Monday, October 3, 2011

USB KVM Switch

I just ordered up the IOGEAR 2-Port MiniView Micro USB PLUS KVM Switch with Audio and Cables GCS632U to solve my KVM switch problem with the new Microsoft keyboard.  I did a little digging--it appears that the problem that my KVM switch has with the Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard is that the PS/2 to USB conversion requires a bit more than just passive signal switching to work with a KVM switch.

Anyway, the 4-port KVM switch that I have now uses PS/2 connectors for the keyboard and mouse, and the VGA monitor cable.  I really don't need 4-ports; I only have two notebooks that are sharing a keyboard, mouse, and display.  One nice thing about the GCS632U (which I found out by reading a review of the cheaper 2-port IOGear switch), is that while you have keyboard and mouse plug into separate USB ports on the switch, it combines them into a single USB cable going to each computer.  This reduces the number of USB ports you are consuming on your PC, and reduces the number of cables on your desk.  This is a real advantage, since I already have a rat's nest there.

The other nice thing is that you can switch speakers as well, sharing a single set of speakers for two different PCs.

1 comment:

Epsilon Given said...

I don't know if it would have fit your needs, but several months ago I tried something called Synergy, that allows you to use one mouse and keyboard on several computers hooked up together on a network. It's open source, and it works on Linux and Windows, and perhaps the Mac.

I tried it with a couple of old computers, in an attempt to get two monitors--and I *really* liked it! I just didn't like the small monitors, or the fact that I can't move a program from one window to another, so I never used it to the best of its ability. Perhaps someday I can wire up a half a dozen computers, just to play around with Synergy. (Ha! like I'd ever have the money to do that!)