I have written about sharing monitors among different computers so the user can take a screen that is not being used at the moment and make it available to the active computer. But what about keyboards and mice? Synergy is a free (GPL) program that not only lets you share that keyboard and mouse among multiple computers but the various computers don’t even have to run the same operating system! Here’s the description from the Synergy web site:
Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).
Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. Furthermore, it synchronizes screen savers so they all start and stop together and, if screen locking is enabled, only one screen requires a password to unlock them all.
Sounds perfect for sharing that PC keyboard and mouse with your notebook or Tablet PC. Synergy runs on all Windows flavors, Mac OS X 10.2+ and Unix. I haven’t tried Synergy myself but I sure intend to do so. One user says he just moves the mouse cursor off the right edge of the screen and the keyboard and mouse instantly switch from one computer to the next. Slick!