Ultimately, my goal is to have a "keypad" with between 5 and 10 buttons, where pressing one of those buttons effectively presses some key on two computers simultaneously.
In the ideal scenario, the "keypad" would just plug into both computers, sending whatever signal I generated out over 2 USB lines. As far as I can tell, this flat doesn't work (a single USB device cannot connect to two hosts).
I saw online some instructions for connecting a USB keyboard to a hacked-together pair of PS2-USB adapters (connecting the PS2 side, which apparently is happy to have multiple "hosts" with a single device). Even without doing the hacking part, my current keypad won't work when plugged in via keypad->USB to PS2->PS2 to USB->computer. Cutting apart connectors to allow it to be keypad->USB to PS2->2 x PS2 to USB->computer isn't likely to improve that any. I'm not clear if Windows no longer supports PS2 (saw that somewhere online), if the hardware keypad doesn't send the necessary signal to be "converted" to PS2, or what.
Are there any other approaches I'm missing? Any intelligent ways to do it with software (so the keypad plugs into one computer and that computer sends the signal to the other computer)? Immediacy is pretty important, but that route seems to have some legs.