Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Multiplicity - Control multiple computers from one keyboard and mouse

Multiplicity - Control multiple computers from one keyboard and mouse


This is a guest post written by Barry Mahfood from Barry’s Best Computer Tips.

If you’re like most people nowadays, you have an extra computer (or two, or three) that still works fine, but no longer enjoys pride of place since you got the new one. How to make the best use of it? That’s the question. Assuming you haven’t yet given it to your kids (they probably have their own, anyway), you don’t have to set it aside or put it out to pasture. You can set it up so that you can control it from a single keyboard and mouse with a nifty piece of software called Multiplicity.

multiplicity.jpg

My personal computer setup is comprised of a new machine with two displays, and an older machine with one display. With Multiplicity I can set up my new computer as the primary machine, then add, through my home network, the second machine as secondary.

This allows me to move my mouse pointer between all three displays and control both computers with one keyboard/mouse combination. Each monitor is connected to its own PC. When the user moves the mouse over to a given monitor, the user is then controlling that PC. Not only that, but I can also copy and paste files and folders between machines.

Multiplicity is not a “remote desktop” application. Each system continues to need its own monitor to display that PC. Multiplicity is used to seamlessly move between multiple machines and control them from one primary PC.

If you are a power user and have always wanted to be the master of multiple computers, Multiplicity is your answer. Multiplicity is available as a standalone application or as a component of the ThinkDesk utility suite for Windows.

From the ThinkDesk web site: “ThinkDesk is a suite of utilities that is designed to allow users to increase their productivity and security by leveraging the power of their computers together.” Included in the ThinkDesk suite are Multiplicity, KeepSafe, ThinkSync, and SecureProcess.

Multiplicity

It’s important to note that using Multiplicity is not the same as having multiple displays for one computer. It’s better than that. You actually have the power and usefulness that comes from multiple computers, so you can run more applications at the same time. Just think of all the things you could do! But please, make sure to use your new powers for good and not evil.

Unfortunately, the program is not free, it costs $29.95. However, this is well worth the price for gamers, power users, or graphic designers who already have multiple computers and multiple monitors. Note that you can also control multiple computers via one monitor using what is called a KVM Switch. The benefit of Multiplicity is that you can SEE all of the desktops simultaneously and easily share files between the computers. Enjoy!


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