Thursday, March 16, 2006

Reviving a dead mouse.

Some days I can't stand mice. Not the squeaky ones that leave droppings everywhere, but the round ones with buttons.
There are these devices for people who use more than one computer and only one Keyboard Monitor(Video) and Mouse. It's called a KVM Switch. It is the root of all my misery on a daily basis.

It supports PS2 mice and keyboards, which tend to crap out and stop working if they are unplugged or the power spikes or if you happened to look at your computer funny. This should be easy to fix, just restart your system and the mouse and/or keyboard should start working again. A monkey could do my job.

But no, restarting won't work most of the time, because the KVM does not have its own power source, it draws power from the keyboard's connection to the computer. Weird? Yes. So even when you shut down one computer the other ones connected to the KVM will still provide it with power. EVERYTHING MUST BE OFF SO THERE IS NO RESIDUAL POWER IN THE ENTIRE SYSTEM OF DEVICES. Every single tech in my office has their own rituals for reviving a dead mouse.

Fine! So everything is off, you must then unplug the mice and keyboards from the KVM and the computers, all of them, no cheating it wont work. Then wait two minutes. Bite the head off a live chicken and dribble the blood to bless the keyboard. The user's won't notice it amongst the accumulated ketchup drippings. A goat would work but there's too much blood.

Plug in the connection to the first computer, the one in the A position. Then to the box. Now apply power and dash a bit of salt over the mouse. If all goes well, the first computer's mouse and keyboard will come to life. Do the other computers just the same way in sequence. I promise it will work.

Unless you are connecting a laptop (or two!) up together. Yay! Because laptops have batteries that prevent you from removing all residual power from the box. Fuckin YAY! Sooo....before you wait two minutes you have to unplug the battery from the computer. That didn't work? Well did you hold down the grey button for 15 seconds and urinate on the power supply? I told you....gah! Okay well just remove the battery completely and power up without it. If that doesn't work, lets just replace the damn mouse.

I swear, a monkey could do my job.


  1. Yeah, it's the same at every place I've worked.
    It's a well orchestrated maneuver by management. They deny you the small bit of funding required to replace your KVM, keyboard, and mouse with a USB model knowing that one of the following will occur:
    1. Someone will break down and just replace the stupid thing on their own dime - just to preserve their sanity.
    2. Someone will go postal, smash up the place, then they can use the insurance money to replace the smashed up hardware with new stuff - plus a little bonus for themselves.
    3. Someone will quit. That way they pay less in salaries, and just have someone else do twice the work. Usually leading to 1 or 2 from above.
    Really very clever when you think about it! The bat rastards!
    Posted by Robert on March 16, 2006 - Thursday at 9:12 PM

  2. Oh man that made my day!

    Yeah I have a KVM at work thats pretty much the same and it drives me absolutly crazy sometimes. Usually it screws up when I'm trying to switch between systems really fast... it has a key combo for each pc that I can press to switch and sometimes it goes "uhhh what?" and I lose KB and mosue... fortunatly though it has a little button on the side of it that will manually switch ports and when I hit that the kb/mouse will *usually* come back.

    That's not nearly as bad though as the KVM "forgetting" about a pressed key after a few seconds... I used to have a two PC setup at home... one to play games on and the other for everything else... well i got the bright idea to get a USB KVM becuase I had a cool keybaord with a USB hub on it and all sorts of buttons. that would only function if it were on usb... well i got the KVM hooked everything up and fired up a game Asheron's Call 2... similar to WoW.

    So I log in and start running around which requires copious amounts of pressing of the "w" key... well I find out that after about 10 secs of being pressed the KVM "ignores" the key... Which is I'm sure you can imagine very detrimental to playing a game...

    Thusly I make a call to tech support for the KVM and explain my situation. I was promptly told that that model of KVM wasn't meant to be used in a gaming environment and that I should not use the KVM on the system that I want to play games on thank you have a nice day...

    So anyway I feel your pain... There's no need to degrade monkeys tho... monkeys rule.

    Posted by Fred on March 16, 2006 - Thursday at 9:26 PM