switchboxes to thin the herd?


Old 11-17-03, 07:11 PM
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Question switchboxes to thin the herd?

hello all. even though i own possibly the worlds largest computer desk its jammed up bad. aka too much junk

now i find self with new girlfriend who also has a pretty good system that needs to go on desk.

i have a pair of 2 position belden switchboxes.
can i say hook 2 systems to one monitor or maybe 2 systems to one printer or scanner?

im sure bidirectional cables are a must also right? thanks in advance...
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Old 11-17-03, 07:32 PM
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Wiath an appropriate switch box you can hook two computers to one monitor. You can do the same with any and all other devices.

However, if you expect to use both computers at the same time you may run into problems with some equipment. By both at the same time I mean leave one running while temporarily switching to the other one to say print a document and then switch back to the first one.

You will have the most success with a USB printer and a USB scanner, since USB is designed such that devices can be plugged in and disconnected while the system is running. If the printer is parallel or serial, or the scanner is parallel or serial then there may be issues with the device all of a sudden appearing if it wasn;t there at boot up. Then again, there may not be any problems.

A better solution would be to connect the computers on a simple network and share the printer with a network device. The scanner probably can't be shared in this manner (unless it is a high end model), but then again, scanning is generally not done every day and you could switch the cables for that.
Old 11-17-03, 08:00 PM
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thank you

thank you very much. i really would like to network the systems. there are 3 plus my ladies. one is inet only one is game machine and the other is my lame attempt
at linux for the simple minded

lesia's machine is like an all in one minus the great bird. im in process of trying to wean her from MS & messenger and spyware programs. so far not much progress except for the mozilla firebird and bitdefender av proggie.

she does not understand the dangers of forwarded messages and IM proggies.i ran adaware and spybot on her machine and got 322 hits! dialers trackers bots by the ton.

im sure a great percentage of netizens have not the slightest clue what lurks.

enough rant. thanks for the advice and options on the switches. john
Old 11-17-03, 08:01 PM
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Sharing printers and scanners is not a problem - always-on or not. The only time the computer loads drivers for the printer or accesses the printer is when it's actually printing (with the exception of printers that load special monitoring software.)

If you're using parallel for the printer and scanner, then I highly recommend you go with an auto-sensing switch - then you don't have to worry about switching it every time.

However, the scanner will be much more touchy than the printer - I suggest you use one computer for scanning and just share the printer. It will just make things easier.

Switching the monitor back and forth between boxes is easy enough - you can grab a VGA switcher down at Best Buy or online at TigerDirect.com or NewEgg.com, or any of a thousand other places.

If you're sharing a broadband connection between the 2 computers - or if you plan to in the future - then you may want to consider a router with built-in Print Server. I have a 4-port Wireless Router with built-in Print Server - makes things so much easier, especially on wondering laptops. I can print without any problems or having to go through any other computers.

Good luck!
Old 11-17-03, 10:21 PM
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If you want to share a monitor, you can get a KVM switch that will switch on the fly. Trendnet makes a couple. Model TK-200 will handle two computers to one monitor. There is also a model for 4 computers and one monitor, as I recall.

It allows you to use one keyboard, one mouse, and one monitor for the computers. I had one set up with my server for a while, until I pulled the keyboard, mouse, and monitor off of it. It does not really need them.

Hope this helps.

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