Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Monitor Sharing Switch

I ordered a device from Ebay that allows sharing a single monitor between two computers. It will let me use Windows or Linux interchangeably with just the push of a button. It cost only $16 CAN complete with cables and shipping from California. A lot cheaper than a new monitor (even if I had room for it, which I don't).




  1. Hmmm. I would have suggested a KVM switch.

    1. I looked at these Don but my Linux computer has the old style round plugs for the keyboard and mouse so it did not look like this would work for me. Also, this does not ship to Canada for some reason...

      I will just keep the extra mouse and keyboard stashed behind the monitor.

      Did you notice the interest we got stirred up in Linux? Chris in Mexico and my old workmate Gary. Two weeks ago I could not even spell Linux...

  2. Too bad these use VGA, so no good for going between the Mac and the PC. Anyway, not using my external monitor yet.

    Your adventures with Linux have been interesting. I'm too busy to spend that kind of time when OSX works right out of the box. For a retiree or a real geek, Linux is a nice hobby. I like that it's open source, so very customizable.

  3. I hear you Croft. That's always an issue with the KVM. You need to use either all PS2 or all USB. Of course your Linux machine would work just fine with a USB keyboard and mouse. You don't need to use the PS2 connections at all.

    Rae: OSX and Linux are sisters. They are both variants of UNIX. When you look under the hood you see the same basic operating system. Apple realized that Unix was much better than what they were using before so when they came out with OSX they basically came out with Apple Unix.

    1. "Of course your Linux machine would work just fine with a USB keyboard and mouse."

      Of course. Never thought of that!

  4. Don, I know that Linux is based on Unix, but the look and feel of it is very much Windows, at least the version that I saw and played with, and this was back in '07 so I know things might have changed.

    The one thing you don't get with Linux (or Windows) is an all-in-one system of hardware and software built by the same manufacturer (or at least to specific specifications). I'd say that 90% of the problems I have with my Windows machine is conflicts between hardware and software. With Linux, you might have a stable Unix-based OS, but you still have a computer that's cobbled together. So no Linux for me. :)

    1. Um, actually Rae you get a computer that as good as the manufacturer wants it to be.

      If you buy a Dell or an HP or a Toshiba you're buying a machine that was made to the same exacting standards that Apple uses in their (Asian) factories.

      Linux and Windows were both made to work with the hardware in the PC. The only difference Apple has is they don't have to work with all kinds of different hardware so theirs is more likely to not have problems with less than stellar manufactured products. They control the quality of everything.

      You may have gotten the wrong idea about me. I own quite a few Apple products including a Mac and up until my last phone they were all iPhones. I still think nobody does the human interface as well as Apple.

      That said I have to add that because of my expertise in not only Linux, Apple and Microsoft and I also have been using, building and programming computers since 1983 I am quite qualified to offer an expert opinion on the matter. My opinion is that a modern version of Linux like Mint running on a modern computer will do everything your Mac will do and it will do it at half the cost or less.

      But, I love my Mac and I'm glad I have one. I don't *love* my Windows machines. I consider them necessary but if I could do everything I needed to do without them I would. But I would never give up my Linux machine as that is the glue that holds the internet together.

  5. Well, I have an absolutely top of the line HP-made Windows computer. When I got it last year, it had comparable specs to my 2009 Macbook Pro (PCs seem to always be a few years behind Apple). I've had nothing but problems with it. A colleague has the same machine and has had similar issues and says that they're normal and that it'd be even worse with a non-custom, stock computer you can pick up at any computer shop. If this is what a really good Windows machine is like, I'm scared. :) I just find that I spend A LOT of time troubleshooting on a PC that I don't have to spend on my Mac. The amount I do on a PC daily is about what I do on the Mac weekly.

    I'm not trying to get into an Apple/PC debate here! Both have their merits. I'm just saying that Linux leans more towards a PC-type environment and that's why I wouldn't consider going to it.

    I do think that there are things Microsoft does better than Apple. I will only use Microsoft keyboards and mice! Apple has no idea what they're doing in that department. :)

    Croft, when you're fully up and running with Linux I would love to see some screenshots!

  6. I have never touched a Mac so I cannot make a comparison. However, my HP Windows 7 laptop has been bulletproof. I bought it for $329 four years ago at Walmart in SLC and have never had a problem with it except for having to use Windows Restore once. The battery in it is shot, giving me only one or two hours of use but it is always plugged in anyway, either at home or into the inverted in the motorhome. My Asus Netbook has been really good as well, my only complaint being the "Z" requires fiddling with to get it to work. Good thing it is not the "E".

  7. As should be evident by my post above I use all 3 variants of computers and do so because I understand each has it's strong points and weak points.

    Windows is used by a vast majority of businesses so I need to keep sharp on the nuances and foibles of that particular OS.

    Mac's strong suit is graphics processing. Most graphics artists use them and for good reason.

    And finally I have to take exception to your statement that Linux leans more towards a PC type environment. That's actually not true. Apples now use the exact same processor as Windows and Linux running PCs (Intel Core2 and i3, i5 and i7 family). A current Mac will boot up Windows just as well as it will boot up OSX. The hardware is technically the same now. For the most part it's built better than the lower cost stuff you find at Best Buy but it's not really that much better than a Dell or one of the better known PC makers.

    And here's something maybe you didn't know. You can also install Linux on that Mac. In fact you could use Boot Camp (or some other boot manager software) and install OSX, Windows 7, and Linux Mint all on your Macbook Pro (or any Intel based Mac) and then you would have the best of everything.

    OSX and Linux are extremely similar. They have very similar kernels. They do things almost identically.

    There just isn't that much difference anymore. ;)