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The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Work T450s and USB Switches

Lenovo T450sFor the past 10 months I have been using a Lenovo i7 T450s as my work laptop, and I have to say how impressed I have been with it. In my opinion, it's a great balance between portability and power. The SSD boots it up in a few seconds, and for the most part, it runs Fedora (with multiple VMs) admirably. The laptop keyboard is fantastic, and the dual batteries (one internal, one removable) last a while.

After my intense illness earlier this year, I have been doing a lot more working from home. As I use the same keyboard/mouse/monitor when using the work laptop as with my home PC, whenever I went between the laptop and the computer I manually switched the keyboard and mouse between the two machines.

Although this was a pain, I didn't mind doing it. Until last week. While I was reaching around the back of the computer to switch the keyboard and mouse to the laptop, I managed to spill a full glass of juice over my desk. Thankfully, the juice mostly fell forward and away from the electrical equipment (and especially away from the newly-installed UPS!).

Some might be surprised that after 15+ years of studying and working in IT, this was my first major spillage incident near computers. So I started looking around at USB switches so I wouldn't have to manually unplug and replug the keyboard and mouse all the time. Full USB/HDMI KVM switches are a bit expensive for my needs (>$100),  and the monitor has multiple inputs so switching between monitor inputs isn't a problem.

I ended up getting this USB switcher for $35, and it works great. I was a bit nervous that the Windows gaming software for my keyboard and mouse weren't going to work through the switch, but it works fine. Both Windows and Fedora work with hot-switching the devices, too (although Fedora does take a lot longer for them to register).

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