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Dual User Windows PC

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  • by Seng (697556) on Friday April 16, 2004 @04:53PM (#8886107)
    I'm guessing not real well...
  • by Amiga Lover (708890) on Friday April 16, 2004 @04:54PM (#8886118)
    from the review the units abilities"

    1 PC can be used by 2 users at the same time

    2 users can browse the internet, send and receive email at the same time

    2 users can access all software installed on the PC at the same time (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Data Base, games, etc.)

    2 users can play games against each other with a dual-port VGA card

    I know many softwares of mine have claims that only one person may use it on one machine at one time. What does this mean? If two Excels are loaded on the same machine at the same time where is the licensing happening? No check over network will find any but it's own self running when really it's running for another user anyway on the same machine and that would still end up being a violation of the licensing of a product.

    MS would not be amused.
  • by AtariAmarok (451306) on Friday April 16, 2004 @04:57PM (#8886153)
    Two users on my PC at once? I already have this. Not only am I using it, but Bill Gates apparently has free range over the thing, as does Bonzi Buddy. I bet if I run AdAware, I'll find a half-dozen other unknowns sharing it with me as well!
  • an idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Friday April 16, 2004 @04:58PM (#8886164)
    the PC model is kind of really not that good of an idea, all things concidered. I am sure those of who are network admins or some such at companies know that individual PCs on the desks of the employees is headache central.
    Why not take the terminal server model into the homes? There would need to be only one machine, it could sit in the closet w/ the cable modem or whatever, out of the way. Perhaps with a CD changer or virtual disk mirrors to keep it from really needing to be accessed. Then there could be wireless heads around the house, one for each member of the family, say. Then everyone can use the computer at the same time and need only one copy of the OS, anti-virus, et cetera. It'd be a lot neater to handle.
  • Soooooo.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pr0ntab (632466) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `batn0rp'> on Friday April 16, 2004 @04:58PM (#8886165) Journal
    Does the hard drive look seperate for each user? Or are they piggy-backing onto the Fast User Switching / Built-in Terminal Server feature of XP to provide user seperation?

    The article is _light_ on detail for a five page pseudo-advertisement.

  • Ummm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by redune45 (194113) <slashdot&redune,com> on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:10PM (#8886291) Homepage
    It appears that it doesn't even do the dual user function out of the box
    From the article "What Do You Need for a Twin PC?.... Dual Head VGA - the 860Twin comes with just a single VGA connector, so you must add a Dual Head VGA card for Twin PC operation."

    So I would buy this box, then have to immediatly buy a new graphics card, thus making the one it came with useless?

    Hard to see the advantages of this thing outweighing two seperate machines.
  • by Seng (697556) on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:10PM (#8886294)
    It's a legit comment you mod-nazis... They plainly push the fact that you can play head-to-head games if you get a dual-port VGA card... It doesn't do much good to tout that as a selling point if the games play like shit!
  • by bmajik (96670) <> on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:10PM (#8886299) Homepage Journal
    this was an ad.

    not a single thing was said about how it works. How does the 2nd keyboard direct its keystrokes to the 2nd display ? Is the 2nd display an RDP client, or is it a 2nd monitor of window session 0 ? Are the two users running as different XP logins ? what does the magic twin software do ? new keyboard driver ? new mouse driver ? new audio driver ?

    Without knowing how this thing works, it's a non article.
  • Great Idea (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:17PM (#8886383)
    This is just a Great Idea.

    Lets take an OS with a Security model that can't even handle a single user, and put a second user on it!

    Now when my wife clicks on the nice little file attachment in her email I get the secret toy suprise.

    Simply brilliant.
  • by Carl T (749426) on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:24PM (#8886455) Homepage
    For productivity apps, though, this could be killer for cube rats. IT could deploy one machine for two cubes, cutting your hardware budget, and support in half!

    Hardware budget in half? Not if you still need two screens and two sets of input devices. And the computer itself will be more expensive than a normal one, so the gain would be less than the cost of a single machine.

    As for support... well, software support is what costs money, or so I believe. It comes down to whether it's proportional to the number of machines or how much they're used. My guess would be mostly the latter if we're talking about MS Windows, and then there's little to gain here. It could even be that sharing a machine like this brings about trouble of its own. Ditto for hardware. But what's most worrying from a business point of view is that every time one person's computer is down, so is another's. Potentially doubling downtime to save maybe $200 (a wild guess, admittedly) per person per three years doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

  • by pla (258480) on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:32PM (#8886538) Journal
    I wonder how licensing will work for software installed on such a computer.

    For a better question, I wonder if anyone (other than Microsoft) will care.

    Not a troll or flamebait - Really, how many home users actually went out and bought Windows or Office? For a business, a few hundred bucks might not mean much (particularly in comparison with getting caught running an unlicensed app). For a home user, many people balk at even paying $50 for their tax software, nevermind something as mundane as a word processor and spreadsheet (and the rest, that I have yet to see anyone use outside a work environment).

    People get Windows with their machines. They get Office from a friend or borrow the install CD from work. Legality simply doesn't matter, end of story.

    Or, for an already-common analogy, how many people paid extra fees to use on a dual-CPU box (most commercial software includes provisions limiting its use to on a per-CPU basis as well)? Answer? No one. Even businesses usually overlook that one, for "mere" duals.
  • Not so (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:32PM (#8886539)
    The specialized motherboard is for dealing with the multiple keyboards and such.

    The system has only one processor and one video card... would you call those "non-critical chips"?

    The main thing here is that the company that made it sells motherboards. They didn't develop this to sell the software... they did it to sell more motherboards. The software would probably work on a normal motherboard with no problems if the company took the locks off, except that you'd be stuck using USB devices only. No PS/2 splitter functionality.

  • by prat393 (757559) on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:33PM (#8886548)
    The difference here is that you pay for a license to use it on your computer. It's just multiple instances on the same computer - there's no network in use here, and the 2 end users are sitting AT the same computer, which just happens to have more than one monitor. Licenses distinguish about running over a network by saying that the application is being displayed and interacted with on one computer, but is hosted on/executed on another, interonnected by some kind of network. A dual head VGA card and two keyboards are still just a "1 CPU" license.
  • Downtime? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Onikuma (699576) on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:41PM (#8886634)
    It would seem to me that two users = twice as likely to crash.
    And this is windows we're talking about. Imagine the downtime *shudders*
    No thanks.
  • Re:Terminal Server (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kimgh (600604) on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:45PM (#8886670)
    I have Win XP Pro, and, while 2 users can be logged in at one time (one at the console, the other over a network), they both cannot be working at the same time.

    I don't call that "truly multi-user."

    By contrast, my Mac, running OS X, is truly multi-user: I can connect to it over the network while someone else is at the console, and we both can do stuff.

  • Re:Terminal Server (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mi (197448) <> on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:56PM (#8886813) Homepage
    I don't call that "truly multi-user."

    But that's just how Microsoft chose to license it (XP workstation). There is nothing inherent in the OS, that prevents them from working in parallel. In fact, NT Servers (XP and 2000) allow multiple people to login. I'm using Remote Desktop [] right now to access one from my FreeBSD box.

    Also, rumors are, the limit on the number of simultamious users can be increased by careful editing of the registry, but I can not find the link right now...

  • Re:Terminal Server (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @06:03PM (#8886906)
    Perhaps the "Magic Twin" software is a glorified registry hack as well ;)
  • Re:Terminal Server (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dnamaners (770001) on Friday April 16, 2004 @06:09PM (#8886966) Journal
    Looks like as noted above that this is a softwear & XP trick, and not actually directly related their pc in particular. They specify that it needs their proprietary softwear, a 2 head VGA card and a mouse and keyboard splitter. Id bet they rout the input of 1 set of devices to each user and controll XP login with it.

    Sort of neat but to me it seems like a bit of a curiosity rather than a true tool. I'd place it on par with neato bundled remotes and LCD panels on some boxes. That sort of candy can be darn usefull for a few but is not on the "needs" list form most users. Maybe this product would do better as an optional upgrade package for use with any PC.
  • by Spleener12 (587422) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @06:13PM (#8887003)
    Depends on the card, the processor, and the game, I'd guess. You'd basically be doubling the load on both the video card and the processor. I can see Quake3 running just fine regardless, but a newer game might have some problems. I doubt that they're going for the hardcore gamer demographic with this concept, though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @06:38PM (#8887281)
    Dictionary definitions are a description of how the language is used by the public, not the other way around. If it makes sense to other people, it's legitimate English. The more people that understand it, the more legitimate it is. The language continues to adapt itself to the people that use it - it's an ongoing process that's still happening and will continue. Words exist to allow expression of concepts, including previously unknown concepts, not to limit the speaker to off-the-shelf ideas.

    In your example, modifers to "unique" DO in fact make sense - have understandable meaning, and are therefore valid as an English construct. You can't invalidate the idea because of your "pure" definition of the words used.

    In fact, if I take your black-and-white definition literally, then EVERYTHING is "unique" - i.e., different from everything else in some way, however small the difference. Since *everything* is "unique" then nothing is not unique, and the word becomes useless. Remove the context and you remove the meaning.

    Ah, say you, it's all a matter of degree? Well that's what I'm saying. In the context it was presented in, it's an amount... not a yes/no, pass/fail, black/white, either/or.
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Friday April 16, 2004 @08:48PM (#8888115)
    Well, given the price of a good bookshelf system nowadays I would say that from a space-efficiency standpoint you're just as well off with two separate machines. And so far as IT goes, when you need to upgrade a system you now have two workers idle instead of only one, and if the hard drive blows chunks you also have two workers idle instead of only one. My feeling is that this would be great if computers cost $3,000 instead of $300: it's a solution to a problem that disappeared long ago. It's dead tech, all right ... stillborn. Really, it's a return to the mainframe/minicomputer ideal of sharing expensive processor time. Unfortunately, processor power is dirt cheap nowadays, so there really is no need to share it, certainly not for the target market of general office use.

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre