Many people these days own more than one computer. Often it’s the case that a person will have a desktop and a mobile device, such as a laptop or tablet. Owning multiple computers can be of great benefit to someone who finds they regularly multitask whilst computing, running several programs at once or, in some cases, different operating systems.
The Right Tool for the Right Job
By using multiple computers it’s possible to optimise both machines to perform different tasks, thereby speeding up your own productivity. Some find that by separating their ‘work’ computer from their ‘fun’ computer they are able to concentrate better on their work, without feeling the need to perform social networking or other non-work-related tasks on their work machine.
If one computer is more powerful than the other it may be of benefit to connect the two via a local network, or to utilise cloud storage to free up disk space when performing running memory intensive applications. Dropbox is a great way to transfer files between your machines and, if you’re dealing with big files which may be too much for dropbox to handle there are some great portable hard drives out there which will do the job quickly and easily.
Making Use of an Old Computer
The benefits of owning two computers will become quickly apparent if one of your computers is ‘older’, i.e. more than two years old. By offloading unnecessary tasks onto your newer computer you’ll be able to free up operating space to optimise the speed of your old machine.
Cheap computers can be great value for money, depending on what they’re needed for. Old computers can still perform a multitude of useful tasks and, in addition, parts are cheaper, bugs have generally been worked out and if your drivers are up-to-date there’s no reason why an older computer shouldn’t run just as well as a new one.
Cleaning Up Your Desk Space
The primary downside to owning more than one computer – particularly if your machines are all of the desktop variety – is the clutter that can arise as a result of having two stacks, two keyboards, two mice … the list goes on. But there are some really simple ways to keep your desk space clear of clutter.
- KVM Switch – This simple device will allow you to control multiple computers from one desktop, incorporating a monitor, keyboard and mouse. With a flick of a switch you’ll be able to go back and forth between your computers easily.
- Synergy – This bit of software will also, like the KVM switch, allow you to share a keyboard and mouse between multiple computers, and because it relies on local networking it reduces the amount of wires needed. However you will need multiple monitors to utilise Synergy.
- USB Switch – This little device will allow you to use the same keyboard and mouse with multiple computers like you can with the KVM switch, however as with Synergy you will need to have a monitor for each computer. In addition, the wires needed by the USB switch add clutter and this method can be slow.