Stop thinking about the lack of extra monitors and get on with your work. Also, Mac and windows have the desktop switch flick trick on the trackpad so use that to your advantage.


Yeah I just have two different mental modes. One when I have my big screens, one when I’m fully portable. It’s a limitation, accept it and adapt.


Exactly. And not only that. I’d say extra monitors are more confusing and inefficient. I have 9 virtual desktops, and I can switch between them instantaneously, faster than my head (plus my eyes refocusing) would do.


> (plus my eyes refocusing) You might have an extreme case of badly placed monitors


Oh never thought about that. The thing is the laptop is further away and smaller fonts compared to the main screen. Would that need to be same screen at same distance? Every time I force myself to try more than one monitor I end up being frustrated and use just one screen only after a couple of hours.


You should be able to adjust the scaling for the laptop monitor, having monitors at different distances is doable but needs some extra fiddling with scaling


If you’re using a MacBook and have an iPad you could use Sidecar. Used to be you’d have to get an App to do this. Pasting link with minimum system requirements. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210380


Sidecar is awesome


I second this.


you can do this with a windows laptop and an android tablet too, the app you need is called spacedesk and it works really well https://www.spacedesk.net/


This is why I wish all these VR/AR businesses would be taken over by its developers instead of its marketing people. How is an AR desktop not the killer app? Does some do-nothing giant own a key patent or something? We could have an AR headset that gives you infinite screen area for existing productivity apps like coding and other design/engineering tools. But no. We got VRChat and useless toys. Everybody is so busy trying to create a closed ecosystem and proprietary SDK so they can own the entire stack: hardware, OS, apps, and services. And they're failing at it, blind to the potential - addicited to the idea of hooking people in with social media crap. They don't think it's worth doing at all if it's not going to net them FB/Twitter scale user counts and subscription or licensing income. I just want to sit on my couch at home, or desk at work, or in my car, or at a friend's, and run all of my familiar software unobtrusively overlaid on my natural field of view and a little translucent. I want to run my code editor with 8 panels at IMAX resolution with web browsers, terminals, and anything else I can already use on a desktop PC floating off to the side ready to be repositioned with a gesture. I'll bring a mouse and keyboard with me - they weight 2 pounds and can jack in with USB-C or bluetooth. I don't want a fully immersive video game environment. I don't want a whole new suite of badly designed proprietary software designed for an "experience". I don't want to pay a subscription cost or log in to your sketchy cloud service. Just let me buy an AR headset that physically or wirelessly connects to a standard computer and lets me put standard desktop apps in my scene wherever I want. Sell me that hardware then kindly screw all of the way off. If, later on, you manage to develop a fun game or some really cool new 3D interface for productivity software, I'll consider buying it as a separate cost and treat it like just another app. Just build this and take my money. I'll pay thousands of dollars for something that does what I'm asking for. If it exists *as I have described* somebody tell me and I'll buy it right now. EDIT: [Lenovo ThinkReality A3](https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/thinkrealitya3/) ($1500) and HoloLens ($3500) appear to be allowing the closest thing to what I've described. Lenovo's has some pretty aggressive system requirements on the PC.


For me particularly this is a nope, VR produces me headaches with just 15 minutes usage (I have visual problems), so, I'd rather use my secondary mindset for single monitor situations ![gif](emote|free_emotes_pack|grimacing)


This is actually the real issue. VR/AR has not come along to the point of us being able to use it for extended periods without becoming physically ill. Even healthy people become visually strained and nauseous after less than an hour often and that's even after a year of use.


Game development is the precursor to all other development. Because AR isnt necessarily financially viable, only those with an intrinsic interest in the field develop for it. So these games are all passion projects. And turns out, the talented nerds working in AR just aren't as passionate about making another code editor. Also, I'm pretty sure your view of AR is nowhere near achievable yet.


I don't want them to try to author an AR code editor. My point is really that we already have excellent code editors - I just want to use them in AR. I want one of these AR companies to build an AR environment that just lets me place a rectangle in the scene and populate it with any of the millions of standard desktop applications developed in the past 30 years. It seems to me that it would be far easier than developing a game. Hell, it could just be a VNC or RDP or X client. A genuine Chrome browser would be fine too - there are implementations of those in JavaScript. It seems like these businesses are avoiding it for a reason I cannot fathom. This should have been feature zero and would be useful to AR developers themselves - being able to use their familiar development tools in the AR environment. My assumption is that there must be some patent or licensing concern in play. Maybe it's a threat to their app store aspirations... I don't know. You could be right about the tech. I don't know. I have not seen a product that makes me want to use it because all of them lack this entirely reasonable feature. Is text rendering bad? Is the virtual resolution too low?


This! I was exploring Horizon Workrooms today with my son and while I see the potential of it for how I work, the current implementation is laughably basic.


Portable monitors


Tbh they doesn't seem very reliable to me. Have you used them? If yes, do you know any recommended models ?


I have an AOC 15' and I wouldn't use it for any workflow that requires accurate colors but for coding apps scripts etc it's golden.


Have used them, they fit your need and they're acceptable for programming, just go on Amazon and buy the one with the best reviews (screens out the crappy ones pretty well).


This. It's pretty easy to find a 15" portable that fits in your backpack along with your laptop and power supply.


I keep seeing mini projectors in my Facebook news feed - you wouldn’t need anything powerful, just something you can point at the wall from close range and get a 30” image.


That's a good idea!


Depends on what kind of travelling you do. If you are doing long stays, like a few weeks/months, then buy a used monitor through classifieds (craigslist, fb marketplace, offerup, etc) for something like $50. Donate it before you leave. That way you can keep it at your home base (hotel/airbnb) and still travel light.


I use Sidetrak. I take it with me EVERYWHERE. A portable monitor that I've had zero issue with whatsoever.


Lots of virtual desktops and command tabbing


Can’t work is a strong phrase. I love extra monitors, but you get used to working with just one. As mentioned, tablets as second screen. Going to co-working spaces that provide extra monitors


Is there a way to maybe connect to most modern TVs to use as a temp monitor? Most hotel rooms or work buildings have a TV somewhere.




if you have an extra 1500 bucks burning a hole in your wallet, you can get a quest pro and have all the huge virtual monitors you want


Haha, I think that would be fun though


I didn’t work with a second monitor until recently and by then it was nothing by a minor convenience (laptop screens are tiny but with spaces, it’s not really a big deal to me). Sidecar is a solid option though.


Laptop setup for me is emacs as ide (has built in windowing and functions like it's own OS. Then I just desktop switch into my 2nd desktop with browser. Granted I'm still bootcamping so maybe there are reasons this won't work moving forward. It's good for me for now though.


Two monitors is just convenient but it might be a distraction for some people, my Lead just uses one screen cause he was one of those weirdos that got distracted by multiple screens


For many years I relied on 2 screens but in the last 6 months I’ve just been using my laptop without an external monitor. What helped me was using various workspaces, I use a MacBook so I can swipe on left and right with 4 fingers on the touch pad to go between workspaces. This lets me layout apps in their own workspace (unless 2 windows are relevant to each other) and I can swipe between my workspaces (because I keep the same order I know that where left/right will take me). Windows has a similar workspace/virtual desktop thing It also helps to learn keyboard shortcuts as it makes switching between apps a lot quicker such as Cmd+Tab (Mac) / Alt+Tab (windows — I think!). You could even setup custom shortcuts to go to certain apps And lastly I use a utility app called Alfred which is an extended spotlight, but it has this clipboard management tool so I can scroll through things I’ve copied — this reduces the need to switch between applications to copy and paste things because it’s often in my clipboard already, so open the clipboard, type a couple letters of the snippet I’m looking for then scroll through the options and hit enter to insert. You can even save snippets of regularly used text and access them with a different shortcut, this can be super useful for coding in general, on 1 screen or 10 — there are similar clip board managers but if you’re on Mac I highly suggest Alfred!! Edit: Another thing on Mac I want to suggest is Yoink — it’s a little overlay where you can drop files and text snippets into, it sits on the side of your screen (customisable position) — makes it easy to gather a bunch of files from one application (it clones the files doesn’t move them) then swipe to another application and drop all your files to upload. This saves me sooo much time it’s crazy Edit 2: Favour native applications over web apps because it allows you to switch between them. So things like google mail or slack or something, rather download the desktop app than use the web app in a browser tab


Portable monitor. Love it.


Obviously not at all a solution available to everyone, but I have a 17inch laptop, which makes life significantly easier. I can comfortably have multiple windows open and multitask.


IPad Pro


Use your browser’s responsive view to make your tiny laptop screen seem huge.


I use a [portable monitor](https://www.amazon.com/s?k=portable+monitor&sprefix=portable+%2Caps%2C160). Not very useful in the airport/when you're actually on-the-go, but once you find a hotel or cafe, it comes in handy.