One of the main problems I had (about a year ago) with working, or using the computer, when at home, was that I did not have a proper seating arrangement, and so used to end up slouching in the couch, or torturing my spine in bed, or some such. So I got myself this desk from Target.
Now the problem with working from home was that when I work on the laptop, the laptop keyboard on top of the desk made for an uncomfortable typing position. The keyboard tray in the desk is already occupied by the desktop’s keyboard and mouse — so I can’t place an external usb keyboard and mouse on the tray for use with my laptop.
So as things were, I used to work, and use the computer at school.
Until tomorrow. Today I installed Synergy on my desktop as well as laptop. This was very easy to do –
$sudo apt-get install synergy was all it took, thanks to Ubuntu’s magical software management. Then I edited a synergy.conf file onthe desktop following the instructions at the wiki.
The following is the entire content of the file /etc/synergy.conf :
section: screens # two hosts named: umberto(desktop), milan(laptop) umberto: milan: end section: links # umberto's screen is to the right of milan's umberto: left = milan milan: right = umberto end
Then the desktop was ready to act as a “server”, that is the machine that has the keyboard and mouse physically connected to it.
$synergys --config /etc/synergy.conf got synergy running.
Now, on the laptop, I installed synergy, and I fire it up using
$synergyc umberto (where umberto is the host-name of the desktop). That’s it, now I can use the same mouse and keyboard for both the desktop and the laptop. When I move the mouse to the extreme left on the desktop’s monitor, and then a little more to the left, the mouse pointer pops into the laptop’s screen, and now the mouse and keyboard can be used for the laptop. When I move the mouse to the extreme right of the laptop screen, it pops into the desktop, and now the kyboard and mouse can be used with the desktop. This is so magical, almost, when you try it – especially since setting it up was so effortless.
I wonder why I took so long to set this up, really. Now I can’t wait to do this at the lab too, where I have another desktop, keyboard and mouse waiting
Come tomorrow, I might just feel better about working from home, and save myself at least the late-evening trip back to the lab.
Oh, Synergy works for windows and macs too, and for any and all combination of OSes, and for multiple computers. So you can have 5 computers and monitors all controlled by the same keyboard and mouse. Isn’t that great!