In order to get this working we had to unfortunately get an Australian
power pack as the one that came with it was for US power points,
not to worry a trusty Dicksmith variable voltage 1500mA DC power
adapter for $38 did the trick. As a note, if you want to buy this
product we recommend getting it from a local Australian distributor
so that you don't have to get a different power adapter. This adapter
allows your to select 3/4.5/6/7.5/9/12 Volts and a max of 1.5 Amps,
and comes with eight different plugs that you can swap and change
for different devices, also it all takes a range of input voltages
from 100 - 260 Volts which means with a plug adapter you can use
it in a variety of countries.
carefully reading the manual, I came across the text "Power
Pack is OPTIONAL", so I removed it from the back and what do
you know, it still works like a charm. Just goes to show that reading
the manual first is always a good option and in my case would have
saved me around about $40.
proves to be just as easy as setting it up. Just power up your two
machines and press the push buttons on the from of the SwitchView.
Since you keyboard runs through the SwitchView they have implemented
an alternative method for switch which computer is currently in
use, this is done by hitting <CTRL><CTRL> X <ENTER>
(where X is the letter of the computer you want to use, i.e. the
letter of the port the computer plugs into), this along with many
other features allows you to hide the unit away if you have a small
desk and makes switching between the computers rather quick (rather
good if your testing something and need to jump from PC to PC rapidly).
The above are
snapshots of the screens of Port A (Linux Machine) and Port B (Windows
machine), nice and simple to switch between them easily, not to
mention it will increase the life of the monitor.
also has some other nice features, you can cycle through the screens
on a timer, which is really good for those who have multiple servers
and want to monitor them. To do this you must enter control mode
(<CTRL><CTRL>) and then type Dxx (where xx is a seconds
value from 2 to 60, if you leave it blank the default is 5 seconds)
then press enter, this sets up the dwell time. To start the cycle
enter control mode and type SG then ENTER, this will cycle every
xx seconds from one screen to another, to stop it enter control
mode again and type in SH then ENTER.
A full listing
of all the commands available to use and control the SwitchView
are provided in the easy to read PDF documentation found on the
CD-ROM that comes with the kit. The documentation comes in a wide
range of languages and is designed so that it can be easily read,
plus it has some nice colour pictures and examples helping you to
setup the SwichView and how to use all of its features.
One thing you
should note, when you hit <CTRL><CTRL> you will notice
the lights on your keyboard start flashing, this is to tell you
that you are in the SwitchView control mode, once you hit enter
they will stop flashing to tell you that you are now using the PC
again, pretty nifty little feature.
is by far one of the best products if you have a number of computers
side by side, it saves time and not to mention space and even
power of having multiple monitors, keyboards and mice. Some of
you might think that this is only for work based applications,
but if you run multiple computers at home then it is just as beneficial
for your situation.
makes life alot easier than swapping cables around and having the
waste of space of multiple peripheral devices, if you run servers
or just have a couple of computers lying around then this is the
solution for you. With the added benefit of being very light (the
power pack ways more than the SwitchView itself) and the fabricated
mounting holes allowing you to screw it to a wall, make it a very
handy little gadget.
The only thing
that annoys me is that the monitor seems to display a little bit
different, its as if the colour settings are slightly out of whack
(this is only in Windows, in Linux it seems to be fine), but I think
this is more my eyes than anything else. Another reason could be
the monitor is slowing dying, its about 3 years old and been carried
around to LAN after LAN and has been swapped from computer to computer
on a regular basis. This will just take a bit of getting used to,
should only take a couple of days.
It is simple
to use, effective and fits into small spaces and saves me the
hassle of unplugging my monitor from my client machine and then
into my server whenever I need to use my Linux machine, not to
mention that I now have more room on my desk as I can pack away
my second keyboard and mouse.
A special thanks
goes out to the team at Avocent and Trisha from NetPR for supplying this
kit for our review. If you would like to find out some more technical
information or would like to place an order for a SwitchView then please
visit the Avocent website.
9 / 10
about this and other products