can Windows have two user sessions running at once on different displays/kb+mice?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by piratepenguin, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. piratepenguin

    piratepenguin New Member

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    thinking of putting a kickarse computer behind our HDTV, since we need a new computer anyhow. But when someone wants to browse the web, we won't want them needing to take the TV, 'cause others could be watching it.

    I know in GNU/Linux, with the mighty X11 everyone keeps bitching about, you can have one X server powering one display taking input from one keyboard, mouse and remote too I suppose, and another X server powering another display taking input from another keyboard and mouse, and two different users, or the same user, can be logged into each terminal, and they have their own session and don't interrupt eachother. :hsd:

    Is that possible in Windows?
     
  2. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Only by hacking a DLL file to unlock the feature, which is only enabled by default in Windows Server 2003. Another (probably more stable)option is to run Virtual Server and serve out virtual machines running XP; this solution would not have much overhead on a newer machine with CPUs that have hardware virtualization circuits.

    Aqua > X11.
     
  3. Create

    Create :free at last:

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  4. cmsurfer

    cmsurfer ºllllllº

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  5. piratepenguin

    piratepenguin New Member

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    From Wikipedia: "Aqua is the graphical user interface and primary visual theme of Apple Computer's Mac OS X operating system. It is based around the theme of water, as its name suggests,[1] with droplet-like elements and liberal use of translucency and reflection effects."

    WTF? Where X11 is a protocol. I don't know how you manage to compare them.

    How would what I'm trying to do be done on OS X? Can Aqua run with two configurations on one machine? (Xorg can) It's useless to me otherwise.

    Also is the DLL hack you're talking about what Create linked to?

    I was actually hoping I wouldn't need 2 computers, just one. With 2 connected displays (one HDTV, one LCD, modern graphics cards should manage right?), a USB keyboard, a USB mouse, then probably a bluetooth keyboard, mouse and remote. :big grin:

    Oh. It'd be cool if I could turn this computer on from my own computer upstairs (we don't want it on 24/7). Any devices for that? Something connected to ethernet and power could do it.

    And 100 ethernet is good for streaming HDTV right? edit: maybe it's 1000..

    edit: gnu/linux would be so much handier... if a graphics card had drivers. Anyone using nvidia's gnu/linux drivers? Are they fully functional?

    edit: apparently we have a fcking ps3. Why should I be talking about buying more hardware?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2007
  6. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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  7. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    I posted a hardware solution. There are others like it as well. I've seen a few more but don't remember what it's called.

    I am using nvidia 96xx drivers just fine. I don't know if it's fully functional since i don't play games or do anything to drive it hard, just have it installed for beryl.

    Well your ps3 is just a psuedo-htpc solution. You can't use as a pc and htpc at the same time like you initially posted.
     
  8. piratepenguin

    piratepenguin New Member

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    Well, you can run GNU/Linux on it. Yellowdog and Fedora, and eventually more I'm sure. It's all very buggy right now though I hear, and doesn't utilise much of the cpu at all.

    But it only has one hdmi output, if only it had another DVI/VGA one. And it only has a 60Gb harddrive, I want a few terabytes :big grin: (well one to start off with)
     
  9. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Yes, piratepenguin, that is the same hack I was talking about. Back when I tried it, it was necessary to manually edit the DLL in a hex editor.

    My understanding of Aqua on OSX is that it replaces X11 altogether, thus simplifying the protocol. X11 is a congested mess at this point in time, and it could use some serious optimization and removal of old code, but nobody wants to break compatibility with it.
     
  10. piratepenguin

    piratepenguin New Member

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    "X11 is a congested mess" X11 is a protocol.

    If you're talking about Xorg, I wouldn't quickly believe that codebase is in any way a mess. It's one of those projects that I try to follow the development of, and it moves surprisingly swift.

    One area where I would agree that Xorg is a mess is in it's configuration, but that's well-acknowledged and should be sorted out in Xorg 7.3 later this year.

    And hummm, Xorg 7.2 now supports Windows and the GNU Hurd, I'll need to see what it can do on both those platforms.

    Or maybe you're talking about Xlib, which is the library everybody uses to do X11, and that's being worked on, see XCB.

    Some people when they look at the concept of X11 cringe at the fact that it "goes over the network", and anyone would loathe the system for that. But they don't understand that the network isn't used (not loopback, nothing) where the client and server are on the same system.

    "nobody wants to break compatibility with it" I don't think you can say that, about the protocol. Hell, is the protocol even used in any shape or form where the clients + server are on the one machine? I don't thiiink so.
     
  11. Create

    Create :free at last:

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    Run a single session but double video cards. Not quite two sessions but you should be able to have a user working while running a movie and not have them interfere with one another...for the most part...get a remote to control the media player.

    Easy ftw.
     
  12. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Easy, until you want to have two mice or two keyboards. Then it's not easy.
     
  13. piratepenguin

    piratepenguin New Member

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    It is with X11 ;)

    Seriously, the X windows guys seem to be the only people to have gotten this right. It's nothing to do with the network protocol, but they're apparently the only ones that can have their graphics process running multiple times with different configurations. How anything less is so popular (actually the standard) in 2007 is beyond me, where customers demand multiple-core processors and gigabytes of RAM, while the X windows guys had this problem sorted decades ago. Amazing.

    Gonna try YellowDog on the PS3 later, but it only runs in a hypervisor (what gayness) and doesn't have hardware accelerated graphics :| (therefore I'd be lucky to get near-acceptable video outof it. Outof a PS3.)
    Because Sony are fucking assholes. Nothing new there.
     
  14. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    Its really simple, actually. decades ago you had one machine that was the size of a house that had to support 10 users on dummy terminals. Fast forward to 2000 and we have machines that are more powerful, and 1000x less expensive so we give each user their own machine. They can do more, and it doesn't cost more. Now fast forward to 2007 and we still use our own machines but keep adding more power to them so WE can have more power. We don't want to share it with others. We want it for ourselves.

    Go into a corp environment. Talk to the employees. The general consensus is their machine is not fast enough... These people don't want to now double the machines load by sharing it with someone else.

    X11 supports a feature and that's fine. There is a niche market for it, and all is well. However, it is not supported by the other major players because it's simply not a desired feature outside of this niche market.

    If a corp wants to accomplish this, they run a Terminal Server or use Citrix MetaFrame.... Then they install dummy-terminals with RDP. Spend $250 per terminal, and the rest on a kick-ass server. This is how 2007 works.
     
  15. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Citrix Metaframe is a great product. I use it on a regular basis, and I keep toying with setting up a server to serve out copies of the $15,000 mapping software we use, but I also keep deciding that it's better for our telecommuters to have complete, full-featured desktops that are maintained by the company for them to do all their work on, so they can't cop out of getting work done saying their home computers were acting up.
     
  16. piratepenguin

    piratepenguin New Member

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    I imagine I'd find it a whole lot sweeter, mainly thinking about desk setup, if each monitor, keyboard, mouse and speaker (whoops, I was forgetting them) combination was connected directly to the kick-ass server, rather than going through a cheapo computer and ethernet. You get to do nothing while that power-mongering server isn't on though, that's a pretty big downside, but I'd be interested in seeing this setup.

    For more than a few users it mightn't work so well, requiring so many graphics cards and sound cards, hooked into one computer, who knows how I/O will perform. Are there computers that can handle more than a few graphics cards?

    Seems like potentially (key word) a better direction to take things.
     
  17. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    are you talking to yourself
     
  18. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    I saw where Microsoft is releasing windows home server
    later this year. I wonder if it will have that capability.
     
  19. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    This is how you can tell who has worked with this stuff before, and who is just dreaming.

    Your method does not really serve a great need. It may find use in a niche market, but not on the grand-scale. If the user needs the power that cannot be provided by RDP, then they probably need more power than available from a shared system -- they want dedicated processing. Furthermore, you have the issue of scale. As you add more and more people, the scenario becomes less and less feasable. And what are the technical limitations of USB and VGA/DVI for distance? Definitely not long enough. I have a problem getting USB going 25ft reliably.

    And with a good switch and proper installation, RDP can be extremely responsive. We use it as exclusive access to our POS system. In full-screen mode, people can't tell it's not running local. And the scalability of ethernet actually meets our needs.
     
  20. piratepenguin

    piratepenguin New Member

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  21. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    I rest my case.... It's easy to tell who has worked with this in a corp environment before. Running 300ft of DVI for a few hundred machines (even a few dozen) would cost a small fortune. And then the cost and complexity of cat5->usb adaptors, cabling, etc.... There is not a single one of my clients that would be okay with that. And I would not want to put my name or reputation on supporting that configuration.

    Either individual machines for each system, or a thin-client and RDP solution. Those are the ways to go.
     
  22. Create

    Create :free at last:

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    I still don't understand why there's a requirement for dual mouse/KB. Get TV tuner card with a remote to control the media. I run a setup like this as my media pc/spare workstation using an old ATI All-in-Wonder card with good results.
     
  23. piratepenguin

    piratepenguin New Member

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  24. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Shiny. Windows CE isn't exactly practical for corporate use, though.
     
  25. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    as a RDP client it's fine. And more and more corps are moving to that, anyway.
     

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