Robert Denton

Staggering work of genius from Portland, Maine – Photographer, Designer, Taco Maker, Birder, Biker, Business Owner

Virtual KM Sharing

Synergy

I used to use a MiniView multi-port KVM to switch between a few different machines. I currently only run a Mac OS X and a Windows XP box but I still want to be able to easily switch from one to the other.

The hardware based KVM was slow, it took several seconds for Windows to re-initiate the USB drivers after switching and the physicality of the process was tedious. The upshot of using a hardware KVM is you can use the same monitor (some monitors have a similar feature built-in) and save desk space. I found sharing the same monitor cumbersome because most times the reason to switch was to either check something visually in the design, or, note the progress of some longer process. If checking something visually then with a hardware KVM you don’t see both screens at the same time… in other words you can’t do iterative quick changes and checks. If just checking on a running process most often the time spent switching was tedious.

Enter Synergy.

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).

Now, I keep a monitor attached to the second computer and can always see the screen. To share my keyboard/mouse I simply slide my mouse off the right edge of my screen to gain control. It also features clipboard sharing and more features. Someone has even created a PrefPane for Mac OS X. Despite using the desk space up with another monitor it’s been very nice to have instant access and always available screens to look at and compare between.

Posted: 11.04.2006 in UncategorizedTagged Both comments and pings are currently closed. — RSS 2.0

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