Well ive been thinking in doing something like this since a some time ago, but never really knew hot to. this is my problem.
I want to create a "LAN", with 3 dummy terminals. that is, a central server computer, and 3 monitors located at differentlocations, all of them used by someone. this person is going to be accessing and modifyign data in the central server, but here is the catch, these 3 dummy terminals, have no cpu, they are only keyboards, mouses and a moniotor. the thing is I dont have the money to buy 3 computers. Is there a way to do this, processing data drom a central server from these remote terminals without they having a cpu? at the same time?
If possible, what software/hardware would be needed?
Any dummy term is going to have a processor, they are just little computers. They only use their power to connect to a session. When you connect to a session you will get the desktop of the remote computer, as if you were sitting right infront of it. You will then in turn be using all of its resources (processor, ram, hd, etc).
There are many ways to setup dummy terms. The easiest way is to use windows server on the host machine. You will then have access to terminal services. That will allow you to connect to the host server using RDP on the dummy terms and it would support multiple sessions at once. Normally only domain admins can terminal to a server but you can add regular users to the RDP connection permissions so that they can connect/login but still do not have extended rights to the machine.
I have used Wyse Winterms in the past for dummy terms (or more apropriatly named, thin clients) and they worked fairly well. HP also produces a fairly large selection of thin clients. Any of those can range in price from about $300 to almost $1000. Judging by your need for a cheaper solution I'm guessing you will be leaning towards the $300 ones
You may even be able to score some old Winterms or HPs on ebay for cheap.
Your only really large expense will be the Windows 2003 server license and a server to put it on.
Your dummy terminals will still need to have a CPU, memory, motherboard .... i.e. components to be a functioning PC.
You can implement solutions that allow your dummy terminals to have very limited resources (in terms of memory, disk space ....) and they run applications from the central server. This type of client is called a thin client because allthough the terminals are PCs, they are very weak PCs.
Citrix Metaframe does this but to be honest the cost of installing it on a server, paying for the software/licensing and support is too costly for what you want.
Your best bet would be to buy some old PCs on ebay and then use those :wink: