PC and server maker Dell never made a machine that needed a dumb terminal, but it does make servers that could end up driving the 21st century equivalent: the thin client served up a virtual desktop over the internet. That is why Dell has shelled out an undisclosed sum to snap up Wyse Technologies, the volume shipper of thin …
An RDP or ICA client on a tablet or a custom Linux distro like thinstation is proving a better option to Wyse devices these days and with their dumb terminals being more expensive than Dell's cheap PCs it seems an unnecessary move on casual reading.
As far as I remember Wyse terminals run linux, however, searching for linux on their web site gives no hint.
They have Windows embedded and Linux based terminals as well as their own ThinOS (which may itself be Linux-based, I'm not sure).
I believe using "dumb terminals" would increase security in any organisation. Most of the staff would do well with a restricted number of programs to run, not needing a Windows PC at all.
But I suppose it would not make me popular if I took out the Windows machines at any office.
Adding some card games might help though. Keeping the software up to date would be easier too.
I worked with a Wyse terminal for the first time in 1997 with Citrix running on NT 3.51 - they were neat devices but always seemed a little pricey.
Maybe it's just the super-tiny form factor I'm enamored with, but I can't stop thinking that a RaspberryPi or FXI Cotton Candy is so much more interesting for a thin client.
"According to my sources", ThinOS isn't based on Linux in the slightest. It's a Wyse proprietary operating system (i prefer to call it firmware but whatever). It's also 4 meg in size - please show me a Linux OS with a size of 4 meg please.
Wyse also offer SUSE Linux, Ubuntu Linux, WES2009, WES7, XPE (For now) as well. Personally, this acquisition is interesting to me.
From a acquisition point of view there are 2 perspectives...
1) Great Acquisition, will grow Wyse/Dell as a DT Virtualisation and S/W Vendor perspective and will allow Dell/Wyse to sell a viable end to end solution.
2) Wyse are traditionally and were (well up to today) under the slogan "NO PC". Not anymore, that idea has just been chucked out of the window. All about the money.
Just my thoughts..
"please show me a Linux OS with a size of 4 meg please[sic]"
Well, I've failed to find you one with a 4 meg image size. I have found a 1.44 meg build, in the form of muLinux. Thinstation images can be as small as 6 and I think Diet PC is comparable, and both are rather more sophisticated and general purpose operating systems than the specialist one Wyse uses, which suggests they could easily be pruned down further.
But really, who cares? Half gigabyte flash chips are so cheap as to be disposable, and have been for a few years now.
Re: "please show me a Linux OS with a size of 4 meg please[sic]"
Told ya, it's ThinOS.
Dell and terminals
"never made a machine that needed a dumb terminal" - this is untrue.
Dell had a brief foray into the UNIX on Intel world in the late '80s and early '90s with systems running SVR3 and SVR4. These systems were shipped with multi-port serial cards, so would have used terminals of the type produced by Wyse.
I can't remember what they used to call them, but I attended an interview for their UK support team. I also can't remember what the outcome of the interview was, but bearing in mind that the team was wrapped up not that long afterwards, it was probably better that I did not work for them.
server + multiple serial port card(s) + decent OS = dumb terminal server
And in fact Wyse hardware is *considerably* smarter than early era dumb terminals (which usually needed a "terminal controller" effectively time sharing a chunk of RAM and a *very* simple processor between a group of them).
Now the $64m question is..
Wyse had a pretty good rep for it's hardware. Will this new Dell division inherit it? Or will the new div inherit Dell's rep?
Which I'd suggest is a bit more Adam Sandler than Mark Whalberg.
I has a sad. :(
Is Pano next to be gobbled up by some large corp?
Yup. Sorry Trev.
Now I has two sads. :( :(
Ah Wyse ...
I remember wiring up their terminals with serial cables to 16-port serial boards in PCs running Concurrent DOS. Them were the days. Shudder.
Re: Ah Wyse ...
I remember when our word processing ladies had their VT220 workalikes and wiring them into a VAX. Double shudder.
With Raspberry Pi is entering the market on a non-profit basis, this is going to be a tough market in the future. All it takes is for an OEM to pop an ARM cpu in their screen which happens to have a USB hub and you are in for a hard run.
Unless the fact that its Dell means that the unix side of Wyse is due for ritual slaughter.
Re: Odd choice...
The issue with Raspberry PI is that it's a hobbyist, device which will need aftermarket work to enable it to operate as a dumb terminal. I'm getting one to use as a mythtv frontend, but I'll need to put it in a box, have a PSU sourced, get the correct SD card, make a custom build and I'll get no "official" support from anyone. You've been able to do dumb terminals with a micro or nano atx board for ages, all still solid state, but they have the same issue, and consequently no-one has bought them commercially.
Maybe there is a space for an aftermarket company to box and re-sell rPI?
Well this is interesting...
... cause Dell already sells a thin client (the Optiplex FX170), which is really a re-branded thin client by DevonIT. (or it's the other way around, although if the DeTOS and Echo server peices are correct, I'm probably correct.)
This adds an interesting spin to things. One wonders what dell will do to the brand. Probably nothing good, I imagine.
So long Wyse; I'll have a drink in your honor tonight.
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