Thursday, 06 February, 2003

A New KVM Switch

I went to Fry's today to pick up a USB cable for Debra's new printer.  I walked out with the USB cable and a LinkSys 4-port KVM switch (model PS2KVM4).  I finally got tired of having two big monitors and keyboards on my table, and continually banging my knee against the diagonal support when  I'd scoot over to work on the other machine.  I should have done this 3 years ago when I got this new computer and was using the other for writing the Kylix book.  This thing will save me a lot of frustration.

I've had KVM switches before—the manual kind—that were very unreliable.  It seemed that more often than not, at least one of the ports would fail to switch well, and I'd lose my keyboard or mouse connectivity on one of the computers.  This digital switch is much nicer:  I can switch computers by pressing a button on the front of the switch, or by using hot keys.  Pressing Alt, Control, Shift, 2, Enter (in sequence, not all at the same time) will switch to the second computer.  Very nice.  And since I got the 4-port model, I can plug in my Linux server that I've been monitoring with SSH and still have a port left over, perhaps for a laptop if I ever decide to get one.

My only gripe is that there's some ghosting on my monitor, especially in 1600x1200 mode, but it's also noticeable at 1280x1024.  Hopefully I can fix that by getting some shielded monitor cables.  [Note 02/07:  Yes, shielded monitor cables solved the problem.]

Now what to do with all that extra space?