Thinclients - For Kids?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by Phido, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. Phido

    Phido Member

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    So I have a 4 year old and a 6 year old, 6 year old is finishing kindy, and one of the things we have noticed he hasn't been doing much of is Reading Eggs (https://readingeggs.com.au/). For those not familiar with it, at lot of schools require it. He loves reading eggs, but getting time on a computer to do it isn't easy. We have some cheap tablets and they have run times of about 1-2 hrs, but holding/using a tablet for more than 1/2 hr is painful. My wife and I have a computer each, but its rare both are free, and when one is using the program the other wants to use it as well. I had recently bought a thin client for a retro PC platform, so I am seeing an obvious solution for about $100 each. Wife agreed, perhaps its time that each kid got their own computer! She likes how small, uncluttered and simple the thin clients are and they are cheap.

    While the kids will eventually outgrow these platforms, I figure they should be fine for the next 5 or so years, for things like online educational games, word processing, drawing, browsing etc.

    TLDR = The wife approved me to buy two thin clients for the kids!

    While there are some very cheap clients, I figured I would get something semi decent. Something that can run Win10, fine for browsing etc. So I ended up getting them a Dell Wyse 7020 thinclient each. This is a quad core 2.0 Ghz Radon 8400E, with 4GB ram(upgradable) and 64GB SSD. These are available for about $120 a piece. While there are cheaper clients, many would struggle with Win10. 64GB SSD is probably big enough I wouldn't need to upgrade it for at least the next few years. These are the approximates of the T620Plus which phil reviewed, .

    So as a build log and experience report:

    Need to get Wifi working on them as they will be somewhere without a hard wired network connection.
    How useful is Win10?
    Tear down, is there any room for expansion? The Thinclients don't appear to have any full sized PCIE slots.
    Office on the machines? Worthwhile or not?
     
  2. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    Unless things are changed since I was last exposed to thinclient setups circa 2009, aren't these supposed to be used for citrix/RDP access?

    If it works it works I guess, try an office trial first unless you have a subscription already.
     
  3. power

    power Member

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    there is a version of W10 called W10 IoT that replaces WES7, it is a pretty stripped back version of W10 but is just fine for day to day activities and will most likely do everything you require. I have one as a work laptop - and a large part of my fleet is made up of these - https://www8.hp.com/us/en/thin-clients/mobile/mt44.html

    wifi is an option in most thin clients, they generally use the same wireless card as a laptop anyway. if you are lucky the ones you buy will have a wireless card already in them. i know i just disable it in a lot of the machines i setup as we don't use them.

    some machines have PCIe slots you would be looking at the t610 PLUS or similar (not familliar with the W10 equivalent).

    W10 IoT like WES7 is a license that comes with the device, I have not really played with installing a desktop OS onto one, but feel like that may not be a great option.



    t630 looks ok to me, not PCIe but then - DON'T expect to be gaming on this, buy an xbox or something for that!

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-T630...m3b3973843c:g:1JAAAOSwY3ZdhyGa&frcectupt=true
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
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  4. OP
    OP
    Phido

    Phido Member

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    You can but these with Windows 10 Professional installed on them for $125 + $20 shipping.
    These are 2.0Ghz quad core machines with a 64GB SSD. They aren't going to do anything too demanding I think Win 10 will probably be ok. The most demanding thing they will ever probably do is Youtube in 1080p.
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Dell-WY...epid=0&hash=item547900c1b7:g:hywAAOSw8Mtdy-n3

    If I wanted it as a light desktop for my self I would put in 8gb ram (for 12Gb total) and a bigger SSD. But for the kids, I think these will be fine.
    I have ordered a mini PCI-E wifi card. We will see if I can get that working. They are like $10. I don't need to upgrade the video, these won't be used for 3d gaming (at least by me). However, if they did have a PCIE slot it would be nice as you could turn it into a file server or network router or similar. I am curious because the GX-420CA is listed as supporting ECC ram on the Wikipedia page.

    These are about 3 times as CPU powerful as the T610. With better integrated graphics.
     
  5. power

    power Member

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    i wasn't saying get a 610, it was just an example.
     
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  6. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    An interesting idea!

    A few years back I bought my daughter a HP Stream laptop with 2GB RAM and a 32GB eMMC. It was dog slow when it tried to run flash (which I lot of kids webpages game stuff does) but was more than useable for Office apps and general browsing...

    Of course, the reality was that she never used it and it's now sitting gathering dust, partly because she had a hand-me-down iPad which was far better on battery and was easier for her to use.

    These days I have a couple of extra accounts on the Wifes iMac for the Kids to use, it's a far more powerful machine and works well for what they want, I do like that they are getting exposure to other OSs than Windows which they get at school. If I needed to build a machine I'd be tempted to try a Raspberry Pi4 for something a little different again, although I do wonder if I'd run into the same issues I had with the HP Steam with a lack of power.


    Do you have these Dell machines yet? Can you comment on how they run as stand alone Windows boxes? I've been considering getting moving a VM to a dedicated machine and one of these looks like a nice and cheap option with low power consumption!
     
  7. power

    power Member

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    if I sat my current work laptop in front of you unless I told you it was you wouldn't know it was a thin client.

    In HP land, the W7 machines and up are all quite capable (even the older XP based machines are better than most ppl realise). Especially with an OS that has all the bullshit stripped from it and the W10 SKU is an LTSB/C variant called IoT.
     
  8. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    The listing from earlier in the thread lists Windows 10 Pro, but you've mentioned Windows 10 IoT which leaves me a little confused. Are these machines running (or capable of running) a stock x86/x64 version of Windows 10 Home/Pro or only the IoT variant? Even then, what's the difference? Is there any limitation on what can be installed onto those systems in reality? It seems it's more about removing unwanted guff and notifications not needed in IoT implementations, but if it otherwise allows for a full Windows experience for installed apps thats probably pretty perfect for what I want this machine for.... maybe IoT is the better option even for my own desktop!
     
  9. power

    power Member

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    they are capable of installing it, but the right one comes with LTSB/C license installed and images are downloaded from the HP FTP.
     
  10. harrye30

    harrye30 Member

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    I have a 610 with full wangblows 10 in the garage driving 2 1080p monitors and a tv.
    It does fine.

    I have a 620 running kodi in the bedroom, again, no real issues.

    For what you're doing I don't think it will be an issue.
     
  11. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    Why not build a Raspberry Pi, as from what I can tell ReadingEggs is just a website, setup the Pi as a Kiosk mode linux, that just lets them use the browser and whitelist the sites they can go to, just a different approach.
     
  12. syx

    syx Member

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    Chromebook, best thin client for kids.
     
  13. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Lots of talk of upgrading RAM and licensing in here. First question from me is: does it *need* Windows for this site and the associated reading egg thingies? If not, Linux that puppy and screw licenses and bloated RAM requirements.

    Lubuntu -> boot to user account and launch the site automatically. You'll use 128MB of RAM for Linux, 2GB for bloaty Chrome, and plenty to spare.

    And if you've never used Linux, this is the perfect learning opportunity!
     
  14. power

    power Member

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    there are linux variants for those that want them. ThinPro.
     
  15. dragokahn

    dragokahn Member

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    I did this for my Kids a couple/few years ago as a temporary measure.

    The solution i used was Raspberry Pi 3's running WTWare OS to RDP to a Windows 10 machine on boot.

    I then did the Hack to Windows 10 that lets you have more then one remote desktop session at a time running on it.
     
  16. chook

    chook Member

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    It probably does need Windows. I am constantly arguing with my son's school about how they are teaching specific software skills and not actual concepts.

    EDIT: Yep, Windows 7 and OSX 10.9 only. WTF?

    https://readingeggs.com.au/technical-requirements
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
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  17. power

    power Member

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    seems like a lot of effort for something you can achieve with a cheap TC.
     
  18. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Ditto. My kids' primary school "teaches iPads" as their technology courses. What in the actual fuck?

    Ugh. When your intention is to make something globally accessible, rule #1 is reduce the barrier to entry as much as possible. This is a fail.
     
  19. chook

    chook Member

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    My instinct tells me that those OS requirements are genuine too. When my son was in primary school I built him an old Linux box so that he could develop some computer use skills. Mathletics didn't work because it used some kind of shitty ActiveX control.
     
  20. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I'm sure that will go swimmingly for them when Microsoft drops IE for their Chromium-based Edge browser in the coming months.
     

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