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I am planning to buy a Mac Mini. I have a Windows laptop and wanted to get a Mac. But my job requires me to move every 3-4 months, so don't want to get a monitor that I will have to carry around all the time. My plan was to get the Mac Mini and use my Windows laptop as a monitor whenever I use the Mac Mini... But i am not sure if this is possible... Maybe some external card or something...? Please let me know if this is possible at all...?

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7 Answers 7

I've used this to use a windows laptop as a second monitor for a windows desktop. Don't know if there's a version to run on a mac.

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How about ScreenRecycler? I've not used it myself, but it seems to fit the bill.

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You could use something like VNC and UltraVNC on your Windows laptop.

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As @jasonh says, you could use VNC (Apple Remote Desktop) from the laptop to control the Mac Mini, but I don't know of any off-the-shelf laptops that allow their monitors to be used by a computer that's not attached to them.

It's certainly possible, in theoretical terms, especially if you're a hardware hacker. But it's neither straightforward nor easy to do, requiring fairly steady hands and some experience with circuit design and soldering, or at least wiring. What you would essentially do is splice a DVI port into the monitor's cable from the motherboard, which could be attached to the Mac Mini. But the more I think about it, the more it seems like too much trouble to bother with.

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Do you want a second monitor, or a second workspace? If you're shooting for something to hold an extra browser, notepad, etc I would use Synergy2 to share the mouse and keyboard between both computers.

Synergy2 works between Windows, Linux and Mac so you're good to go no matter what you use.

I've used this in the real world. When I would arrive at work, I would plugin my laptop next to my desktop monitor and power on. For the rest of the day I would have 'two' screens to work on using my desktop's keyboard and mouse. When I was done, I would just remove the laptop.

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As mentioned by the other answers, your best bet is to use remote desktop software. The only problem with this though is that they would both need to be networked and on the same network. This may not always be readily available.

Could you sell the Windows laptop and use that (maybe plus a small investment) to buy a similarly sized display. It would not be any more inconvienent to transport than a laptop, but would be much simpler setup.

Unsure from the question if you are buying the Mac to replace the Windows PC or as an addition to it.

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Check out this webpage from Alternativeto.com...it lists the (mostly) free alternatives to Maxivista...as good of a list as you're gonna get...

http://alternativeto.net/desktop/maxivista/

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