November 06, 2005

Information Overload

(If you haven't noticed, there's currently no organization to any of this so I'm just gonna post whatever comes to mind whenever)

I, like most uber PC nerds, am running a dual monitor setup for the plethora of tasks/info that I like to have at my command at all times. Not too long ago, I was running a 17" CRT as my main with my 15" LCD off to the side as my #2. This worked well because I only ever had IRC (I'm in efnet channel #q2zone 24/7), AIM, Winamp and DU Meter running on my #2. On my main screen, the only additional proggies I had showing were Statbar across the bottom and Motherboard Monitor in the system tray to keep track of CPU temps. Times have changed though...

In my IRC hangout, most of the regulars had the tendency to match up hardware. One of us would get a kick-ass piece of PC hardware, then tell everyone else and they'd pick it up as well. The latest that seems to be spreading is the Dell 2005FPW 20.1" Widescreen LCD (with Picture in Picture). Click the link to get details if you want. In any case, it was a hefty jump in screen real estate, especially when you run at 1680x1050 compared to 1024x768 or even 1280x1024. I also ended up adding in some extra RAM and a better vid card (BFG 6800 OC) so that I could appreciate games at the proper resolutions. With this newfound power, I've ended up adding on the proggies. Now, in addition to the old mainstay programs, I'm not also running 2 Konfabulator widgets (Weather and a Sunbird Calendar Reminder), and a Countdown proggie until my girl gets in for Thanksgiving break. I'm also running the Google Desktop sidebar that shows me my gmail, news clips, RSS feeds, has a little built in notepad, 15 second delay slideshow and todo list, all coupled with a google search box. Normally I'm not a fan of sidebars of such size because it would just waste too much space, but since this is widescreen, it seems like I'm still in business with more than enough horizontal pixels to go around, even if 150-200 pixels are taken, I'm not really hindering any normal task. Now let's just recap what all I have on my screen(s) as far as information:

1. ircN with #q2zone on Efnet
2. AIM Buddy List
3. Winamp (when applicable)
4. DU Meter (tracks downloading and uploading...duh)
5. Konfabulator Weather Widget
6. Konfabulator Mozilla Sunbird Calendar Reminder Widget
7. TimeLeft Freeware (Countdown proggie)
8. Google Desktop Sidebar showing
-RSS Feeds for Slashdot, Hackaday, Penny-Arcade and Fark
-Mini-Photo Slideshow
-Todo List
9. Statbar showing
-Time Syncronization
-Ram Usage (w/graph)
-CPU Usage (w/graph)
-HD Quick Viewer/Selector
-Volume Control
-Winamp Controls
-Windows Locks
-Lock Status (Caps, Num, etc.)
10. Motherboard Monitor for CPU temps

And believe it or not, but it leaves me with over 1500x950 free on my main screen for whatever else I'm trying to do.

I know this isn't the best written article ever, but I just find it astounding how much information is visible to me at all times. Is there anyone out there that can beat this much info on screen at all times? Is there anything I'm missing? Post a comment, share the love. If you haven't tried any of the programs mention, I highly recommend them all. Most are freeware, others usually offer some alternative or some nominal cost.


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