Monday, July 31, 2006

Problem With HP 5515 Thin Client

I showed a few people this issue, and wanted to get a few more eyes and thoughts. We are testing 3 models of thin clients from HP. One of the models is the 5515 device. Everything works fine on it, except for the color squares to the left of the calendar sources in Evolution, and the wallpaper thumbnails in gnome-background-properties. Both of these work fine on GTK 2.6, but fail on GTK 2.8.

The thin clients have been flashed with the latest release, and cannot be upgraded with normal distributions. XFree indicates:

Section "Device"
Identifier "Videocard0"
Driver "radeon"
VendorName "HP"
BoardName "HP Video Card"
VideoRam 16384
#Option "NoAccel"
Option "NoDDCValue"
Option "XaaNoPixmapCache"

This screen shot and shows how these software packages display on this device:

Friday, July 14, 2006

HP 5700 Series Thin Client

I have had conversations with many of you in regards to thin clients. This fall will be the 10th year of deployment of our current devices. We are testing devices to come up with a good solution for the City to deploy as a replacement. It's difficult to know where technology will go in the next 10 years of their scheduled duty cycle. The secret to success of the last device was to keep them simple, and running no local software on the device itself. Servers are then upgraded to accommodate software changes and to increase performance.

I think what we would like to do is get a stripped version of something like SLED running on a device with 3D and Xgl support. Most thin clients do not contain very powerful video cards, so therefore we have been checking out the 5700 series thin client from HP. You can buy an optional expansion cage which adds a single PCI slot that can hold a video card. The device has 256MB of RAM, and a 512MB flash drive and runs at 1Ghz.

Ideally we would like to have it boot, start up the Xserver and then build a XDM login chooser of available hosts.

I have taken pictures of the inside of the device for those interested. It's completely solid state.

[Looking down from the side ]

[Looking up to the single PCI slot]

[ Cover back on, ports on the back including standard PCI ]

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Gotta Love Application Servers

All of our city-wide software is run on large dedicated application servers. We all share the same code and fonts and all I have to do is upgrade in one place and everyone picks up the changes the next time they launch the application.

It took me 1 minute to upgrade OpenOffice from 2.0.2 to 2.0.3 for 700 users. In the shot below, users up to 12:20 launched the old version. Users after that time picked up the new one. Those in the old version are not logged off. The two exist at the same time, and 2.0.2 is retired when the last user logs out tonight.

All done. :)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Testing Evolution Calendar Creation

I continue to build scripts to automatically bring down calendar information from various web sites. I'm looking for someone that lives in the US that is interested in running some of the scripts and just get another set of eyes on the project. [ I'm downloading only information so far from US sites like Yahoo and XM Radio ]

You would need to have a bit of expertise with shell scripts, cron and setting up a simple web server. Email me at flbeachlf at yahoo dot com if you are interested and I'll send you a tarball. Happy 4th all!

Here is a shot of Evolution automatically displaying the program guide for XM Radio for the current day.