Posted by: 2stepsback | August 21, 2005

Thin-client idea: Recycled computers are economy friendly!

Around the end of 2003, we heard that a techie hailing from India, Dr Srinidhi Varadarajan, put together the world’s third-fastest supercomputer in a record time of three months at Virginia Tech and at record low cost of $5.2 million, using off-the-shelf components.
Now, if that is a feat that can be achieved in three months, imagine the industry that could come up if someone decided to make a PC out of oldish processors in working condition, maybe putting five of them on a board. Maybe the main board would have to be redesigned or something, but that will allow all the processors right from the good old 486’s upto Pentium 3’s and all the EDO and SDRAM to be used for more time and productively.
Also, nowadays, we have Thin-client computing emerging as a hot trend. In thin client computing, the system essentially simulates the dumb terminal system of unix or mainframes, but providing a little power to the client. Since most users of PCs in offices (excluding the software development industry, of course) use only office suites and proprietary smallish programs, these machines are connected to a high-end server and are loaded with a thin-client software layer which acts as the communication medium to and from the server. The server does all the processing by mutlitasking and the thin client merely acts as a screen with some limited computing power. Thin client companies could make good money out of this by purchasing older machines at throwaway prices and reuse the chips and memory therein, have little fabrication cost, invest a little in the communication software (even properly networked WinNT,2000,XP machines will do) and sell complete automation packages (server+ software + thin clients) to offices at a good profit. I wonder what is preventing this industry from coming about…..

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