There are some things in life so monumental that you’ll always remember where and when you were when you first discovered them. Ask your parents where they were when we landed on the moon or when JFK was assassinated. For me? I will never for as long as I live forget the first time I saw double monitors live and in person.
Like most innovations, my engineer friend, John, had them at his house way before I knew I needed them. Engineers are a crazy sort, always on the cutting edge with sprinkled madness. He was rendering things in CAD while typing, watching “People Falling Down” videos while typing away to his team dreaming up bridges. I had so many questions, namely, why the need? At the time I was ignorant with my one monitor desktop. I was still in college and the single monitor had never failed me. As a creature of habit, I was weary of learning something new.
Needless to say, I had not yet tasted the sweet fruit that is the double monitor life.
Fast forward to starting my first job. By any standard, it was a great first job to have for someone in my field. At this point, I had yet to have my own double monitor, but when I got to my workspace, there it was. A thing of beauty – two monitors, side by side.
It was like the Renaissance met the Enlightenment! I could edit one document and create an entirely new document right beside it. Who knew you could read email and respond in a different window? If I wanted to play some Wilco on YouTube while writing a quarterly report, I could do it without having to change tabs. Since then, I advocate like those campus preachers. Rather than damning people to hell for masturbation and fornication, my crusade for a world where everyone is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which I equate to having at minimum, two computer screens to work on.
I’ve been at my new job for four months. Between my increased responsibilities and traveling across many a country road, I haven’t had nearly as much time to write as I’d like. When starting, my boss let me know he’d be ordering me a new computer. “Good shit,” I thought. I’d never had a new computer. I’ve had many shitty computers, varying from some cobbled-together functional computer to something James Cameron salvaged from his visit to the Titanic.
So when the day finally came and my new computer got delivered, I was pretty fired up. The friendly neighborhood IT guy installed it, but I noticed something devastating: only one monitor. Living the double monitor life is like having sex without a condom for the first time; once you know what it’s like, it’s hard to go back.
He must have seen my disdain. Personally, I think he was trying to avoid having to set up another monitor as the one monitor that came with the computer was pretty large. Having none of that, I told him it was essential for my life to have two monitors. For whatever reason, he gave me some piece of shit garbage little monitor. To rectify, I quickly “traded away” (pillaged away from another computer) to get a more suitable screen. Not to be outdone by simply angering me, he set my main monitor on the right side like some kind of bullshit joke. Everyone knows the main monitor goes on the left.
In the end, it all worked out. I’m fairly certain he kept my new mouse and keyboard, because my R,T, and Y keys sometimes stick from the previous user spilling who knows what in there. I’m not really one to cause a stir or create problems, but I’m definitely not about to go back to some archaic times of only having one monitor at my disposal. If I had to pilfer a monitor, so be it. I’ve even heard of a majestic, uncharted world that has three or four monitors, but I’m pretty sure those are rumors like El Dorado or Stevie Wonder not being blind. Maybe one day I will work in this world, but for the time being, two monitors is the kind of office life I want to live. Double monitor is love, double monitor is life..