Accessing two computers and only have one display

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by AML707, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. AML707 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #1
    I have two Macs at my desk and only have one display. I would like to know if there was a way to access both computers at the same time in the same display. Thanks:)
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    Search for KVM switch.

    (Keyboard, Video Mouse)

    You have to make sure that you get one compatible with the video of your machines AND the display, and the keyboard of your machines. Many of the cheaper ones are for PS/2 keyboards on Windows machines. Avoid these.

    DVI KVM's are significantly more expensive than VGA ones, but you want DVI for the clarity on your LCD monitor.
     
  3. AML707 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #3
    Thanks i am about to check out that option, but do you think there is any other way I would like to review my all possible options:) .
     
  4. bwanac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
  5. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #5
    Yes, unplug and replug the display every time you want to switch. Or access one of the Macs via VNC.
     
  6. AML707 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #6
    LOL:).... How can I do that? (VNC)
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #7
    If you have the Dell 2005FPW, then you already have a DVI and a VGA input, which you can switch between with a front bezel button. You have to live with VGA from your secondary machine, mind you.
    That just leaves the USB switching, which you can get a cheaper USB switchbox for. However, Macs don't play nice with some USB switches and KVMs, they'll go to sleep and not wake up.
     
  8. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #8
    Good point Senor RAM, I didn't notice that display (I have the same one). Regarding the USB switch, I've been using the IOgear GUB201 USB switch with no problems.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817111708
     
  9. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #9
    You can also share your keyboard and mouse over a network connection using Synergy (available at SourceForge), especially if your monitor has multiple inputs. That will spare you any additional hardware and reduce desk clutter. I have five computers connected via Synergy, sharing two monitors (one computer is on an S-video input and is a dedicated MythTV box [not the one in my sig, which is a development MythTV setup]).

    Edit: in case it's unclear, that's five computers with one keyboard and one mouse.
     
  10. reh macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #10
    I've never done it on a Mac, so someone more familiar with the process will have to chime in.
     
  11. AML707 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #11
    Thanks for all the replies. I am becoming more attracted to the idea of accessing one computer via VNC. The hardware options seem great but only if I had desk room.:eek:
     
  12. AML707 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #12
    Can anyone help me in establishing VNC? Thanks.
     
  13. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #13
    You'll need to download a VNC server and install it on the computer that you want accessed (OSXvnc is a full-featured one that lots of people prefer to other implementations, including Apple's). Then, choose a client you like (Chicken of the VNC is popular, but I prefer VNCViewer because it has a smaller footprint and works less sluggishly in my experience) and connect to the IP of the computer with your password (you shouldn't use the same password as your user accounts). It's really not a difficult task, but it helps to try it on your own and have specific questions if you run into trouble.

    You should know that you can't play or edit video over VNC, nor can you game, play DVDs, or generally do anything involving quick motion on your screen. If you have plans for any of these things, VNC isn't for you.
     
  14. MacBoyX macrumors 6502

    MacBoyX

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    #14

    It's actually a bit easier than that. OS X 10.4 has a BUILT in VNC Server. Go into your System Preferences and Go to the Sharing Pref Pane. Turn on Apple Remote Desktop and click on the Access Privileges and Check the "VNC Viewers may control screen with password", enter a password. Click okay.

    Download Chicken of the VNC (nice VNC App and it's universal). It's fast enuff for browsing and doing tasks, I agree, no DVDs or Gaming. Then you need a KVM switch.
     
  15. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #15
    eh? The whole point of using VNC in this case is to avoid a KVM switch.

    EDIT: Oops, misunderstood there... That applied to the using DVDs, etc comment. *sheepish grin*
     

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