KVM Switch
October 8, 2012 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Want to share just a monitor between XP and W98 systems. None of the KVM switches I have researched mention W98 compatability. Some are XP only. Just need a dumb SVGA/SVGA switch that is not interested in what operating system is used. Suggestions?
posted by Raybun to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
i have an iomega dual kvm that doesnt care as long as you have ps/2 connections
posted by udon at 9:55 AM on October 8, 2012

What's this for? Have you considered the idea of installing Windows 98 as a Virtual Machine within XP (using VirtualBox, for example?
posted by jozxyqk at 10:01 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have an older Belkin KVM with ps2 ports that doesn't care what OS is involved. I second running W98 as a VM on the XP machine.
posted by pdxpogo at 10:25 AM on October 8, 2012

KVM switches shouldn't care about what OSes are involved. They should only care about keyboard/mouse standard and video standard. Most KVMs these days are powered by USB/ps2. Even if you aren't using the switch to switch your keyboard/mouse, you can still plug in those ports so the switch can get power.

Physical switches are bad. These have no real electronics. When you flip the switch, it disconnects the signal from the monitor/keyboard/mouse from one computer and connects it to another. This is not good.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10102">Typical KVM switches. I find most cheap KVMs work just fine for typical desk use these days. If you want to separate the monitors and computers more than 6ish feet, are running dual-link DVI (i.e. high resolution) you will want to pay for higher end gear.
posted by fief at 10:29 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

To be pedantic, you want a physical button so it does not care what operating system you have, you just press the switch. (fixed link to good KVM - with 'select' button). What you do not want, is a rotating selector knob (fief's first link).
posted by fragmede at 11:12 AM on October 8, 2012

fragmede is correct. A button on the kvm to switch between monitors is important (I would say required even). That button should send a signal to some electronics that do the actual switching. You don't want that switch to go to simple relay, nor do you want a knob/sliding switch that actually does the change.

I think all of the most recent KVMs I have purchased on IoGear ones that integrate the cables in to the switch box. Some have buttons, some do not.
posted by fief at 2:42 PM on October 8, 2012

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