More than one computer on a single CPU?

Ok, at this place I go, there is a set of 4 monitors all connected to one "Computer" but they are all seperate computers. There is 4 seperate keyboards, mice, and speakers. They are all connected to the computer by network cables. It is interesting, I was wondering if anybody has ever heard of this before, b/c I want a program like this. Actually what I was looking at was a ncomputing thin client, but If anybody could help me think of a cheaper option because these cost about 1100 per terminal box (i need 3-4)

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psymansays8 years ago
They may have been running Windows Terminal Server, using 3 or 4 thin clients. You can also install a desktop pager, to give yourself multiple desktops, on one console, but if you want multiple consoles and one computer, it's thin clients. VMware is also a one-console system, unless you use other computers on the network as VMware thin clients.
bwpatton1 (author)  psymansays8 years ago
Actually I figured out that they were using 3 thin clients off of a desktop.............. i need to shop a little more on ebay

USE ASTER Software for Single CPU multiple workplace (multiple monitor , keyboard , mouse)

view below link for more details

rich_moe8 years ago
There used to be a product on the market which connected two keyboards, two mice, and two monitors to a single CPU, and use a multi-user OS (Win2K or newer, LINUX, UNIX). I'm not sure if that is still available on the market. Another possibility is that there is something in XP Pro which is called Desktop Virtualization, which allows what you describe as well. Just never caught on, as it is resource intensive (makes things run slooooow). The easiest and cheapest I've seen is to run a LINUX server box with terminal server enabled, and use thin client boxen on ethernet, and x-windows (or equivalent). The Portland, Oregon School system had something called the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) and designed a complete package for just this type of scenario. I would think with flash memory loaded with the bare minimum to connect to the server, you could make a thin client to do just what you describe in your question. Cost for this scenario (LTSP) is going to be about $300-$500 USD for the server, and a stop by your local used computer place for $50 USD dumb boxen. Add a flash ROM to the network card to connect to the server on boot (another $30-$60 USD), a profile to download the thin client profile, and you have your system (minus network infrastructure, keyboards, mice, monitors, periphery, etc.). HTH
goodgnus8 years ago
Virtualization likely. VMWare is one software you can run.