Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tech toys: Synergy

I have four machines on the desk in front of me, each in active daily use. The upshot? A tangle of keyboards and mice on the work surface, and no space for my arms.

But I found the solution. Perhaps I'm a bit late to join the party, but it's here: Synergy.

Synergy is a wonderful application that shares one keyboard and mouse between many machines. It's as if you were using a multi-head display. But with many bodies, too. Synergy is relatively easy to install, although by default requires a little text file configuration. Nothing frightening for a techie, but a casual user might need a deep breath and a good run up.

Performance is really good (it does slow down when one machine is heavily CPU loaded or performs a lot of network access, but this is relatively rare). The application works on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. I run the server on Linux, with two mac clients and a Windows client. The code hasn't been updated in about two years, but it seems every bit as good as it must have been two years ago!

And now? I have one keyboard. One mouse. Lots of free desk space. And deep joy.


There are several Mac OS GUI front ends that might be useful floating around the ether. I've not used any of them, so the many or many not be any good...

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