I have a cat, which I think I can now let out of the bag.
DisplayLink (who, quite rightly, seem to be the darling of CES at present) have started demonstrating the Mac support for their video-over-USB technology.
I’ve been using it for a few months, and while the performance isn’t up to that of the Windows drivers yet, it’s quite usable. Here’s a photo I took in September of my 4-screen MacBook Pro setup.
You’ll notice that the DVI connector is not in use in this shot. Normally, at present, I’m using one DVI screen and one USB screen, giving three screens in all.
As we’ve always said, pixels are like broadband – they’re addictive. Once you’ve had them, you don’t want to give them up. A friend pointed out that this makes complete sense – displays are the network between your computer and your brain, so having a lot more of them really is like upgrading to a broadband connection.
And no, before anyone asks, I’m not sure when the Mac drivers will be generally available!
Congratulations to Patrick et al…
You know that you can solve this need for more monitors by just getting OS X Leopard, it now has Spaces which will emulate this up to 16 times. Cool Technology though. Good luck with the process.
Spaces is cool, but it’s a poor imitation of the real thing – space!
I remember my 4-screen Linux workstation back in 2001, even the Mac Final Cut Pro guys with the 23″ LCD were wicked jealous. Dual buffers on an AGP card and 2 PCI Matrox cards, running Xinerama..
But if you could put 3D acceleration into an inline widget (like USB headsets have inline sound chips that have drivers on the host computer) and wire them directly into, say, VR goggles or any number of display devices, that would be super l33t.
This is good news. I’ve been lately considering getting a digital Triplehead Matrox to take advantage of the two Dell 2407FPW I’ve got. My Linux box is plugged into both, but the Macbook Pro can only use one of these. You are so right about pixel real estate, and having to use less once you’re used to more is hard. Although I must admit for actual writing, unplugging the MBP from any external screen can focus the mind better!
Note that an announcement went out today about Mac support. It will be available in March and will work with all DisplayLink powered hardware for up to four screens. Kensington are showing a dock and an adapter at Macworld as well.
[…] is still a novelty there is, as John Naughton points out, a lesson here. In a different context Quentin Stafford-Fraser comments ‘pixels are like broadband. Once you have them you don’t want to give them up’. And […]
[…] with your Mac, you'll be pleased to hear that a company called DisplayLink is busy working on video-over-USB drivers. The drivers are already working, but apparently need some more tweaking. We will, of course, let […]