Thin Client

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wda1906
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Thin Client

Postby wda1906 » August 28th, 2011, 10:22 pm

Hello,

Thank you very much for the write-up. I have a quick question about thin clients. I would like to setup an Ubuntu server box and configure a couple of VMs running XP for my kids. They love to play games and every time I look up, they have downloaded something that causes the OS or browser to act funky. After reading your write up, I believe thin clients connected to an ubuntu server is the way to go. What thin client brand/model would you recommend? As you can imagine, google brings back a ton of options and I would like to narrow my focus to a brand/model that will meet my needs the first time.

Any help you can give is greatly appreciated.

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Ian
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Re: Thin Client

Postby Ian » August 29th, 2011, 12:31 am

Hello there and welcome to the forums.

I've done quite a bit of research into thin clients but I've yet to find any that are suitable for gaming so I can't give you any recommendations to suit your needs I'm afraid. My kids (and indeed friends and neighbours too) also regularly "enhance" their computers and call upon me to sort them out. Only once did a problem require a total rebuild the rest were solved using a variety of tools (eg. Hijackthis, Spybot search and destroy). Obviously having decent anti-virus software helps too.

What I've now done with my youngest is I've set her up on her machine as a non-admin user and if she wants any new stuff installed I log on as me (an administrator) and I install it for her. This has decreased the amount of times she inadvertently "breaks" the machine. My eldest is an administrator on his machine tho since he is forever installing the latest "must have" piece of junk so I still regularly have to sort his machine out :lol:

But I'm confused by what you seem to have read. If you were to move your kids onto a thin client setup you'd simply be moving the problem from the desktop machine to the server, wouldn't you? Or am I missing something?

Ian.

wda1906
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Re: Thin Client

Postby wda1906 » August 29th, 2011, 1:07 am

Ian,

remember in your write up where you said:


I'm also running a few virtual installations of Windows XP & Vista. These were previously installed on full-blown desktops which I had dotted around the house. I now use "thin clients" to connect to these virtual machines so everything is now centralised. There are a couple of reasons I did this:
1. I have some applications which only work on XP and some applications which only work in Vista. Instead of having separate computers running each version of Windows I now just have the one.
2. Anyone can connect to "their" copy of windows from any client in the house.

This is what gave me the idea of running VMs for my kids. I figured if they messed something up, I could just delete and quickly rebuild the VM. Do you think this is overkill? I realize that you can get a full blown PC nowadays close to the price of a thin client. I just like to try new things and I've never seen a setup where you network boot to an image. I would love to get my hands dirty and try something like this. Am I making sense?

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Re: Thin Client

Postby wda1906 » August 29th, 2011, 1:10 am

By the way Ian, the games I'm talking about are educational games. Nothing that would be graphic or processor intensive.

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Ian
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Re: Thin Client

Postby Ian » August 29th, 2011, 12:39 pm

Ah yes, I do remember writing that although it's a little out of date now as my kids have their own laptops (although we still do this in our house). :oops:

What you're suggesting seems sensible and I'm never one to try and talk people out of trying something new. I am using Acer Revo's as thin clients (sadly discontinued). I have been thinking of putting together a how-to for this and your thread has inspired me to give it a go.

But your point about the cost of such a strategy is a very valid one and becoming more relevant as the price of nettops/netbooks continues to drop. You'll still be left with the issue of rebuilding a "broken" machine but it is somewhat easier to do this centrally as you can backup and restore an XP image within a few seconds.

Re the gaming, if these are only lightweight "games" then using VMs should work fine.

Ian.

wda1906
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Re: Thin Client

Postby wda1906 » August 30th, 2011, 3:47 am

Thank you very much Ian.


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