Friday, November 4, 2005

DVI, VGA, oh my!

I figured I'd ask all three of my friends that read my blog...

I bought a new Apple Cinema display (the 20") and I'm hooking it up to my old powerbook and basically replacing my PC. However, my kids aren't ready to ditch the PC entirely. So I'd like to hook up the monitor to a KVM and be able to toggle between my Mac and the PC.

There are DVI/USB KVM devices out there sold by Belkin, etc. But they're WICKED expensive ($250-350). So I was hoping that I could get a basic VGA KVM and buy an adapter from the DVI out on the display to VGA on the KVM/PC. I tried this DVI Male to VGA female adapter and it doesn't work even plugged directly into my PC. Is this possible?

Also, do you all know if it's possible to share a bluetooth mouse/keyboard through a KVM? It doesn't look like it, but I've got the D-link DBT-120 that I'm trying... I plugged it directly into the PC and paired the bluetooth device with it. Then I plug it into the USB KVM and it still works. I don't know if I'll be able to get it to work on the Mac through the KVM yet since it was paired on the PC. We'll see... That is, as soon as I can "see" through the KVM with the display adapter problem.


  1. Marcel, nice to hear from you and thanks for the idea!
    I downloaded and tried it, and it's a lot faster than VNC (I tried Chicken of the VNC) but it's only showing 800x600 with 8-bit color depth. It also had serious problems on the first kid game I tried (which I doubt is using advanced "hardware features"). Is there some sort of configuration that I need to do on either the client or the server?

  2. Everyone above is exactly right, so I have almost no value to add. DVI-D is the digital specification, and DVI-I is the mixed one. Most cards output DVI-D alone. Converting digital-to-analog is way easier than the other way, which is why it's so expensive to do that.
    I also have solved the problem by using Remote Desktop Client, which is awesomely fast, and more than I need since I'm not gaming on my PC. I use it fullscreen almost all the time. Trick if you use the Apple keyboard: the clear key is your num lock.