Fighting with video cables, monitor stands and power supplies


Last week I was given a couple of machines to set up for a new tester who starts tomorrow. (She’s not a new tester – she was our intern last summer, but I digress).

Problems I faced:

  • The monitor had no stand. We managed to get some hand me down monitors from a lab, with the catch that we had to order stands separately. This was fairly easily overcome – we received the monitor stands, bolted them together and it worked well. The one feature we lost is that the monitor cannot be adjusted up or down without loosening bolts. Please note the bag taped to the back of the monitor. It holds the Allen wrenches (plural) needed to adjust the monitor. Or, you can throw some paper under the stand to raise it.

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  • I got a junction box to hook the PS2 mouse and keyboards to each CPU so they can be shared.
  • Sadly, the keyboard and mouse I received were USB.
  • I got USB to PS2 converters! But,
  • They don’t work with the junction box. The box has a power supply inlet, but no power supply has been found for it. I’m hoping if I can find a 7.5V power supply, the devices can be shared.
  • One machine only has HDMI output.
  • The junction box only supports VGA.
  • Here’s the set of cables I had to work around this problem:

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  • For what it is worth, the HDMI is getting converted to VGA for now.  Once she starts, we can check to see if the monitor native resolution is supported.  Might need to re-cable this, or get a new junction box.
  • I got a second monitor and a power cable for it. There was no power cable connector for this monitor – it needed a separate, external power supply. Sigh – off to spare parts room to dig up a power supply.

Despite all this, I got the machines hooked up and ready for our new tester. I hope she appreciate the effort 🙂

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

John


Comments (4)

  1. Max Beckman-Harned says:

    Interesting– in Hotmail we don't physically connect our machines through kvm switches anymore. Most of us (I think) use Mouse Without Borders so we only need one mouse and keyboard to control both machines, and I know others who just plug both monitors into one computer and then remote into the second from the first. Your team goes for the physical connection route?

  2. JohnGuin says:

    A few folks are moving to the virtual type of solutions.  Several of us still have mini-labs with 5 or more machines in our offices and the physical switches have traditionally worked better.  But I have seen some addins that share the clipboard as well, and that would be nice…

  3. Max Beckman-Harned says:

    Mouse Without Borders is pretty nice–it does share clipboards, and even allows you to drag files between screens (it copies them to a folder on the desktop of the receiving machine, sadly it's not drag and drop). Scaling to five machines might be a bit tough, although I might lean towards Remote Desktop Connection Manager at that point, since it handles remoting into multiple machines pretty nicely.

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