Accessing two computers and only have one display

AML707

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 31, 2006
60
0
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:)
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
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.
 

AML707

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 31, 2006
60
0
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:) .
 

reh

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2003
639
1
Arkansas
AML707 said:
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:) .
Yes, unplug and replug the display every time you want to switch. Or access one of the Macs via VNC.
 

AML707

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 31, 2006
60
0
reh said:
Yes, unplug and replug the display every time you want to switch. Or access one of the Macs via VNC.
LOL:).... How can I do that? (VNC)
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
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.
 

reh

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2003
639
1
Arkansas
CanadaRAM said:
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.
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
 

matticus008

macrumors 68040
Jan 16, 2005
3,336
0
Bay Area, CA
CanadaRAM said:
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.
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.
 

AML707

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 31, 2006
60
0
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:
 

matticus008

macrumors 68040
Jan 16, 2005
3,336
0
Bay Area, CA
AML707 said:
Can anyone help me in establishing VNC? Thanks.
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.
 

MacBoyX

macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2003
406
0
East Coast, USA
matticus008 said:
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).

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.
 

reh

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2003
639
1
Arkansas
MacBoyX said:
...Then you need a KVM switch.
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*