I just thought Iâ€™d share my observations as Iâ€™ve been using Mouse without Borders (what is that?) on Win8 CP since the day it came out. Iâ€™ve used this at work on a daily basis, so Iâ€™ve logged MANY hours of experience with this setup.
So what is my setup? I have three systems side-by-side. My â€œhostâ€ (where my keyboard and mouse are plugged into) is a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine (this is my primary workstation that runs Hyper-V with several VMs that I RDP into). To my left is an old Vista-based workstation that is there for supporting a legacy application of ours (for only one more month â€“ yay!). Then to the right is my PDC laptop (whatâ€™s a PDC laptop?), which has a2-point resistive touchscreen. Iâ€™m currently running v220.127.116.112 of Mouse without Borders on a wired network.
For the most part, this works well. Mouse, keyboard, and copy/paste of text (I donâ€™t know about files â€“ I never use that feature) all work well, when they work. However, there are some non-minor issues. Just to share with you my experiences:
- Whenever my mouse enters the Win8 system, I can never simply move my mouse out of the Win8 system. Instead, I must use the hotkey to switch to a specific other system. This is with â€œEasy Mouseâ€ enabled in MWB. I have tried to disable â€œEasy Mouseâ€ and even then, holding CTRL as I move across screens still doesnâ€™t work. This forces me back to my CTRL+ALT+F1 hotkey combo that I have setup to go to specific workstations â€“ the hotkey works perfectly in both directions. (Not sure who to blame on this one â€“ a tweak to MWB will probably fix this.) UPDATE: Iâ€™ve discovered that if you check the â€œMove mouse relativelyâ€ checkbox on the host, this problem goes away. This may or may not be a problem for you. Personally, I donâ€™t like the mouse behavior with this checked. But still, this sounds like itâ€™s something that MWB can easily fix.
- Approximately half of the time, MWB doesnâ€™t work on the login screen but does once I login. I usually have my screen rotated so the keyboard and touchpad are inaccessible so this forces me to use the touchscreen to login. I think this is an inadequacy in MWB that needs to be fixed. UPDATE: Iâ€™ve discovered that if I lock my Win8 box by hitting [START] and then clicking on my avatar in the top-right corner and then clicking Lock, then I can usually (85% of the time) unlock my Win8 machine with my kb/mouse.
- (continued from 2) Of the times that I have to use the touchscreen to login, only half of the time does the new onscreen keyboard work. The other half of the time, I have to use the accessibility onscreen keyboard (the one that Windows Vista and Windows 7 had). Why? No clue. But I notice that when itâ€™s in this mode, when I use my touchscreen that it moves the mouse cursor around where Iâ€™m tapping instead of giving me the little bubble animation to show my touches. I think this is a Win8 bug, and a pretty bad one. If I didnâ€™t have that accessibility button on the login screen, if this were a tablet without a physical keyboard, I would be kinda screwed!
- It seems that often (maybe twice a day) that when I lock my machines, MWB totally disconnects from the server on the Win 8 machine. I rarely see this from the Vista machine (maybe once a week). When this happens, CTRL+ALT+R rarely helps. Closing and restarting the hostâ€™s instance of MWB sometimes fixes this. More often than not, I end up rebooting my Win8 box to fix this. I have no clue whoâ€™s â€œfaultâ€ this is.
One more issue to mention: Many people seem to have installation difficulties with Mouse without Borders because it depends on .NET 2.0. That said, I personally didnâ€™t experience these troubles. Iâ€™m not sure if it was MWB or something else but my experience of the bootstrap installer automatically installing .NET 2.0 for me was a pleasant experience for the most part. It was kinda slow but it â€œjust workedâ€ and I had to do nothing special to get it to work. I donâ€™t know what I did differently but I did want to share this. If you run into that problem and need help, check out this blog post by Bruce Cowper.
All in all, while there are a lot of fairly major issues, MWB is still worth using. The problems tend to only be problematic for just a minute and, fortunately, itâ€™s never when Iâ€™m in the middle of something but is always as Iâ€™m about to start something. Other than my first point (which Iâ€™ve learned to live with), if these problems randomly crept up while I was actively using MWB, I probably would have gone back to Synergy by now. But since the major annoyances tend to be at the time when Iâ€™m logging in, a slight delay isnâ€™t so bad. That said, itâ€™s still fairly annoying and Iâ€™d like to see these scenarios work much better!