Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Sunday, April 4, 2004

Any Suggestions?

Uhg! I hate Windows. Of course, this is not news to anyone who knows me.

You may have read, Friday, that I combined my office PC and Mac to the same keyboard, mouse, and monitor with a USB KVM switch. I may have made a mistake. Sure enough, looking back at the box the switch came in, the supported Windows versions are ME, 2000, and XP—not 98. This probably explains why, every once in a while, switching to use the PC results in a blue-screened crash. I guess Windows 98 doesn’t like dealing with the USB devices coming and going like that. Stoopid.

Does anyone know of a workaround to this or am I going to have to beg the IT director to upgrade me to XP? Personally, I don’t care what version it’s on—I only use the machine for limited office network needs, but the IT guys are being hesitant to upgrade all the machines. Apparently, it’s a royal pain, from a network administration point of view, if you’re not using a Microsoft-based network. We’re on Novell.

» Posted by ALBj at 11:44 AM (ET)
Category: Housekeeping


Guess I should have asked this on Friday, but what type of KVM did you get?

I have the IOGear MiniView III 4 port switch and it’s a thing of beauty. Unlike the POS Belkin I tried, it works reliably with both Macs and Windows systems (the Belkin used to send my keyboard into a tizzy when the Mac was active).

IOGear makes a two port version as well. The web site lists Win98 as supported.

Also unlike the Belkin, the IOGear device actually includes cables. Depending on your licensing situation with XP, it might be cheaper to buy the IOGear than the Windows upgrade.

If you can return the original KVM, I’d do it.

» Posted by Eric Blair
April 4, 2004 03:00 PM

Hmm, I ordered the Belkin because it was smaller, cheaper, and was powered by the USB connection instead of an A/C adapter. That last fact is probably exactly what my problem is.

I suppose I can return it, but I already got rid of the packaging after it seemed to work fine at first.

I think I can tough it out. Our office will probably be on XP before terribly long, anyway.

Hmm, I just thought of something, thought it’d kind of be a pain in the ass to re-run the cables. I actually have an IOGear switch at home. I suppose I could just temporarily swap them.

» Posted by Lee Bennett
April 4, 2004 03:08 PM

I have had more problems with KVMs not properly switching the input devices between systems. This is especially true with PS/2 because my old 98 laptop port replicator would not retrigger the power up sequence when the computer was remove from the replicator. I also can’t use RF devices for similiar reasons. Even my XP laptop’s replicator seems to have a problem with devices that don’t stay powered. I gave up on depending on the KVM and use VNC to talk to my various computers in the office. It can be a little awkward, but I rarely need to work for very long with any of the others, so it works for me.

» Posted by Queue
April 6, 2004 02:03 AM

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