Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Australian Government Gets Message on Green Thin Client PCs for Schools

According to a media report, the new Australian Prime Minister had mentioned the use of thin client computers for schools. This was actually when opposition leader, and is in the ALP policy statement "A Digital Education Revolution", issued 14th November 2007.

However, I would suggest using "fat" thin Linux clients for education, rather than the thin clients typically deployed by business. Thin clients used in business will typically support Microsoft Windows applications running remotely with Citrix. Instead units can use Linux applications running from local storage on the client and then use the remote system for storage of documents and for remote web based applications. This lowers the cost and complexity of the system.

... The National Secondary School Computer Fund will allow secondary schools to apply for capital grants of up to $1 million to acquire new or upgrade information technology equipment.

This could include personal laptops or computers, thin clients with virtual desktops[1] and internet network infrastructure to plug our secondary schools into the information superhighway.

Under Labor’s plan, 99 per cent of school children will also get access to broadband connections of speeds up to 100 megabits per second at school through fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband infrastructure.

The other one per cent of students will get improved access at school, via the best available fixed line, wireless and satellite technologies.

Every secondary student in Australia will graduate into a digital world and a digital economy: that means every secondary school in the country needs to be a digital school. ...

From: Federal Labor's Education Revolution - A School Computer For Every Student In Years 9-12, Media Statement, ALP, Kevin Rudd, 14th November 2007

IN the lead-up to the November federal election, MPs from both sides of politics had a crash course in thin client technology - all in the name of climate change.

Kevin Rudd uttered the words 'thin client'

The intense lobbying finally paid off when then Opposition leader Kevin Rudd uttered the words "thin client" as he unveiled plans for secondary schools to apply for IT equipment grants of up to $1 million. Unlike traditional desktops, thin clients rely on servers instead of their own CPU to process instructions.

Because they are controlled by tech administrators rather than users, thin clients are less unruly and tend to have better security than their desktop cousins.

Apart from laptops and PCs, Mr Rudd said schools could also consider using "thin clients with virtual desktops".

His media statement even included a description of thin clients - "computer terminals that have their data and applications stored on a hard drive in a remote server". ...

Across the board, players in the thin client space claim their technology would be 40 to 80 per cent cheaper - including power consumption - than the traditional desktop computing environment.

From: Thin client lobbying pays off, by Fran Foo, Australian IT, December 11, 2007

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