Handy Laptop App: Synergy

Ever wanted to control your laptop using your desktop mouse and keyboard when you get home, but still be able to use the “roawrin’ powah” of both? Synergy is a tiny but effective way of setting that up.

The interface remains almost indecipherable, but the basic idea is you need to set up the main keyboard and mouse as the server, and any number of slave machines. You then set links connecting edges of the monitors to one another. For example, my desktop is the server, the laptop a client. Since the monitor of my desktop its on a shelf, and I put the laptop on the desk when charging, I set up two links – the bottom of the desktop screen links to the laptop, and the top of the laptop screen links to the desktop. Then, all I need to do to go between the desktop to the laptop is move my mouse past the bottom of the desktop screen. To go back to using my desktop, I just move my mouse past the top of the laptop screen.

It also takes care of synchronising screen savers, as icing on the cake. Last time I tried it, I ended up removing it because of keyboard weirdness – I use international keyboard to make it easy to type accents, but that seemed to confuse things after a while. It got a bit tiring to have to kill/restart the processes…but hopefully this time it’s all happy 🙂 Can’t wait to see if multi-screen action will be a possibility again…fingers crossed!


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