Written by: Adam Christianson
Listen to today’s show here!
MC20050601.mp3 [12.7mb 27:48 64kbps]
A podcast about Macs done by a Mac geek for Mac geeks. Show 64. Apple releases QuickTime 7.0.1, Mac OS 10.4.2 released to developers, new iPod Photo update coming soon, AOpen’s “Pandora’s” box Mac Mini clone, Apple launching “The Studio” in more retail store and Microsoft plays follow the leader, again. Migrating from Adobe Photo Album/Elements to iPhoto, recommendation for a USB KVM Switch. Get an iPed Discount from Thought-out.biz. My decision on advertising in the show and how to support the show without advertising. New music, The Longer Goodbye by Six of One. For whom the bell tolls. Shownotes: HTML or OPML
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USB KVM Switch from Iogear is what I use in my mixed environment. Works great.
Greetings from a brand new switcher! I’m a 20+ year IT veteran who has actually sold 6 Macs to friends before I got one of my own. Not even a thanks from Steve Jobs….
I just yesterday hooked up my new Mac Mini to (one of the two!) monitors on my PC using the TRENDnet TK-209i KVM switch. It works great.
http://www.trendnet.com/products/TK-209i.htm It’s only $25 at NewEgg.
The TRENDnet TK-209i will switch between 2 computers. It switches the VGA monitor port and both audio in and audio out. The weirdness you should know about is it has only the PS/2 style mouse and keyboard inputs for the “console.” USB mice and keyboard can connect to it if you use a PS/2 to USB adapter on the device. The KVM has one USB connector on of the PCs cables. The other set has PS/2 style connectors. I’m sure the story is the same there – you could connect the PS/2 connectors to a USB only Mac but you’d need the adapter cables.
TRENDnet does have 2 port USB KVM, the TK-206i, but that one does not switch the audio. It still uses PS/2 mouse and keyboard inputs for the console.
I have the USB side going to the Mac Mini and the PS/2 set going to the PC. Like I said, using this KVM my PC keyboard and mouse work great on both.
The push button switch on the KVM is transparent, and changes from blue to green when you switch PCs. When a PC is powered down, the light for that color flashes.
The KVM is powered by the PC that connects by USB. I’ve found that even if this “host” PC is shutdown the LED indicator light on the switch flashes so the KVM still gets power. I my case I guess that means if I were to unplug power cord on the Mac Mini entirely the KVM won’t switch. Otherwise the KVM works, even when the Mini is shut down.
You can switch back and forth by using keyboard commands beginning with [Scroll-Lock]-[Scroll-Lock] and then 1 or 2 to selct the PC you want. You can also select an auto-scan mode where the KVM will switch back and forth every 10 seconds.
TRENDnet even has some keyboard commands you can issue on a the PC keyboard to simulate the pressing of keys found only on Mac keyboards like the F13-F15 keys and the CD Eject key. To see how that works, you can download the user’s guide here:
Anyway, I wanted our(!) fellow Mac Geeks who don’t need more to switch between more than 2 PCs to know there is a product that works well and costs much less.
I’m planning on sending you some more tech tips later.