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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

USB KVM Switch For Mac + PC?


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Sam G

 
Member Since: Dec 11, 2008
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I am running a WinXP box and a G4 Mac, what I would like to do is use a USB keyboard and mouse, and one monitor with both systems.

I've seen this Avocent 2 port USB switch for sale on eBuyer (UK website) for 35.95 GBP, would this be OK to use in my environment do you think?
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Toyman321

 
Member Since: Aug 09, 2007
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Do some looking around on epinions and such, I've been through a couple KVM type switches with little success and finally found an older one made by Belkin that worked out pretty well, though it's no longer being made.
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Mama Luigi

 
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I had a setup like this a few years ago and honestly I didn't like it too much. There was a significant lag involved when switching and obviously you can't use both at the same time. Plus it creates a huge cable clutter.

Do you have a monitor with two inputs? I'd suggest just getting two keyboards, two mice, and a dual-input monitor, and just plug the Mac into one input and the PC into the other. Just about any LCD these days should have both a VGA and a DVI input and you can use the on-screen controls to switch.

In fact, if you can afford it and you have enough space, I'd just get a separate monitor for the PC as well. The cheapest LCDs are just over $100 now, or about twice as much as that KVM switch costs. It's worth it to be able to use both at once.
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Sam G

 
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I already have two sets of monitors, keyboards and mice. What I was looking to do was reclaim some desk space and just use one set of everything for both boxes.

I don't really need to use both boxes at once because the PC is just a file server and I very rarely need to use it unless performing maintenance work or if there is a power cut etc. - it would be the Mac that I would be using mainly out of the two.
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Toyman321

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam G View Post
I already have two sets of monitors, keyboards and mice. What I was looking to do was reclaim some desk space and just use one set of everything for both boxes.

I don't really need to use both boxes at once because the PC is just a file server and I very rarely need to use it unless performing maintenance work or if there is a power cut etc. - it would be the Mac that I would be using mainly out of the two.
This is the situation Im in now, I had been using a switch but it didn't work all the time and would get hung up between the two comptuers and I would have to restart them both to get either to work. Like the above poster suggested I now have a monitor that has VGA and DVI inputs, my mac goes into the DVI input and the PC into the VGA, this allows me to change between computers with the push of a button on the monitor. I have my Mouse, Keyboard, External HD, card reader etc plugged into a USB hub that then hooks into the side of my macbook, if I need to use the pc I just unplug the hub from the macbook and plug it into the USB extension cable running off my PC, whala, cleap switch that never fails.
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Mama Luigi

 
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One option that would free up even more desk space would be to use VNC (remote desktop) to access your PC when you need to. All you have to do is have a VNC server running on the PC and then run the VNC client on your Mac when you need to access it. It'll be slower than using the PC directly, but if you do this you can just put the PC in a closet somewhere.
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