Trader’s Tech #7 – Synergy

Tim Black hosts the live trading room for the Asia trading session. His background is in computers and technology. He is addicted to technology, charts and technical analysis and enjoys teaching and sharing his viewpoints in these areas.

Have I mentioned that I was a total geek? Well, I use three to four computers when I trade and spread the charts and other apps (Twitter, email, browser, etc.) around between them. As you can imagine, this means I had a herd (or is it a gaggle) of keyboards and mice cluttering my desk. Having at one time been in the ISP business, I have several hardware KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switches lying around gathering dust and have considered using one of those to reduce the clutter. But the more I thought about having to press buttons to switch between computers, the less I liked the idea of using those.

One night in the trading room, I was commiserating about my problem and one of our room members (thanks Matt) suggested I take a look at Synergy. Synergy is an open-source, software-based “KVM” switch. I’m so happy with this software I can’t stand myself.

After you install Synergy on all your computers and identify your “server” (the computer to which you have attached your primary keyboard and mouse), you tell the program where each monitor (or group of monitors) lies with respect to the others. Once you’ve done this, your mouse will move seamlessly between the computers and your keyboard will work on whichever computer the mouse currently resides.

My monitor setup is a tad convoluted, so I had to experiment with the setup to get an intuitive mouse path. Since I did, though, the program has worked flawlessly.  I’ve left the keyboards and mice connected to all the computers because access to those computers is hampered if your “server” computer goes down. But I was able to move them off my desktop and they now reside on top of their respective computer cases.

I hope you all benefit from some of the tech problems that I’ve finally worked out for myself. If you have any tech questions or particular tech needs, email me at timblack (at) winnersedgetrading (dot) com and be sure to put Trader’s Tech in the subject line so it won’t get lost in my spam. And follow me on Twitter for trade suggestions, stupid jokes and sage wisdom. 😉

May the pips be with you.


Secret Asian Man 😉

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