Questions

How do I connect 2 PC's to one widescreen monitor?

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How do I connect 2 PC's to one widescreen monitor?

boxwood.3
THere isn't enough room on the desk in the office for 2 monitors but 2 users, each at a separate time, will need to use the one monitor.
How do I do this? Is there a safeguard to prevent the one user from getting to the other PC?
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    Toivo Talikka

    If you have two computers using the same monitor which has a standard VGA cable, you can buy a Keyboard-Video-Mouse (KVM) switch to connect two PCs to share the same keyboard, monitor and mouse:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kvm_switch

    There are different models available to connect USB devices. If you monitor is digital, you need to get a compatible KVM switch with the right outlets.

    You can get KVM switches with buttons which can be pushed to activate one PC or the other. Alternatively, a particular key sequence from the keyboard can transfer control to the PC. I personally prefer to push a button to switch my screen between a PC and two servers.

    The video cable carries only video signals and does not transfer data from one computer to the other.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    The answer to your space problem the simplest solution to retain security is to set passwords and log off every time that you leave the system. Short of doing that set the screen saver to a short time limit and make it so that you need to log on after the screen saver activates.

    Doing things that way should prevent one person using the others computer, unless you share the passwords and then there is no way of knowing who's doing what on each computer but there should be a Rule in Place on What Constitutes Proper Computer Usage and sharing Passwords shouldn't be allowed.

    Depending on the business involved it could even be grounds for instant dismissal if there is private third party information kept on the computers.

    Col

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    boxwood.3

    Yes, there will be passwords on both the treasurer's and the other general use PC. THey will not share PW.
    I will do as you suggest-thanks on the screen saver tip, too.

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    boxwood.3

    I bought this monitor at Compusa-SKU 342126 AL1916WAsd 19-inch LCD

    I looked at the KVM switches but got confused as to which one (Compusa)
    could you recommend one of those there and send me the link? I am not especially into hardware-haha.

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    Toivo Talikka

    Your monitor seems to have two ports, analog and digital. Just a thought, it may work but I have never tried this: one of the PCs could connect throught an analog cable and the other PC could have a digital cable. All depends on whether you can have two cables connected at the same time, and which cables you have available.

    A lot depends on if the video cards in your two PCs support the configuration, and if both users insist on having the crystal clear picture provided by the digital connection.

    If you already have a digital cable, a VGA cable would be much cheaper than a digital KVM switch at $103. Or was your monitor delivered with both types of cables?

    Here are the products offered by CompUSA:

    Analog KVM switch: http://tinyurl.com/26p2rz

    Digital KVM switch: http://tinyurl.com/22qmvt

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    boxwood.3

    I picked up the monitor that I ordered and installed it to the one PC today. There are the 2 types of cables that you mentioned. I Will try this hooking up the two PC's with the different cables when I return there next week.
    The people that I talked to at Compusa today didn't know much of anything on the KVM switches.
    I will have to think more on those two that you chose for me. I agree that it would be cheaper to use the analog KVM but the Digital may be better for the future and the current digital monitors.
    It is very hard to plan to far ahead. THanks for all of your help on this.

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    Toivo Talikka

    It may be best to use a KVM switch, rather than plug the monitor to two PCs. Some models of LCD monitors from NEC, ViewSonic and Samsung have Digital/Analog Dual Input as one of the features they advertise. Those monitors have been designed to be connected to both VGA and digital (DVI) cable input simultaneously - even though the monitor would only display the picture from one of them.

    The fact sheet for your Acer monitor does not mention the dual input feature.

    If you want to try it anyway, and one of the computers can take a DVI digital cable and the other a VGA analog cable, fine.

    If both computers support just the analog VGA cable, assuming that the digital input of the monitor accepts analog signal (which may not be the case, that is why you need to test it) you can use the analog HD15 (15-pin) cable that came with your monitor to connect one PC, and the digital DVI cable with a DVI Male to a HD15 pin Female adapter plugged in to the second, digital port of the monitor: http://tinyurl.com/2akm2o

    The adapter only costs $5 and you can try it before buying the KVM switch.

    Before you buy a DVI KVM switch for digital DVI cables, you need to check if the graphics cards in both PCs support digital signal output and the DVI cable. If not, you can use the conventional analog VGA cables and the cheaper VGA KVM switch.

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    boxwood.3

    ...so I'll try that first. I will also test the setup and then follow your instructions when I go back next week. Again, I appreciate the details and time you've given to my problem here!

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    Toivo Talikka

    ...because for me this is a chance to do a bit of research into new gadgets and techniques.

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    boxwood.3

    I got the switch and this was the better solution for me. Thanks for your help on this!

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    Toivo Talikka

    ...it was an interesting exercise.

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    CharlieSpencer

    They can't both use the single monitor at once, so why bother with two computers at all? Can you ditch the lesser model, give them both accounts on the better machine and let them take turns? Now you've really freed up desk space by removing the second keyboard and mouse.

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    boxwood.3

    This is the requirement that no one use the treasurer's PC. THere is more to this story bt I'll leave it at that.

  • +
    0 Votes
    Toivo Talikka

    If you have two computers using the same monitor which has a standard VGA cable, you can buy a Keyboard-Video-Mouse (KVM) switch to connect two PCs to share the same keyboard, monitor and mouse:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kvm_switch

    There are different models available to connect USB devices. If you monitor is digital, you need to get a compatible KVM switch with the right outlets.

    You can get KVM switches with buttons which can be pushed to activate one PC or the other. Alternatively, a particular key sequence from the keyboard can transfer control to the PC. I personally prefer to push a button to switch my screen between a PC and two servers.

    The video cable carries only video signals and does not transfer data from one computer to the other.

    +
    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    The answer to your space problem the simplest solution to retain security is to set passwords and log off every time that you leave the system. Short of doing that set the screen saver to a short time limit and make it so that you need to log on after the screen saver activates.

    Doing things that way should prevent one person using the others computer, unless you share the passwords and then there is no way of knowing who's doing what on each computer but there should be a Rule in Place on What Constitutes Proper Computer Usage and sharing Passwords shouldn't be allowed.

    Depending on the business involved it could even be grounds for instant dismissal if there is private third party information kept on the computers.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    boxwood.3

    Yes, there will be passwords on both the treasurer's and the other general use PC. THey will not share PW.
    I will do as you suggest-thanks on the screen saver tip, too.

    +
    0 Votes
    boxwood.3

    I bought this monitor at Compusa-SKU 342126 AL1916WAsd 19-inch LCD

    I looked at the KVM switches but got confused as to which one (Compusa)
    could you recommend one of those there and send me the link? I am not especially into hardware-haha.

    +
    0 Votes
    Toivo Talikka

    Your monitor seems to have two ports, analog and digital. Just a thought, it may work but I have never tried this: one of the PCs could connect throught an analog cable and the other PC could have a digital cable. All depends on whether you can have two cables connected at the same time, and which cables you have available.

    A lot depends on if the video cards in your two PCs support the configuration, and if both users insist on having the crystal clear picture provided by the digital connection.

    If you already have a digital cable, a VGA cable would be much cheaper than a digital KVM switch at $103. Or was your monitor delivered with both types of cables?

    Here are the products offered by CompUSA:

    Analog KVM switch: http://tinyurl.com/26p2rz

    Digital KVM switch: http://tinyurl.com/22qmvt

    +
    0 Votes
    boxwood.3

    I picked up the monitor that I ordered and installed it to the one PC today. There are the 2 types of cables that you mentioned. I Will try this hooking up the two PC's with the different cables when I return there next week.
    The people that I talked to at Compusa today didn't know much of anything on the KVM switches.
    I will have to think more on those two that you chose for me. I agree that it would be cheaper to use the analog KVM but the Digital may be better for the future and the current digital monitors.
    It is very hard to plan to far ahead. THanks for all of your help on this.

    +
    0 Votes
    Toivo Talikka

    It may be best to use a KVM switch, rather than plug the monitor to two PCs. Some models of LCD monitors from NEC, ViewSonic and Samsung have Digital/Analog Dual Input as one of the features they advertise. Those monitors have been designed to be connected to both VGA and digital (DVI) cable input simultaneously - even though the monitor would only display the picture from one of them.

    The fact sheet for your Acer monitor does not mention the dual input feature.

    If you want to try it anyway, and one of the computers can take a DVI digital cable and the other a VGA analog cable, fine.

    If both computers support just the analog VGA cable, assuming that the digital input of the monitor accepts analog signal (which may not be the case, that is why you need to test it) you can use the analog HD15 (15-pin) cable that came with your monitor to connect one PC, and the digital DVI cable with a DVI Male to a HD15 pin Female adapter plugged in to the second, digital port of the monitor: http://tinyurl.com/2akm2o

    The adapter only costs $5 and you can try it before buying the KVM switch.

    Before you buy a DVI KVM switch for digital DVI cables, you need to check if the graphics cards in both PCs support digital signal output and the DVI cable. If not, you can use the conventional analog VGA cables and the cheaper VGA KVM switch.

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    0 Votes
    boxwood.3

    ...so I'll try that first. I will also test the setup and then follow your instructions when I go back next week. Again, I appreciate the details and time you've given to my problem here!

    +
    0 Votes
    Toivo Talikka

    ...because for me this is a chance to do a bit of research into new gadgets and techniques.

    +
    0 Votes
    boxwood.3

    I got the switch and this was the better solution for me. Thanks for your help on this!

    +
    0 Votes
    Toivo Talikka

    ...it was an interesting exercise.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    They can't both use the single monitor at once, so why bother with two computers at all? Can you ditch the lesser model, give them both accounts on the better machine and let them take turns? Now you've really freed up desk space by removing the second keyboard and mouse.

    +
    0 Votes
    boxwood.3

    This is the requirement that no one use the treasurer's PC. THere is more to this story bt I'll leave it at that.