Engineering Building

Today was the first time I dared to venture into the Engineering building. After my trip to the Lab Sciences building the other day, I was feeling confident that I could go and get some compelling images of the fairly newly remodeled building.

I got a few great outdoor shots of the building, and a few other random things on South Campus, but I don't feel as though I've done that beautiful building justice. I need to work on both the Engineering building and the College of Business Administration this summer, because I think I can get much better images than what I think I got today.

Although the adventure into the Engineering building did afford me an interesting opportunity to take a look at some of their systems. They've got a bunch of Sun Ray 2 thin clients hooked up to a little farm of terminal servers, and you can select at the machine whether you'd like Windows, UNIX, Linux or just a web browser (which I presume is firefox coming in at full screen off of a Linux system, but I didn't check.)

The setup they're using, with terminal servers and the thin clients is pretty clever. In theory, your thin clients stay modern for a very very long time, and they're extraordinarily low maintenance. Add to that, the fact that you can terminal into different systems, I think the thin client setup, especially in the College of Engineering where it's fairly quick, is a good winner. The only problem I can see is that there are a few instances where network bandwidth isn't really good enough to support a lot of thin clients. The W.A. Franke College of Business Administration has some problems with it's SunRay clients because, I suspect, of high server loads or slow network connections. The size of the display may also have something to do with it, as the CBA runs very large 24-inch monitors on it's thin clients, while the thin clients at the Engineering building were running at 1280x1024.

One of the only negative things I can think of to say about the thin client situation is that I would really like it if Apple or some third party Mac vendor were to get everything set up so that Mac systems can be used by thin clients.

Ahwell, just dreams I suppose.

No comments: