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Multi-user, one PC - was Re: [K12OSN] multiheading ltsp thin client

On Wed, 2003-07-09 at 21:54, Petre Scheie wrote:


> video cards with multiple ports, and since USB will support multiple 
> devices, and since keyboards and mice now come with USB connectors, and 
> since Linux *is* a multi-user system, it would seem that one should be 
> able to build a client box that would simultaneously support multiple 
> users, reducing your costs even more.  But I've not heard of anyone 
> doing it. 

I 'd love to hear from gurus that know how to make this work in Linux
because it is a pet interest of mine.  I started looking at this a few
years back in a M$ setup - purchasing a couple of "Buddy" computer
sharing devices from Austin Computing.  I found these suck because they
lead to frequent & complete system lockups in Win98.  Austin abondoned
that product and are now marketing a USB-based PC sharing setup under
the tradename Thincomputing, Inc. 

I did find one how-to describing how you can do the same for Linux using
USB, but haven't tried to make it work yet.  See it at LinuxJournal,
published online Jan 16 2001 entitled: Multiple Local XFree Users Under

Maxspeed once marketed a product similar to the Buddy, but specifically
for Linux under the name "+One Station".  It worked like this: Insert
interface card in PCI slot, run CAT5 cable to _small_ box (size of pack
of playing cards) and there plug your k, v & m.  Maxspeed don't list
that product on their website anymore, but a Google search found an old
press release hidden here:

I guess these products died because old PCs became as cheap, or cheaper
than them (remember when it cost $AU3000 to get an old clunker 486?),
and that made PCs useful as Xterminals rather than buying some
proprietry product.
> how far can a person's kb, mouse, and monitor be from the box? 

FYI: Video can be extended over short distance (<10m) by standard cable;
in mid-distance (<30m) by cable that splits into multi-coax (one coax
for each colour band); and over long distance (>30m) by video to UTP
converters.  USB 1.0 can go >=25m with active cable extensions.  Of
course, you can get KVM converters to take just keyboard, video and
mouse over UTP at 30-150m.  Then there's super USB at >100m ...

Soory folks.  I read a lot - and I did warn it was a pet subject even if
some of my facts are a bit awry ;-)

> I'd love to see someone come out with such a box.

me too.


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