Effortlessly switch between computers using Synergy | Ryan Joy (atxryan) Effortlessly switch between computers using Synergy | Web developer living and playing in Austin, Texas. Microsoft Developer Evangelist.
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Effortlessly switch between computers using Synergy

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June 17, 2008 by Ryan Joy

My development environment consists of a Dell PC (with dual flat panel displays) and my Macbook Pro. I’d LOVE to add a third monitor to the PC to be dedicated to the stack trace, diagnostic outputs, and console logs, but that’s another story.

On these machines I have IDEs, an SQL analyzer, and text editors to code in; VMs and browsers galore open to test in (generally 6 or 7). Add to that clients for IRC, IM, and Twitter. Then, of course, there’s an email client for both my personal (Thunderbird) and work (Outlook) email and calendars.

What I’m getting at is that I do A LOT of context switching. Leaving out all debate about whether it’s efficient for me to manage that many tasks/applications/views (it’s really not), I still needed a way to minimize the effort it took for me to switch to applications running on my MBP.

I found that solution in Synergy.

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).


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