Both at home and at my job I utilize multiple computer systems, and now that I’m a Mac owner, it usually spans different operating systems. Here are a few utilities that I employ to assist in managing these computers.

  • Synergy – (Cross Platform) This is quite possibly the most useful tool that I have found. It simply shares the keyboard and mouse on a system that you designate a server to any number of client systems. This is not a KVM, as each system requires its own monitor system. However, with Synergy and a fairly simple configuration, your mouse will flow from one system to another as if you’re using a single computer. In addition, the clipboard is shared between systems. Setup can be a bit tricky on non-windows machines, but binaries are available for Windows, OS X and Linux.
  • UltraMon – (Windows) Ok, so you’ve got two monitors, and finally have the screen real estate to have many windows open in an order that you can create a comfortable work flow. Yet, all of your windows are stuffed onto your main screen task bar. Enter UltraMon. With this handy utility you can expand your task bar across multiple screens; tasks that are on screen 1 are on screen 1’s task bar, tasks on screen 2 on screen 2’s task bar. Aside from these great features, it also has other useful multiple monitor utilities. This is quite a great piece of software, and I highly recommend purchase of this product.
  • Foxmarks – (Firefox Plugin, cross platform) Within the course of a day, I can use up to 4 distinct copies of Firefox. Two on my laptop (OS X and Windows XP in a virtual machine), my office desktop (OS X) and my home desktop (Windows XP). FoxMarks helps to bridge that gap by providing a easy and transparent way to sync bookmarks between copies of Firefox.
  • LineIn (OS X) As documented by my post here on the trials and tribulations of moving sound between computers, LineIn is a great (and free) utility to enable line in monitoring on a Mac. Aside from the freebies on the same page as LineIn, Rogue Amoeba also provides other OS X based audio software to check out.

These tools help make my daily interaction with computers a bit easier, and I hope they’ll help other as well! If you know of other tools in the same vein, feel free to leave a comment or contact me.