Simplest Device to access a computer 30' away

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by RF, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. RF

    RF Guest

    Hi Geniuses :)

    I have my main computer, which has a Wi-Fi
    anternna, in one room A and I work occasionally in
    another room B about 30' away. I could easily
    connect wires between the two points.

    All I want to do is to transfer small amounts of
    data to the main computer. Ideally, I should be
    able to see the main computer screen.

    What would be the lowest-cost device that could
    handle this?

    RF, Mar 6, 2009
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  2. Lowest cost would be a wire.
    Otherwise an access point and wi0fi.
    Flatulent Father Flannigan, Mar 6, 2009
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  3. RF

    Paul Guest

    You can get USB buffer cables. Connect two in a row, to reach 30 feet.
    Before buying one, you want to check the reviews, to make sure it
    works when two are put in a row. Some don't work right. One reviewer
    says this one works OK.

    Plug a USB keyboard into the end of the cable. As long as the
    keyboard uses less than 100mA of current, it should work OK. If
    it doesn't for some reason, connect a powered USB hub at the end
    of the cable. That can power the keyboard, if the USB bus power
    isn't working right for some reason.

    At the computer, open a notepad session, Place the
    cursor in notepad.

    Now, walk to the other room.

    Type the "small amount of data" on the keyboard.
    If you think you made a mistake, make a note of it
    on the keyboard, and retype the data. You don't need
    to see the Notepad session to do this. Simply
    hit return after each datum. Later, you can return
    to the main computer room, and make corrections.
    Then copy/paste to some other tool, if needed.

    Since you don't have a mouse with you in the other room,
    the cursor should stay in the Notepad window.

    A computer can be run with multiple keyboards and mice,
    and all the input just gets combined. So you don't need
    to disconnect the remote keyboard when you're finished.

    By using no display device, you'll save money.

    Total project cost - $10 for keyboard + 2 x $10 for USB
    active extension cables (the ones with a "blob" on one end).
    There is a limit on the number of extension cables that
    can be connected together, as each one uses a "one port hub"
    as the active extension device. Using two or three should be

    $10 keyboard

    Paul, Mar 6, 2009
  4. RF

    RF Guest

    Thanks everyone for the replies. Seems like
    everyone had a different interpretation of what I
    was looking for, and that I didn't make myself clear.

    "What would be the lowest-cost device that could
    handle this?"
    The device is to be located in room B and
    communicate data back to the computer in Room A.
    What device is recommended?

    Last night, after I posted, I saw online a small
    Dell notepad that would do the job at a very
    reasonable price - less than $250.

    Any other suggestions?
    RF, Mar 6, 2009
  5. We don't know what kind of data or what you are doing but assume that the
    'device' would be another computer.

    I think we were under the impression you were asking about a connection
    method. Not a device.
    If you use a laptop you can conect with an RJ45 cable made for connecting
    between two computers.

    Step up from there to a router or a switch.

    from there to a wireless 54g connection..

    YOU can run VNC on the laptop and have access to your desktop on the other
    machine also if you wish.
    Flatulent Father Flannigan, Mar 6, 2009
  6. "RF" wrote ...
    Perhaps we still don't understand your conditions?

    Why wouldn't a $15 USB thumb drive work?
    Why wouldn't a $5 crossover network cable work?

    I would consider $250 to be 10x outrageous for a solution
    to transfer data between 2 different computers, whether
    real-time (Ethernet) or batch (sneakernet).

    "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full
    of tapes hurtling down the highway."
    Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (1996). Computer Networks.
    New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. pp. 83. ISBN 0-13-349945-6. recommended read.
    Richard Crowley, Mar 6, 2009
  7. RF

    RF Guest

    My thanks again to everyone.

    The device I referred to was what would transmit
    the data from room B. I thought that was clear. My
    rambling mind hit phones, PDAs, mini computers,
    etc. at that time but I hadn't a clue about prices.

    Seems like you hit it on the nail Ken. I'll check
    out your suggestions.

    Sorry about the choice of newsgroup., Which one
    would have been a better choice for this query?
    RF, Mar 7, 2009
  8. RF

    RF Guest

    True but I often have to make 3 or 4 trips between
    the rooms about 35' apart.
    The right device would save those trips and the
    time of writing and later typing in.

    Apologies to all for the lack of info in my first
    post. I am not up-to-date with computer
    communication devices, so I was waiting for
    suggestions from people who are. What I had
    initially in mind was a device with a small screen
    and a keyboard and the means of transferring the
    data to the main computer. I didn't specify that
    to leave more room for OPs ideas.

    To be a bit more specific about the setup, the
    main computer has a WiFi receiver (real wiring is
    also available) and the reason for interacting
    with it is that room B is a kitchen where food
    details (weights mostly) are determined. These
    data are to be sent to the main computer - about
    35 numbers each day. To be able to input the data
    directly to the program running in the main
    computer would be very convenient.

    Ken came closest to the solution - seems like a
    PDA with WiFi should do the job. I have never used
    a PDA and am assuming that I could input the data
    from it via WiFi directly to the program in the

    Thanks again for all your efforts.
    RF, Mar 10, 2009
  9. RF

    David McCall Guest

    It doesn't even have to be an old one.
    You can buy a new laptop for under $400.
    It wouldn't be what you or I might use, but would be adequate for entering a
    little data.

    David McCall, Mar 10, 2009
  10. That's definately the easiest way to do this.

    Been a while since I've purchased a laptop. I inherited both of mine from
    my son in a rock band. He stepped on one in the middle of the night .. so I
    replaced the display and voila! The other one he sent out because it stopped
    working and once I cleaned all the dog hair out of the cooling system and
    replaced the hard drive! Voila! A nice big noisy HP ZD8000.

    I run VNC a lot here with all the computers I have in house. The older I get
    the more handy that little app is.
    Flatulent Father Flannigan, Mar 10, 2009
  11. "Flatulent Father Flannigan" wrote...
    You can likely get a "netbook" class portable computer AND
    a USB-connectable scale for <$400 total. You could run the
    (unidentified) application on the netbook and not even involve
    the remote computer. The ~$350 netbook-class computers
    I've seen have 100GB hard drives and are capable of running
    most apps directly (except maybe for HD NLE, etc.)
    Indeed. No way could I keep ~100 classroom PCs running
    without remote control. An excellent example of computers
    making our jobs easier.
    Richard Crowley, Mar 10, 2009
  12. RF

    RF Guest

    My thanks again to all.

    Now I have enough info to get me on my way.

    Have a great week :)
    RF, Mar 11, 2009
  13. RF

    M.L. Guest

    The OP might also consider using online software such as Google Docs
    to update text or spreadsheet input over the Internet.
    M.L., Mar 12, 2009
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