Posts Tagged ‘Dell’


Multiple Monitors


Several months ago I got a Dell Latitude E6400 laptop to replace my overworked Dell Latitude D410.  Along with the laptop I got a new advanced E-dock which included two monitor outputs, so I recycled an old smaller monitor that had been relegated to the stores to have a dual monitor set-up.

I find the two monitor set-up really useful and I frequently have different applications in different windows as you might expect.  However I struggled with Excel as I would frequently want to copy data between large format spreadsheets and I would have loved to have one on each screen … but they simply opened as child windows and I Alt-Tab’d between them.

I guess I never really stopped to think about it, but one day my subconscious kicked in and I realised that if I chose not to open the files directly I could open multiple instances and then open a file in each.  Then each instance of the application can be dragged to a different monitor.  Hey presto a spreadsheet in each window.


Chrome OS as Laptop Fast Boot Option


We have a number of E-series Dell laptops in my organisation and whilst we don’t configure it many have Dell’s Latitude On installed.  This is a small Linux install that gives quick read only access to things such as recent mail, calendar and even a web browser.

With the advent of Chrome OS and after reading a recent article on LifeHacker by Gina Trapani it struck me that as well as dedicated Chrome OS devices there may be an option to boot from an onboard chip (like Latitude On) to effectively allow an alternative quick boot for a machine.  Now whilst the supported hardware list is not currently extensive hardware manufacturers can use the fact that Chrome OS is open source to create appropriate drivers.

Whereas Latitude On allows access to stored mailboxes, using Chrome OS would obviously relate to accessing content located on Google servers with regards to things such as mail or documents.  So would this be a step forwards or backwards?

Well for me I think it will be a progression.  There’s maybe another year or so of development to get to this point and by then the cloud, Google and Chrome OS will no doubt have progressed.  I think the maturity of the Chrome browser a year down the line and the fact that it will be ‘geared’ to working with Google services could be a big selling point for the Chrome OS in this sort of deployment.  I expect it will be faster and perhaps prettier (in GUI terms) to other quick alternative boot options.

I wonder how quick Chrome OS would be on a dedicated chip on a fast laptop as opposed to a netbook?  Hopefully I’ll get the chance to find out.