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Tips for Sharing Keyboards and Monitors

From the MacWindows Archives

Last updated February 19, 2004


On this page:

NOTE: This page contains older tips and reports from 1998 to 2004.


Special Report

A Guide to Mac/PC Sharing of Keyboard and Monitor

By Henry Norr


Using a single keyboard, mouse, and monitor for both a Mac and PC at the same time is an attractive idea for saving desk space and perhaps money. There are several different approaches you can take, involving different switching products and combinations of products. Some of these are cheap and easy, other are complex and expensive. You can use a Mac keyboard on some, and a PC keyboard on others.

The simplest and least expensive method is to just share a monitor and use two keyboards. Adding keyboard sharing increases in complexity and cost.

In this report:

See also the MacWindows Solutions product list.

Planning

Before you implement a monitor/keyboard switching setup, it really pays to sketch it all out on paper first. Decide whether you're going to use a Mac or PC keyboard, and what monitor you are using before you start ordering products.

Pay particular attention to the gender of all the cables and connectors you plan to use and to the type of PC keyboard/mouse and monitor ports you plan to use. If you don't, it's all to easy to end up with cables of the wrong type. You can usually correct any mistakes with gender changers or adapters, but that's just one more cost, hassle, and possible source of noise on the line.

Pricing

Many keyboard/monitor sharing products are designed for labs and trade shows, and can be outrageously expensive for personal or small business use. When shopping for a solution, you should also take note of the extras some of the products require. For example, some vendors quote prices that don't include the price of a required card for the Mac or required special cables, which can be ridiculously expensive.

Support for PC "Scroller Roller" Mice

One issue to watch for with any input-device switch is whether it handles the signals from the scroller roller on Microsoft's IntelliMouse mice and trackballs and many other new PC mice and trackballs. These rollers let you scroll down the page without having to mouse to the scrollbar on the Web, in Microsoft Office and in a small but growing number of other Windows applications. It may sound hokey, but it's actually pretty useful.

The Cybex SwitchView handles this well. Cybex claims that most other switches don't support a scroller roller, and I'm inclined to believe them.

Because these rollers are a relatively recent innovation, only a small number of people have them now. But in recent months a number of PC vendors have started to ship mice with them -- I've seen them even in $1000 PCs and refurbished computers -- and I'm sure they'll be common, if not ubiquitous, in the future. So even if you don't have such a device now, it makes sense to think about this issue, especially if you're considering investing in one of the more expensive switching solutions.

Monitor/Keyboard Sharing Devices

The MacWindows Solutions table called Using One Keyboard and Monitor for both PC and Macintosh includes devices that support the Mac either directly or with an optional converter. This means that they can convert Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) signals to PC serial formats.

If you're willing to do a little more shopping, there's another option that can save money. That option is to use a keyboard/mouse adapter that only translates between ADB and PC serial in combination with a plain PC keyboard/mouse/VGA switch. That way, you have a much wider range of options, including many that are much cheaper than anything (as far as I know) listed in your second part now. The range starts with low-end mechanical K/M/VGA switches from Taiwan, which you can find in Fry's, NCA, or other electronics parts stores for as little as $30. For many months I used a Keystone keyboard adapter with a $32 switch that supported 4 PCs that I picked up an NCA store. With this setup, I had my Mac, my Dell Dimension, and for a while even a BeBox attached, and with one flip of the ABCD dial I could switch the monitor, keyboard and trackball among them. I had a few early glitches, but I got it working quite well.

Now I've switched my setup around and I have something even slicker: A four-machine Cybex SwitchView, an electronic switch that cost me around $175 on a Comdex special (it's normally $225 or some such, but there's a two-machine version that's cheaper), and an AppAdapt from USAR Systems. Aside from an occasional and easily fixable glitch (see the Mouse/Keyboard Troubleshooting section below), this setup has worked smoothly for me for several months now. What I like best about it is that when the Mac crashes, I just hit the button and I can surf the web or whatever from NT while the Mac pulls itself back together. And the USAR AppAdapt is terrific -- everything is handled in hardware, there's no Mac software at all, and I haven't seen any of the glitches I sometimes did with the KeyStone. (See MacWindows Solutions for contact info for these systems.)

There are quite a few other PC switching devices you could use the same way, once you get something to handle ADB. One I know of that seems to be pretty well regarded is the MasterControl from Raritan Computers. But that one and most of the others I've heard about are much more expensive than the mechanical switches or the SwitchView, and as far as I know, you don't really get any extra functionality for the money.

Mice with more than 2 Buttons

If you want to use a mouse or trackball with more than two buttons with a switchbox, you should test it with the device first. This is particularly true with the Mac, but even on the PC I wouldn't make any assumptions. One person I know using a four-button PC trackball (the Kensington Expert Mouse) on his Mac via a switchbox and an AppAdapt from USAR Systems could only get the lower-left button to work. I also use a Kensington trackball, the PC version of the two-button Orbit, through the AppAdapt, and it works fine on both PC and Mac - pressing the right button just produces a regular click on the Mac, same as the left button, while on the PC, as you'd expect, it generates the special right-click signal. I'm using it with the Cybex SwitchView and haven't gone back and tested it with the cheapo mechanical switches, but in the past other two-button PC mice have also worked as expected on both platforms through those switches.

While I haven't tried any three- or four-button mice or trackballs in my setup, my hunch is that through the Cybex device all buttons would produce a regular click. (Of course, without Mac software that knows about the different buttons, the special features wouldn't work.)

A reader reported problems with the AutoBoot Commander 1XP and a high-resolution ADB mouse, the 400 dpi (instead of 72 dpi) Mouse Systems optical mice. In this case, the cursor jumps around, probably because the ADB data is coming too fast for the box to handle.

Empty Keyboard Ports

The Cybex SwitchView is a monitor/keyboard switcher that doesn't accept Mac ADB keyboards. It requires a PS/2 device in the keyboard connector on every port you intend to use, because that's how it gets power. At one point I thought I'd put the Mac monitor on one of the ports while keeping the keyboard and mouse connectors empty -- I was going to use the a Mac ADB keyboard and mouse plugged into the Mac, but use the Cybex to switch the monitor. That didn't work at first, until I finally got a PS/2 Y connector, stuck it on my PC, and then ran a PS/2 cable to the keyboard connector on the port I had the Mac monitor on. (Later on, when I got an AppAdapt, I decided to go all the way over to using PS/2 keyboard and mouse for the Mac and PC.)

Mouse/Keyboard Troubleshooting

I've had few problems with the combination of the Cybex SwitchView and the Usar Systems AppAdapt - mostly they just work. Once in a while, though, there's a problem. One morning I couldn't get the cursor over to the leftmost two or three inches of the screen. A few times my PC keyboard has abruptly (even in mid-sentence) stopped working - the LEDs start blinking and pressing the keys does nothing. And once in a while, when I boot up the Mac, my trackball (the PC version of the Kensington Orbit) won't work at all.

When one of these problems occur, the first thing I do is unplug the keyboard and/or trackball from the SwitchView, wait a few seconds, then plug them in again. This has always cured any problems I was having on the PC side, and sometimes it's solved Mac-side problems, too. (Ordinarily one isn't supposed to unplug PS/2 devices without powering down the whole system, but when they're connected to the SwitchView, there doesn't seem to be any risk; in fact, Cybex explicitly lists "hot swapping" of PS/2 devices as one of the advantages of the device.)

For those occasions when unplugging and replugging doesn't solve problems on the Mac, I keep two tools at hand, one hardware and one software. The hardware is a standard ADB mouse. I keep it plugged into my second monitor, an AppleVision 1710AV, but if you don't have one of those, you can plug it into the ADB port on the AppAdapt or KeyStone. The software is an ancient control panel called ADB Probe by Robert Polic, whom you may know as the author of a much more common companion control panel, SCSI Probe. The version of ADB Probe I have is 1.2, last modifed in 1991; if anyone finds a later version, please let me know, but 1.2 has worked fine for me up through Mac OS 8.1.

What I do when I'm having an problem on the Mac side is use the ADB mouse to launch ADB Probe. (It doesn't even need to be in your active Control Panels folder.) As it launches, it polls the ADB bus and comes back with a number indicating the type of device, if any, attached to the 16 "slots" ADB theoretically supports. I don't know how to read these numbers, but I don't care. All I need is ADB's one other feature, a Reset button. More often than not, clicking on that once does _not_ solve the problem, but clicking it a second time after the first reset is complete (about five seconds) has worked every time, as far as I can remember.

Monitor Ghosting Problems

Many people who have tried any monitor-sharing setup, including myself, have had trouble with ghosting on the monitor. Some people report that they were able to get rid of it by moving from a low-cost switching device to a better one, but in my case that did no good -- I tried a slew of switches and still had the problem.

The solution turned out to be a "super-shielded" VGA cable -- not just any good-quality cable, or even the ones with the ferrite bubbles, but the ones with individually shielded coax conductors. Once I got those cables, the ghosting disappeared completely, even when I went back to the cheapest switching devices.

These cables are not carried in your typical PC shop, but you can find them in many larger outlets, specialty cable suppliers, and mail-order houses, such as Data Comm Warehouse., or Mac service centers, such as TekServe in New York City (212-929-3645, david@tekserve.com ).

Data Comm Warehouse's super-shielded cables include part numbers. are DCA1315, 1316, 1317,1318 and 1319 for "extension cables" (HDB15F-HDB15M) of various lengths, and DCA1003, 1004, 1005, and 1006 for the corresponding "switch cables" (HDB15M-HDB15M).

[EDITOR'S NOTE: a reader wrote to say that the DCA1003 did not work with his 17-inch Apple Studio Display (blue and white), sharing with with a Power Mac G3 (blue andwhite) and a HP pavillion PC. The reader said: "black screens...no sync...no image. Nothing." Other cables did work for him.]

There's also a cable company in Concord, California, called Cables Unlimited, and they list the supershielded VGA cables in their catalog (scroll down about 3/4 of the page to the VGA section). Cables Unlimited is a distributor, and I don't know if they'll sell in quantities of 1 or 2, but I'll bet they can give you the name of a local source.

A reader reports that Cables N' Mor of Sterling, Virgina (703)925-9530, Fax (703)925-9231, chelle@cablesnmor.com carries supershielded cables for $10. (They also carry $11 VGA switch boxes.) Another reader recommends Software Integrators, Inline, Inc., and Griffin Technology for high-quality cables.

However, I have heard of people running into ghosting, even with the supershielded coax cables I recommended. This is most likely caused by a low-cost mechanical switchbox being used. For me, the good cables cleared up the ghosting went away even with the cheapest of cheapo switchboxes, but not all no-frills switchboxes are alike. Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to differentiate the good from the bad, in this respect, among the cheapo switchboxes - they all look exactly the same. All I can say is that there is evidently greater risk of problems in this area than my own experience suggests.

(Click here for a general discussion on the monitor ghosting problem.)

Sharing a Monitor Only

Almost all the complexities and most of the expense in all this involve trying to use the same keyboard and mouse for both platforms. Setting up switching for a monitor, on the other hand, is relatively straightforward and inexpensive, and if the goal is to save space on your desk, that's also the big win.

In other words, if you want to save some space (and the cost of a monitor) but you don't want to take on a lot of hassle and expense, the easy way is to keep two sets of keyboards and mice and settle for sharing just the monitor. In this scenario you have several very low-cost choices. One is just to pick up a simple VGA switch box, which are even cheaper and more common than the PC keyboard/mouse/monitor switches I mentioned earlier. I've seen VGA switch boxes for as low as $5, but they normally run around $15-$30, and most PC stores and mail-order house carry them. The only potential hassle here is the ghosting problem, which you can solve with the super shielded cables mentioned earlier.

There's also an even simpler and cheaper solution for sharing a monitor--if you have the right kind of monitor. Many 17-inch displays and most 20- and 21-inch displays come with dual input connectors - -typically one VGA connector and one BNC -- and have a switch for choosing the source you want. Not all popular models have this feature, but many models from Sony, NEC, Mitsubishi, Nanao, ViewSonic, and others, do (Apple monitors do not).

I don't think the vendors expect people to have two computers connected - they are just trying to be compatible with various sources and cable types - but connecting two systems, even if one is Mac and one PC, works fine in my experience.

All you need is to make sure you have the right cables available and that the source switch on the monitor is convenient. (You might not want to have to reach around to the back to switch, but all the recent dual-input displays I've seen have had the switch in front with the other controls.)

The only downside to this solution I'm aware of is that on some monitors it takes 5-10 seconds after you switch for the new image to be drawn. This is no problem at all if you're going to be switching once or twice a day, but it can get annoying if you are jumping back and forth all day long.

 

Henry Norr is editor emeritus of MacWeek, and is a freelance writer whose articles appear in the San Francisco Chronicle, Macworld, MacWeek, and elsewhere. He has written about this topic in MacWeek.

Copyright 1998 Henry Norr and John Rizzo. All rights reserved.


Reader tips for Sharing Keyboards, Mice, and Monitor

Discover something interesting about sharing keyboards, mice, and monitors? Let us know.

Sharing a ADB mouse keyboard with PC via USB

August 9, 1999 -- Bob Andris sent us a description of an unusual Mac-PC keyboard, mouse, and monitor sharing setup. The unusual part is that he is sharing an Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) mouse and keyboard with a PC via some switch boxes and a USB card in the PC:

Based, loosely, on your information on the MacWindows web site and the info in your book I've finally put together the following setup.

Apple MultiScan 20 Display going into a "DALCO Electronics (1-800-445-5342)", #38600, DB15 female and 4-pin mini din female AB switch box $22.75.

Kensington 2-button ADB mouse for Macintosh, #64205, going into an Apple Extended Keyboard II, M3501.

The M3501 keyboard also goes into the DALCO #38600 switch box.

Connections:

  • I then have the "A" monitor cable go into my PowerMac 8500/233 monitor-in port.
  • The "A" ADB cable goes into the PowerMac's ADB port.
  • The "B" monitor cable goes into an Apple DB15-to-HD15 PC-adapter, and then into the "no name" PC's monitor-in port.
  • The "B" ADB cable goes into a "Griffin Technology" iMate ADB-to-USB adapter, and then into the PC's USB port.

    I also drilled three 1/4" holes in the back of the switch box, installed three stereo jacks and wired them to the switch (there were extra terminals available). I then plugged my Mac stereo speakers into the input jack and 2 male-to-male stereo cables into the "A" and "B" jacks and into the Mac and PC respectively.

    Would you believe it - this all works, except for one item. The Windows 98, self configuring, Plug-n-Play PC doesn't know the mouse has a right button. Do you have any guidance for me on how to clean up this last detail?

We suspect a driver issue, but aren't sure which driver to recommend.

November 27, 2000 --
Gregg Eshelman

Someone announced on the Vintage Macs e-mail list that he was able to use an ADB keyboard with a PC running Windows by plugging it into a Gryphon iMate USB to ADB adaptor. I think he said the Command keys mapped to the Windows logo keys and the Option keys mapped to the Alt keys. Everything else worked fine with the exception of the Power key.

Tips for sharing flat-panel displays

A reader reported that manufacturer Belkin says that most flat-planel displays don't work with KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) switches for sharing the display between Macs and PCs (or any two computers). This is due to proprietary connectors and signals in the flat panels. We know that Apple's new Cinema Display won't work with a standard KVM switch.

However, reader Tom Powers reports that he knows of two such displays that can be shared. Powers mentions the Viewsonic VP150, which he shared with a Belkin switch. (The Mac is the original G3/233 with a video adapter.) He also cited a client of his who shares an 18-inch NEC flat panel, but he didn't give the model. Powers recommends using the same resolution and frequency on both computers for the best results.

Reader Phil Noguchi

I am successfully using an Apple Studio Display bought refurbished from Small Dog Electronics. I have a Belkin Omnicube 2 port and a Belkin Macadapter hooked to a Mac 9600 upgraded to a g4/400 and an ATI Orion 32 MB card and a home-brew PC with a nVidia TNT 16 meg card. This combination switches without a problem at full 32 bit 1024/768 resolution, and the ADB port on the display hooks into the Mac adapter so that you can software control the screen on the Mac side.

Sharing keyboard, mouse with KVM

Tim Mullins sent us a description of his setup sharing a Dell keyboard and monitor with a Mac and PC using a KVM switch. He quotes product models and prices:

I use a KVM switch box and Mac to PS/2 converter to run a Dell Optiplex GX1 and a Mac G3. I use the Dell Keyboard and the MS Intellimouse. The scroll wheel does not work on the Mac side. You need a ADB cable M/M, if you have a Mac keyboard you can use that cable. The other items I got for $130 from Cyberguys and includes these items:
  • Mac to PC converter CV160 (Stock number 105-0300) $ 93.45. I use this for the ADB keyboard and PS/2 connections only. The monitor goes through the KVM box. This item includes a start button to replace the one you loose by having a PC rather than a Mac keyboard.
  • 4 to 1 VGA, PS/2 KYBD & Mouse DB15/MD6 (Item 105-0194) $22.42
  • PS/2 KB Cable Mini 6M-6M (item 121-2430) 4 @ $1.79
  • VGA Monitor Cable DB 15 M/M (item 128-2210) 2 @ $2.13

Remapping keys on PC keyboard when using with USB Mac

The ResExcellence web site has a page on how to use Resedit to remap the keys on a PC keyboard when using it with a USB Mac. The article notes that the Alt and Window keys are in the opposite positions from the Option and Command keys on a Mac keyboard, and describes how to switch them. (Apple's Resedit is a free programing utility.)

Using Mitsubishi display for keyboard/monitor sharing.

January 26, 2000 --
Dan

A reader sent in his report of sharing a Mitsubishi DiamondPro 2020u 22" monitor between a PC and a Mac. This display has two upstream and three downstream ports to enable two computers to share a single set of USB devices. It also has a built-in video switch. It works well except for one problem:

I FINALLY have a Mac/Windows switch setup I've been looking for forever:
  • Mitsubishi DiamondPro 2020u 22" monitor
  • Microsoft Natural Pro (heavy as hell, Elite is better) keyboard
  • Wacom Graphire 4x5 tablet w/ Win 2000 drivers
  • Power Mac G3/450 - OS 9
  • Generic Windows box - Windows 2000 Server

    Monitor has a Din/BNC pushbutton right there on front!

    Only problems have been intermittent, where the Mac of all things refuses to re-mount the input devices after switching from the PC. The PC has been pretty solid on the switching (go figure). Rebooting devices NEED to be switched to the correct video mode (can't reboot the Mac while looking at Windows) or you're just looking for USB problems not recognizing anything at all (basically an inputless computer). The monitor can't be configured to NOT autoswitch between inputs, unfortunately.

Sharing USB peripherals between Mac and PC

February 24, 2000 --
Roland Walter

USB has made linking a Mac and PC easy. I have a G4 350 and a USB-equiped PC sharing the G4 keyboard, a Microsoft Intellimouse, HP 832C printer and a Zip drive all through the USB ports on an Iogear MiniView USB KVM switch and a Keyspan 4-port USB hub. The setup also includes a Sony monitor.

Everything works fine including the mouse's scroll wheel. I simply push a button to switch all the peripherals from one computer to the other. The same functions can be achieved with a MoniSwitch USB from Dr. Bott . It has only one USB port while the Iogear unit has four. But adding ports with one or more hubs is an option with either switch.

This type of setup should work with any peripheral that includes both Mac and PC drivers. One simply loads the appropriate drivers on each computer and plugs in the cables. Windows 98 automatically detects a preinstalled driver that works with the Mac keyboard. When using the PC, the Apple key functions as the Windows key and the option key as the "alt" key.

The setup also allows file sharing through the Zip drive. I simply use a PC-formatted Zip disc when I need to move a file.

TIP: Using Apple Cinema Display with Dell PC

July 24, 2000 -- Peter Gun describes how to use an Apple Cinema Display with a Dell PowerEdge Workstation. (Thanks to Stephane Matis for the tip.)

TIP: Using Microsoft Natural Keyboard on Macs; Sleep/shutdown key works for Macs

Microsoft has posted Macintosh USB driver for its Natural Keyboards, the Natural Keyboard Pro and the Internet Keyboard Pro. The software allows Mac users customize the keyboard Hot Keys and settings, according to Microsoft. In particular, the software lets you:

  • Swap the Windows and ALT key functions to match the Apple/command and alt/option key functions, emulating standard Macintosh keyboard layout.
  • Swap the Control and Caps Lock key functions to emulate standard Macintosh keyboard layout.

September 5, 2000 --Tony Hess installed Microsoft's new MS drivers for his Internet Keyboard Pro (standard keyboard layout). The drivers work well, and he also noticed one unexpected feature:

The sleep button on this keyboard works just as it should (it brings up the "Restart, Sleep, Cancel, Shutdown" dialog box, just like an Apple keyboard power button).

I am running Mac OS 9.04 on a G4 Yikes 400.

We have confirmed that the Sleep key working this way is a documented feature. It won't start up the Mac, however.

Sharing the Microsoft Natural Keyboard (and mouse and monitor) between Mac and PC

September 11
Fred Gildred

One really neat thing I have done with the Microsoft Natural Keyboard is to plug in a USB printer into the keyboard and a MacAlly iSweetNet mouse. I have both a G4 and a Dell tower (sharing the same ViewSonic monitor-one with a standard VGA connection the other with the BNC connection)sharing the keyboard! Right now I have to switch the cable from one system to the other, but hope a $29 dollar USB Switch will take care of that. I have plugged the printer (an Epson Stylus 740) and the mouse into the keyboards USB ports as I mentioned. Both work flawlessly on either platform. Even the mouse with the scroll and both buttons work exactly as the should on the Windows side!

Finding the right monitor cables for monitor sharing

September 20, 2000 -- A reader called Skinny had problems with finding the right monitor cables to share a 17-inch Apple Studio Display (blue and white) with a Power Mac G3 (blue and white) and a HP Pavillion PC. He went through several switch boxes and four sets of cables, had problems with ghosting and display resolutions, and has come to these conclusions:

  • The quality of the switch box was not a factor. As I have tried a cheap ($20) box and an expensive ($85) box from L-COM.
  • When shopping for cables try to match the quality and features of the monitor's factory cable. Example, if the monitor cable is missing pin 9 then get a cable that is missing pin nine. And if the cable has a ferrite core get a cable with a ferrite core.

For the blue and white Studio Display, skinny needed a cable that had pin 15--without it, he could only display at 640 x 480 resolution. To prevent ghosting, he needed a cable that is "super shielded" and to have ferrites.

Special keys on USB Apple keyboard work with Windows; Remapping keys to Windows keys

October 3, 2000 -- Rob Griffiths reports that the volume buttons (up, down, mute) on the new Apple Keyboard Pro work on a PC running Windows 98 Second Edtion. Griffiths shares the USB keyboard with both a PowerMac G4 and a PC via a USB KVM switch (the Iogear MiniView).

January 22, 2003
Todd Miller is using an Apple Pro USB keyboard on a Windows machine, and found a way to remap the F13, F14, and F15 keys so that they act as the Windows Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Break functions. His method involves creating a text with registry information.

I use my Apple brand USB keyboard with a USB KVM switch to control both my Macs and a PC. It works great, except I was missing the Print Screen key because the Mac sends an F13 instead of Print Screen. I came across this registry edit that will map the F13-F15 to their PC counterparts. I have tested this on my Windows 2000 machine and I think it should also work on XP. This allows the user to press F13 on the Mac keyboard and have Windows receive a Print Screen command instead of F13.

Follow these instructions In order to map the F13-F15 keys on an Apple USB keyboard to the functions, Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Break commonly found on PC keyboards:

1. On your PC, copy the following lines into a text file.

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]

"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,04,00,00,00,46,E0,5F,00,46,00,5E,00,37,E0,5D,00,00,00,00,00

2. Rename the text file remap.reg.

3. Double click on the file remap.reg and answer yes to the question about adding the information to the registry.

4. Reboot.

Function keys are now remapped to their PC equivalents.

Reader writes software for using PC keyboard on a Mac

February 21, 2001 -- A reader named Robin writes:

I read your piece at on using a PC keyboard on a Mac. I also have that problem, since I use a BeOS PC and a Cube on a KVM switch. I took a slightly different route than everyone else seems to, however, and wrote my solution as an INIT that patches the system KeyTrans and SystemEvent traps to swap those keys (it also turns the Menu key into an extra escape key).

It's working well for me, so if you'd like to check it out I put the program (and it's source) on my web server. Let me know if it works for you, OK?

Using the Apple Pro Keyboard with Windows.

November 26, 2001 -- A reader named John reports:

The Apple Pro Keyboard works great with Win2K (no driver needed). I'm using MS IntelliMouse and Apple Pro Keyboard on both Mac and IBM (they are connect to a USB hub).

A discussion forum at Computing.net describes several other people using the Apple Pro Keyboard with various versions of Windows.

TIP: Share keyboard/mouse between Mac/PC with software.

February 6, 2004 -- Two readers sent in two different software methods of using one keyboard and mouse with two computers, a Mac and a PC. These software methods don't use KVM switches.

Bhavesh Patel tells about a utility called osx2x, which you use with either X11 (also known as the X Window System) or with the free VNC:

I've got a dual-headed desktop, though one is my G4 and the other is my Dell. Until today I've had two keyboards and mice on the desk to control each machine.

Today I saw osx2x mentioned on MacInTouch. This free software allows you to use a single Keyboard/Mouse with multiple machines over a network connection - either X Window (unix/linux) or VNC (Windows).

So I installed VNC server on my Dell and osx2x on my G4. Now when I roll the Mac mouse off the left edge of my Mac Display, the mouse rolls over onto my PC display. Keyboard control follows.

Very slick and no KVM needed!

We would point out that X Window (also known as X11) is included with Mac OS X 10.3.

Bryan Derman mentioned KMremoteControl (US $25 for two machines), software that runs on Windows 2000/XP and the Mac OS X 10.2 and later.


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