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Hardware Thread, Softxpand Miniframe in Technical; Hi all Just wanted to know if anyone has had any experience of this product. I had a short trial ...
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    steve_nfi's Avatar
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    Post Softxpand Miniframe

    Hi all
    Just wanted to know if anyone has had any experience of this product.
    I had a short trial of it and it seemed quite good but couldn't really give it a good hammering in the short time we had to test it.

    Here is a link to the site.

    MiniFrame Multi-user PC Software- Thin Client - MultiSeat - Multi-user computing - Green IT


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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_nfi View Post
    Just wanted to know if anyone has had any experience of this product.
    Excellent idea - there was a Linux version of this around 18 months ago, but I never did get that to work properly. This seems to run on Windows XP... which doesn't /sound/ like it should work, for licensing issues if nothing else...

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    We are going to buy a 6 screen set up to use in our music department and load it up with some processor heavy programs and see how it performs.
    (Sibelius, Cubase etc.).
    It has a quad core processor (E6600), 4gb RAM, 6 19" monitors plus all associated hardware (keyboards, USB sound cards, Graphics cards etc.) all for just over 2k inc vat.

    If this shapes up well we intent to buy some more.

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    I was testing this software a couple of month ago.
    They had a home version of the software.
    It seemed to work very well, could run games and multimedia.
    They have a rather good knowledge base
    MiniFrame knowledgebase
    I was also in touch once with their support and got an answer from them about some issue I had.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_nfi View Post
    We are going to buy a 6 screen set up to use in our music department
    Where does the sound come out for each workstation? Do you have to get a separate USB sound card for each workstation (not expensive, but good to know)?

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    I don't understand the saving there.
    We've just bought a batch of pc's Core 2 duo @ 2.2, 2 gig ram and 19" monitors at 375 per pc. For 6 that's just over 2k.

    Matt

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saundersmatt View Post
    I don't understand the saving there.
    We've just bought a batch of pc's Core 2 duo @ 2.2, 2 gig ram and 19" monitors at 375 per pc. For 6 that's just over 2k.

    Matt
    Savings are in power usage and space, possibly also relyability if they have used really good hardware instead of the standard desktop stuff.

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    Each user has it's own sound card(usb). There is also a 4 way usb hub per user for keyboard, mice, pen drives etc. Another saving appears to be with software. 1 licence.

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    Forgot to say. The 6 screen setup was just under 1900.

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    Just been over to their website - looks interesting. One thing I couldn't find, is the price?

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    The solution does not work. You will be screwed on your licensing since it uses Windwos XP and that is a single user license. If you ignore this fact, you will still need up to 8 (possibly 9 depending on how MS view the host PC) licenses for all the rest of your MS software.

    I believe a similar solution has been discussed elsewhere on EduGeek and the consensus of opinion was just to use thin clients (which will probably work out at a similar price and be fully legal with the licensing).

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    Not sure what the legal implications are but it only uses one copy of XP or whatever O/S you use. The rep implied that eas all you needed. I thought CALs were machine based. This is only one machine but with 6 logons running simultaneously. I think this is the rather grey area.

    The company don't normally put the prices on the site but as I mentioned in an earlier post ours will work out at just under 1900 for the 6 screen setup.

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    I just went on a quick web search to see if the XP EULA is a user license or machine license and came across the following interesting article:

    XP bandwidth brouhaha

    Microsoft's XP license agreement says, "Except as otherwise permitted by the NetMeeting, Remote Assistance, and Remote Desktop features described below, you may not use the Product to permit any Device to use, access, display, or run other executable software residing on the Workstation Computer, nor may you permit any Device to use, access, display, or run the Product or Product's user interface, unless the Device has a separate license for the Product."
    So you would need a separate license for each screen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    So you would need a separate license for each screen.
    Which, in some cases, would still be a good option. For a 6-machine work area, it would probably cost about the same to buy either thin clients or extra graphics cards, USB sound cards, USB hubs and Windows license for each workstation. I figure crummy Windows-based educational software might just work better on a setup with its own dedicated graphics card.

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    I can not help but look at the solution and it screams out single point of failure. You have to expect some issue with hardware at some point, when it happens you lose 6 - 8 "machines" instead of just one. For that reason alone I would be cautious about it

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