Removing the KVM from my Linux box

I bought a 3 monitor swivel arm this past week. From my PC, I have 1 monitor running from the HDMI output, and one running from the DVI. From my old HP Pavilion Slimline, I have a VGA cable running into the third monitor.

I wanted to run a KVM switch so that I could use one keyboard and mouse with the the PC and Linux box. However, because I’m using a different output format for each of the three monitors, the KVM switch won’t switch the monitor. Plus, even if the keyboard and mouse are switched back and forth, the mechanism of the switch is different from the PC’s fluid motion of dragging the mouse over from one screen to the other.

So, I installed an implementation of VNC on each box, using VNC to share the keyboard and mouse.

On the PC side, I used Win2VNC as the client that would connect to the server. The video that I saw online ( showed this software being used to connect to TightVNC, which was a little much for just using the Keyboard and mouse. But, Win2VNC was a usable client that would allow for dragging the mouse to the target computer.

On the Linux side, I installed X11VNC, which, like TightVNC, was also used for presenting a remote desktop to another computer, but can be configured to present the active x11 screen and not to present the framebuffer across the network (via the -nofb flag).

My next step is to make this server start on bootup, so that I don’t have to log in with a separate keyboard and mouse. Once I do that, it should mostly function as one if it were one computer.

My 3 monitor swivel arm stand. Now I just need to clean up the desk. :-)
My 3 monitor swivel arm stand. Now I just need to clean up the desk. 🙂


Back in Seattle, Again!!!

For many reasons (some private, some public), my family and I decided to leave California and move back to Seattle, Washington.



We’re really excited to be here. We’ve decided to do some things differently than we did the first time. For example, the first time we were here, we decided to live in Covington instead of Bainbridge Island. This time, we’ve decided to live on Bainbridge Island. This means that I ride a ferry to work each morning (instead of a train). As you can see from the photo above, the ferry can often provide some spectacular views, especially at sunrise. The last time we moved to Seattle, the Carolina Panthers came to Seattle to play the Seahawks in the NFC championship game. Unfortunately, the Seahawks were the ones to go to the Superbowl. Now the Seahawks and Panthers are the #1 and #2 seeds in the NFC. Hopefully the Panthers will come back to Seattle, and leave headed for the Meadowlands (this year’s Superbowl site).

I wrote that a while ago. The Seahawks won the Superbowl. 🙂

Stay tuned for more.


I’ve recently purchased a Chromebook. It hasn’t arrived yet, but I got a head start on it by installing Chromium Vanilla on a USB stick and booting it up on an old desktop at home.

Things went pretty well, with the exception that ChromeOS couldn’t recognize the and use the network card in my old HP Pavilion Slimline. Once I moved the computer to another location and connected an Ethernet cable, the system was ready to go.
There are a lot of new apps that can run on ChromeOS since the last time that I looked at it. Increasingly, there are applications that can be run when the computer is not online (which makes a Chromebook infinitely more useful). Right now, I’m testing JustWriteBlog, which allows you to type your blog while offline for posting when you connect to the internet later. This would not hurt when using spotty internet connections, like the Washington State Ferries (implemented by Boingo) which drops out somewhere towards the middle of the Puget Sound.
If you’re seeing this post, it worked.