cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

2 users, 1 box same time?

Community Veteran
Posts: 14,385
Thanks: 715
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

2 users, 1 box same time?

Hi
A while back I found http://www.in-carpc.co.uk/ Very cool gizmos they've come up with including monitors built into the back of head rests.
Anyway I once rang them up to enquire about how 4 users could use the computer at the same time. IE is it 4 different computers or just one? They said its just one but they used some special software to allow them to connect multiple monitors, keyboards and mice so that each user could use it at the same time without the use of terminal services. He said its similar to extending the desktop but it allows them to all have their own desktop and control.
Anyway what with my laptop finally giving up the ghost yesterday my partner and I are now down to one PC on the desk. Sure I have plenty of headless boxes but no other desk (or space) to setup another full machine. I do however have 2 monitors on the desk for the main PC and I thought that a wireless keyboard/mouse combination would work nicely with it if its swivelled round to face the sofa. Heres the snag... I need a similar setup to in-carpc. I need to be able to have 2x keyboard/mouse connected at the same time on just one computer.
Any ideas guys? I'm sure this must be possible. KVM switch won't do it as that will only allow one set of controls to work at a time.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,385
Thanks: 715
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: 2 users, 1 box same time?

Well I've had some luck... I've found this:
http://www.thinsoftinc.com/product_pc_sharing_betwin.aspx
I'm sorta after a free solution if anyone knows of one?
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: 2 users, 1 box same time?

i believe synergy is one.  i know it runs in linux.  not sure about windows.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,385
Thanks: 715
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: 2 users, 1 box same time?

Nope, you've not understood me.
Synergy allows ONE keyboard and monitor to control multiple computers.
I want it the other way around - multiple keyboard/mouse/monitor to work on just one computer - hence the title.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,994
Thanks: 265
Fixes: 11
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: 2 users, 1 box same time?

I think IBM made a dual box with screen/keyboard on each side so that two terminal operator's could sit facing each other, but only using one desk.
About 30+ years ago.  Grin

pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: 2 users, 1 box same time?

Thinking back to my old Dec PDP11, we had multiple users on the one machine.
So surely if your machine is a Server, you can have multiple users, how you separate the keyboards I am not sure, but the Screen is not a problem  as that is often done on single user, i.e. one with a spread sheet the other word processing
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,385
Thanks: 715
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: 2 users, 1 box same time?

Quote from: pierre_pierre
how you separate the keyboards I am not sure

USB... Thing is it needs some software to recognise them as different sessions and thus allow the users their own desktop.
I can buy the software but I'd prefer to find a free alternative.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: 2 users, 1 box same time?

okrzynska, yep - got that arsy versy.  i do know what you're talking about and it's called something like 'multi-desk'.  some outfit in the third world is doing it - hitching about 30 desktops to one server.  each 'place' gets a monitor, keyboard and mouse.  all the software and user files are saved on the server.  i think there is a facility for each user to save its personal files to pendrive.
i'll google around, see what i can find.
here's the concept described:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/aug/02/guardianweeklytechnologysection.it1
this is the company doing it:
http://www.ndiyo.org/systems
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,385
Thanks: 715
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: 2 users, 1 box same time?

I could do it with ease if I had the use of a thin client but they are £££. I was hoping to just plug in the 2nd monitor to a seperate GFX card and then just plug in the extra kb/mouse via USB.
It would be very handy right now as my GF has just started her NVQ level 3 and she's needing to use the computer a lot. That of course means I can't and being a gent I'll always make sure she has enough time on it and finishes her work before I'll even think of using it for a bit.
Bloody laptop, why did it have to give up?
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
MrC
Grafter
Posts: 523
Thanks: 2
Registered: 17-07-2008

Re: 2 users, 1 box same time?

Quote from: okrzynska
I could do it with ease if I had the use of a thin client but they are £££. I was hoping to just plug in the 2nd monitor to a seperate GFX card and then just plug in the extra kb/mouse via USB.

I suspect you're trying to do this with MS Windows? If so I can't help but you may be interested to know that Linux does this more or less out of the box. For the curious - it involves tying together the associated keyboard, mouse, graphics cards in separate ServerLayout sections in the xorg.conf file and then referencing these in the the relevant display manager (xdm, kdm, whatever) config. You don't even have to use the same type of graphic card, although it would make sense to do so (avoids having to have different video card drivers loaded for starters). The main limitations will be cpu and (especially) memory with multiple users logged on and active. Having a powerful enough power supply and cooling might also be an issue.
I keep meaning to set this up here with some of the old graphics cards, screens etc I've got stored in the loft........
Mike