This post will certainly highlight my ‘tech’ side but I had no choice but to cover this here. This tool has single handedly improved my life, my trading and all my work at the computer in general. Many traders (actually pretty much everyone these days) rely on multiple screens to do their work. Scanning charts, news, websites and what have you requires a lot of screen real estate. In a lot of cases, you can hook up multiple screen on a single cpu but sometimes, you just have to deal with multiple machines. When dealing with multiple machines, I usually see either the user A) switching from keyboard to keyboard trying to work on different machines or B) using a hardware KVM, pressing a button to switch the main keyboard from machine to machine.
For several months now, I have been using Synergy, a small piece of software, available for free, that virtually binds a single keyboard and mouse to multiple computers, given the computers are connected on a local network.
From their website:
synergy: [noun] a mutually advantageous conjunction of distinct elements
Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).
Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. Furthermore, it synchronizes screen savers so they all start and stop together and, if screen locking is enabled, only one screen requires a password to unlock them all. Learn more about how it works.
In about five minutes, you install and configure the tool on every machine, providing a virtual layout for your workspace (ie. machineA is to the left of machineB, machineC is above machineB, etc.) The ‘server’ version of the code runs on the machine with the primary screen and keyboard and the ‘client’ copy on the machines who will borrow that screen and keyboard. If you move the mouse to the left edge of the screen, the screen and keyboard shift over to another desktop. And get this, the clipboard is also shared. So if I copied something from machineA, I can paste is machineB. The use of a locally attached keyboard and mouse is never lost, so if something breaks with Synergy, you can just use the attached keyboard. You can even use this setup on temporary machines. I use it at work to control my laptop from the keyboard and mouse of my main workstation.
I am no expert but I will try to provide assistance and answers to questions if anyone decides to try it.