In an effort to clean up clutter, I would like to be able to share my usb mouse and usb keyboard between two computers. Please note that these computers would not be operating simultaineously -- only one would be powered on at a time. I've tried a usb splitter, only to discover the issue of upstream vs. downstream operation. I know that there are KVM devices/switches, but this seems overly-complicated and not really the solution for me, since I will not be operating both computers at the same time. I know there are software solutions such as SYNERGY, and INPUT DIRECTOR, but again, these are geared for people running two computers at the same time.
As far as usb printer/ hardware switches, I've contacted Isogear about their GUB231 (it's described use is for printers, or ANY usb device); however, they were unable to confirm whether or not this product would work for the situation that I've described. They actually told me that I would be purchasing it "at my own risk."
I know I could just switch the usb wireless transponders between computers, but I'm hoping there is another solution.
Isn't there a non-manual usb splitter (or something) available for this?
Unfortunately, a usb KVM switch is the best solution for two or more computers sharing the same keyboard, mouse and monitor. Quite a few also support sound. The setup is pretty straightforward as well. All of your peripherals plug into the KVM switch and there's a bundle of cables that trail out to each computer. Switching between computers is as simple as either pressing the button on the switch OR double tapping "Scroll Lock" followed by either the number of the port or an arrow key on the keyboard. The switch will also automatically switch to the first computer powered up, after that you need to toggle between computers.
I found a solution using the Isogear GCS72U KVM switch for about $24 at Amazon. I was reluctant about using a KVM because my ASUS monitor has both a HDMI and a DVI input. (One of my computers is HDMI out and the other is DVI out, so I didn't need the "V".) I thought you needed to utilize ALL of the cables in order for it to function -- but you do not. Right now, I am using this with the VGA cables and audio cables rolled up and tucked away. (I wish they were detachable since this is only adding to clutter, but it is under the desk out of the way.)
The great thing is, using this as I originally wanted, with only one computer on at a time, I don't need to press the manual switch. It automatically switches from one computer to the other as long as one computer remains off.