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two-monitors ergonomics

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This new fangled multi-monitor thing is the bees knees!! :)  Been using dual monitors since right after Windows 98SE came out. Back then they were these huge 19in CRTs. I had no desktop left.

These days I have two 22in LCD monitors (well there's also a third 17in, but that is strictly for machines I am working on), the main monitor is in landscape, and the secondary is in portrait. I could add more, but I really don't have a need, these serve all the multi-monitor needs I have. The 22in portrait rocks for viewing websites and documents, I can get the entire page on screen (plus a bit of the next page).

I have been using multiple monitors since it was first enabled on macs...a long time ago. I am currently using three monitors on my XP machine; a 22" 1980 x 1050 WS flanked on each side by a 19" 1280 x 1024 4:3 monitor. These are driven by a pair of graphics cards and are mounted to a common Ergotron stand. The center monitor is my main screen and I use Ultramon for a variety of features.

The main thing I have found to help avoid neck and eye strain is to keep the monitors at slightly greater than arms length so that all are within my field of vision. Too close and I have both eye and neck problems. I am experimenting with a fourth monitor (a 37" HDTV) set above and behind my main monitors, but I haven't decided if it is sufficiently useful as yet. I have found that four side by side is simply to wide for me to use effectively unless I push them back so far I can't read them anymore.

I have two 24" monitors and have this setup:
One is landscape and sits right in front like a single monitor would, the other is portrait and on the right side. The portrait monitor is used for all the Windows 7 gadgets for monitoring the weather, cpu usage, network, email alerts, etc. It also has the web browser up for quickly looking up info while I'm playing a game (in windowed mode) on the landscape monitor.

When I launch photoshop or lightroom, I use the right monitor for the main program and the one in the center for the resulting modified picture. Adobe has built in support for dual monitors so you can have all your toolbars and library on the non-photo realistic screen.

I have 2 monitors at work, and the other 2 engineers liked it so much they copied.  The other two do a lot of CAD work, and with identical monitors, can stretch the active window onto two monitors for an (almost) seamless view that is effectively much larger with two 19"-ers than with a single 22".

For myself, I can edit word documents (right screen current version, left contains changes), or search an excel workbook and verify drawings on the other.

My setup has a 19" LCD almost centered, and a 19" CRT to the right.  So most work is done facing almost straight ahead.  Neck/muscle strain has never been a problem for me because I can never work for an hour without interruptions.

Does anyone use custom multi-monitor stands?

I've got two Samsung 22" monitors (one in the centre and one to the right) and their flimsy (but very "Samsung pretty") stands mean that every knock against the desk turns them in to perpetual-motion Mr Bobbleheads...

Are there sturdy desk-mount options or am I best off going for hideously-expensive wall-mounted options (although these would be good as they could be pushed against the wall when the desk space is needed)?


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