What is Synergy?

Geek!This is Frank’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

I have 2 computers at my house that I use. I wanted a program that would enable me to use my keyboard and mouse from my desktop, to work on my laptop as well. I figured an application like this would definitely increase my productivity and make it easier from switching between computers. I know a lot of people out there who have multiple computers in there home or office would love that chance to have something that will free them from using more than one keyboard and mouse. Not only does using more than one of these devices become cluttered, but it slows down your efficiency to get work done. That’s why there’s an application called Synergy. Synergy allows you to share a keyboard and mouse from a host computer to multiple client computers. You need to download the program for both the host and client computers that you wish to use this feature on, but let me tell you… it is worth the time to download!

The setup is very easy to do and will work in a matter of seconds after installation. Although, to make sure connections from the host to client computers work, you have to configure the program so that it knows which is which. This can all be done using the easy to use interface that Synergy brings. In the beginning, Synergy gave me problems because I didn’t connect properly to the host computer from the client computer. The one major tip I can give that cleared this problem up is when you have the application on the client computer opened, make sure that you choose it as the “client” and you enter the host computers IP address in the box right below it.
Having the opportunity to be able to move my mouse from my host computer directly over to my laptop (client) and then use the keyboard as well has been a pleasant experience for me and is definitely one of my favorite applications to use!

Well, that’s my “What is” article on the program Synergy and how it has been a huge help with increasing my productivity.

By the way…this is open source cross platform software!!

23 thoughts on “What is Synergy?”

  1. For someone who knows very, very little about computers and computer problems, this was a great read. Good work, Frank!

  2. If the rules of this contest require proper English then this submission, however technically correct and useful, should not have been accepted.
    There is a difference between their and there.
    And the sentence on efficiency simply is wrong. “become cluttered” should be clutters up you desk.
    What are the rules of this game??

  3. That was an interesting article. I didn’t know such a thing existed, but I rely heavily on my sidekick’s internet (like right now) haha. I’m not very tech-savvy but this Synergy program seems like a great idea. Yay, I learned something new today, thanks Frank.

  4. I`ve been using Synergy for ages, rigged between one PC with two monitors and an older pc with just the one monitor, both on the desk in front of me, the two connected by a cross-over cable and it works seamlessly over all three screens. In the main, it works very well. Very rarely, the cursor gets “trapped” on the second screen but that’s usually when I am trying to do too much at once! Easily cured by closing Synergy on the second PC and re-staring, normally. There is another little feature which wasn’t mentioned above and that is you can copy and paste between the two machines. Very useful.

  5. I found this article interesting. Not many people would think of using a computer mouse and keyboard mutually on more than one computer. Good idea Frank.

  6. Very cool Frank, I really don’t have this problem b/c I use my laptop more then my desk, but I understand what you mean. This program would help someone with your problem.

    Nice find

  7. Thank you for helping me learn more about a product I wasn’t aware of! I thought your article was very informative and stated the positives of having this system. I also, felt it was wonderful that you informed the purchaser of a problem they might encounter during the hook-up process If they follow your advice, this could simplify many peoples’ lives. Great Job!

  8. Hey Frank,

    Try a KVM. I’m not sure whether or not you know it, but it’s not a bad deal at all. You can find them for hella cheap on ebay if you really don’t wanna plunk down the cash. You wouldn’t need to configure any software, all you’d need to do is press a switch to change from one compy to another.

  9. That’s a good article, Frank. Technology is crazy these days and I know my uncle has something like that because he uses two monitors in his office with one mouse and keyboard.

  10. These types of articles are great for those who are not on top of their game when it comes to software applications offered on the market. More of these informational articles are greatly appreciated!

    ……and come on Steve. You’re one to judge proper English? I think not, Mr. Clutters up “you” desk. You Jerk! Go back to English 101.

  11. I really need to catch up with the times. I didn’t even know those sort of things existed.

    very informative frank ;o)

  12. I’ve never had experience with something like this, I’ve heard of it but never used. Good article and the grammar could have been better…

  13. I’ve posted before but I would just add that I don’t know how I managed without it. One of THOSE type of programs!
    I would slightly disagree about the set up being easy. It does have a few little quirks which non-techies might have difficulty in getting to grips with and, like Frank, I have also found it to be more reliable if the main (host) machine’s IP address is used on the second (client) installation, rather than the host computer’s name. As for Kiran’s mention of a KVM switch, quite frankly, I can’t see the point of shelling out for one, not to mention the awkward ergnonomics of actually usiing one every time you want to switch mouse and keyboard to the other PC, when a free program is available to do the same job seamlessly.
    All the author has to do now is add a facility for moving files from one PC to the other via his program and it would be complete!
    As I have two monitors on my main machine, it took me a while to get out of the habit of trying to move open windows from the the right-hand monitor of that PC on to the screen connected to the second machine! It works THAT seamlessly!

  14. Great article, Frank! Very interesting and informative.

    And seriously, there’s no need to be correcting grammar here. That’s not at all what this contest is about. Synergy and English are two totally different mediums. So, that’s enough from you, Steve 😀

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