I can create a client program - and the client incorporates a Unique ID, so it can only connect to my computer, and my computer will only accept connections from clients spawned from the server program. Once the client is installed and running on the second computer, it'll behave like the Windows dual display solution, but without involving any new video card, cables and monitors. Very handy - and clean.

The MaxiVista server can automatically locate a client on the network, but there's an option to manually enter an IP address. The instructions also cover very detailed firewall configurations for users with this type of software (or the new Windows XP Service Pack 2) installed.

Maxivista options
Easy to use configuration options

The desktop turns into a virtual widescreen desktop, thanks to a virtual video driver installed by MaxiVista. As you can see in the screenshot below, the right half is my native desktop, the left half is the extension. When you move the mouse over the border it will automatically move to the next screen. You can move programs from one to the other, and even have a program split in between then (check the photo below). It's great if you want to drag-and-drop contents from one window to anoter, while having both in full scree at the same time.

Maxivista multiple monitor desktop
The virtual desktop created: left side will show on the second computer

Interesting enough, if I have programs completely on the left side, as soon as I terminate the MaxiVista connection, these are automatically repositioned in my native desktop. Shortcut key combinations like WindowsKey-M to minimise all programs will work with MaxiVista, and only one taskbar is available - in my native desktop.

In my usage I've placed the Microsoft Virtual PC window running the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and a browser open with my work on the rioght side, while using Visual Studio .Net and other programs on the left side. I even place the laptop on a stand so the monitors can be at the same height.

Maxivista on multiple monitors: laptop and desktop
Note the RSS reader split between the monitors

At US$49.95, MaxiVista seems to be a great money saving idea for users with multiple computers, in need of a multi-monitor solution. Use that old dusty laptop for something useful! The developers' website contains some tips about upcoming versions, including the ability to broadcast the desktop contents (that would be great for training or board meetings - no need for costly LCD projectors!), and multiple desktop clients making it a huge virtual desktop. You can even find a video (only 700KB) showing the program running with three laptops, and windows being moved between these monitors.


More information: http://www.maxivista.com...




comments powered by Disqus


Trending now »

Hot discussions in our forums right now:

Homeless in NZ
Created by Fred99, last reply by mattwnz on 26-Jul-2017 00:16 (223 replies)
Pages... 13 14 15


Maori Seats
Created by Pumpedd, last reply by Batman on 25-Jul-2017 19:47 (262 replies)
Pages... 16 17 18


Begging for petrol money around service stations
Created by LesF, last reply by MikeAqua on 24-Jul-2017 15:18 (50 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4


How to upload a pic to GeekZone?
Created by geekIT, last reply by coffeebaron on 25-Jul-2017 19:36 (22 replies)
Pages... 2


Goodbye Spark $11 movies it looks like.
Created by old3eyes, last reply by Yabanize on 25-Jul-2017 21:45 (21 replies)
Pages... 2


Fibre Outage Browns Bay
Created by ronw, last reply by darylblake on 26-Jul-2017 10:31 (18 replies)
Pages... 2


The President Of The USA: Donald Trump
Created by Coil, last reply by Sideface on 26-Jul-2017 09:54 (4905 replies)
Pages... 325 326 327


Water leak under concrete driveway: how to find / repair without ruining driveway
Created by timmmay, last reply by timmmay on 25-Jul-2017 13:31 (37 replies)
Pages... 2 3