Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

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sgifanatic
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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby sgifanatic » Mon May 07, 2012 8:39 pm

I don't get it. You can do this right now with a USB->VGA adapter and a hub. That's it. What the heck does he need $125,000 for?
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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby zmttoxics » Tue May 08, 2012 5:44 am

That and it's not a computer, its a terminal... You can get a Raspberry Pi for $35, that is a computer. An extra $15 for a project box and a usb power adapter and you actually have a $50 computer, not an incredibly slow usb video adapter.

I have a display link usb vga adapter, and it is awful. If this displaylink based product is anything like it, I want nothing to do with it.
Stuff.

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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby GeneratriX » Tue May 08, 2012 11:02 am

...and maybe that's why there are only 42 days to go while it only fund-raised less than U$D4K.-

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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby tingo » Wed May 09, 2012 1:24 pm

Yes, Joe Q. Public doesn't get it.
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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby sgifanatic » Wed May 09, 2012 4:30 pm

I wish these guys the best, but I would be surprised out of my mind if there were enough ill-informed people around to fund something like this.
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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby smj » Wed May 09, 2012 4:40 pm

sgifanatic wrote:I wish these guys the best, but I would be surprised out of my mind if there were enough ill-informed people around to fund something like this.

"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity." -- Robert A. Heinlein
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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby SAQ » Wed May 09, 2012 8:50 pm

I don't see the market. They're talking homes - most homes don't have enough desk space to run a bunch of terminals off a single box. Most homes are fine with one or two machines shared.

The appeal of a USB "x-terminal" would be primarily in education and companies - and there reliability is usually more important than cost. That and if Windows is important then MS really nails you for the Multipoint licenses - base is over $300, and user is about the cost of a OEM copy of Windows.
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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby GeneratriX » Wed May 09, 2012 8:55 pm

I would not pay a single $ to fund it as project, but if I go to some shop here and their stuff is for sale at mere U$D50.- per unit, I would not dubt to purchase one of them. But it is just me, you know, because here in Argentina you could not find a cheaper way to add -automagically- another seat for less than U$D150.- or something like that.

But I always forget that for the U.S. crowd everything is cheaper! :P

All in all, I think the guys are making their best bet for the software side, since looks like they implemented some daemons to get automatically created a user account for each new thin client plugged, and all the rest.

But of course if you ask, I would prefer some nice WLAN Router and then a bunch of wireless seats. Only problem is, if you want such thing (and I want) you would have to clone the software install among all the massive storages, or then add some wireless NAS with partitions to fit the '/home' for each sit, or then allow a master box to share some hard disk space via WLAN...

...but no matter what, if you want to share the same basic configuration among all the clients, at least for my own country, you can't do it right now for less than U$D150.- per seat (averaging all the required hardware stuff, but without considering any kind of displays)

So, no matter if the idea looks stupid for the rest, I fail to see any other way to share some -big- box among many seats with less investment.

Of course it would be nicer if they do it wireless... but then bandwidth would be a problem and I don't think they could do it as chip as they promise.

Oh well... good luck for the guys behind the project.

EDIT: -Anyway, if anyone thinks I'm missing something, please let me know (seriously) because I'm actually interested to arrange something along the lines described above, and I'm tired to do multi-account / multi-box software maintenance, and all the rest. I mean, a cheap and easy way to install once and get always the same desktop and vault (without go to the cloud) no matter what kind of Linux-Compatable device I use.

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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby sgifanatic » Wed May 09, 2012 9:50 pm

Just do desktop virtualization with RaspberryPi. You can't run Windows on rpi, but you can connect to Windows VMs through it. You could run a free hypervisor like XenServer on a PC, then run free brokering software like DaaSManager and connect to via your rpi terminals and freerdp (remotefx support). That's the simplest and most reliable way. All your VMs are single files, so backups are simple. XenServer on a quad core system with 8GB of RAM will easily run 6-8 regular, non-performance desktop VMs. Also, this is an IP-based solution - no USB extenders involved - so you can access your VMs from anywhere. LAN or WAN.
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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby smj » Thu May 10, 2012 12:39 am

Since the guys on Kickstarter aren't even targeting Windows, it's even easier -- their competitor is the cheapest viable standalone RDP/VNC client out there. Grab a $30 used thin client and connect to an RDP/VNC session running under Linux on $BigPC, and you're done. Forget sophisticated software. Forget even having an X Server on the thin client. The boxes are already on eBay in quantity and ready to run for the next five years. Is that box only a 600MHz Via CPU? So what, the user wasn't getting amazing performance over USB with no local CPU anyway.

I don't mean to minimize the import/export problem GeneratriX (to use him as an example) would face either way, but I think an existing solution that's cheaper beats out a project that hasn't produced anything yet.
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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby hamei » Thu May 10, 2012 12:55 am

smj wrote: I think an existing solution that's cheaper beats out a project that hasn't produced anything.

Spoilsport !

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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby sgifanatic » Thu May 10, 2012 8:06 am

Agreed. This project should have been posted to nonstarter.com instead.
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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby GeneratriX » Thu May 10, 2012 1:18 pm

To say it into the more elaborated french: I give a rat ass for the mentioned project, and it only seemed to me interesting precisely because it would leave out of the equation exactly all the same things that some of you mentioned above... even if I reckon the merits of Desktop Virtualization and all the rest. Add to it, no affiliation with the guys from these project, so... hey!, they are the sons of your land, why should I back'em up? :P ...so, it was just my hope to watch from far to see if they come with something useful for my case! ;)

Anyway, talking more seriously, I've tried in the past things along the lines of the ones mentioned above; and even if it works fine for some things, at least at the time I've tried, some apps refused to start vía RDP/VNC... others frozen up sporadically, and a few other episodes like that... but I'm not saying it will not work. Indeed, as I said, I've used something like that a few years ago including this heavy propietary x-terminal app that I could not recall the name now.

But the problem for me is always the same, they were not so transparent, and remote file synchronization is a pain in the ass. And there are too many to try if you want to find the one that fit the bill for you: Comparison Of Remote Desktop Software!

Let's describe a bit better the requirements, adding some desirable things. I would want something capable for the following things:

1) Run for the remote sessions the same desktop sessions from master (or server) machine user accounts.
2) Be able to run remotely every app installed into the master (or server) machine, and that without any broken menues or zombie windows, without blind preview viewports, etc. Maybe it's just me, but the times I tried had a regular freak show to watch every day. Again, that was years ago, so, my excuses if things changed (for well) since then.
3) Share among every x-terminal same customization profiles being them picked-up and not ignored.
4) Share among every x-terminal the data resources from a single vault without requiring any kind of file synchronization for every session.
5) Be able to do it via WLAN without a massive bandwidth requirement.

...and, I guess that's all! 8-)

So, well, considering the attractive WLAN possibility (NetBooks, Tablets, etc.) I'm open to try again: What do you suggest, this time avoiding commercial apps, to run an scenary like that? What is the closest case that we'll get running F.O.S.S. apps?

I mean, I don't need the whole recipe at all. Just a few (well documented/ported/tried) F.O.S.S. apps to begin with. I already know the usual suspects, so, I only need a thing like: "-Hey, I use XYZ and it works well for me!"

All the best!
Diego

EDIT: I got it, here is the one I tried years ago: "WRQ Reflection X 9.0"

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Re: Plugable Thin Client: The $50 Computer

Unread postby SAQ » Thu May 10, 2012 8:07 pm

Diego - sounds like you're looking for something similar to the Sun Ray. Unfortunately not quite $50 new, but used they can be cheap - software is another issue, though. They seem quite nice - the session follows you around.

Your discussion of the NAS thing sounds a bit similar to a diskless workstation.
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