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[K12OSN] I need opinions....backup idea for when Terminal server down and I'm not around



This year I'm doing my first totally dedicated thin-client lab....until
this year we've had the ability to dual boot....WinXP or LTSP....(which we
used most of the time).  I'm try to decide on a thin-client model such as
the LTSP Term 150 (I have no more than $279 per unit budgeted....and I
need 28 or so...I already have monitors and keyboards/mice)  Anyway...two
dilemmas....I worry about what happens if the Terminal Server fails while
I'm far away (like at Linux World).  Until now they could boot into
Windows and still have the class go on (remember I'm a computer teacher as
well as the tech director and have a full slate of classes...grades K-8
over the course of a week....I see about 450-600 kids)  When I go to
dedicated thin-clients...K12LTSP server goes down...they're dead in the
water.  So....

Couple ideas I'm tossing around....

1.  Go with something like an NTAVO NTA 6010B
http://www.ntavo.com/ntaterminal.php Which has a flash based OS on it and
has the RDP, ICA, X, Firfox...etc already on it so at least they could get
to my Win Terminal Server or at least the Internet....

2.  Buy something like the LTSP Term 150 and possibly also buy (which I've
budgeted for) USB keys for each machine that can be made bootable with
something like Puppy Linux (Flash Puppy) or Damn Small Linux...but I don't
know for sure if the Term 150 will boot via USB....but anyway...they could
be handed out...they can boot via USB and at least get to the 'Net.

3.  Buy a mini-ITX barebones like this one
http://www.caseoutlet.com/shopexd.asp?id=203  (I have one so I know they
work...though mine has no CD drive) and add a CD drive along with 256 mb
RAM and make my own LIVE CD from Knoppix or better yet....PCLinuxOS (very
easy to make your own Live CD with all your own configs in place)....that
way if the server goes down...just pop in the disc and they can boot into
a Live CD

Remember, this is my lab I'm mostly worried about....I'm open to all sorts
of suggestions....my biggest things that are truly important....small size
and very quiet.  I'm even willing to entertain a unit with a HD and a
locally loaded version of Linux (for emergencies) if it's VERY quiet
(fanless or very quiet)...and small.  So....fire away!  I could use some
ideas, thoughts, and opinions.

David N. Trask
Technology Teacher/Coordinator
Vassalboro Community School
dtrask vcsvikings org
(207)923-3100


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