Dear Aunt TUAW,
During the day, I often switch between the screen on my 13" Unibody MacBook and an external monitor. Of course, this wreaks havoc upon all my poor windows with resizing, moving and so forth.
I have to drag them back to their places, and scold them for their impertinence. How dare they move?!
Is there a window manager app that will remember where I like my windows, and move them back where they belong in each of these display sizes?
Thanks a ton,
Your favorite nephew,
What a dilemma, indeed. Wandering windows are something that Auntie's been dealing with with her new baby MacBook Air. Fortunately, Auntie's found a solution!
Stay from Cordless Dog (US$15) allows you to store window configurations exactly as you like for each monitor configuration that you use. Stay can automatically restore your windows as you attach and detach your monitors and as your applications are launched.
All you have to do is save your configurations by selecting Store Windows from the Stay menu. Stay remembers each configuration you have saved, including the monitor setup and the window positions. There aren't many options (save all windows, just the current application window, etc.), so it's really simple to use.
Stay remembers window positions for both Auntie's standard MBA screen, and the two-display configuration when she hooks up her external monitor.
Stay's default preferences (restore on monitor change, restore on app launch) pretty much cover all you're asking for. Just remember to save ("Store windows for all Applications"), and you're good.
Here's a screen cast from Cordless Dog that covers all the basics: