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After it had been sitting on my desk for over a week, I finally decided to hook up the little gizmo I got to attach a second (Dell) monitor to my Windows 7 computer through a USB port. It is essentially a patch cord that has a monitor connector on one end and a USB plug on the other end.  So if your computer only has one monitor plug, you can still attach a second monitor to it via a USB port.

I’ve got two computers, a Windows 7 (play) computer and a Vista (work) computer which share my wide screen monitor, mouse and keyboard via a KVM switch, which not only saves space, but means I can have both computers on and switch from one to the other on the fly.   I already had a little gizmo I got so I could attach the Dell monitor to my Vista (work) computer via a USB port.  However, now that I’m not working for that company any more, and don’t have to deal with the three ring software circus it took to do their work, I decided I wanted to attach my Dell monitor to the Windows 7 machine.  Simple, I thought.  I’ll just unplug the monitor from the Vista machine and plug it into the Windows 7 machine, and all will be hunky dory.  Guess again.  The Windows 7 machine couldn’t “see” the second monitor, because that little gizmo doesn’t work with Windows 7.

So I got this new gizmo, which works on Windows 7, Vista, and Windows XP (as well as Intel MAC OS and Linux), so now, I can plug the Dell monitor into whichever computer I want to use it with (including a laptop, if I had one).  Also, if I understand the documentation correctly, I can also plug any VGA compatible HDTV into my computer as well (which would enable you to download movies and watch them on an HDTV instead of your computer monitor).

This new gizmo came with software on one of those half/size CDs, which will play on most CD and DVD drives.  So, I slapped that sucker into my DVD drive and whoops! — It didn’t occur to me that if my computer (and thus my DVD drive) was standing on end instead of laying flat, the tray wouldn’t be able to center the CD.  I closed the drive tray and the CD fell off the tray and down inside the drive where I couldn’t even see it, never mind get it.  So, I had to completely disconnect my computer, take it out of the cabinet, and lay it flat, hoping that the CD would fall back into the tray and I could get the durn thing out of the drive.  I hooked up the power cord, the monitor, and mouse, and thankfully, when I ejected the tray, there was that little CD.  I was able to center the CD in the tray, close the tray, and download the drivers, and then remove the CD.  Now I had to put the computer back in the cabinet and hook everything up again.  But, once I got it booted back up, it picked up and identified the second monitor, and the rest was a piece of cake.

I’ve got the monitor array set up as “extended” which means my desktop stretches across both monitors, so I can drag and drop windows from one monitor to the other.  I’ve dragged Word over to the Dell monitor so when I work on my writing, I can open my browser in the wide screen monitor without covering up my Word window, or have two Word windows open and drag one of them over onto the wide screen monitor so I can see them both at the same time.

On the writing front, I’m getting to a point in a particular story that involves a Valkyrie and her wolf. (BTW, Valkyries don’t ride horses, winged or otherwise.  That’s a misinterpretation of a literary device called a kenning.  “Valkyrie steed” is a kenning for “wolf” –wolves are attracted to battlefields, as are ravens, for obvious reasons, as both will feed on carrion.  What better mount for a chooser of the slain?  In this case, the Valkyrie’s name is Gunnr, (“war, battle”) and her wolf is named Hrimnir (“hoarfrost”).   I delved into my music library and came up with some mood music.

The first song, “Heiemo Og Nykkjen,” is in Norwegian, which works, but the other two are in Finnish (Sami?).  Never mind.  I like the sound of them. Call it artistic license.