Thursday, January 22, 2009

Low cost multi-user computers for education

NComputing X300 desktop virtualization kit In writing about the "Multiseat" Computer, which allows up to 12 people to share one PC, I forgot about the similar unit from nComputing , which was on display at ACEC08. The nComputing unit has PCI cards which is inserted into a PC running Microsoft Windows or Linux and allows it to be shared by three or five people. . The nComputing unit uses Ethernet type cable with RJ-45 plugs to locate the users up to 10m from the PC.

IOGEAR GUC2015V External VGA Video CardAnother option might be to use USB external video cards. These are intended to provide a second screen, usually for a Lpatop, where a PCI card cannot be installed. They would have the advantage that a single standard USB cable could be used to connect the video, mouse, keyboard and audio for the user, making a low cost computer terminal. The catch would be that the USB connection could carry a fast moving high resolution video image. But this might be good for a web terminal, which just displays relatively static web pages. Amazon sell two models of USB external video card from IOGEAR: GUC2020DW6 USB 2.0 External DVI Video Card and the GUC2015V External VGA Video Card.

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