Don Marti

Sun 17 Apr 2005 08:33:52 PM PDT

Better than Muni

Who was it who compared thin clients to public transit -- the choice you want for everyone else while you keep your car or PC? A brief search doesn't come up with it. I could use it for the fortune file.

Anyway, several of the Sun Microsystems employees whose writing gets aggregated on Planet Sun have been singing the praises of the Sun Ray while actually using it. It's noteworthy to see thin client testimonals take the form of "I like it" instead of just "We locked our employees down and got big ROI".

John Clingan points out that one sysadmin maintains hundreds of desktops, including his the way he likes it, and Josh Simons points out that you can pull your card out, stick it in another Sun Ray, and resume your session. No state on the client. No fan on the client either, so no tweaking around to have a desktop system you can tolerate.

Way cool if you're on site all the time, but where's the customer meeting, café, or conference? I don't really need one X session with window positions and everything preserved from system to system, but I would like my data consistent. Right now my answer is to use offlineimap to keep my mail consistent everywhere, an ugly script to push and pull my Evolution calendar and contacts, and a set of shell functions (called "suck" and "blow" so as not to conflict with software that people would actually distribute) to pull articles out of the Linux Journal working directory and put them back.

Doc's answer is the one I see a lot of business people using -- just "live on the laptop" and if you want to take your session to a different place, pick up the laptop and take it there.

In the future, will Coffee For Thought (had to get the plug in -- go and drink coffee) have enough bandwidth to sustain remote X sessions for everyone?