[OT] USB KVM switches

From: Eric Smith <eric_at_brouhaha.com>
Date: Tue Feb 1 00:26:24 2005

Bruce wrote:
> KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) switches do the same wonderful job for PC
> consoles that serial A/B switches did for terminals.

And I sure wish I could find some *reliable* USB KVM switches. Ideally
without spending an arm and a leg, but given that the inexpensive ones
are terrible, maybe I'd be willing to spend real money for one that
actually works.

I bought a Belkin about two years ago for some new systems being set
up. At first I thought my keyboard was broken, so I replaced it, and
discovered that the Belkin routinely forgets that you have a modifier
key (e.g., shift, control, or alt) pressed. Suppose you're in emacs,
holding down control and "f" to move the cursor forward. At some point
the Belkin forgets that control is down, and you start getting "f"s
inserted into your document.

One of the selling points of the Belkin was that the firmware is
upgradeable. There's been one new release of firmware, and it didn't
fix the problem.

More recently I bought an Iogear USB KVM switch. It has the opposite
problem. Sometimes when you release a key, it doesn't notice, so the
key starts repeating. Often this happens when you are releasing a
shifted key. For instance, many times when I try to type a colon, I get
one colon followed by repeating semicolon.

Given that USB and the HID class have much more well-defined specifications
than the PS/2 keyboard port, it astonishes me that USB KVM switches are
so bad.

Received on Tue Feb 01 2005 - 00:26:24 GMT

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