Replacing a maintenance kit

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I am in a harsh remote field environment. Whatever solution I find is self provided and self sustained. I access computers using a maintenance kit which is a computer screen, mouse, and keyboard. I also have a laptop. The laptop is on XP and is capable of doing two monitors but doesn't have a docking station with it. The systems I work on are either XP or 2000. There has to be some kind of connector, switchbox, connection, docking station, or device that I can use to make this laptop work as a keyboard, monitor, and mouse rather than having to carry this extra weight around. This is important as in often I am carrying this gear on my back. It needs to be ridiculously strong, stable and robust solution. Any help is appreciated.
ASKED: December 8, 2004  8:19 AM
UPDATED: December 12, 2004  11:03 AM

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I believe what you could do is connect to the computer with a crossover cable and use Remote Desktop Connection – which is called Terminal Services in Windows 2000. You may have to install it on the boxes if it wasn’t installed by default. I think that with a properly configured crossover cable connection you should be able to fully operate the machine you are connected to. So this will require some setup on your part, but the end result is, all you have to carry is a cable and your latptop. There is also software that can perform this function if Terminal Services are not available for your version of windows. PCAnywhere comes to mind.

You’d need to make sure of a few things:
-you are both in the same workgroup
-your IPs are set up properly for a crossover connection
-your user has local administrator priviledges on the remote machine (or whatever privs you need)
-that terminal services (2000) or remote desktop connection (XP) are installed and activated on both machines.

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  • BlueKnight
    If I understand you correctly, it sounds like what you need is a 2 port Belkin KVM switch which will allow you to control multiple computers through a single keyboard and mouse. Take a look at www.belkin.com - select KVM then click Small Office/Home Office & Desktop Solutions. We have several of them around here so we don't have to clutter our desks with multiple keyboards, mice and monitors. The price is fair also at around $70.00. Hope this helps you out. Jim
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  • Kerm
    Look at realvnc.com. There may be a solution there for a terminal services type connection to either server or workstation.
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  • Quiettiger
    Great idea. I'm trying to find a way to maintain the Internet connection while I do this though. I deal with a lot of 220 and 100 power problems out here. The laptop will do both but I was warned by another technician that most anything I do will risk frying the laptop. He seemed to be pretty insistent than anything other than a real deal external monitor could fry my laptop. I know there are other solutions or devices out there that might give me the bypass but I am not up on all of the cool stuff out there. The other problem is there are no USB ports on the computer I am trying to access. I also can't use a wireless solution. The cheap solution is just hang a cheesy 15 flat screen monitor on the system but that means more gear. I want to try and lighten what I carry.
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  • Howard2nd
    NO! You can set the laptop as a client terminal and connect to the machine being worked on. There is no way I have found to drive the laptop display from the other machine's video out. No way to connect the laptop keyboard/mouse to the 2nd computer's inputs. AND YES the engineer was right you would most likely 'FRY' your laptop in the attempt. It is possible hawever to use the Internet KVM systems to pretend the previous. get the IP dongle that attaches to the computer to be workded on (Computer video out & keyboard/mouse inputs) install the client software on your laptop. NOTE: you will probably need the 'maintenance' kit (monitor, keyboard, & mouse the first you set this up on a system.
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