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Monday, November 17, 2008


Studying for my comprehensive exam is moving along slowly, rather disrupted by the poster I'm creating for the annual Cancer Conference taking place this week. I'm a little behind, but I'm getting there. Anyhow, I thought I'd take a minute to mention something that's come up several times in conversation this week: Synergy.

This is one of those applications that is an absolute must for bioinformatics students and researchers, or anyone who uses more than one computer. (Don't we all, these days?) I've been using it, myself, for about a year now, and it's one of the most useful applications on my computers.

Synergy is an open source software implementation of a KVM switch. Like a KVM switch, it can be used across operating systems - anything from win95 to XP to OSX to Linux/*nix. It's not even hard to install. The beauty of it is really in its simplicity. Not only can your mouse and keyboard move across your computers, but it also carries a clipboard with it. Cutting and pasting between computers, on its own, is worth it's weight in gold. (though, that probably depends on how much you have on your clipboard...)

Anyhow, just because not everyone is aware of this nifty little tool, I figured I'd mention it. Hopefully it's useful to a few people out there!



Blogger ECO said...

I love this tool with all my heart.

No more tangle of wires, joint clipboard, and I can use all my nifty wireless peripherals with linux without struggling with drivers.

I'm scared because the project hasn't been updated in a while though...!

November 19, 2008 4:15:00 PM PST  
Blogger Anthony said...

I know what you mean - I think the last check in was ~17 months ago. While there are a few small things that could clearly be improved, I can't think of many enhancements that would be needed, so there isn't really much reason for people to keep working on it.

Still, I actually went so far as to browse through the source code to see if it would be possible to make changes myself. (It would be, if I were desperate enough, but clearly the microsoft specific part is outside of my realm.) Though, honestly, I think it's only a matter of time before the people at Ubuntu start working on it. As synergy becomes more popular, I can't see them ignoring it for much longer. Launchpad has several synergy bugs listed, including the couple that I have experienced, and they do tend to work on fixing these things when users start asking for it.

November 19, 2008 4:24:00 PM PST  

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