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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Puppy Power
Strategies for Puppy: thin clients, foundations
Moderators: Flash, JohnMurga
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4798
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug 2005, 21:35    Post subject:  Strategies for Puppy: thin clients, foundations  

Given Puppy's tiny footprint, it is very much suitable for "tiny" PC-like devices, like thin clients. From here, we can see that

Quote:
A thin client is a network computer without a hard disk drive, whereas a fat client includes a disk drive


Let's call a "thin client" "thinPC" for now.

A thinPC is dependent on a server, so selling one means also selling all the server hardware and software, thus producing a large revenue stream (even if the thinPC is cheap) . Using Puppy in a thinPC cuts off this dependence, and even opens up the possibility of the thinPC becoming a server!

Puppy will therefore be avoided by both makers and vendors who have set their sights on that huge revenue stream. But expect that these companies, both large and small, will be announcing a "PC solution for the next billion cats", "one PC for every kitten", etc.

Well, "avoided" may be too soft, "discouraged" may be more like it. Feel free to create scenarios.

Given the possible hostility from many commercial fronts, the entity that will nurture Puppy may want to avoid a commercial character, and instead go for a foundation or cooperative type.

Whatever it is, it must be able to attract partners, especially chip/hardware makers, who can cooperate in creating the future device that will be Puppy-friendly (that is, one designed to accept Puppy's characteristics). NTAVO appears to be one such possible partner.

Edit - see also this and that.
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Lobster
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Aug 2005, 20:42    Post subject: Re: Scenarios and Strategies for Puppy  

OK Raffy. You seem keen. Contacted Barry and he does not mind people setting up a Puppy Foundation or Co-operative if there is interest . . ..
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
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Location: Manila

PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug 2005, 02:48    Post subject: Operations Scenario  

Foundation members promote low-budget, low-power computing devices called "thinPC", thus enabling access to computing by resource-constrained sectors (schools, low-income households, local governments). In doing this, they lecture and demonstrate Puppy to institutions in charge of these sectors.

They advice institutions about the most cost-efficient computing setup, and tally the specifications and orders, up to the Foundation/HQ level.

Foundation HQ uses these specifications and numbers to negotiate with partners/suppliers.

For starters, I tried to write the minimum specifications of a thinPC:

Quote:

1. Flash drive of 64 MB for booting the OS and
programs (128 MB preferred);
2. Memory of 256 MB;
3. Video output of 1024x768 pixels;
4. A PCI slot for the user to do networking using
ethernet, wireless, or modem;
5. Audio device.

As to the form factor, the minimum dimensions are
preferred, for economy in transport.

Price shall be as low as possible


(I have forgotten to indicate the USB slot, plus the details of keyboard and mouse, but one prospective supplier will give unit specifications based on this initial list.)

As to the size of order, Rarsa is correct, the economies of scale question must be answered right from the start.

Funny, suppliers tend to prefer negotiating on a territory basis while at the same time asking for a big order to lower the price. So tallying orders through the Foundation can help bring the price down.
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BlackAdder


Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 382

PostPosted: Fri 19 Aug 2005, 02:26    Post subject:  

Raffy,
You could have been writing the specs. for the Devon NTA device (6010A). Barry was given one by the vendors, and there has been discussion about booting from the included CF card (in the Howto section). AFAIK it runs Puppy very nicely, and it is on offer to Puppians for $US189 (much discounted price).
In fact, "thin terminals" based on the VIA EPIA motherboard series would suit the needs very well.
The difference between them and the Simputer/MIT projects is that the EPIA-based machines do not usually have a screen incorporated; the Simputer is a hand-held and the MIT machine is proposed as notebook-style I believe.
That said, there was a post from someone looking forward to receiving a Puppy-suitable machine that was built in to an LCD screen. But that is not likely to be a low-cost solution.
I read somewhere that the Simputer project is not thriving because they lack the capital needed to produce in large enough volume to get the price down. And that is likely to be a dilemma for any effort based on new hardware.
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raffy

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Aug 2005, 10:26    Post subject: Southeast Asia Package  

Thin client solutions already abound, but the producers may not yet be aware that Puppy can enable the thin client to become a PC. Whatever package may be quoted here (in Southeast Asia), the producers elsewhere (including NTAVO) can always decide to make or buy. Also, the recent dialogue with a thin client maker is more about making a cheap PC that can address the "digital divide". Since Puppy will be the enabling software, the Puppy enthusiasts should take on the opportunity to tally orders and help drive down the cost of the unit. Every Puppy enthusiast will have a role here as producers prefer to do business on a territory basis (although the proposed foundation or cooperative can lump the different areas to create a "single teritory" that negotiates with the producer). People who know an appropriate ecommerce solution for this type of operation are encouraged to come forward. Smile
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Flash
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Aug 2005, 11:17    Post subject:  

I suppose that Puppy would allow a bunch of thin clients to be networked without a central server. Have I got that right at least?

On a slightly different tack, it should be possible to have a "thin server," running Puppy from a live CD or DVD with the server database on the same CD or DVD. Seems like that would be ideal for a webpage, since rebooting would clear out any worms or hacks. Maintenance, upgrading and such, would be as simple as exchanging the CD or DVD for a new one.

People who make a business of maintaining static webpages (where the database doesn't change often) could update the webpage at home, burn a new CD or DVD and mail it to wherever.
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Ian
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Aug 2005, 03:25    Post subject:  

Yes Flash you could network a heap of Puppy thin clients without using a server.

You would have to remaster the CDs and set the static addresses first then you only need connect the clients through a hub or switch.
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Lobster
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Aug 2005, 04:31    Post subject:  

I was thinking about this Ian,

rather than a $100 computer why not aim for $600 for 6 terminals . . .
. . . and why are we working towards new machines instead of reconditioned?

PS. Never seem to catch you on IRC - will try to use IRC a bit more again as it seems to be flagging . . . (maybe I am there at the wrong times)

PPS I would like to get this Puppy Foundation going - any ideas on that? I know we tried with the Alpha team - but that went a bit too fast, too soon - so . . . what now . . .?

Think I might start a separate post as a sounding enviroment . . .

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PostPosted: Mon 22 Aug 2005, 09:29    Post subject:  

Hey Lobster, the idea of a foundation has merit and as you say there is no need to concentrate on new machines Puppy runs on older machines alright.

As for networking you could build different flavours of Puppy to suit the machines and even create a Puppy server CD to handle Internet connections DHCP and firewalling.

I haven't been IRCing a lot lately as I have been busy and the room has been empty most times I have been there.
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Ian
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Aug 2005, 10:01    Post subject:  

Lobster, as you might have guessed the previous reply is from "Ian-not-logged-in". I've been leaving the brain in idle a lot lately.
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neg2led


Joined: 04 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 04:51    Post subject:  

i have found that HP sell a thin client model T5710 (256/256)800 MHz that has 256MB flash and 256MB RAM with an 800MHz processor. it comes with Windows XP Embedded preloaded, but i am sure that XPe is a big portion of the price. if there was a version without XPe it would probably be only $100 US or so. Would this not be the PERFECT little thin client to run Puppy Chubby on?

I think so!

--neg[/url]

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Lobster
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 05:53    Post subject:  

Here are some goals:

1. Set up Foundation

Well consider this thread it. We are the pre foundation. We will need to do some investigation (I need some help on this - my sister is looking into this as she works for a volunteer bureau and may know someone with info) So we need to decide what we are Trust, Ltd Corporation, Charity, Trust etc - I vote for no corporation.

2. Set up goals

If Barry is intending another two years - hopefully with continued advisement and input for much longer, then we need to:

Ensure a working development model for the future. Do we have one person or several as the main developers? Will Puppy be 'complete' at this time?

An achievable goal is to have all documentation in wiki / HTML format on a server provided by the Foundation. I say Foundation for ease of language.

Another goal for which there seems interest is an embedded or thin client Puppy


3. To have credible representatives for Puppy.

Or in my case incredible representative. I am quite happy to put myself forward as chairperson or secretary for the initial period - say six months. Anyone else please come forward. You do not have to have experience - Just Puppy Love. As a Foundation we would need an address and contact person.
At the moment I suggest that is Barry - (which at the moment is the way it works anyway)
If he is busy he can delegate any contacts to members of the Foundation.

As I see it the Foundation is a layer of support for Barry and Puppy. I know this sounds formal to some but as Ian says - it is getting to the stage were something of this nature would help to promote and support the distro we all prefer using.

I have put these starting points here:
http://www.goosee.com/puppy/wikka/FoundationPuppy

as a beginning

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keenerd

Joined: 20 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 08:28    Post subject:  

I dug through the entire linux documentation project ( tldp.org ) but didn't come up with a 'foundation walkthrough'. I did find these:
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Advocacy.html
http://www.tldp.org/LDP/Linux-Media-Guide/html/Linux-Media-Guide.html

Google found this, establising a non-profit:
http://fdncenter.org/learn/classroom/establish/
Though this looks like it is intended for within the States.
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Flash
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 12:30    Post subject:  

Yes, in the U.S. at least, the idea behind nonprofits is to give a tax incentive for a good cause. While the general idea of encouraging good causes with government incentives may hold true in other nations, its implementation will vary.
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Flash
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 12:46    Post subject:  

neg2led wrote:
i have found that HP sell a thin client model T5710 (256/256)800 MHz that has 256MB flash and 256MB RAM with an 800MHz processor. it comes with Windows XP Embedded preloaded, but i am sure that XPe is a big portion of the price. if there was a version without XPe it would probably be only $100 US or so. Would this not be the PERFECT little thin client to run Puppy Chubby on?

I think so!

--neg[/url]
Hey, that thing is based on the Transmeta Crusoe processor! I'm pretty sure Linus Torvalds worked on the development of the Crusoe processor for a while at Transmeta, so it should strongly support Linux.

Personally, I'd take the money saved by using Puppy instead of Windows, and put it into more RAM.

Here's a Laughing quote from the HP product page:
Quote:
However, due to the increased size of [Windows XPe]SP2, customers owning t5700 thin clients with a 192-MB flash and 256-MB RAM configuration must purchase and upgrade their flash memory to 256-MB or higher to install this image.
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