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Re: New hardware

On Tue, 5 Oct 1999, Ray Olszewski wrote:

> 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).

No I don't believe no administartion, but I do believe minimal, also you
don't have to buy their hardware, they've provided the software they are
using to do this in two .rpm's that allow you to role your own on whatever
hardware you have.  I think that in itself is a very cool gesture and
practical gesture that school's can build on.  I.E. if you have boxes but
no money/budget you can still use this concept/software, then next time
you have money, you can just buy their boxes ;)

> 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.

That is definately high for the US market, but they've not broken the US
market yet (notice the request of reseller's in several areas including
the US).  And again you don't have to buy their hardware.

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

Certainly in a network with a frazzled admin, any tools that make it
easier to deploy are welcome I would think...

I've not actually tried the software they are making available, so I can't
comment on it's appropriateness, but I find it comforting to know that 1)
I would not have to use thier hardware to do a roll out and 2) since it's
gpl I don't have to worry about the company folding.  I personally am much
more likely to want to do company with this type of business and would
therefore be more likely to go ahead and buy from them then not, if my
budget allowed.  Note that I don't have any roll outs on my slate and I
don't work in a school (although I did once a long time ago....but that's
another story).


Jeff Waddell