Sharing a Keyboard and Mouse with Windows RT

Anyone who uses computers to create knows that one of the best ways to boost productivity is to add additional screens to your setup. This can be done in several ways. The most direct way is to buy and connect a new display to your system. In addition, applications such as Synergy and Mouse without Borders let you control additional computing devices, such as laptops, using your desktop computer’s mouse and keyboard.

For instance, my current development system uses a primary display and an left-hand display. In addition, I use my laptop as a “third display” with things like Twitter, Skype, and IRC running on it.

Multimonitor

By running Synergy on my desktop computer and my laptop I am abile to freely move my mouse between all three screens, and use my desktop mouse and keyboard with my laptop. Things like copy-and-paste work well too.

One of the cooler ports to come out of the Windows RT jailbreak scene (obviously aside from Quake 2) is the ARM port of Synergy, which you can download here. Setup is simple:

  1. Jailbreak your Windows RT device using this tool
  2. Download the ARM port of Synergy here
  3. Extract the archive and run Launcher.exe
  4. Enter the IP address of your desktop computer (where Synergy should be running in server-mode)
  5. Click Start

Synergy Client Settings

Note that you’ll need to download and run Synergy on your desktop computer as well, and configure Synergy accordingly. If you are using OS X on the desktop, SynergyKM is a friendly Synergy distribution that installs into System Preferences.

SynergyKM

This is great way to use a Windows RT device as an additional small-form display. It’s also very helpful when developing Windows Store apps or WinForms apps for Windows RT. Once you start remote debugging your Windows Store or WinForms app on your Windows RT device, you can simply move your mouse from your development system to your Windows RT device to debug, easily moving the mouse from the app on Windows RT to the IDE for debugging on your desktop.

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