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Old 18th June 2007, 18:39   #16
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Zappo, I already told it is a rehash of ideas from 70s/80s. Network computer means sharing of CPU, the novell netware only let you share hard disk, not CPU.

The telnet terminals and X-terminals examples of early NC, they are still used though. But only in Unix, Mini and Mainframe world.

Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
I remember when I started off years back we used to have 286-386 machines in vogue. All these machines used to be with a floppy drive at max but no hard disk. Hard Disks of even 80mb were a real costly affair in those days.
I started off my career with 8086 PCs with no hard drives and with only 640K RAM.
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Old 18th June 2007, 18:54   #17
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
The idea of Network computing was Scott McNealy's biggest pipe dream. I am glad it remained so.
Well, Sunrays are still sold, and people who've used it swear by it...
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Old 18th June 2007, 21:48   #18
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There are at least two ways of doing this with a simple inexpensive x86 based server. One is using the USB ports and hubs to connect usb monitors, keyboards, and mice. This is, IMHO a bit complicated.

The other, simpler, but a slightly expensive (but still far less expensive than peer-to-peer fat clients) is using the Linux Terminal Server Project's LTSP. Actually, you do not have to use software from LTSP - any stock LInux distribution - like Ubuntu or debian can be configured (without much ado) to do this. You have a slightly powerful computer running as a server, and up to 20 low power, low RAM, clients without hard disks.

Make sure you have a good raid set up in the server, and about 2 Gigs or more RAM. (yes, that is sufficient). And rememer to make regular backups. The raid set up will speed up hard disk access and improve data protection, since data is mirrored on TWO hard disks.

Just ask your local Linux user group. You can look up google which is the nearest one. Sometimes, they call themselves "Free Software User groups". There will be people who do this on commercial basis in the LUGs.

You can even use very old computers to run latest software; and believe me, Linux is way very stable, secure and inexpensive.
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Old 19th June 2007, 00:14   #19
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What might be useful is Virtual PC. Or, if server-functionality is needed, Virtual Server.

But, all of these are designed to increase computing density rather than do away with PCs; altho the no. of PCs required for the current set of activities will reduce comparitively.
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Old 19th June 2007, 10:22   #20
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Originally Posted by ballkey View Post
Well, Sunrays are still sold, and people who've used it swear by it...
Yup. It actually works very well.

There is no one size fit all. For some of the requirements SunRays are godsend and for some a horrible misfit.
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Old 19th June 2007, 15:02   #21
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Exactly what I was looking for = Technie opinions. And going by some of them, I think I will keep this on the back burner for a little time.

Thanks guys!
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Old 19th June 2007, 15:05   #22
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GTO the factor is cost.
As for licencing even from a PC you can connect to a server which has MS office, and the users use it through remote desktop connection.
So if Monitor+keyboard+mouse+thinclient cost is almost same as PC cost, its not useful.
Thats the reasons companies are replacing thin clients with cheap PCs.

To give an example some softwares charge license fee based on number of unix machines in network.
So if you give 10 users laptops and have one big server, you pay less.
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Old 19th June 2007, 15:25   #23
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Thin Clients are good for mainly office use and word processing apps...at the max u may do is internet surfing...for heavy duty computing u need the real deal (a cabby full of hardware) next to ur monitor...
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Old 19th June 2007, 15:33   #24
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GTO, is you are starting from scratch, then there is a point in comparing the cost benefits. But if you already have one setup (like PCs), there is no significant benefit from changing. And then you have to re-train your staff to the new environment.

Well, Sunrays are still sold, and people who've used it swear by it...
Scott McNealy's pipe dream was for the NC to kill desktop computing, not just selling some NCs.
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Old 19th June 2007, 16:55   #25
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Hah! 386 machines running Xenix from SCO --- Unix for the PC --- and supporting a dozen dumb terminals with character-based apps.

It really worked! And for any data-processing applications that don't require graphics it still works. All this windows graphics stuff is an utter waste of processing power if all you want is a bookings system!

Yes, Novel worked too, but was more of a pain to administer. Even towards the end of my working career (2002) we still had one Novel server in our office. It needed restarting once every few weeks.

The IBM RS6000s, Unix (AIX) machines, which also used SAMBA to simulate microsoft servers to the PCs on the desktops, almost never crashed and were only rebooted for maintenance if something broke --- but they were seriously expensive machines and didn't break often.

But they still had less disk storage than the 200Gb my PC has today!

Stnadards should never be judged by Microsoft. Windows was not even stable until W2K.
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Old 20th June 2007, 08:24   #26
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yes..all.... remote connections./citrix are teh way to go these days..only draw back is you cant install anything locally.....( since you realyy dont have a local harddrive to speak of...)...
..You need a killer server/bandwidth to work effeciently here.... is standard in most big corps now..esp IT...where as people have rightly poited out licencing costs are critical....
...I am as of this momnet logged on using Citrix......
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Old 20th June 2007, 10:17   #27
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Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
We do save up on buying MS-Office packages for 40 workstations by using Terminal services from Windows 2k and 2003. So we buy one license and host it on a server. Clients use Remote Desktop connections to use MS-Office. That saves us 40 licenses.

EDIT: Some more info. Remote desktop comes standard with the Win2k installation package whereas it needs to be installed on Win XP workstations.
AFAIK: you can not save 40 licenses. In case of thin client based workstations you need to procure 40 TSE Client access plus 40 ms office device based licenses.

Please verify with your vendor or MS account manager on this before taking a deciscion on licenses.
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