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Re: [vox] LTSP, a School District, and Windows...
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Re: [vox] LTSP, a School District, and Windows...



On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 23:05:19 -0700
"R. Douglas Barbieri" <doug@dooglio.net> wrote:

> Steve Hargadon wrote:
> > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 12:25:27 -0800, Edward Elliott
> > <ed_elliott@email.com> wrote:
> > 
> >>Steve, let me drop a note and contribute a bit of background
> >research in case that's helpful.
> > 
> > 
> > Great feedback.  I don't think it's the licensing fees, necessarily,
> > or the alternative programs available (which I looked at as well)--I
> > think it was more like this:
> > 
> > "We support 4,000 computers with two technicians, and we aren't sure
> > we even want to talk to you.  We have several Windows programs which
> > we depend on for state reporting on student progress.  You say you
> > can run Windows program using Linux thin client, but I don't want to
> > have to switch the licensing the I currently have.  I have zero time
> > to talk, but if you'll show me you can run Mavis Beacon and
> > Accelerated Reader, then I'm willing to make the time to talk to
> > you."
> > 
> > Now, I'm not sure I'm willing to jump through these hoops, but I
> > want at least to figure out what I'm up against.  This district has
> > multiple campuses, lots of students and pcs, and it would be a
> > significant opportunity to showcase the technology.
> 
> It really depends on the applications themselves. For example, my 
> chiropractor has some (old) applications he really needed to do his 
> business. One is a DOS-based patient management system and the other
> is a form generation program for insurance based-claims (which runs
> under Windows 95). I tried Dosemu and Wine to no avail. I found that
> Win4Lin running Windows 95 was my best bet, since it ran both
> applications flawlessly.
> 
> The caveat is that they can only run these apps under one user since
> a) they only have one licensed copy of Windows 95 and b) they have one
> Win4Lin seat license. The good news is that these are just licensing 
> issues--the thin client technology could run a huge office full.
> 
> I was told by Netraverse (who manufactures Win4Lin) that if I wanted
> to have multiple copies of Win4Lin running, that I'd need to buy their
> Terminal Server package plus have an individual license of Windows for
> each user. We all agreed that one user would be sufficient. The other 
> users log into Linux and run native, open source applications for
> basic office tasks (Internet, Office software, etc) which they are
> quite happy with.
> 
> The upshot is that if Mavis Beacon and Accelerated Reader can run
> under Windows 98 and don't require certain DirectX/3D features, you
> could use Win4Lin to demonstrate this. The other option to try is
> CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office (a Wine based technology that you have
> to pay per user for). CrossOver Office runs Microsoft Office and Adobe
> Photoshop, and it might be able to hack the Windows apps in question.
> 
> You can get a trial copy of CrossOver office, but Win4Lin does not
> have such an animal.
> 
> Good luck!
> 
> Doug
> 
> PS: There is one other option I know of, and that's VmWare, which is 
> more expensive than either CrossOver or Win4Lin. VmWare can handle 
> Windows NT/2K/XP (unlike Win4Lin). You also can get a demo version to 
> test it out. As I understand it, the math department at UCD runs Linux
> and VmWare to handle their legacy Windows applications.

It looks like all of the windows terminal options require a per-user
license? (Microsoft Windows Terminal Server, VMWare, CrossOver office,
Win4Lin)

You might try plain Wine setup (free) and see whether that can handle
the applications in question. Bear in mind that if you use Wine or
CrossOver Office, you're not guaranteed to get other windows
applications working other than the ones you tested.

Is there perhaps a free multiuser VNC server for windows so that a real
big windows box can serve up these applications? (Perhaps taking
advantage of Windows XP's new multiuser features even at the home
level?)


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