Synergy truly rocks.
For a while now I’ve been using osx2x along with UltraVNC, just so that I could use one keyboard and dual monitors on two computers — a Mac and a PC.
osx2x’s problems were many: the PC would detect a / as a ?, and vice versa; the number pad wouldn’t work, and sometimes the shift key would get stuck. Worse, it was impossible to play games on the PC and span over to the Mac’s monitor — osx2x would either completely garble the mouse commands, or would just crash. I had to put a KVM in place just so that I could switch the hardware keyboard to the PC when I wanted to game.
Development for osx2x seems to have stopped; it’s been stuck at 2.20 for almost a year, with no news listed on the page. The app, though small, is really annoying. In order to work, it must be in the foreground, and will also display a huge arrow pointing to the remote display. It consumes space on the Dock, and even at its smallest size, the app window is larger than a minimized iTunes window.
Synergy is a real pain to install, particularly on OSX. I’ve not yet seen a good way to get it to start on login, but I’ve not looked very hard. The key to setting up Synergy is that it is totally backwards from a VNC setup: the machine the hardware [keyboard, monitor] is plugged into is the server, and the machine that you’re controlling is the client.
Configuring a WinXP Synergy client is dead-easy. On a Mac, you’ll still have to edit text files, but I did find a GUI front-end, SynergyOSX, but I haven’t tried it. Here’s a hint: your system names will be the WinXP NetBIOS name, like “Home”, and the Mac’s Rendezvous name, like “Bob.local”. Be sure to test your connections, and you’ll see what the problem is if you run into any.
So far, Synergy is pretty nice. Once you start the server [from Terminal], it disappears and does its job. On the WinXP client machine, it leaves a little systray icon. And yes, the / key is indeed the / key, not the \ key.
Games still don’t play well across the Synergy connection, but that’s to be expected.