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Found a hack for XP Professional that allows you to use it as a Terminal Server. This was a feature that Microsoft had introduced in the SP2 beta, but they removed it from the final version. I found a hack that reenables it.

For months, the folks at our Temecula office have been complaining about how slow our database appication is, and yes, it is horrifically slow, because the database is over 1 Gigabyte, and they're trying to access it over a VPN running over a T-1 line (it used to be worse, it used to be ADSL). I felt sorry for our field guys, who were trying to use this database over a cellular modem.

Then it occurred to me, why not just set up a Terminal Server on the LAN here and do all the crunching and processing locally, only sending screen updates and keyboard/mouse clicks over the VPN. It should be like 100 times faster this way. And we won't need to order ANOTHER T-1.

This will also mean I may be able to deploy Linux more often, since the primary reason I haven't been able to was this stupid Windows-only database program.

I'm rather tired, though. I'm working OT to get this up and running by tonight, and I haven't eaten since 8 am. Bleah.



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Mar. 30th, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)



Seriously, I still don't understand the mentality of 'More resources, more to take advantage of'. There's no reason an operating system needs to take up over an initial quarter of system resources just to -run-, much less the applications that are required to run it.

You know how Microsoft could make a -KILLING-? By producing a product that does absolutely nothing else, but provide you with basic GDI resources and network resources that allow you to run specific windowed applications and nothing more. Terminal Server, VNC connections, Citrix connections or whatever...don't need 3d Accelerators to function, much less the resources tied up initializing them and keeping them ready in the background, nor do they need sound card, resource allocation servers, keyboard servers, listening servers, 'Just in case' servers and a whole spattering of extra fluff just to run these specific window-fed applications.

Software such as Internet Explorer (Or, a browser of your choice) A muck client, an IRC client, IM clients, Word Processors, or anything of the such that exclusively use only the 2d portion of a video card, don't use any sound cards, and potentially could be served from a server platform over a network connection could use such a -tiny- client just to run them. If Microsoft was to develop such a stripped down, basic client to run these types of applications and nothing else locally, they could make a killing. I know I'd buy it just to run it on a small, portable computer. They could make even more building dedicated machines just to run this very basic OS.

Hey, after all, they did it for the X-box!
Mar. 30th, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)
The problem isn't Windows, it's this huge, MASSIVELY bloated (bigger than a COMPLETE install of Office Professional 2003) database program put out by Intuit. There's no Linux equivalent for this software, unfortunately. (It's a finance, accounting, project management and document control program specifically designed for the construction industry)

Microsoft DOES make a stripped down OS with just the absolute necessary applications. It's called Windows Mobile (née CE). On my Axim, it's using about 40 Megs of ROM for the OS and built-in software and is using less than 13 Megs of RAM even with all the stuff I have running on it. I don't think any flavor of Linux can claim the same and still offer a GUI and a full Office-compatable suite of programs.

Personally, I think this is the most interesting Windows thin client I've ever seen: http://www.windowsfordevices.com/news/NS3139003780.html It replaces the Ethernet jack in a typical office. You just plug in the monitor, keyboard and mouse. There's no "CPU" visible anywhere.
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