Spread controls over multiply PCs with Input Director

input_director_icon It is not uncommon nowadays to stare at multiply computers on same table. While the more displays the merrier, multiply keyboards and mice only add up to confusion. There is option of running PCs headless with remote control (like TIghtVNC) but transferring screen in real time is more functional than convenient.

Input Director approaches it from another angle by allowing to control multiply networked computers with single keyboard and mouse.

What it does

App follows client/server model, same installation can act as both. At least one computer must run as master and its keyboard and mouse will be used for controls. Slaves attach to master and after that mouse cursor is able to jump from computer to computer. Much like it does with multiply monitors. connected to single PC.

input_director_interface

Settings allow to set how are computers physically situated for best fit. Keyboard sends input to whatever computer that currently has cursor.

Strong features

  • runs as service, works on screens such as logon;
  • strong security options with IP filters and option AES encryption for all traffic;
  • UDP connection delivers good performance, even over naturally laggy wireless connection;
  • optional synchronization of shutdowns, locks and screensavers;
  • shared clipboard.

Needs and wants

I absolutely love this one for my home LAN. Settings are bit cluttered, but most of them are safe to skip anyway.

Unfortunately app is only free for personal use (no pricing details on site) and lacks portable version, so it’s unlikely that I will use it for work.

Bit annoyed issue with minimize command on my Logitech MX500 mouse – it is always sent to master desktop. I click that all the time and still hadn’t used that it wont’ work on slave notebook.

Overall

Software implements good idea, which is good enough. But what really makes it awesome is great attention to details and performance.

Home http://www.inputdirector.com/

Download http://www.inputdirector.com/downloads.html

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7 Comments

  • This is indeed a good software. I had found a similar software called Synergy . This one is free and open source, and can be used at work as well. It even lets you control both Windows as well as Mac in same setup. Try it out.

  • I have been using Synergy for quite some time, and Synergy+ 1.34 has proven to be very stable and flexible, but unlike Input Director, it doesn’t run as a service or share clipboards. Both of those features definitely makes Input Director worth a look. Thanks for the tip!

  • I need to amend my earlier comment – Synergy+ 1.34 does share the clipboard, I had just never tried it since it wasn’t available on the earlier versions. Learn something new everyday….

  • I actually found Input Director while reading up on Synergy[+]. Latter has bit of a baggage with all drop-fork-bugfix story, so I decided to go for something more settled. :)

  • I tend to make my own cluster instead. Power lover, hehe. Not sure how to make a cluster using Windows, though.

  • Very nice. I will check this out. Been looking for things like this.

  • @Noah

    Not sure how to make a cluster using Windows

    Stack shiny cases nicely so they look cute? :)

    @Rush

    Glad you like it. :)

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