Thin terminals make life easy

Over the years I have written about the advantages of our SunRay thin terminals. They are now 5.5 years old and still working perfectly with no complaints about speed or new applications not working.

The new house is showing more advantages of having thin-clients. We have installed proper Cat5 network cabling with two wall ports in each bedroom plus lounge and dining room. They all connect to a patch panel in the utility room by the server.

This makes life so easy. For example providing wired connections for Xboxes or Wii's to the boys bedrooms.

However, the SunRay thin terminals are so easy to setup that everyone in the house is able to do their own. Jane had managed to clear a desk in our bedroom and so took a SunRay up, connected all the cables including from the patch panel herself. When she took her smartcard from a machine she had been using and put it in the one in the bedroom her screen was exactly as she had left it downstairs (mouse in the same place, same window with focus, same keyboard state).

Imagine how long it would have taken to add an extra PC and put all the applications and documents on it.

Plus of course who wants a noisy big PC in your bedroom when you can have a silent (no fan even) SunRay.

Sadly since Oracle bought Sun it looks to me as if any developments of these fabulous thin clients for homes are unlikely. That is a real pity as with modern broadband performance it is perfectly practical to have a server somewhere out on the internet supporting thin clients in hundreds of homes.

Anyway now that Ubuntu 10.10 (The Maverick Meerkat release) looking stable I'll be upgrading the SunRays soon, sadly it does look as if sound may be impossible on these when using Ubuntu for a while. Seems that the Sun Ray Software Server is not keeping pace with Linux standards for sound.

However, we will get newer versions of OpenOffice as well as all the other packages we use and it will still all be free :-)

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