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[#] Sat Jun 08 2019 01:48:01 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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Tue Jun 04 2019 00:39:39 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar
Well that was a bit of a failure.

So the switch is indeed completely passive -- there is no spoofing of EDID and no other simulation of the presence of KVM on the non-selected computer.
As far as the computers are concerned, you're just hotplugging the monitor and keyboard and mouse.

This wasn't a problem; both Linux and Windows seem to handle that with little difficulty.

But what I discovered was that my personal rig (an older Intel NUC) and my big monitor (native resolution 1920x1200) simply don't get along. I tried it on Linux and Windows, I tried it without the KVM in between, it just wouldn't display at any resolution higher than 800x600. Sooooooo the smaller monitor is back on the desk, and I'm only using the switch for the keyboard and monitor.

No photo description available.
Try this one. I've got a Pi, a Surface 3, a G4 Quicksilver and an old Dell GX260 P4 hooked up to it... with a Westinghouse 22" and a Samsung 27"

It all works, all the time. 


[#] Sat Jun 08 2019 13:19:45 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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The problem isn't in the switch. I discovered that the NUC can't drive my 1920x1200 monitor, at all, even without the switch connected. I simply hadn't tried that computer with that monitor before. It didn't work on Linux or Windows. The experience of failing was slightly different on each OS but it ended up not working on either.

So I ended up just using it as a keyboard/mouse switch. Maybe when I have some time I can play with custom ModeLines on Linux like it's the early 1990's again. Windows is a lost cause; it starts up in 800x600, then downloads the "correct" driver at which point the screen goes completely dark.

[#] Sat Jun 08 2019 13:47:11 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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So you get no video from the NUC on your monitor, or it just can't drive it at the native resolution so it is blurry? Is it a matter of the native resolution being too high for the NUC GPU? 

I'm assuming built in Intel HD video? 


[#] Sun Jun 09 2019 16:03:13 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Yes. built-in Intel video. The model of this machine is DN2820FYK. It's a wonderful little machine except for this issue.

When I first hooked it up to the big monitor without rebooting, it kept the resolution of the little monitor (Xorg doesn't hot-switch by default) which is 1600x900. It was blurry enough that it wasn't worth looking at. But when it boots under the big monitor, it doesn't find any working modes at all.

I'd be willing to bet that there's a way to program a custom mode if I worked at it long enough. Right now I don't have the time and I'm just happy to get the extra keyboard and mouse off the desk. I also installed Synergy on both machines so I don't even have to use the button except during startup.

[#] Mon Jun 10 2019 23:54:11 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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I was able to force the video mode to 1900x1200 at 60 Hz using the "xrandr" tool. I got the command ready on the little monitor, then ran it while plugged into the big monitor, and it is displaying perfectly.

Now I know the hardware is at least *capable* of displaying this resolution.
I just have to figure out how to force it to use this mode at every startup.
It's going to be tricky, but at least it's not the dead end of "use one of the built-in modes or GFY" that I got with Windows.

[#] Wed Jun 12 2019 00:06:34 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Final post (maybe) on this topic.

Apparently "xrandr" has some sort of persistence across reboots. When I created a custom video mode, it seems to have "learned" it and is capable of using it again. So I re-enabled my display manager and it's working at the native resolution of the monitor.

But! It only starts up properly when the monitor is plugged directly into the computer. It won't start properly when attached through the switch. So it's a nuisance, but I can live with it since I want to leave this computer on all the time anyway, it's very low power, and my electric service is very reliable.

[#] Wed Jun 19 2019 16:10:58 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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I might be wrong about all of the above, actually. This particular computer seems to work fine, without help, when the monitor is plugged directly in to the computer during the boot process ... or at least it does when running under Linux. Xorg keeps the video mode in use once the display is up. Windows wants to try to hot plug.

My other computer seems to have no problem passing EDID through the switch, under either operating system.

So I guess I'll just live with it for now. The one computer doesn't get rebooted much anyway, and when it does, I just have to bypass the switch to do it. As a slow-burn project I'll work on finding a way to get it to ignore EDID and force-feed it the video mode I want to use. The problem starts pre-boot, though, and it won't even proceed through the hardware boot screens with the switch attached.

[#] Sat Jun 22 2019 18:50:23 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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Consumer grade KVM switches have a lot of things to try and deal with... and *nix video has always seemed to me to require a little more understanding of what goes on between the video card and the display. 

HDMI has made things easier in a lot of ways - but it still isn't a silver bullet thing hooking up multiple machines to a single monitor/keyboard/mouse through a KVM. 

I wish it were as nice as hooking up a bunch of Dell equipment to a Dell KVM - but then, all my stuff would be Dell... and that wouldn't be awesome. :) 


[#] Mon Jun 24 2019 10:39:33 EDT from fleeb

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I'd rather like to find a KVM that can handle two 'display' ports, a keyboard and mouse, and two or more computers.

I've used one, but... it sucks. Badly enough that I don't use it anymore.

[#] Thu Jun 27 2019 18:29:28 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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Mon Jun 24 2019 10:39:33 EDT from fleeb

I'd rather like to find a KVM that can handle two 'display' ports, a keyboard and mouse, and two or more computers.

It seems like this should be a thing, and a thing that works well. I can imagine it being expensive, though. 


[#] Sat Jun 29 2019 18:18:11 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Part of all this is my own fault, of course. Not only am I using a CheapChinese(tm) KVM switch, but the signal is getting converted from HDMI to DVI on the Linux machine, and from DisplayPort to HDMI to DVI on the Windows machine.

Someday I will get a new monitor and I'll just make sure it's one with multiple inputs.

[#] Sun Jun 30 2019 17:51:25 EDT from wizard of aahz

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Or build a new switch and market it

[#] Tue Jul 02 2019 06:53:46 EDT from fleeb

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It seems like this should be a thing, and a thing that works well. I
can imagine it being expensive, though. 

You would think this, but last I checked, no. Nothing available.

I suspect it might have something to do with the data requirements of two 1080p monitors. Maybe.

[#] Tue Jul 02 2019 18:13:12 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Ultimately, this will all become irrelevant. The newest generation of computers are capable of delivering video over USB 3.0 ports. You've seen the new "docking hubs" -- they don't even mate with the computer, they just have a single USB-C cable that you plug in and it delivers everything.

This means that when everything catches up to that spec, a simple USB switch will handle switching the keyboard, mouse, monitors, and everything else you want to switch. (This means that you'll need to connect the network and power through some other port, of course.)

I believe that the most common personal rig of the future will look like a slightly larger version of the Nintendo Switch. They got it right. When the Switch is undocked, it is a fully usable and fully portable system. When you drop it, vertically, into the dock, it mates with a single USB-C connector in the bottom of the slot.

[#] Thu Jul 11 2019 17:08:22 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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This is where Windows still has such a tremendous advantage. I've got a SP5 going into a Surface docking port, the port has two MiniDisplay outs. One goes to a DBsub 15 VGA and the other to HDMI, I've got two monitors, a 24" and a 27" - plus the Surface Pro screen. The 27" is only a KVM that is shared with another machine, that is also HDMI - but in the past was DVI out... 

I also have a HDMI splitter switch in there. 

It all works, right resolutions, auto-detect, I have to hit a button on the KVM to go to the right device... but I have the 27" hooked up to two machines - and I can have them both on and just hit the "mode" button and switch between analog and HDMI and it'll switch back and forth. 

I like Linux for a lot of things. But Windows dominates in this kind of convenience, and always has. There are certainly things you give up for that convenience. 


[#] Fri Jul 12 2019 11:13:24 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Actually, Windows did not work AT ALL in this configuration. Windows performs DDC negotiation at the moment the monitor is connected, while Linux does it once at startup. The intel video chip in the NUC can't handle the KVM switch, so I have to plug the monitor directly in during startup. Since Linux locks in the video mode once it's running, I can switch back and forth. If the machine was running Windows (and I tried it), it would try and fail to renegotiate every time I switched over.

It's amusing to watch. Switching to the Linux machine happens instantly.
Switching to the Windows machine takes about ten seconds before the screen reappears.

[#] Fri Jul 12 2019 14:47:51 EDT from LoanShark

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AMD processors finally looking competitive again. First time in 15 years... I've been buying 65W-TDP Intel processors because I don't like my space sounding like there's a jet engine running, and because the 65W class is plenty fast enough. Finally AMD is a competitor in this space again.

The new generation of PCIe 4.0 SSDs are going to scream. Not even sure if Intel will support those before 2021...

But I still have to migrate off an Intel RAID1 mechanical disk array...

[#] Sat Jul 20 2019 18:24:53 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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Fri Jul 12 2019 11:13:24 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar
Actually, Windows did not work AT ALL in this configuration. 

I always experience this in discussion with people who like Linux - where all they ever run into is aggravation with Windows in any situation - and all I ever run into is aggravation with Linux in any situation. 

Makes me think, "maybe it isn't the OS - it is fate being a dick." 


As far AMD being competitive - I'm an ex-Intel employee. I was there when AMD beat us to 1Ghz. The thing is, no one inside Intel talks about it - but Intel was facing SEC Anti-Trust investigations at that point - for being anti-competitive and not having any meaningful market competition. AMD got to 1Ghz, the SEC backed off, AMD wasn't able to *scale* production, and shortly thereafter Intel announced it had broken 1Ghz, and flooded the market with processors. That was the LAST time AMD was a threat to Intel. 

So... I'm watching what is going on right now. Intel is executing poorly internally - from what my little birds tell me... of course, Intel has laid off most of my little birds at this point. Expensive white IT men over 40 aren't on their salary budget, it seems. But Intel is sneaky... and they're doing major construction here in Chandler for a company that recently laid of 5000 domestic employees while growing their non-domestic workforce. 



[#] Sun Jul 21 2019 12:50:13 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Replacing smart people with cheap foreigners doesn't sound like a recipe for success, if their engineering talent is an ingredient in your product line.

Intel's biggest liability right now is their fabs. AMD doesn't own fabs and can send manufacturing to whatever fab has the process they want to use for a new chip. And it doesn't hurt that AMD's integrated graphics are currently running circles around Intel's.

[#] Mon Jul 22 2019 10:32:55 EDT from LoanShark

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Americans are overpriced and lazy. Americans don't want to compete with the cheap foreigners -- they don't have to, their supervisors sit there and look the other way while they act like lazy fucks and continue to collect their paychecks.

Those cheap foreigners are going to run us over with their superior expertise at some point. It's already happening. You can't find any tooling engineers in this country anymore because they're all in China.

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