This is my 3rd in a series of personal reviews of various “extend my mouse and keyboard” tools.
My office desk setup includes three 24” monitors connected to my Windows 8 desktop workstation (Dell Optiplex), plus a monitor on my Hyper-V 2012/SBS 2011 server (Dell T410), plus a Windows 8 touch-screen laptop (Lenovo) that I use for testing. And, when necessary, I have a 32” Samsung TV that I can attach using a USB multi-display adapter (Plugable’s Model UGA-2K-A).
So, being able to use one keyboard and mouse is an essential tool and a real time saver for me. (P.S. someday, if I can get the stuff on my desk cleaned up and put away, I’ll take a picture of my setup!)
Mouse Without Borders
In August 2012 I wrote about a product called Mouse Without Borders. I must say, it works very well. The only negative is that only works with Windows-based computers, so no Linux or Mac OS. They released an updated version in January 2013 that supports Windows 8/Windows 2012.
In May 2013 I tested a similar product called Synergy, which does support Windows, Linux and Mac OS computers. I used Synergy from May to August, and for the most part, the product worked fine. One nagging issue I had with Synergy was that whenever I needed to reboot my server or workstation, Synergy did not always sync up properly. The services start up, but I had to keep playing with it, stopping and starting the services, until eventually it was in sync and working. Very frustrating. Finally in August I reverted back to using Mouse Without Borders.
This week I came across a new product called ShareMouse (from Bartels Media GmbH) and just installed it to give it a spin. So here are some first day impressions.
- First thing to note is that it is very, very easy to install. After downloading the install file you are 4 clicks away (OK, Next, Next, Finish)
- It has a very intuitive screen manager to identify the position of my monitors for proper mouse movement.
- It supports both Windows 8 and Mac OSX 10.9
- A simple, but very helpful, feature is that it dims inactive monitors, so you always know which computer you are working on
- They offer a free version for personal use (two computers, two monitors)
- The paid versions (standard and pro) offer ability to drag and drop files and folders between computers. They have enhanced the product so that you only need to install the license on just one computer in your group.
- Comparison of their free, standard and pro editions
I will post a follow up on this utility after using it for a few more weeks.