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Thread: Theoretical Idea - Would it work?

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    Senior Member AdamAnubis's Avatar
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    Theoretical Idea - Would it work?

    I've been thinking about what gadgets/home setup I could have for when I move out/have money and so is very idealistic. One of the ideas I had though is something similar to cloud computing.

    Would it be possible to have a central powerful PC/server - fair amount of Ram, Quad/Hexa core and all that jazz, and then position 'pods' around the house that are touch screens that you can just take out of the wall/pod and then use them within the house or garden but have all of the processing done by the central PC unit? So have them all connected wirelessly (wi-fi?) and just have the display that you use, the rest of the processing for web browsing or word processing etc is done back at the main server.

    I thought that the same could then be extended to gaming for LANs - so have graphics et al incorporated into the central server, then if you were having a LAN detach all of the pods and take them into a room where you connect them into mounts so they then act as a monitor and you can use k/b with them at a desk?

    So basically have a main server and wireless touch screens that you could use to access the processing server wirelessly and use say in the garden for word processing/internet instead of having a laptop?

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Re: Theoretical Idea - Would it work?

    That is called Remote Desktop. Surely an ipad will work if you're happy with virtual keyboard and the lack of mouse buttons.

    All windows server administrators effectively do this.
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    Re: Theoretical Idea - Would it work?

    Well what you describe for the home is pretty much just the concept of Thin clients. This is the system we had my secondary school mainly because the ICT rooms werent air conditioned. Basically the server has all the grunt and the "thin" clients have little processing power, thus generate little heat etc. Any old machine can be turned into a thin client, the demands are very slight. In your home these wireless tablets on the walls would be the thin clients.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client

    In terms of gaming this is largely what the OnLive! service is aiming to do, process games on their central servers and then stream them to clients which would need little power. (Although I'm sceptical about the concept)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OnLive

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    Re: Theoretical Idea - Would it work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Champman99 View Post
    Well what you describe for the home is pretty much just the concept of Thin clients. This is the system we had my secondary school mainly because the ICT rooms werent air conditioned. Basically the server has all the grunt and the "thin" clients have little processing power, thus generate little heat etc. Any old machine can be turned into a thin client, the demands are very slight. In your home these wireless tablets on the walls would be the thin clients.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client
    Ahh, thanks, that's cool. The idea would be to have a 'Thin Client' in most rooms so you can just pick it up and check something if you need/want to, hence the need for small/light. Having just 2 of them would seem pretty pointless. I guess from them you could also control any in-house electronics (sound systems, air con etc) to widen their usage, but I guess that's more software based.

    Quote Originally Posted by Champman99 View Post
    In terms of gaming this is largely what the OnLive! service is aiming to do, process games on their central servers and then stream them to clients which would need little power. (Although I'm sceptical about the concept)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OnLive
    Yea, I had heard about that but not sure how well it would work on such a large scale. Would a smaller set up be more likely to work? Assuming the game isn't anything to hard-core, something like TF2?

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    Re: Theoretical Idea - Would it work?

    As the above posters say, its do-able, but whether you could get sufficient bandwidth for the graphics (games use) over wi-fi without prohibitive lag is questionable. I can stream 1080p to one client in my house fine, but when doing it to two simultaneously it can get choppy. Also, gaming graphics can't buffer in the way video can, so I would say the idea is sound for entertainment and browsing as well as non-graphically intense apps but the LAN gaming idea may be a stretch too far.

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    Re: Theoretical Idea - Would it work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skulltrail View Post
    As the above posters say, its do-able, but whether you could get sufficient bandwidth for the graphics (games use) over wi-fi without prohibitive lag is questionable. I can stream 1080p to one client in my house fine, but when doing it to two simultaneously it can get choppy. Also, gaming graphics can't buffer in the way video can, so I would say the idea is sound for entertainment and browsing as well as non-graphically intense apps but the LAN gaming idea may be a stretch too far.
    Ahh that's true, didn't consider buffering. Ah well, I'll add the rest of it to the list of 'want but don't really need'

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    jim
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    Re: Theoretical Idea - Would it work?

    Thin clients tend not to be compatible with graphical software and the like.

    If we're talking about accounts packages, spreadsheets, EPOS, that sort of thing then yeah it's a viable option. For anything challenging though, it's generally a disaster, from what I've read in my employer's archives *insert maniacal laughter*.

    Presumably with high enough bandwidth and a sufficiently powerful server, anything is possible, but in a home setting you're unlikely to get something that good.

    The best set-up to be honest is likely to be a central server with active directory so that all of the "terminals" can be connected and disconnected at will, with different profiles if necessary, and most of the software installed through group policy. Then you could have terminals in each room. Theoretically you could have wireless kb/mice and even wireless monitors as well, but I'm not sure it would be of that much benefit. Obviously though that's not got much in common with your idea!

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