[rescue] Sun Rays

Robert Rose rr at rits.com.au
Sat Aug 9 19:05:54 CDT 2003

At 12:53 PM 9/08/2003 -0500, Nick wrote:
>Has anyone used Sun Rays?

Yep, nice toys they are.  A lot like an xterm, but stupider.  In X 
terminology, the X server runs on the SunRay server, unlike an xterm where 
the X server runs on the xterm.  They really are just an ethernet connected 
framebuffer + keyboard, so you're replacing a room full of xterms with 
'rays, you need a much bigger Sun box to host them all.

>I picked up a few on ebay (35$ each + 15$ shipping, not a bad deal)

Damn, I'd better start looking myself.  I'm moving house soon, so 
reconfiguration of the current fleet of boxen may be required.  Maybe one 
of these in the kitchen???

>Do they require smart cards?

Nope.  If you can get hold of them, that's where you get the nice features 
like session mobility.  Sun did a demo for us where they started up an mpeg 
(the paperclip one, very nice, anyone got a copy?) on one 'ray, whipped the 
smartcard out and shoved it in another 'ray.  Said mpeg kept running on the 
server while the card was being moved between 'rays and the session 
appeared on the second 'ray within a few seconds of cart insertion.  Very nice.

>Can I get away without any licenses, or does the software
>actually check for those?

Don't know, never set them up from scratch.

>Any pitfalls?

We had problems doing windoze stuff with them (not sure if it was terminal 
services/citrix/rdp/windd/whatever) but I remember there were keyboard 
mapping problems where I think the "r" key didn't work.  Netware login 
screen was where I struck it, kinda problematic for me since userids were 
based on names.  Fiddled around a bit and got it working better, but then 
some other keys didn't work.  I left the job soon after, but it was v1.1 
software, so maybe v2 is better?

Are Sun still flogging them?  I've got to set up a new 24x7 helpdesk/call 
centre at work soon, they might be a nice way of handling shift changes.


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