Archive for April, 2009

Input Director vs. Synergy (Two Computers, One Keyboard)

Monday, April 6th, 2009

If you have two windows based computers where you want to control both systems with the same keyboard, I would highly recommend the Input Director freeware over Synergy.  Input director has a whole slew of advantages over synergy:

1.  The mouse seamlessly slides from desktop to another without the use of hotkeys.
2.  Special mouse/keyboard functions for my logitech mouse such as the document flip not only work on the host but the client as well.
3.  Input director doesn’t cause the mouse input to flip out when a Direct X application is open (unlike synergy).
4.  Support for both computers (master and slave) having multiple monitors.

The only disadvantage about Input Director is that it works for only windows based OS’s (unlike synergy which works for multiple OS’s – ie Linux, Mac, etc.).  If you are controlling multiple computers which are all running windows OS’s, I recommend Input Director over Synergy.  Also, Input director had an update this past September whereas Synergy hasn’t been updated in years…I have tested both and got both working but I can only vouch for Synergy’s functionality on two windows machines.

Here are some other pages comparing Input Director and Synergy:  [1] and [2].

Vista Gadgets and Pidgin Facebook Plugin

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

I use Vista.  Despite the tons of negative press it gets, it’s actually a pretty good OS if you can spare the resources to handle the little bit of overhead it has over XP (which is less than what some people gargantuanly blow out of proportion).  One feature Vista has is the ability to run ‘Gadgets’ (much like apple’s widgets) off to the side.  The widgets I have used are as follows:

Windows Uptime – shows, at a glance, how many hours your computer has been running since its last restart.

CPU Usage – shows at a glance, how much of your ram is being used and how hard your processors are at work.

Weather Underground – Let me preface this with I hate weather apps that claim to be just simply weather apps and are actually spyware that maliciously infect your computer with all sorts of virtual STDs.   :brick:   This particular Vista gadget does exactly what its description details – it tells you the local weather, nothing more.

Top Processes – I find this gadget helpful because I code.  Instead of having to hit CTRL+ALT+DELETE, I can see form a glance, what applications are eating up the most processing power.

Twitter Explorer – Let’s you tweet and re-tweet from your sidebar.  The app has a nice black skin option to it.  The only thing I don’t like about it is it’s a little big for my needs.  All I want is simply a small screen to post tweets to.

Sphere Timer – This gadget will allow you to set several alarms and will count up and down, displaying the time in second increments.  It is great for a desktop timer/stop watch.

In addition to the above Vista gadgets, I also wanted to share about a Pidgin plugin I found.  I use pidgin as an IM client to talk to my friends on MSN, AIM, MeeboMe (with this plugin), and now Facebook.  You can actually install this application and facebook messages will show up as instant messages through pidgin.  Pidgin is a free, open source IM client – one in which I highly recommend.   :rock:   The only drawback to pidgin is it is rather difficult to skin.