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Re: New hardware

These devices certainly look interesting, but analysis of their usfulness in
education needs to proceed with a mix of skepticiam and caution. After
looking around the Web site, here are the basics that I extracted ...

The system is client-server in focus, with

        diskless clients (K6-II-400s, no hard disk, no floppy disk, 
                100 mbps Ethernet, 128 Mb RAM) Price: 500 Euros 
                (about US$540), plus 300 Euros (about US$320) per
                year for software licenses.

        a server that runs Linux (Makdrake or SuSE) and **optionally**
                (= extra cost) Win NT &/or MacOS. Base levels are 
                K6-III 400 MHz, 128 mB RAM, Star Office, Netscape, 
                "more than 100 applications", 14 or 28 Gb hard disk
                (unclear from the description, which reads "double 
                IBM 14 Gb"), tape backup. Price: 3000 Euros 
                (about US$3200).

(The above "prices" come from the cost-comparison page I describe below,
since I can't get to the actual pricing info on the site, and they may be
off a bit. The product descriptions do not mention monitors, but monitors
are in the pictures, so I don't know if the prices include monitors or not.)

A cost comparison alleges 75% cost saving over traditional solutions. This
comes almost entirely from reduced administration cost on the clients, which
they estimate as 600 Euros (about US$650) per client per year for
traditional solutions, and 0 for their hosts (does anyone who does network
administration really believe that? I don't).

Feedback from some of the members of the list who actually run thin-client
labs would help us to judge this approach, but my take is that it is a bit
high-priced for the US market ... especially the diskless client.

At 08:41 AM 10/5/99 -0400, Doug Loss wrote:
>Take a look at this:
>This is a network system coming out of France (I think) that might be
>very applicable in education.

------------------------------------"Never tell me the odds!"---
Ray Olszewski                                        -- Han Solo
Palo Alto, CA           	 	         ray@comarre.com