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Multi-workstation Mouse

move between (for example) PC and UNIX with one mouse
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
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If you have two computers at your desk, as many people in engineering or design do, you probably have a keyboard for each and a mouse for each. (I'm leaving out keyboards for now, because I'm under the impression that they work in a different way than the mouse.) I've had three monitors in a row, (two UNIX, one PC) and spent interminable stupid-minutes wondering why the cursor, which drifts happily over the gap between UNIX 1 and UNIX 2, wasn't moving across to the PC screen no matter how hard I banged it against the side of UNIX 2 (the cursor, not the mouse - that's a different idea).

You may have already got yourself a cordless mouse for one or other of these computers - presumably they 'talk' to the relevant box in the same way, so how difficult would it be to use the same mouse for both? They could do this with a reasonably stiff scroller or switch on the side at about thumb position. Just like a multi-appliance remote for TV/video etc, you flick the switch and the mouse is applied to UNIX, flick it back and you are on your PC.
If you don't want a cordless mouse (I don't know - you lose things easily? people pinch things from your desk?) the same switch could work by deciding between two cables, which are together in one casing until they split about 1 metre down the line and become two discrete cables; since you may have your workstation box at the other end of your desk from your PC, there may be a need for much longer cabling. Still reasonably messy but you only have to hold onto one mouse.
The software for this would probably be even easier to write if the two (or more) parent computers weren't running on different OSs - having one cordless dual mouse for your desktop and laptop would be (I think) desirable. I would say that a three-parent mouse (workstation+PC+laptop) would probably be the maximum you could expect though, any more and you could just end up going round the office confusing other people's computers...
sappho, Apr 30 2002

x2vnc http://www.hubbe.net/~hubbe/x2vnc.html
Baked more or less as sleepyBrett describes it. [wiml, Apr 30 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Synergy http://sourceforge.net/projects/synergy2/
Sweet program, just what you're looking for. Better than a KVM. A few caveats regarding screensaver locking. [d1663m, Jan 13 2005]


       A KVM switch will get you there, perhaps not as elegantly as what you propose, though.
bristolz, Apr 30 2002

       Oh, never mind mouse input: give me a cross-platform clipboard!   

       I've more than once found myself doing a Ctrl-C on one machine, a swivel, and a Ctrl-V on the other and then wondering why it didn't paste what I copied...
JKew, Apr 30 2002

       This is actually software i have thought about writing a number of times. Put clients on all the machines, one is the master, the keyboard and mouse are hooked up there, arrange the computers like you arrange multiple monitors.   

       if the mouse hits the edge of the monitor, start sending x/y s to the next client over, etc.   

       there are many hurdles of course. i was thinking about also sending clipboard data.   

       just another thing on the list of software i never got around to.
sleepyBrett, Apr 30 2002

       To really complicate this: couldn't a switch box be controlled by a command coming from the mouse port of each machine ? Then the mouse driver on each machine could send the command to the switch box when the o/s detects that the mouse has reached the edge of the display. The switch box then would pass the mouse / keyboard signals to the computer that was programmed in the switch box to be logically in succession from the location that the mouse pointer left the display of the previous screen. Don't ask me to write the cross platform drag and drop though.   

       Now, where'd I put that Mouse Programmer's Reference manual ?
half, Apr 30 2002

       Heh, after using a mouse for a long time and needing to point to something in meatspace, I've tried to use the mouse pointer before.   

       I suppose this is baked as laser-pointers. Pity the spot is not blue and triangular, really.
Loris, Aug 06 2002

       My Logitech MX Master has this. There's a button on the bottom that cycles between up to three paired computers/receivers. (It supports both Bluetooth and Unifying.) However, I would like to mod it to use the gesture button (under the thumb, and which I don't use otherwise) to do the cycling, both for greater convenience and to be more surreptitious for pranking purposes.
notexactly, Jan 03 2016

       I came here from Mouse Key to say what I, once I arrived, realized I had already said. (I also realized that my previous statement of baking is false, because it's a different way of working. Synergy and Teleport are the real bakes.) However, I do now use the gesture button to activate VistaSwitcher. (I also set the thumb back/forward buttons to be page up/down in VistaSwitcher, because I have lots of windows.) Perhaps a long press could cycle between computers. Perhaps it could use the battery LEDs (which are on the side, while the paired-computer LEDs are on the bottom around the pairing button) to indicate which computer it was paired to, perhaps even in binary so I can use it with more than three computers.
notexactly, Apr 17 2017


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