Friday, 6 June 2008

Thin Client Runs Linux

The Italian firm CompuMaster has introduced a compact thin client that runs Linux. The "Praim Ino" can be mounted on the back of a monitor, draws just six Watts, and comes with a variety of client software, the company says.
Simple in concept, the Ino is a box measuring 5.9 x 5.5 x 1.3 inches, adorned on the front only by four USB ports and dual audio jacks. It contains an AMD Geode LX800 processor clocked at 500MHz, plus 256MB of RAM, and 128MB of flash storage. The device can take care of business fanlessly, using just six Watts of power, says CompuMaster.



The rear of the Ino includes a 12VDC power input, an RJ45 connector for 10/100 Ethernet, an audio line output, and a DB15 connector for an external SVGA monitor. Resolutions up to 1920 x 1440 pixels are supported. If desired, the Ino can hang from the back of a flat-panel display using the latter's VESA mounting holes.

That, essentially, is the entire hardware story. CompuMaster also lists an 802.11b/g wireless module, a parallel port, and a PS/2 keyboard/mouse adaptor as options. However, these are all provided via external dongles that merely connect to one or more of the unit's USB ports.

Ironically, it's the software side of the equation that is more complicated, since today's thin client devices must include software to support ever-increasing roster of server architectures. The Ino is no exception. Available with CompuMaster V7 Linux Embedded, the Ino is said to offer clients for Citrix ICA (independent computing architecture), Microsoft RDP (remote desktop protocol), Propalms TSE, and VNC. Additionally, it includes VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) connection brokers from Citrix, Leostream, VMware, and Provision Networks' Virtual Access Suite.

The Ino also comes with CompuMaster's own CrossRun Client, designed to work with the separately available CrossRun Server software. Like rival products such as Ericom's WebConnect, CrossRun is said to simplify the use of Windows Terminal Servers, providing application publishing from a central console, load balancing, hardware inventorying, and remote control of client devices.

Features and specifications listed by CompuMaster for the Ino include:
  • Processor -- AMD Geode LX 800 clocked at 500MHz
  • Memory -- 256MB of RAM and 128MB of flash
  • Display -- VGA output with up to 1920 x 1440 resolution
  • Networking -- 10/100 Ethernet port; 802.11b/g wireless via USB dongle
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x USB
    • Parallel port (via parallel-to-USB adapter)
    • PS/2 port (via PS/2-to-USB adapter)
    • Audio mic in, line out, headphone out
  • Dimensions -- 5.9 x 5.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Power requirements -- 12VDC via external 110-240VAC adapter
  • Operating range -- 0 to 40 deg. C
The two Linux-based configurations are called the Ino-800 and Ino-820. Shipped with Windows CE 5.0, the device is known as the Ino-810, while the XPe version is the Ino-840.

The Ino-800 and Ino-820 are available now, priced at 220 Euros (about $340) and 250 Euros (about $385) respectively.


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