In his latest column for The Los Angeles Times , Jim Heid talks about his need to quiet the fan noise of a Power Mac G4. Heid does video and audio production at home, so he’s been experimenting with various keyboard/video/mouse (KVM) extender products lately. Heid’s analysis is called Meeting the Challenge of Muffling a G4
Heid said that the Power Mac G4’s vacuum cleaner-like ventilation system can cause problems in recording studios. Because of the system’s use of USB for keyboards, mice, and other peripherals, it can only be put about 15 feet away from the user — unless you try a product that breaks that barrier. He also had an Apple flat-panel display that used ADC, or the Apple Display Connector.
Heid discovered products that fit the bill from Gefen Inc. The company makes the ADC-100, which uses fiber optic connections to extend the distance between the Mac and display to up to 330 feet. Unfortunately, fiber-optics come at a high-price — the adapter costs almost $3,000. (Heid ended up opting for a less expensive analog display that used VGA, negating the need for such an expensive interface.)
Heid ended up settling on Gefen’s CAT5-2000, a $600 device that extends USB, analog video and audio up to 330 feet. It works on both Macs and PS/2-style PC peripherals, and supports Apple Desktop Bus (ADB), the interface found on legacy Macs. Heid said the device works well, although the inclusion of only a single USB interface necessitated the addition of a powered hub to attach other devices.
“Your mix of gear and the distance you need to span will influence your choice of KVM hardware. But if your work demands a quiet environment, products like the CAT5-2000 can be worth their weight in gold,” said Heid.
Read more at LATimes.com, at the link above.