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Turn a Spare Laptop Into a Second Monitor

Adding a second monitor to your workstation can greatly improve your productivity. Take it from me: There's nothing like having your Web browser running on one screen and, say, your word processor on another.

Most desktops (and even laptops) support the addition of a second screen, and the monitors themselves are pretty affordable these days.

Of course, nothing's more affordable than gear you already have--like, say, an old laptop that's just collecting dust in a closet.

MaxiVista is a clever software utility that lets you turn a second PC into a second monitor. As long as both systems are connected to your home network, you're good to go.

This program's been around for years, but only the new v4 release offers support for Windows Vista and Windows 7 (including the 64-bit versions of each).

Most users will probably pair their desktop with a laptop, though you can just as easily configure two laptops, a laptop and a netbook, and so on. The software now supports third and fourth PCs as well.

I put MaxiVista to the test on a desktop system running Windows 7 and a laptop running Vista. It worked flawlessly. Even Windows 7 features like Aero Snap (which, as you know from yesterday's post, I truly love) worked on the secondary system. Very impressive.

MaxiVista costs $39.95. There's a 14-day trial version available, which you should definitely install first to make sure your configuration works properly. I think it's a terrific solution for anyone looking to put an old or unused PC to genuinely good use.

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