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2 workstations 1pc

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May 5, 2008 11:53:54 PM

is it possible to set up my pc to run 2 users at the same time?
each user has own monitor mouse keyboard?

im using xp pro.. and it wouldnt affect my sys that much because all my mom does is surf internet
im assuming if it is possible i would need anothere graphics card

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May 6, 2008 3:28:18 AM

I would be interested to know if anyone has any thoughts on this.

To my knowledge no you cant. Not only would you have an issue with having 2 users logged in... but how does the machine determine whose mouse and keyboard is whose.

The closest i think you will get to this is some kind of a terminal server, which defeats the purpose as you would need 2 machines. On terminal servers, you can have one person logged into the machine, while another (or more) can connect to it from another machine allowing the multiple log ons and the determination between periferals.

You wouldnt need 2 GPU's only 1 with a dual head, with extended desktop your mum would say be able to watch a movie on one while you surf the net on the other, although for you both you use the mouse and keyboard at the same time or seperate users on different monitors i dont think you will be able to do.
May 6, 2008 3:40:26 AM

Well your in luck.

All you need is 1 computer, 2 monitors, 2 keyboards, 2 mice, and one of these: http://ncomputing.com/Lseries.aspx You cant hardcore game except on the main machine. Everything else works fine, and so far no Vista support, but they are working on it.

You can use up to 10 users on xp or 30 users on a server edition.

Tigerdirect has these products on their site.
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May 6, 2008 3:41:12 AM

The simple answer to your question is --- No.

Chookman has basically listed the only option to do this... Remote desktop, VNC etc... which utilize multiple PC's connecting to a virtual desktop on a single PC.
May 6, 2008 3:49:34 AM

In regard to Roadrunners response - the ncomputing Lseries is basically a terminal server/remote desktop appliance for around $200.00 US...
May 6, 2008 3:50:29 AM

How is it wrong roadrunner? Please explain.
May 6, 2008 3:52:34 AM

Read my above post and follow the link for the easy way to do it.
May 6, 2008 3:58:52 AM

Apparently you didn't read the ad for the device you mention.

Quote from ad

"The very inexpensive and highly reliable L Series access terminal connects to our terminal services software on the host PC over standard Ethernet cables (plus routers, switches, etc.). Our terminal services software enables the host PC to create unique and simultaneous user session"

Hmmm. connects to terminal services software... hmmm. I wonder what that means. Maybe that it is acting as a terminal server. Gee I guess I could be wrong.

May 6, 2008 4:02:57 AM

Well, if you're looking to continue using Windows, which you probably are, then ignore me and follow the advice above; however, unix-like OSes including Linux can do this relatively easily. Just Google "multiseat" and you'll find a ton of guides for practically any Linux distro. Unix started out as a multi-user OS to begin with, so it's only natural that it can do this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiseat

Then again, you're currently on XP, so... Anyway, perhaps if you have a spare computer around, you could have that run a multiseat setup such that 2 or 3 other people can just use that one computer, while you keep the gaming beast to yourself. Who knows... but the option is there, even if it's totally irrelevant to you :) 

Edit: I remember some random motherboard company offering something for Windows back in the day (was it Jetway or something?) Anyway, I think that was around the time when the Athlon XP was king. Can't say much about multiseat with Windows now, though, but if you're going to try multiseat with Windows, you should check into the legal side of things. I doubt that the EULA permits more than one user for their client OSes, or something like that, but I really don't know.

Edit 2: Regardless of the software issues involved, you do need enough outputs for all the monitors you'll use. If you currently only have one video output, then you probably do need another graphics card.
May 6, 2008 4:04:49 AM

theres was another idea called Magic twin from machspeed but that was ages ago i think
May 6, 2008 4:33:27 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
Well your in luck.

All you need is 1 computer, 2 monitors, 2 keyboards, 2 mice, and one of these: http://ncomputing.com/Lseries.aspx You cant hardcore game except on the main machine. Everything else works fine, and so far no Vista support, but they are working on it.

You can use up to 10 users on xp or 30 users on a server edition.

Tigerdirect has these products on their site.


Wow looks pretty cool actually. Although at that price you are getting closer to an entry level machine.

$68 for e2140
$55 for GIGABYTE GA-73VM-S2
$12 for Kingston ValueRAM 512MB 240-Pin DDR2
$129 for Antec Sonata III
$37 for Western Digital Caviar WD400BB 40GB
$23 for SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD

Total $324

your monitor keyboard and mouse have to be purchased either way. Im thinking sure if it was $50 but at $200 why not spend the extra and get a decent entry level rig

EDIT: if you got the e1200 you could drop the $68 to $50 so now we are only just over 300. Depends on how far you want to go with the case as well. There is one listed on newegg for $30 "Linkworld 3230-02C2222U Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430W " With that it brings the total to $207...
May 6, 2008 4:36:16 AM

I would really look into using a easy to use Linux distro like Ubuntu or openSuse. I don't know if YOU have the functionality you're wanting to get out of it ( I don't know what you plan to do with it ) , but in a distro like that, the learning curve is real shallow to learn to just do internet and stuff for your mom.
May 6, 2008 4:42:29 AM

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Id rather have one badass system with atleast 4G ram and a 3.6 quad core in it to run 2 users smooth instead of spendin $100+ more on a piece of slow crap. Plus 2 computer towers takes up alot of desk space. You can get these products wirelessly also and have it in a whole different room if need be.
May 6, 2008 5:04:32 AM

Well, from the looks of it, it looks like a lot of people have responded with a lot of great ideas. I'll just put it all in one post, if you all don't mind...

Your stated goal is to have one computer accommodate two people. Your mom will only use the computer lightly, so you're not worried about any performance impact. You currently use Windows XP.

It seems to me roadrunner has the best suggestion if you don't mind spending a hundred or two, since it allows you to continue using Windows XP. I doubt you want to install another OS; you just want to get things done conveniently while saving a bit of cash and space, since you won't be getting another full PC. It also seems like with that ncomputing product, you can have the terminal sit in some room arbitrarily far away, which might be a plus if you're blasting music or machinegun fire from your gaming.

If you don't mind messing around with configuration files (editing /etc/X11/xorg.conf) and not using Windows XP, then Linux might be good. Pick almost any modern distro, and you can follow a step-by-step guide online and have a multiseat environment. You won't have to spend money on any thin clients or anything, but the terminal probably won't be able to sit as far away. It'll be as far away as the length of your PS/2 or USB and video cables permit.

Your third option is another PC, either new or old. It can be ancient; since it seems this computer will only be used for internet, you can have this old computer run some old OS or some lightweight OS (Windows 2000, Linux, or BSD?); however, this option runs contrary to your stated goals. I'm putting it here just in case you reconsider.

Anyway, I'd consider those options in that order. Option 1 allows you to use your current computer and current OS, which is probably your OS of choice. You do have to spend a little bit of cash, but not as much as a new computer. However, these days, new computers aren't that much more expensive.

Option 2 requires that you switch your OS and invest some time in figuring out what the heck is going on. Linux is picky about its friends for certain tasks... (As far as I know, no distro has a wizard for setting up multiseat)

Option 3 is the easiest option, but also the most expensive. It'll also take up the most room, and arguably goes against what you're trying to do. However, you may consider the other options to be too much of a hassle, so you might end up taking this route anyway.

Good luck! If you choose to go with a multiseat setup, please post back and let us know how it goes. Pretty much nobody does that here, so a successful setup would be quite interesting to see.
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May 6, 2008 7:53:52 AM

Option 3 needn't be the most expensive. I'm sure you could find an old XP machine for under $200. Once the HDD's scrubbed it shouldn't be too slow so long as not too much software is put on it.
May 7, 2008 5:28:38 AM

here the deal. my moms current pc is a p3 1 ghz with 256mg ram and for some reason she keeps crashing windows ME some how, so i put NT server 4 on there, she hasnt crashed it yet but she cant play multi media on it because nt doesnt support it.
it would be cheaper for me just to get win xp home and put it on her comp,
or i could upgrade to vista64 and put xp pro on her comp.
but i havent herd good news about vista.
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