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2 Users, 1 Monitor

Psionic Fungus

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Okay, I know what most of you will think when looking at the topic title: KVM Switch.

But that's not what I'm looking for.

My roommate and I work cooperatively on projects all the time, tossing things back and forth between our workstations, etc.

I'm also setting up a projector for a display in our work area.

What I want to do:

*Each of us have our own seperate box (we tend to bog down our individual systems pretty quickly when working alone, I can only imagine both of us working on the same processor/memory)

*A single projector based display

*Both of our boxes pipe our display to the projector

Since we work cooperatively a ton I thought it'd be awesome for us to both be working on a massive screen, if I need something that he found or made I can move my mouse over, and just drag what I need to my side.

Any ideas on how to accomplish this?

Or better ways to go about it?

Or even general input on how stupid/neat of an idea it is?

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i think what your looking for is synergy.. if i recall correctly... hak5 actually did an episode on this a while back... i think that might be your solution...

things like synergy and multiplicity are more for using the same keyboard and mouse accross multiple monitors and computers.

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Yeah, Vector, you're correct.

I've looked into Synergy, and it isn't what I'm looking for.

From Synergy's website:

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display.

Thanks for the input so far, guys.

I do know it is kinda pointless other than the goof off factor, but I'd really like to do it anyway.

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Sounds like an awsome idea... I did something like that once. I was inspired by shows like NCIS. They always says something like "I got something boss" and he says "put it on screen"

Anyway... Checkout LinkQ http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/Support.../LinQv13Win.htm

It is software for use with SmartBoards. It is designed to be used with SmartBoards, so it would require a networked computer on the Projector.

I know it's not exactly what you are looking for, but it is one step closer and maybe it will spark an idea in someone.

Keep Us updated if you get something working, I would love to update my setup.

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All I can picture is "2 girls 1 cup" after reading your topic of "2 users, 1 monitor". :lol:

i can only think of VNC.

QFE! Or PC Anywhere, but its not free. There are probably a lot of programs out there that can do this.

Never tried it, but has anyone ever used "Remote Assistance" or whatever that help service is in windows? I think it lets you share the screen and its built into windows(or it might just be RDP, I never tried it, so not sure).

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Hah, to be perfectly honest that's why I chose the topic title. Hah

I wasn't aware PC Anywhere would let the two simultaneous users interact with each other on the same monitor. I'll have to check that out.

When we use it at work and a tech logs onto one of the servers while we are using it, we can see th emouse move and if he sits idle, i can move the mouse and open things, type, etc. I once had a session where we chatted in notepad through a PC anywhere session, but the default settings might be to lock the machine from the other user while doing what you need to do and then release it back to them when done. I never had to configure them, so not sure what is involved in doing so. They are all setup for us at work and we just login to remote machines when we need to work on them.

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Yeah, that sounds exactly like my experience with Remote Desktop. If that's what it is then the problem is that we can't work simultaneously. Yeah, you can talk to each other via notepad or whatever, but while one of you is typing in Notepad the other one can't be moving windows around, editing a spreadsheet, etc.

Only one user has control at a time.

Though I could be mistaken (very very possible, cause I'll be the first to admit I'm not the most skilled around these parts. Long time fan/lurker, just never posted cause I never had anything positive to contribute).

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I seem to remember this been done on two big 'table-screen's over at some convention...

And there'd be multi pointer and multi keyboard features... then he'd drag something from one screen to another... woh, it was awesome!

I'd get one myself, if it was under a thousand... LOL

But I think Mac is working on something like that (multi-touch) for there new OS. (last I checked, codenamed: Snow Leopard).


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Multitouch wouldn't be too hard to create, I don't think.

Go out and buy a couple of Nintendo Wii controllers and hack it up.

Though you have gotten me thinking, USB....

Maybe I need to go about this in the form of a multitouch, without the touch... Guess just a multi? lol

I'm not sure, just bouncing ideas at the moment as I really have no idea how to go about this.

I appreciate the input, thanks.

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I'm just going to lay down what I think:

What you want to do doesn't currently exist. Basically what you want to do is this but with the ability of detaching windows from your session (you can't 'drag' the window to another screen) and reattaching them to a different session and the only thing that comes close to that is xmove which as described here and here is a pain.

Doing this (if you can make xmove work) makes sense from what the user sees perspective. From the technical side it's a full on water processing plant of problems:

First "Who owns the processes?". Yep, you moved a window to a different screen, but actually you didn't. You moved the connection to the screen, the process is still running as you and you have to move windows per process not per window. After 'moving' the 'window' the processes is still running as you so is still using all your local resources (as in configuration files, cache and other files it needs constant access to).

Ultimately in order to archive this you need a way of cloning a running processes, send the processes to another computer and hope non of the resource it needs are been used and are identical to what they where in the other session (which they won't).

So if you manage to make all this work brilliant, you can now clone processes in any state so it's program neutral. Now you have to find a way to make programs aware of this so it doesn't do things such as: You have 3 firefox windows open, one with your gmail, one with some porn and another with an article about how batteries work. You tell the 'window mover' to send the window with the batteries article to your friend, it then dutifully clones the process and sends all three windows to your friend. So you need to some how convince firefox to launch a second processes containing nothing but the one window of batteries.

This ignores all security problems with this. I'm just going to assume any thing that allows you to do it is ultimately designing your system to be insecure.

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Wonderful reply. Thank you. The more I started thinking about it after I posted this topic the more I realized that this is simply a logistical nightmare...

Would have an outstanding "awesome factor" as I like to put it, but not sure if the awesome factor would be worth the hassle.

Though don't get me wrong... I am still certainly going to give it a shot. :)

Thanks again, Sparda.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Found something that might be of interest.


Lets you use multiple mice and keybords on one machine. The site is down for me right now, but I was able to view it yesterday. Maybe is my dns acting up or the site really is down, but give it a shot.

It can be used by up to three users on the same computer which means that each of them would be able to control a mouse and keyboard independently of each other. The collaborative software can be installed on computer systems running Windows XP and Windows Vista.
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Might be of interest? Wrong. Very much of interest!


I'll definitely be downloading that.

Probably your DNS acting up since the site is fine for me right now and I just finished downloading.


Only down side right now, besides using a single PC/Processor, is the fact that only ONE input device can be functioning at a single time. I.E. two mice can't click on two seperate things and move them simulataneously.

Hopefully on next update.

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