Looking for some USB KVM Love

Looks like my old Hawking 2 port PS/2 KVM is starting to bite the big one. It can’t seem to deal with my wireless mouse anymore, which means I have a KV, which is far less than 1/3rd as useful as a full KVM.

I ran into town this evening and found a little I/O Gear unit which had USB and audio sharing, was small, and with integrated cables would (theoretically) reduce at least some of the cable clutter. The fact that it could translate the keyboard and mouse inputs into a single USB input into the machine (does that make any sense?) would help as well. I was actually pretty excited about the audio sharing as well, for a while now I’ve had the linux box hooked up to speakers and the windows box hooked up to my headphones, and it’d be nice to have both hooked up to the same (which can be done by doing things with the line in, but that requires both to be on, etc etc). So I grabbed it and came home.

End result was supremely unimpressive. As in, it didn’t work. First of all when I plugged it in I had the keyboard and mouse inputs reversed, though it let me type in my usename into my linux box before it decided not to work at all. When I found and resolved my problem it would let only the mouse through, I had zero keyboard control. I tried with the keyboard connected directly to both systems just in case it’s USB port was busted and I’ve never noticed because I’ve been using the PS/2 port, but nada.

So I ran back into town (this was around 8:50pm) and was thinking of running into Futureshop, seeing if they had anything decent and buying that, then returning the busted unit to London Drugs. I decided to return it first, which was a mistake because London Drugs closed at 10 and Futureshop closed at 9, so I returned it but couldn’t get a different one (assuming one existed that is).

So I’m able to do a bit of research and find something that’s good, that and hopefully available nearby and soon, like, tomorrow soon (I’ve been using a KVM far too long to be without one!). I’ve also done some looking and found that if I get a four port with the right features, I can share my second monitor as well, at least according to this 2002 Tech Report usb kvm roundup.

Sadly the local stores I know of don’t show a whole lot of choice in their KVM selection, much less their USB KVM selection. Anyone know of any good ones out there that they can recommend?

6 Comments on “Looking for some USB KVM Love”

  1. I know it’s rather out of your way but NCIX.com has a lot of KVM switches available. might want to check them out.

  2. Funnily enough I was planning to call their richmond store tomorrow morning (only place around that’s not FS or LD that seems to be open sundays).

  3. I had the Belkin 4-port usb kvm with audio sharing, and I wasn’t impressed. It worked well enough, I guess, in that it didn’t do anything stupid like switch keyboard/mouse, but it had the annoying habit of not allowing a pressed keystroke to continue for more than 5 seconds. Crappy in FPSes because it meant re-pressing the “w” key a lot, and some jerky movement.
    The audio and USB sharing did work well, however, sop I highly suggest those features. Eventually, though, I just gave up on the thing and have it sitting, waiting for Ebay, while my good ol’ ps2 mnouse/keyboard are plugged into my Windows desktop, and I VNC into my Mac.

  4. Engel – that’s a bit scary, seeing as the number of FPS games I play. Maybe I’ll look at the iogear one(s), or a newer hawking one.

  5. Cool. the might not have it in stock in that store though, so calling is a good idea. I’ve thought about getting a KVM just so i can have one monitor for a dual monitor setup, probably doesn’t make too much sense but i think it would be helpful. i have an ATI AIW 9600pro

  6. Hawking seems to be a great company both my switch and 802.11g router are made by them and both work great. Never had any problems. I just don’t know anywhere locally that sells hawking products.