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Specifically, I need to scan a whole bunch of barcodes, and so I want to connect two usb laser scanners to one PC and be able to scan simultaneously in order to get the job done faster! If barcodes get scanned at the same time, the data in the system merges together and drops out characters; therefore, it has to be deleted and re-done.

Thank you for suggestions/apps/programs able to use two usb devices inputing to different windows (e.g., two notepad windows open)

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Check out… – simbabque Aug 2 '12 at 14:22
Thanks, but it doesn't quite help my situation. – Johnson Aug 2 '12 at 14:41
A barcode scanner is just a keyboard as far as your computer knows, so no, you won't be able to get two of them working simultaneously, without interference. – Don Simon Aug 2 '12 at 15:02
Right, that's why I used them interchangeably in asking the question. I just figured it's 2012, and somebody should have a solution by now because I saw the question asked elsewhere but unanswered back in 2010... – Johnson Aug 2 '12 at 15:08
There's no built-in solution. However, it can be done in software (…) so there might be an existing third party utility. – Harry Johnston Aug 4 '12 at 0:43

I've been trying to work out a similar problem to this for a short while now and last night I think I cracked it!

The trick is to use virtual machines and have the VM capture the USB device from the host.

I am using VirtualBox as it has good USB support out of the box.

How to use USB devices in VirtualBox

I tested this on an XP host, running a Ubuntu VM, with two USB mice and two USB keyboards. I passed one set to the VM, leaving one on the host. Opened up a basic text editor on both machines and tip-tapped away on each simultaneously with no issue!

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