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The networked house...

Last response: in Networking
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December 15, 2002 6:12:20 PM

OK, first off I don't really have a house, however this will apply for when I do get one... nonetheless I do need this information for my apartment, so any advice would be really really helpful.

As it stands right now I have 3 computers, a laptop, and a fourth desktop acting as a domain controller handling authentification for my home network. It is a great setup and has served me well... problem is I have only had two monitors for some time now, sure I just got two more (one to hook up to my secondary typing computer as terminal server isn't cutting it when I'm in-game and want to write a game review while playing and one for the server - my primary and my wife's primary computers are both adequatly equipped). Anyway, next upgrade cycle I will need more monitors and, quite frankly, I'm just not looking forward to that.

Well, looking at the possibility of having 6 computers fairly soon, I must say that with my next upgrade I will probably have to acquire a server rack and rack-mounted cases. This will make everything far more neat and tidy. Believe me, I can think of uses for them... one to act as the server, one for my wife, one for me, a secondary, a server handling authentification, and a server outside the firewall for serving select files to select friends... point is, I don't want a bunch of monitors, and I would like to put the server rack in a different part of the house where I can cool it in a less expensive manner than massive air conditioning.

So, the end result is that I want one monitor for my wife, two for me (primary and secondary) but I want them removed from where the computers are. Now I have seen devices that extend usb, dvi, and sound jacks for some 300 meters max over cat 5 cabling, and that sounds like the ideal solution. The problem with this, however, is that I want to be able to access any computer from each monitor/keyboard/mouse combo across the network. Terminal server you say? Well, the problem with that is that the refresh rate is a joke, I'm a gamer after all, so I want something that won't introduce some nasty lag like that... and a kvm? Well... do they make dvi and usb splitters?

In other words would I be able to hook up each station around the apartment (and house eventually when I get one) to a kvm, and have each computer split to each kvm, with an extender between the kvm and the terminal area?

Or are there kvms that can handle multiple administrators? Not just my computer and my wife's computer, and my secondary... but I would like to place a terminal by the TV so that I can work the entertainment server from there, and one in the kitchen for looking up recipes and such (I absolutely love to cook and... well... printed medium? nawh, I'd rather just keep my recipies in a digital format).

And I'm sure a terminal or two in the bedroom for when one of us is sick would be nice...

Anyway, point is... anyone have any idea as to the networking equipment that I would need to do this? I know that some KVMs leave an artifact on the screen, but I would needo ne that didn't for when I was taking screenshots and that kind of thing...

But I would like to control multiple computers from multiple access points (multiple administrators) and it needs to handle dvi (not your standard vga port, I'd rather get a more progressive solution), usb (for the keyboard, mouse, other items... I can have a usb hub at each terminal if I need more than one device), and sound for the speakers... and anything else I'm not remembering at the moment.

Thoughts please.

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December 15, 2002 6:13:47 PM

Oh, and it isn't like I have a lot of cash, I'm just obsessive... so it would take time for me to implement it all I'm sure. So cost-effective solutions would be preferred.
December 15, 2002 8:07:08 PM

I guess what I am really looking for is this... and it is something that I would figure someone would make, after all it just makes sense for anyone with more than one computer.

What I am looking for, it seems, is like a 2 part KVM solution. First off I would think that there would be devices out there that would allow you to share the use of one computer. Sort of a reverse kvm, one input then a whole bunch of output ports. Now, if someone made that AND a KVM then they could have an interface cable that would work between them.

The net result would be that you could buy the KVM for as many computers as you had, plug them all into it, then plug the KVM into the reverse KVM which you could buy to suit the number of outputs that you needed. Then you could expand one or the other as you needed, not as a bundled item with a certain amount of input and output ports, but separate items where you could expand either one independant of the other, or just use either one independant of the other.

Is there such a solution out there? Something that wouldn't have any lag so that it would be suitable for gaming, and something where you could get it to not display anything on screen? (I noticed that some KVMs display something in the top right corner that you can't disable, whereas some allow you to disable that so that it doesn't display anything...).

Please reply, please help.
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December 17, 2002 6:30:18 PM

Maybe you should consider using something like PC Anywhere where one PC takes over the other by remote control.

when you see smoke is that a good sign?
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