Using an Acer 5920G with GF 8600M GT and I'd like to force increase my natural resolution so that I'm able to scroll around on my laptop screen. Obviously my screen is capable of going to higher resolutions since when I plug it into a 30" monitor I'm able to go extremely high. Unfortunatley, when I'm just on my laptop the highest natural resolution is the standard 1280 x 800. Thanks
You are incorrect. Your screen is only capable of displaying 1280x800 pixel-for-pixel. When you plug in an external monitor, you bypass your onboard monitor, and the only limiting factor on your screen resolution is your graphics card, which is more than capable of driving much larger displays. You cannot increase the resolution of your monitor by software means - the only way to increase it is to upgrade the monitor.
They may be using software that allows them to use a higher display setting, but it won't be pixel-for-pixel. Without that feature, it makes it essentially pointless. They can view entire program windows without having to scroll panes...but they have to scroll the entire screen anyway, so what's the point? If anything, it wastes memory and may introduce incompatibilities or errors that would otherwise be absent.
The best "solution" for your problem is to introduce a multiple-desktop scheme like the KDE and Gnome interfaces in Linux.