For a while I’ve configured Xinerama to be able to properly use the two video outputs on my laptop (the standard internal laptop screen and the VGA output for video projector). I can then switch to a mode with a wide virtual desktop split on two monitors which is 2 times 1280×1024 wide, and being able to slide windows from one to the other. I’m using that mode when making presentations on a projector.
Since OOo 3.0 there has been a new feature allowing to use the two “monitors” / outputs to project something different for the audience and for the presenter (Slide show | Slide show Settings | Mutliple Monitors).
And it has even been recently improved, in offering some nice features for the presenter (apparently called “Sun Presenter Console“), like a display of the notes or thumbnails of all slides, of the next slide, or of the time of presentation, all appearing only on monitor 1 (the presenter’s screen) while the audience will only see the traditional slide in fullscreen. Excellent to know what the next slide will be and prepare oral transitions. Definitely a must have extension (available in the
openoffice.org-presenter-console Debian package in testing).
Still there’s one issue with this setup if you want to quit the presentation and show stuff to the audience, for instance in a browser : the browser will be on your presenter’s monitor and you’d have to slide it to the other display, but then you’d have to use it only on the other display, which is usually in your back : no mirroring of such apps to the external projector in an easy way.
But then, there’s a workaround, in using x11vnc to export the presenter’s part of the desktop so that you can launch a vnc viewer on the audience’s part, which will mirror the other one : then you’ve got best of both xinerama and OOo to display separate views on the different monitors, and still be able to replicate some elements from the presenter’s desktop to allow the audience to view it.
Definitely great for conferences, lectures, and all public presentations with a laptop and a beamer. You’ll love it