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Alternative Uses for your Thin Client (other than MJ)

 
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stroths
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 470
Location: Dallas, TX

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:16 am    Post subject: Alternative Uses for your Thin Client (other than MJ)

Many of you have invested in a thin client, but what do you do with it if you decide to use another VOIP solution or move to an ATA?

There are countless things you can do with these, but here are a few to get you all thinking. I suggest anyone else with a good use post it in this thread to give others ideas. You can also combine some of these roles depending on your needs.

High Power Commercial Grade Router
If you pickup the PCI expansion bay on ebay (~$30), you can add a second network card to one of these. You then have the perfect setup for a number of router software options. I would suggest you go with one that is Unix based (Linux, FreeBSD, etc). I personally used Monowall (http://m0n0.ch/wall/) for a while on one of my thin clients and it worked great. It was fast, had a ton of options and is well supported. I later moved to pfsense (http://www.pfsense.com/) which is an alternate branch of the monowall project. There are other good ones out there like Smoothwall, IP Cop, etc. Larger firewall/router packages will write to your flash as mentioned by R0ss, so keep that in mind. Smaller ones like monowall should rarely touch your flash short of saving settings if you change them.

Media or File Sharing Server
Add an External USB hard drive and you have a great solution for serving files to your local network. I played around with FreeNAS (http://www.freenas.org/) for a while on one of my thin clients and it worked very well. You could also use Windows and turn on file sharing or go with one of the Linux flavors.

Web Server
I haven't done this personally on one of these, but it would be the perfect solution for one providing its not some huge website with a ton of hits. I would suggest some Unix based solution with Apache, but you could easily use Windows web server as well.

FTP Server
There are a lot of options out there depending on your operating system preference.

Print Server
This can easily be setup in Windows or Linux.

Car-PC/Carputer
While you may want something more powerful if you plan on serving higher end video, this would work well for some. You can find all kinds of info on car pc's at http://tinyurl.com/34alcwy.

With any solution you pick, always keep in mind the flash memory (DOM) on these and the limited writes. However, the Transcend DOM flash upgrades to write balancing to ensure the same sector isn't overused and they can take a ton of writes.


Last edited by stroths on Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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R0ss
magicJack Apprentice


Joined: 22 Apr 2009
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:04 pm    Post subject:

Hey these sound like some great ideas. A word of caution, if you decide to try using a TC for a firewall/router solution you might also want to consider upgrading to a microdrive. As has been stated elsewherre in the forum flash drives do have a finite number of read writes and logs created by firewalls such as ipCop and Smoothwall Express can dramatically decrease the life of your CF. This also been discused on the Smoothwall Express forum.

Ross
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PTravel
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Posts: 194

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:04 pm    Post subject:

I have seven of these guys. Also:

Video Server: Play video direct to your television.

RAID 5 NAS (network attached storage): Add a raid controller and some hard drives (full details at www.thinclientforum.com).

VNC gateway: Full remote access to your LAN.

Remote Television / Slingbox Client: Takes some doing, but it works.

MIDI Sequencer: Take to gigs for playback, sessions for recording, etc.
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tony
Dan Should Pay Me


Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 509
Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:00 pm    Post subject:

My uses:
- guest room PC that's quiet and small (Ok, not too different from the intended use)

- Surveillance web cam when we're away. Loaded with Tincam software, when there is motion detected, posts image to website. We can check in on he house.

- runs MaxiVista for external monitors on my laptop for extended desktop. Also this unit streams music (Winamp) in my office.

- next project is a FTP server with FileZilla Server and USB key for storage. Only because my former FTP server now has ESET Security Suite and it won't allow ftp connections no matter how I "allow" connections.

- Have explored using the TC (the most advanced I have is T5710) for a personal video recorder to record shows off cable. But I can't find an old tuner card that'll work on the TC.
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