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Thread: What hardware will allow me to have 2 users using 1 computer at the same time?

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    What hardware will allow me to have 2 users using 1 computer at the same time?

    I remember seeing a "sharing device" which allows a computer to be shared by 2 users. You connect 2 monitors, 2 sets of keyboard and mouse and the users can use the computer at the same time, I could not remember the exect name of the device but I know it is there.

    Could anyone show me where can I buy it?
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
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    sdl
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    Don't think I've heard of that before..

    KVM switches are quite common, but they are the exact opposite - they allow you to share a monitor, keyboard and mouse between 2 PCs.

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Errr...me
    I MSN offline people
    6014 3DMk 05

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    btw I cant see any of the images in that review.

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    moan in the appropriate forum. can't remember what it's called.

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    Lol, i couldnt care less about the pictures, just thought id be doing a favour if it was a problem at Hexus' end.

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    There is a commercial application/system called a thin client where multiple users run from a single server via their own desktops of keyboard/mouse/video but that`s probably overkill.
    Has been popular on and off in large offices and call centres and I did set one up for a school some time ago.
    Also used VNC or remote desktop so tutors can monitor and join in with students doing lessons.

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    What you're talking about is basically a thin client solution. I recall seeing some hardware that purported to allow 2 people to use one machine at the same time, but I didn't then see anything actually available, so I've presumed it was vapourware, or just plain didn't work.
    Most of the solutions are software first, which is run on the server, with some kind of terminal to access the server machine. Citrix is one example, and Microsoft has its own solution. They mostly tend to be relatively expensive, though.
    Software like VNC don't allow multiple users to separately log onto a machine, although 2 users could connect, and both work on the same desktop. This wouldn't be much good for working, emailing, typing documents, etc, but does have potential for training scenarios, where one has to show the other how to do something and then get the student to repeat it.
    The main open source solution that provides more complete thin client computing is FreeNX. This consists of a server component, which only runs on Linux (it operates at the X-Windows level - reducing the amount of data from X-Windows to an amount that can easily be sent over even a modem connection), and a client that displays the results, for which there are both Windows and Linux clients available (and also an iPaq Linux client for the really brave).
    The net result of FreeNX is that you can start an X-Windows session or an X-Windows application on the server, and have it displayed and operated from a separate machine, either on the network or even over the internet or a modem connection. You still need a machine for each user, but even a very low-power machine would be suitable for the client machines. This is also true of solutions like Citrix, as the machines are basically minimal-spec computers (with integrated components and no expansion ports to reduce costs).

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eloquence
    What you're talking about is basically a thin client solution. I recall seeing some hardware that purported to allow 2 people to use one machine at the same time, but I didn't then see anything actually available, so I've presumed it was vapourware, or just plain didn't work.
    Most of the solutions are software first, which is run on the server, with some kind of terminal to access the server machine. Citrix is one example, and Microsoft has its own solution. They mostly tend to be relatively expensive, though.
    Software like VNC don't allow multiple users to separately log onto a machine, although 2 users could connect, and both work on the same desktop. This wouldn't be much good for working, emailing, typing documents, etc, but does have potential for training scenarios, where one has to show the other how to do something and then get the student to repeat it.
    The main open source solution that provides more complete thin client computing is FreeNX. This consists of a server component, which only runs on Linux (it operates at the X-Windows level - reducing the amount of data from X-Windows to an amount that can easily be sent over even a modem connection), and a client that displays the results, for which there are both Windows and Linux clients available (and also an iPaq Linux client for the really brave).
    The net result of FreeNX is that you can start an X-Windows session or an X-Windows application on the server, and have it displayed and operated from a separate machine, either on the network or even over the internet or a modem connection. You still need a machine for each user, but even a very low-power machine would be suitable for the client machines. This is also true of solutions like Citrix, as the machines are basically minimal-spec computers (with integrated components and no expansion ports to reduce costs).
    did you read before posting? jetway have a range of products, and hexus reviewed one last year.

  12. #12
    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    I read a review in Hong Kong a few years ago (?) and the review mentioned another device which have the same function. Since I do not want to use Jetway motherboards, and I doubt they still have this function built into newer A64 motherboard, so I think I should find the actual device which does it.
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
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    Display (Projector): Epson TW-3500 1080p
    Speakers: Creative Megaworks THX550 5.1
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    Storage: 8x2TB Hitachi @ DELL PERC 6/i RAID6 / 13TB Non-RAID Across 12 HDDs
    Consoles: PS3 Slim 120GB / Xbox 360 Arcade 20GB / PS2

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    Lol...
    Directhex: had a bad day?
    Twigman

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    Newer VNC like UVNC has option of logging several people onto same machine and accepting upto x number of connections.
    Thin client has been around (in hardware) for a long time and several companies sell old stuff off.
    It is normally based around a thin client machine of monitor keyboard and mouse running on some very basic hardware with a reasonably fast connection to a larger server system which is capable of running multiple programs.
    Citrix is a similar system but is not thin client, more a secure access system.
    A lot of call centres and suchlike use thin client systems as well as some very large corporate offices.

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    Heh, Directhex has had a bad day, I've had a bad day... meh. I looked at one of the links, saw motherboards, and didn't look closely enough. Up till now I hadn't seen any more of the idea... and I'm surprised Microsoft isn't dead against the product, since they have their own thin client solution that they want extra money for over a basic Windows XP licence. There's still the practicality of things - with a hardware solution like this you're alway running things like 2 computers sitting side-by-side, which in a home situation is quite liable to be less than ideal.

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