Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Thin Client Laptop Making Progress

I continue to work on staging a common functionality build for the HP 5725, 5735 and 4410 thin clients. I'm making good progress, and have alpha testers on all of the hardware configurations and pushing them updates every few days. Xinerama is working well on 3 screens, and the people love having the real estate. We received a second 4410 laptop thin client for testing, so I have moved one to my desktop for fulltime usage. I'm tinkering with some battery notification ideas. The GNOME "desktop" is on the server, and your battery status is not known at all to the server. I think I am going to just cron a job to check for status on the command line and then pass them a simple zenity dialog when it gets low. Looks like these devices are going to run about 3 hours on battery, which should work great for us.

I downloaded the latest xorg intel packages for Sid and they are working well. No more Vesa, and I can put it into the native 1366x768 wide screen mode. Nice crisp clean fonts. The device detects if you are on the wired network and then makes use of XDM and provides 3D (shot below). Otherwise NX is used.

Up next for me is a cleaned up chooser GUI, notification dialog when network cord is not plugged into the desktop thin clients, pulseaudio cleanups, ftpd configuration for remote access to USB sticks. This update will offer the users a fresh set of features, and build on the success of our current deployment.


Anonymous said...

According to this link
the 4500MHD that is used for the HP laptop thin client is an on-board graphics adapter, i.e., it is part of the Intel chipset for the motherboard. I am keen on thin-client hardware solutions like this one which do not require a dedicated video card. However, for my needs I prefer my own monitor, mouse, and full-sized keyboard, and mobility is not an important issue for me. Thus, a thin client that is not a laptop is best for me. Are you aware of other HP _non-laptop_ thin clients that use Intel integrated graphics?

I also have the same question for AMD/ATI integrated graphics. Of course, AMD/ATI don't yet have open-source 3D drivers, but they are getting really close which is why I am considering AMD/ATI hardware again.

Dave Richards said...

I'm working right now on including better functionality on the 4410 to have it work with desktop equipment. The Intel Xorg file and xrandr seem like they will allow me to make a LCD panel sync nicely. I'm also going to test using Xinerama on them for those that want this feature.

I wish too that Intel made stand alone video cards, I would certainly buy them for testing in a heartbeat.

The only well supported card it seems for thin clients is the ATI 9250. It fits into a regular PCI slot and does not have a fan. We are not using the proprietary driver, the open source one is working well.

I have not looked much beyond the HP product lines, part of the decision comes from simplicity of support contracts. We already have lots of HP equipment.

I am having some problems with performance right now on the HP 5735 when running 3D. We suspect that it's an issue of Gigabit networking, and are trying to resolve it right now.

Anonymous said...

It's just amazing reading your blog - keep up the wonderful work. You're a pioneer!

Anonymous said...

Can anyone recommend the best MSP tool for a small IT service company like mine? Does anyone use or How do they compare to these guys I found recently: N-able N-central remote management
? What is your best take in cost vs performance among those three? I need a good advice please... Thanks in advance!