Do you have a second computer that is just too far away for you to be able to use it comfortably? I know I do; my problem came about when I decided to put my laptop on the desk as more of a full-time thing and use my tabletop for round-the-house tasks.
The problem I found was that, while my laptop was in usable distance, it involved leaning over quite a way, or moving the chair across the floor back and forth when I wanted to change between computers. Sure, this is easy enough to do, but the noise of my chair running across the floor can be heard from the living room directly below, or the bedroom in the next room. Not a big problem to me as I’m not in either of those places, but my fiancée seems to disagree. Maybe this is something for the “living with a geek” post.
So onto a solution: I had a look around online for a program that is free and will run on Windows. The software I came back with is called Synergy; it is basically for sharing your keyboard and mouse with other computers. Not only is it completely free, but you can download it with copies that run on Windows, OS X, and several Linux distributions.
Setting up Synergy is easy. You set up your main computer as the server, and then any other computers as clients. It tells you the IP address of the server so that, even if you’re not that computer savvy, you can still set up Synergy with a relative amount of ease — all that’s required is a little common sense. Then all you have to do is drag and drop the clients to where you would like them to be located: left, right, above, and so on.
Using it once you have set it up is a doddle as well. You just have to move your cursor to whatever side of your screen on which you set up the other computer — such as the left side of the screen if you placed the client on the left, obviously! It instantly disappears over to the other monitor — neat, huh? This can, however, get annoying if you have it on the right, for instance, and go to close your window and go a little too far and find your cursor on the other screen. For this, though, you can set up delays or hot keys to press in order for it to jump across, which alleviates the problem of missing mouse cursors!
I found the program to be pretty speedy, with not much lag between going off one side of the screen and appearing on the other — in fact, it is pretty much instantaneous. I can see this could be useful in other situations — such as if you owned a business and had a computer connected up to a monitor with a rotating advert presentation or something similar, as you would not need to have a keyboard and mouse constantly plugged in to have instant access.
If you use two computers and often find yourself moving around the room a lot and switching between them or can think of another great use, then I suggest you have a look at Synergy. I know that it will be getting use and recommendations from me in the future.
My name is Sonny Chester. I’m a tech lover, cat lover, self-confessed geek, and slightly mad! That’s me. I just like finding new, cool stuff online and helping people if I can! I’m always looking for a good deal or free stuff that does the same job as things you would normally have to pay for.