Hardware Windows

2-port KVM switch

Belkin SwitchI have needed a KVM switch (Keyboard, Video, Monitor switch) for some time now, as it has become bothersome to switch between my pc and my mac every time.

Sure, I did install ultra-vnc on my pc, so I could fire up Chicken of VNC and get to my pc using my Mac’s screen and use it for simple tasks like Active Sync and Word processing, and it does that Very Well.
But it doesn’t show very good video and it goes haywire when you want play games, even simple ones. And my son is asking more and more to play a game on our pc so I am spending more and more time switching cables.

So I set out to find a solution that was compatible with mac and pc. As previously mentioned, I already looked a solution made by Belkin, but at the time it wasn’t out yet.

This time it was available, but not the specific mac-intel version.

I could either buy a Switch2 solution that fit under the mac mini, with no sound replication and which costs more than 110 € in the Fnac (although you can find it online lots cheaper), or I could buy the regular Belkin 2-port KVM Swith, with built-in Audio sharing (F1DL102Uea) and a max resolution of 2048×1536 for about 65 €.

After lots of comparing and running between the two product stands, I chose the latter, because
a) it was cheaper and
b) it included audio as well
It also claimed compatibility with Mac OS X. And while Belking makes a lot of noise about their latest Switch2 version for mac to be the only one that can deal with a Mac keyboard, this version has no problems with it as well – when I switch to my Windows XP, my Apple keys become Windows keys, and vice versa.

So, this solves my switch problems. All I need now is a new pc.

I’ve been mulling about buying a new iMac with built-in screen, but with lots of extra costs on our house coming up, the cheaper solution will be to continue using my mac mini and buying a new, higher performance pc. For about 1000 € you can get a more than reasonable top-of-the-line pc while a similar iMac with same memory costs close to double (of course, the screen is not included in the regular pc, but nowadays the price difference shouldn’t be that big).

Hmm. I’ll wait a bit more, see if there are any new updates to the iMac line that make it worthwhile to choose it.

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