If you are anything like me, your computer room/area is cluttered with stuff. Monitors, printers, books, etc. … and thus you never have enough room for everything you have. One of the biggest space hogs is the monitor, and if you have more than one computer it usually means more than one monitor. There goes your desk space.
One solution is to use a KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) switch to use a single monitor with different computers. This is the solution I decided to go with and I chose the Belkin 4-port Omni Cube to do this.
The Omni Cube is a small black box that has 2 PS/2 inputs for a mouse and keyboard on the front and a monitor input on the back. This is where you plug in your monitor, mouse and keyboard that you will be using. On the back it offers 4 sets of ports, each one containing 2 PS/2 ports and a monitor port, to connect up to four computers. This allows you to use a single monitor, mouse, and keyboard to control up to 4 different systems.
Installation is very easy. Plug in the provided AC Adapter, plug your mouse and keyboard into the front ports. Plug your monitor into the rear monitor port. Then use PS/2 cables to run from your system to the back ports as well as a video cable from your computer’s monitor port to the Omni Cube’s monitor port.
There is an push button on the front that allows you to choose which system you are going to use along with red LED indicators letting you know which system is selected. Alternatively, you can also control the box directly from your keyboard by pressing and releasing Ctrl-Alt-Shift, then typing the number of the port you wish to use on your keyboard, and hit Enter.
One of the great things about the Omni Cube is that it provides signals to your other system that make them think that the mouse and keyboard are still connected.
I have 4 systems running on the OmniPort: my 2000/ME box, my Linux box, my P133 test box, and a Mac 7100 (with a video adapter). All systems run great without any problems. I run the resolution normally at 1024×768, but have had it at 1280×1024 without any visible signal problems whatsoever!
Now with my setup I have the Mac keyboard and mouse attached to the Mac and use a IntelliMouse and a single keyboard for the other 3 PS/2 compatible systems and I have yet to experience any problems.
This is one the best space saving solutions I have found! It works perfectly, but I do recommend using good cables (I use Belkin). I think cheap, poor quality cables could cause problems.
One thing to be aware of is that when you boot a machine hooked up to an Omni Cube, you should switch the Omni Cube to that machine’s port, otherwise you’ll run the risk of the mouse and keyboard not being detected, especially in Windows NT 4.
I recommend the Belkin Omni Cube to anyone who is in a similar situation. Combined with the cables this setup will run about the same price as another monitor, but the fact that you can run four systems on a single monitor was a big money saver for me as well.
Check out the Omni Cube at http://www.belkin.com/. I think you will be pleased with the results.
Submitted by: Zenwolf