Thursday, 19 July 2012

Using Thin Clients at Home

Using Thin Clients at Home - Why?

Ebay is awash with thin clients that offer a very quiet energy efficient way of running a workstation at home without the outlay of a second PC, and all of the software that goes on it! Potentially a saving of £500?? $800?

  1. Most families in the UK have 2 kids right, well they can effectively share one PC without it feeling like it.
  2. If you work from home then perhaps you don't want to hog the PC the whole time, and would like a second workstation for your wife to work / surf at.
  3. If you have loads of photos and music setting up a thin client means two people can access the same stuff at the same time, this includes software like MS word and Excel.

Using Thin Clients at Home - Basic Principal.

If you have a copy of windows server then this is increased to two admin logins via thin clients, and one person working on the server, so three way share of 1 PC. If your kids are at school you cabn get a free coipy of windows server via Dreamspark.

If you are a linux fan then you may which to check out Userful MultiSeat Linux 2011™

Warning: You will need a little bit a patience.

Using Thin Clients at Home - Which One.

You have to be careful to choose a thin client with a windows operating system this will probably be some form of windows CE, I am using an HP 5530 with windows CE 5.0, and it works OK proving you don't want to watch videos! T5530 Display Issues.

The main thing is that it has some form of windows on it that supports remote desktop.

Feeling stingy. If you have any old PC you could use that to log on to your new PC and share its resources and files, and make use of its greater performance. XP service pack 2 or more will do this quiet nicely for the client computer.

Using Thin Clients at Home - Setup Your PC

Setup Your PC - Users

Your PC will be the "host" and we will need to make sure we have two administrator user accounts set up on that one.

Setup Your PC - Static IP

Most thin clients will need a domain (similar to a network) to connect to, but home users use networks . . so you will have to assign a static IP to your host PC so you can log on to it from the thin client.

In order to fill in the boxes you will need to known your gateway IP (yours routers IP) and choose an IP for your host PC say

I stumbled on the DNS server info, in the end I put my gateway IP here too and that fixed the problem.

Setup Your Thin Client

Most windows clients will be running windows CE or similar, the bit we are interested in is remote desktop connection.

To get going type in the IP adress you assigned to your host PC and connect you will need the log in details for the 2nd user you set up for the host PC.

With a bit of luck everything should connect and you will be working on your host PC before you know it.

By clicking the options button before logging on the the remote desktop, there are loads of options to tweak.

Under the "General" Tab save your details for next time, which will create a file on your client desktop, with all of your preferred remote connection settings.

"Display" Tab - Uncheck display connection bar (you can disconnect) using the shut down button.

"Local resources" - normally good as it is.

"experience" - if you are LAN the max this out, (check all boxes)

"advanced" - server authentication - turn off warnings

All Good - Great
Not Working - Leave a comment and I will endevour to fix the problem.

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Free Maps for Garmin GPSMAP 62, 62s, 62st

Free Maps for Garmin GPSMAP 62, 62s, 62st

I purchased a Garmin GPSMAP 62s which is similar to the GPSMAP 62, and GPSMAP 62st and it was supposed to come with a UK OS 1:50k map bundle. . . but alas it was not in the pack so while I had a few days to experiment i tried out a few free maps which you can use.

When googling you will probably come across open street map which is great, but the problem is I find the areas it provides are either too small or too large. The fact is there are lots of Open Street Map Spin Offs which are customized to your needs already. . .


Being I am in to cycling I chose VeloMap for my GPSMAP 62s which I am beginning to wonder will be better than my OS maps when they arrive. Installation is simple and and the best bit is yet to come. The routing function on Velomap allows you to automatically generate a route, BUT it chooses roads with low traffic brilliant. And Free. Thank you VeloMap.

On my first two excursions of around 15 miles each I took a random route away from home and then used the 62s with VeloMAp to create a route back home, on both occasions it chose quiet routes with little traffic, and suspiciously flat too. . . .I wonder does it take gradient etc in to account?

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This offering looks even more detailed than VeloMap. RadReiseKarte free UK garmin map


Haven't tried this one but would have been my 3rd choice. The mapping doesn't look quiet as nice (sorry) as some other variants but no doubt it is just a functional.

Some other maps

Some other maps I tried with limited success are the offerings from GPS File Depot I tied the world shaded relief map, which is very low resolution. I also tied their London street map which is good, but just covers London. A London street map is included in VeloMap so no real point in having this one too.

Why not let some one else do all the preparatory work? Visit the OSM Map on Garmin Page which has loads of custom routable maps for your garmin GPSMAP 62, 62s or 62st.

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