The instructions were a little vague in places, possibly translated. After installing the device as instructed, the PIP feature was not enable and I could not get it to work by changing settings in the ini file either.
No mention of a support site in the instructions. After a Google search, I found this page with a driver upgrade on it:
[...] Unzip this package and install...again, less than perfect English in the instructions, but PIP and a few other features were enabled after this upgrade.
The instructions that came with the cable have you plug the left hand(marked)end of the cable into the computer with the keyboard and mouse attached, the right to the other computer. To install the upgrade, first exit the KMDS program in the taskbar, then remove both ends of the cable. Plug the Right hand end into the keyboard attached computer and click the KMDS_UG.exe file in the unzipped folder. Click the upgrade button and allow it to complete...it actually ran through this twice on mine, the second time much slower.
Follow the remaining steps, remember to remove the cable and plug the Left hand side into the keyboard computer, and all should be fine.
I took a chance on this over a typical KVM largely because of the price. Both my computers have USB Keyboard and mouse and DVI monitors. KVMs for this type of set up are around $80 and would have let me run one monitor, however, I have the desktop space for two, and being able to run the 2nd one lets me keep and eye on more processes.
Before the upgrade, you had to click on a menu in the task bar to switch machines, but after the upgrade you can simply roll the mouse to the far right to have it jump to the 2nd machine(keyboard too) and then the far left to switch back. This was a pleasant surprise!
This mode(KM Switch) also allows you to drag and drop files from one desktop to another.
Try both the PIP and KM Switch modes to see what works best for you.
Ok, I was hesitant after reading split reviews on this product. But after having used this for a year, it has definitely is worth it. For the record the software is a little buggy... but there is NOTHING out there that can match what it can do-- let me explain.
First off, I work at home with a PC that connects to my company's servers. Better software based KMD switches like Synergy(Linux/Mac/Windows) and Mouse Without Boarders(Windows Only) that work over your home network does not work when one computer is NOT connected to the same network. In order to have one keyboard and mouse on my desk, I had to "physically" link one computer to the other.
Most KM switches at a similar price are designed to switch between two computers. This Smart Data Link allows the PCs to run side-by-side(with two screens--one for each PC) as well as running one PC in a window (with one screen--one for both PCs) using the Picture-in-picture function. I liked the idea of having a two screen setup. Plus this "switch" also allows you to transfer files from one PC to the other.
INSTALLATION: When you first plug the Smart Data Link into your PCs, windows recognized it as removable drive and asked if I wanted to run the programs Setup.exe or KMDS.exe. Make sure the USB marked 'L' is plugged into the computer running the LEFT screen if you are planning on running in KM Switch Mode. You can run setup.exe which copies KMDS.exe to the computer and sets it to run on start up (This isn't really necessary). Or you can run it directly from the device. Once running, you have to select which mode you want it to run. This is done by RIGHT-clicking on the system tray icon. It will not work unless BOTH PCs are running KMDS.exe. In case the software is not running on the other PC just select KM Switch Mode and it will 'broadcast' your keyboard and mouse to the other PC so you can start the software there.
FUNCTIONS: -The KM Switch Mode: allows you to 'extend' your keyboard and mouse over to the other PC. -The KMV PIP Mode: opens a window with the desktop of the other PC on it. (This mode does not work well displaying PCs with runnign 64bit, it lags and seems to be shown in 16bit color.) -File Transfer: you can ONLY drag and drop from one desktop to another. (If you try dragging/dropping from/to any other folder IT WILL NOT WORK.)
QUIRKS: 1) Make sure you are at least running version 188.8.131.52. I wish I can remember where/how I got it. It would be nice to see if there has been another update. (Maybe it came with it--I cant remember it has been a year) 2) The software does not like it when a PC goes to sleep--so sometimes the program freezes. 3) The software does not send the forward and back buttons to the other PC. 4) Pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE while on the PC to the right will cause both PCs to receive the CTRL+ALT+DELETE. Just press 'ESC'. It will also look like the keyboard freezes. To fix this just press the 'CTRL' key and then the 'ALT' key. 5) The software does NOT like it when you press and hold keys down while you move your mouse to the other PC. If you do, move the mouse back to the PC you started with and try pressing (and releasing) the key(s) again to see if that will fix it... if not you have to shutdown and restart the KMDS.exe program.
MY SOLUTIONS = AutoHotkey: -I use AutoHotkey (on both PCs) and run a little script that will start and stop the cables KMV program after you plug it in or unplug it. -I also use one AutoHotkey script to send a shortcut key combination (something obscure like CTR+ALT+SHIFT+F and CTR+ALT+SHIFT+F) with every press of the forward or back button and another script on the other PC that sends a forward or back mouse-button-click every time the shortcut key is received.
OVERALL: I liked this better than the other 'physical switch' options because this takes the switch button out of the equation, making it more like a dual monitor computer that happens to run two machines PLUS you get the file transfers... even if it limits you to transferring files from desktop to desktop. If the software was updated it would be the overall better product than the general KM switches hands down. But if you are trying to work on multiple computers on the same network and don't rely a lot on drag-n-drop file transfers---use Synergy(Linux/Mac/Windows) or Microsoft's Mouse Without Boarders(windows only).
UPDATE: Since my original posting I purchased an actual KMV switch to switch between my main PC and a third PC (for testing). I still use this cable between my main PC and PC #2. It may be that I am just used to the quirks of this cable, but in comparison it is easier and faster to just move my mouse over to PC #2 and keep typing than it is to switch the KMV switch to PC #3. Not to mention that having the clipboard and file transfers between computers has been really handy. I would say it is as good (and I would say maybe slightly better) than the traditional KMV switches. If there was a way to get two of these working together one PC I would have bought a second cable rather than getting a regular KMV switch. (I added the Autohotkey script that I use in reply to a comment below.)