Tuesday, February 16, 2010

WinTerminal Freeware Thin Client Solution : Tested & Found Awesome

I had to get rid of Citrix Metaframe. Every single time I burned a new flash image to test with I had to download a license certificate, just not practical when TSHTF. It got old after the fiftieth time or thereabouts.

Here's the test setup in my study right now. (Can barely can move with wires and electronics packed to ceiling)

Boxes with brains:

Windows 2000 Advanced Terminal Server (Running on new ThinkBoy case) [$10.00 Ebay]
PC-104 Single Board Computer (Running PowerBasic "Sentry" program) [$8.00 Ebay]
NCD Explora 451 (Running PowerBasic "Sentry" code) [$1.00 EBay]

Thin Clients using RDP alone, no ICA for Citrix:

One ancient 486 Laptop Portable w/1 Gig Hard disk and 16 MB RAM [$2.00 Garage Sale]
Wyse 1125 Thin Client (using RDP protocol) [$12.00 EBay]

... installed and ran WTWare Lite on the 486 laptop (barely holding together) as a boot image burned onto the hard drive. Both the Wyse thin client RDP and the converted laptop feature controlled menus to run specific programs from the ThinkBoy server and have minimalist interfaces. (I added a cool VAULT-OS screen to both of them when they boot up)

Both thin clients run at an excellent speed, with good resolution and response on the mouse and keyboard. I was able to get a USB camera working on the Wyse unit for realtime feed of the operator back to the Thinkboy server with sound and color image at 20 FPS.

The Winterminal software is free and it kicks ass, eliminating the requirement for Citrix Metaframe altogether by simply going through RDP. The RDP protocol has a lot of customization available for nice displays.

The simplest proposed use for this thin client stuff is to run anything from anywhere inside your shelter/permaculture lab doing anything you want to do, sharing data and communications with the central server. I can see getting a microphone working on the thin client side where you can issue voice recognition commands just like you were sitting in front of Thinkboy.

Thin clients reduces maintenance and cost and seem to have great reliability. I think any implementation of Vault-OS will be incomplete without a few scattered around.

No comments: