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Hardware multiplexing in software for fun and profit. - Chaz Meyers [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Chaz Meyers

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Hardware multiplexing in software for fun and profit. [May. 16th, 2005|04:14 pm]
Chaz Meyers
Synergy is a really fun thing I found a few days ago. It allows an arbitrary number of computers to share the same mouse and keyboard, assuming that the computers all run either Windows, Linux/UNIX, or OS X. It even allows you to copy/paste text between the different machines.

Earlier today, I tested it out on a Linux and Windows machine sitting next to each other in Wachman Hall. Maybe I was more amused than other people would since I've never used a KVM switch and I've never had a duel-head machine. Still, it seems useful. I hate having to switch keyboards and mice when working on two computers sitting next to each other.

[User Picture]From: jproulx
2005-05-16 09:23 pm (UTC)
Synergy 4tw.

4 boxes on my desktop, 4 monitors, 1 keyboard and mouse. I even set up my synergy config to wrap around the end monitors, so I can show off my mouse of doom to office folk :-p
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[User Picture]From: cpm
2005-05-17 12:07 am (UTC)
I was going to do the wrap-around thing, but I was afraid I would make myself dizzy. :)

Such a cool thinger having such a yuppie-sounding name makes me want to cry on the inside, though.
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[User Picture]From: thebroadabroad
2005-05-17 12:40 am (UTC)
on second thought, maybe you're not my twin...
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[User Picture]From: paininbutt
2005-05-17 03:45 am (UTC)
everytime i read a post like this i feel stupid =(
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[User Picture]From: cpm
2005-05-17 04:00 am (UTC)
Suppose you had two monitors on your desk, each hooked up to a seperate computer.

Normally, you would need two mice and two keyboards, one for each computer.

With this software, you only need a mouse/keyboard plugged into one computer. When you move the mouse past the edge of one monitor, it shows up on the monitor next to it as if the two monitors were connected.
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[User Picture]From: ewindisch
2005-05-17 03:58 am (UTC)
I haven't used it, but I've heard good things.

Personally, I've always used x2x it's derivative, x2vnc... and Windows users I know have used win2vnc (derived from x2vnc). They do the same thing as synergy, but have their own independent code bases... I plan to checkout Synergy if I ever again find a need for it.
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[User Picture]From: cpm
2005-05-17 04:07 am (UTC)
Ah, I think I've heard of those projects, but I know for sure I've never used them. A quick glance at their websites makes me think Synergy has a few more features (clipboard sharing, more than two monitors), but I didn't look too hard, really.
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[User Picture]From: ewindisch
2005-05-17 04:22 am (UTC)
They provide clipboard sharing and, by running multiple instances, support multiple monitors. Synergy looks like a great turn-key application supporting multiple platforms on a single code base.. and doesn't rely on VNC or X11. The best of all worlds, but it isn't revolutionary.. x2x and it's kin are certainly treasures in their own right, if for no reason but to be the first kid on the block. The thing I do like about x2x is that the second machine only needs X11, no additional servers/software available, which is great when you're working between unix mchines (especially if that second machine is something painful like AIX or IRIX).

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