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RE: [K12OSN] Booting older thin clients



Ok I have to ask at the risk of sounding ignorent. I asumed that Linux was going to be running a great deal faster on some of my older systems than it is. Maybe its the hardware, or it could be the setup. I havn't set them up as diskless yet because we need to familiarize ourselves with everything first. Aside from that we have a lot of Compaq iPaqs 450Mhz with Ram ranging from 128 to 256. They are PXE capable but right now I'm running it off the local HD, varying amounts 20GB 40GB and 80GB, all Western Digital 7200RPM drives. They don't appear to be doing much better then XP is and if I can't show that it will be worth it I won't be able to get the Admin to move on the project. Any suggestions? Should I just set up a diskless and see for myself?
 
Levi

________________________________

From: k12osn-bounces redhat com on behalf of "Terrell Prudé Jr."
Sent: Thu 3/1/2007 10:18 AM
To: Support list for open source software in schools.
Subject: Re: [K12OSN] Booting older thin clients


I have one 3Com 3C905B NIC with a bootrom from disklessworkstations, and it works just great.  It's installed in a Pentium-166 w/ 32MB DRAM.  The only reason that I didn't order more is that we have a bunch of Dell OptiPlex GX1's that support PXE-booting.  :-)

--TP

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Michael Blinn wrote: 

	Thank you - I ordered a test batch of bootrom NICs from disklessworkstations and will be booting old machines soon! 
	Regards, 
	Michael 
	
	Petre Scheie wrote: 
	

		No, it's part of the x86 architecture, the same way it 'knows' to ask the floppy drive or hard drive for some sort of boot code.  I've got a 486 from 1994 or so with a bootrom NIC and it boots just fine (I just use it for showing off).  Any PC will do. 
		
		Petre 
		
		Michael Blinn wrote: 
		

			 Yeah, my adult users would lose the CDs (; 
			
			 Does the NIC with bootrom route require a semi-new BIOS that can recognize a NIC as a boot device? If not, from a purely intellectual standpoint, how does the computer know to boot from it? 
			
			Thanks Petre, 
			 Michael 
			
			Petre Scheie wrote: 
			

				You can boot a thin client from a CD, just like you can boot one from a floppy disk.  And you can still use the CD drive and the floppy drive for Local Device Access (LDA).  But there are some tradeoffs.  First, to use the CD or floppy drive, users will have to remove the boot CD/floppy, which means they're going to lose the CD/floppy or scratch/break it or forget to put it back in, etc.  If your users are all adults, this might, MIGHT be manageable; but if your users are kids, I think you'll find it frustrating.  BTW, LDA does not support music CDs in the clients. 
				
				You can buy a NIC with a bootrom for $20 at disklessworkstations.com. These are great, and you never have to worry about losing the boot media.  Of course, using an etherboot CD or floppy is cheaper, so it really depends on what your priority is. 
				


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