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Using 1 Gaming Computer For 2 People?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the quite-a-replacement-ratio dept.

PC Games (Games) 424

True Vox writes "My fiance and I have recently taken interest in City of Heroes (she's currently got a character on my account). She's got a cute little netbook, but nothing nearly powerful enough for a 5-year-old MMORPG, let alone if we take interest in Champions Online! I am reticent to buy a new gaming computer simply for what amounts to a passing phase. Has anyone had any experience using one computer to control two monitors with two sets of input devices (e.g. two keyboards and two mice, or one keyboard, one mouse, and a 360 gamepad, perhaps)? I have seen one solution that might work, but not much information from users that I can find. In short, does anyone have any experience with setups like this?"

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nope (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049435)

nope, I don't.

Crazy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049443)

You're farking batpoo crazy.

Try having sex with your Fiance instead (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049451)

...

Re:Try having sex with your Fiance instead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049531)

Not sure why modded as troll. If you get too cheap on her, she will find another geek who will buy her a separate computer, and HE will end up sharing YOUR BOX! muahahaha!

seriously? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049453)

stop being a jew and go buy a computer and a 80 dollar graphics card

Re:seriously? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049601)

I support this message.

RDP (1, Informative)

thefear (1011449) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049457)

A) Just have her remote desktop into your computer, log in as another user, and play that way
B) fiance... fiance.... SPEND TIME WITH HER

Re:RDP (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049479)

Cant do that without Windows Server. You've never been able to do that (well, it was in a beta of XP and I think in a beta of a SP once, but it got removed) on a desktop edition of Windows.

Re:RDP (4, Informative)

AnEducatedNegro (1372687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049545)

Or just use a modified termsrv.dll [wordpress.com]

Now run along kiddo, this is grown folks business.
aEN

Re:RDP (0, Troll)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049819)

Why not just link a torrent to a Win2k3 iso and crack?

Re:RDP (5, Interesting)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049509)

A tip for both you and the submitter: fiance is the groom, fiancee is the bride.

There's also an accent on the first e, but I'm not going to attempt it because Slashdot eats my unicode for breakfast.

Re:RDP (2, Funny)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049513)

A) Just have her remote desktop into your computer, log in as another user, and play that way

B) fiance... fiance.... SPEND TIME WITH HER

A) Last time I checked, RDP has trouble with accelerated video. Has this changed?

[...and why is it always about "her" wants? Get a two way relationship for heaven's sake.]

Re:RDP (1)

Trouvist (958280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049561)

Check out ThinAnywhere... its amazing. (Albeit expensive unless using it for large-scale applications)

Re:RDP (2, Informative)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049711)

i Remote desktop 4 windows 2003 servers atm, trust me no way in hell you are gonna play games over that its just way to slow to support such an operation.

Re:RDP (2)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049761)

RDP is NOT designed for 3D Games :-)

Really, the best option will be a second computer. You can buy great video cards just shy of $100, throw it in any computer with a PCI-Express slot, and be able to play CoH on pretty high settings.

Syntax error (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049465)

No closing parenthesis

Parenthetical exuberance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049467)

Perhaps you could auction your extra parentheses and buy an Alienware with the proceeds?

Computers are cheap - just get another box. (5, Informative)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049471)

Check out some of the refurbished systems available online and from places like Frys. You can get some raging deals on a solid mid-range box. Thin Client is absolutely abysmal as a gaming solution. This way you two can share a hobby and not drive each other nuts.

Re:Computers are cheap - just get another box. (5, Interesting)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049581)

"Check out some of the refurbished systems available online and from places like Frys."

Craigslist any 2+ ghz P4 1gb system for ~$100 and you should be able to play City of Heroes since that is the recommended system requirements [ign.com] . Slap in a $100 Radeon 4770 [techspot.com] (slashdot's new favorite [slashdot.org] card [slashdot.org] ) and her system will probably run better than yours.... or you can continue to waste our time. Your choice, choose wisely.

Re:Computers are cheap - just get another box. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049747)

Craigslist any 2+ ghz P4 1gb system for ~$100 and you should be able to play City of Heroes

2Ghz 1GB is in no way useful... it's my own desktop's specs. (Well, 1.9Ghz to be exact.)

There used to be a time when playing CoH with a Geforce FX5200 was pretty smooth, back in 2005. When expansions like City of Villains came out, the engine changed a lot, and all the curvy landscapes bogged the PC down even if I was alone on the nearby map, using the superspeed power. The result was my needing to run 800x600 and 16 bit color, with 3D settings at like 50% detail.

Even without Heroes, day to day operations are slow on XP SP2 (even 2.0 versions of firefox run very slowly, let alone play running are very ). I'm not sure if it's just Dell's choice of architecture for my Dimension 2300. The fact that the machine has only one processor, makes things that I could do easily 5 years ago be a pain. I'm not in favor for upgrading and replacing old machines. The problem is that with Flash and Firefox forcing you to upgrade every 8 months, you end up with a world where even clean installs are too slow to handle the overhead of all the bloat out there.

At 2Ghz, even dual core, high-demand games such as any recent MMO will not be decently playable. Even if it plays OK today, the next set of patches can bring upgrades that kill your spiffy idle megahertz.

Re:Computers are cheap - just get another box. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049787)

He will most likely have to buy a new P4 motherboard that supports PCIe as well. I only know of one (which I have bought myself) made by Biostar. It only has a single PCIe 16x slot so he can forget about using any dual slot video cards on it. He will also most likely need to buy a new power supply since most P4 power supplies will not handle the power load, which in turn probably entails buying a new case to house it in. I had to buy a new case with a 550 watt supply with 24 amps on the 12v rail just to support a Geforce 8600GTS on my old P4 system. He will probably also need to buy a monitor because I doubt a $100 computer will come with one.

In the end, it's not worth the hassle. He would be better off just running two instances on a dual core system, possibly with 2 video cards or just buying a brand new computer and giving her his old one.

Re:Computers are cheap - just get another box. (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28050007)

Or he could just get one new. Newegg sometimes has CPUs as cheap as $30, and I guarantee they're more powerful than a 2ghz P4.

CPU - $30
Mobo - $50 or $60.
PSU - $40 (I never skimp on these)
Case - $? (Anything with free shipping; those things can be heavy!)
RAM - $10 (do you need more than 1GB?)
HDD - $40 (or salvage one from an old computer)
Videocard - $70 (Newegg had 9800 GTs going for $70 yesterday!)

Brand new, and it comes to around or under $250. Toss in some peripherals like keyboard/mouse/speakers and you're at $280-$350. (depending on your tastes)

Now add a cheap monitor if you need one. (Either off craigslist, or from newegg for around $100)

Brand new doesn't actually cost that much - but I suppose $100 is better than $300.

Huh? (5, Informative)

DavidChristopher (633902) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049475)

Sounds like you're complicating things a bit.

What you're not saying here is if you want to run multiple instances of the game at the same time. What kind of PC are you using now? It had better have a LOT of horsepower. 9/10 times, the simpler solution (a second gaming PC) is the smarter answer.

Keep in mind, Windows was not designed as a 'time sharing' system - at least not in the way you're thinking.

Hardware probably isnt the real problem. (4, Informative)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049591)

It had better have a LOT of horsepower.

Meh, it isn't that difficult. I had a friend get into 5 boxing on WoW. He got a beefy system a couple of years ago, and could run 4 or 5 instances of WoW simultaneously without any real problem.

Two things to think about:

Does the game you want to play with her allow multiple instances to be run on a single computer? WoW does, but you have to have multiple WoW directories. It is possible to program a game to force full screen mode or to terminate if an existing instance is already running. Do some research on the software before buying the hardware. Find out about any tricks you need to use to get it to work.

Find out about the game controls and UI. Chances are, while it might be possible to play multiple instances on one box, it might be a PITA because of the complexity of the game to share a mouse/keyboard. Multi-boxing works in WoW because one person drives multiple characters. Two people using a single keyboard and mouse would not work very well for that game. Other games might be different.

Search google for 'Multi-boxing' + '(your game name)'. Chances are someone has already tried what you are wanting to do.

Re:Hardware probably isnt the real problem. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049823)

Does the game you want to play with her allow multiple instances to be run on a single computer? WoW does, but you have to have multiple WoW directories.

WoW runs perfectly fine with only a single directory... or at least it did for me.

Re:Hardware probably isnt the real problem. (1)

slyn (1111419) | more than 5 years ago | (#28050041)

This is correct, I don't know what the process is on a windows computer, but setting up multiple instances of WoW in a single directory on a Mac is as simple as:

1. going into the WoW application folder
2. selecting the game icon (not the launcher)
3. hitting cmd+d or right clicking and selecting "duplicate"

Doing so will make a copy of the app with a new name ("world of warcraft" becomes "world of warcraft copy" etc) that uses the same directory.

Then you just download Clonekeys [google.com] , which is mindbogglingly easy to set up, get your /follow macros set up, and your ready to multi box as many instances as your computer can handle.

Re:Hardware probably isnt the real problem. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049989)

CoX does allow you to run multiples instances, but you are going to need some hefty iron to do it.

Even better than googling would be to drop by official forums, people are pretty helpful in matters like this.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049721)

With the dawn of multi-core processors (especially quad cores) I'm not sure that is going to be so much of an issue as it might seem.

Oh dear...did he even search the internets? (4, Insightful)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049477)

Re:Oh dear...did he even search the internets? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049495)

search?q=2+players+1+computer

Woah! You almost had me fooled and made me click on that link!

Re:Oh dear...did he even search the internets? (3, Funny)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049525)

search?q=2+players+1+computer

Woah! You almost had me fooled and made me click on that link!

hah nice one anon...freud at work i s'pose.

Re:Oh dear...did he even search the internets? (1)

mobets (101759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049543)

Or maybe he tried that and was disappointed by the lack of workable solutions.

There used to be a piece of hardware that would do this. Unfortunately I don't remember who made it, what it was called, or how it connected (probably USB). It had a pair of ps/2 ports and a monitor connection.

Re:Oh dear...did he even search the internets? (3, Informative)

mobets (101759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049635)

Found it.
I was remembering a dongle, but this seems to fit functionality. Does CoH run on Win98?

http://www.dansdata.com/easyclone.htm [dansdata.com]

Re:Oh dear...did he even search the internets? (2, Insightful)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049831)

Ugh.. you know the editors are scrambling for anything when something like this makes the headlines... Why not just put up that feel-good piece about the kittens at the local bakery?

Re:Oh dear...did he even search the internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049861)

It would seem you didn't bother to check the search results. They mostly talk about 2 player games and a couple people asking what is being asked here without any resolution.

Virtual Machine? (1)

Vozmozno (985521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049483)

Although you'd probably need a monstrous rig to handle two games... maybe.

I'm really just guessing here. Maybe someone can tell me if that can be done =)

Re:Virtual Machine? (1)

DMalic (1118167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049851)

Virtual machines don't support hardware accelerated gaming. That said, most games (read: everything except Crysis) have very low requirements. MMOs are a step down below that.. the $70 2.5 ghz Wolfdales are overkill for this.

Sucks Doesn't It (0, Troll)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049487)

This was discussed the other day and I have to smile at the fact that this is the best the Linux community can come up with. You are seriously going to run City of Heroes on top of Wine on top of this other thing just to get a post on Slashdot? 1. Calling bullshit on the fiance 2. If she's real, she's sleeping with someone else 3. Linux!

Re:Sucks Doesn't It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049963)

Slashdot != Linux community.

Get a life.

Priorities, people, priorities! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049499)

Letâ(TM)s see⦠where to start⦠How about...

(a) focus on more SEX
(b) if youâ(TM)re doing SEX right, you wonâ(TM)t want or be able to game at the same time
(c) let her game whenever she wants as long as the SEX is good

Hmmm (5, Informative)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049503)

Honestly, a 5 year old game could most likely run on the cheapest of cheap systems at best buy. Go spend the 2-300$ (yes, they have them that cheap) and fish around your local recycling center/craigslist for a monitor. When you're done with the phase, sell it on craigslist for a hundred bucks as a set, or keep it as a media pc. You're on a geek website bro, there's always a use for another PC. Always.

Re:Hmmm (0)

JayAEU (33022) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049541)

In addition to buying a cheap system being the better solution, the software would cost around 200$ as well!

DANGER! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049505)

You're asking a bunch of dorks about a technical question concerning the opposite sex?

head explodes

Re:DANGER! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! (1, Troll)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049607)

"You're asking a bunch of dorks about a technical question concerning the opposite sex? "

He's obviously lying.

He's 14 and his cousin's visiting for a few weeks and left his Alienware laptop charger in LA. Any adult geek of marrying age would have a few 2+ ghz PCs lying around that a cheap video card could be thrown in, or spend $100+ on Craigslist and buy a suitable PC.

Multiseat (4, Informative)

Thalaric (197339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049511)

It's called multiseat. It's a feature that's targetted for the next version of Fedora Linux [fedoraproject.org] . I'm not sure if there's any way to do it under windows but vmware or virtualbox might help when Fedora 12 comes out.

Re:Multiseat (4, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049575)

I've been waiting for multiseat linux to gel for years. It never will. It reached its zenith in some version of RedHat several years ago and has only become more difficult to set up since then. Computers are powerful enough now, but they're also so cheap, there isn't a critical mass of interest.

And Windows? Hah. You can't even remote desktop to a Windows PC without kicking off the user at the console.

Re:Multiseat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049863)

Multi-seat Linux is next in line... Right behind Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:Multiseat (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049845)

Depending on how hard this is to do in Windows, it may be worth just running two instances of CoH in Wine. It sounds like it's playable [winehq.org] .

You want to play the game *with* her, right? (3, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049517)

Just get the cheapest inspiron from dell and dump the integrated graphics for...anything that's not integrated. Then you won't have to worry about virtual machines with direct graphics access or any other time sucking rough spots.

Also, if you can wait a few weeks, keep checking the best buy circular for the coupon code for the extra-discounted cheap dell machine.

Solution (0, Troll)

Bazouel (105242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049519)

Buy a console. Or play other kind of "games" with her ;) Or go out. I mean anything where you actually spend time interacting with each other in the real world.

Re:Solution (5, Insightful)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049643)

Can we collectively as a community agree to stop answering these with things like "here's a solution: don't do what you're trying to do"?

If you don't know the answer that's fine, but don't cloak it by telling people to go outside. If I wanted to go outside I wouldn't read Slashdot!

Re:Solution (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049679)

Ask Slashdot, Get Slashdot

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049923)

Slash dot dash dot slash dot dash dot slash dot dash dot com

Re:Solution (3, Interesting)

schlick (73861) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049805)

No. If they are trying to do something stupid or pointless the deserve to be told so. Also people should read this [catb.org] before asking questions.

Specifically this poster should have read this [catb.org] and done number 5.

Re:Solution (0, Flamebait)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049959)

Can we collectively as a community agree to stop answering these with things like "here's a solution: don't do what you're trying to do"?

Just as soon as people stop asking stupid questions that amount to "I can't be bothered googling, but...", or "I'm too cheap to do it the right way. Got any other suggestions?" or "I just bit off way more than I can chew at work but I expect a post on slashdot to overcome years lacking in knowledge and experience".

In other words, no we can't collectively agree. Hell, we can't even collectively agree on the colour of the sky on a bright sunny day. Slashdot is a diverse place, and some of us have more social skills and subtlety than others. So could YOU please stop asking questions you know won't change a thing?

Build another pc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049521)

Just heap together some old parts - a base machine should come out to be 250 - 300 if you play your cards right ( dual core athlon, 9600GT or some other cheap graphics card, a basic hd, basic case + psu combo eg. centurion 5 with psu, some cheap ddr2 ram and a 780g mobo ). or a cheap dell with an added card.

The graphics might not be able to be shared in that manner for a fairly modern game.

Not to mention that if its connected over a lan, chances are the game play is going to suck.

You could try running two instances of the game as separate users on your machine (and hook up two monitors) and use synergy to do movements or something.

wow people do multiboxing to run multiple instances, which you can look into but the thing will probably suck with a game that actually needs something kinda new.

Parentheses! (4, Funny)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049523)

Parentheses, man! Learn to use them (or if you don't want to learn how to use them, just avoid using them (unless you are just trying to be hopelessly recursive (which is not always a bad thing))).

Why ? (1)

dezent (952982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049527)

Yes i can see why you want this, but i can not understand why or how you managed to get the question posted on /. instead of just getting a second computer.

Multiseat is your solution (5, Informative)

Jeremy Visser (1205626) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049553)

It can't be done with Windows (at least not to my knowledge), but multiseat on Linux these days is a cinch. Google has tons of resources [google.com] on the topic -- basically it involves a bit of xorg.conf hacking, and then Bob's your uncle.

I myself have done it before on an amd64 dual-core 2.2GHz system with two video cards, a GeForce 7600GT on PCI-e, and a GeForce 6200 on plain PCI. Worked beautifully. I could multiplayer FlightGear [flightgear.org] by running one instance on each seat. Each user can log on and off independently with their own keyboard and mouse.

This is a (blurry and fuzzy) picture of my setup [sunriseroad.net] (1280x1024 JPG). You can see glxgears running on each screen -- handled by the same computer. Cool thing about using two video cards is that each user gets his own GPU -- running two FPSes simultaneously (I tested Nexuiz) had absolutely zero slowdown.

Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049557)

I've tried that. Tt didn't work for me. I needed a fast internet connection, and two fast computers, which defeats the whole purpose, and, despite what you may think, having two games going on at the same time often presented "resource in use" type problems and slowed down the target PC). The ideal solution would be to isolate each application somehow (VMWare ThinApp?), or get a way to run both simutaneously, and connect two mice, keyboards, and monitors to the computer, which Windows is not capable, and Linux will only be in 6 months with xinput2.

But, out of the two, Remote Desktop would be your best bet. If you can get two instances running and decent FPS (with a netbook?), please, let me know. If only the netbook could be used as the second "computer"...

Obviously fake. (5, Funny)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049565)

Gamer with a fiancee? I can't believe you guys fell for this obvious troll attempt.

Re:Obviously fake. (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049717)

If I had any moderator points right now, you'd definitely be getting one.

Re:Obviously fake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049733)

Gamer who knows a girl that will talk to him? Even harder to beleive.

Re:Obviously fake. (1, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28050033)

I don't know whether to mod you funny or let my gamer fiance, who's sitting next to me, slap you over the internet.

We both game. He's playing GalCiv2 and I'm posting on /. and waiting for my Titan Expansion to finish downloading for UT3.

Might work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049573)

I have done this for business not gaming might work.

http://www2.userful.com/products/downloads/free-2-user

For goodness sake, just buy her a REAL MACHINE. (4, Interesting)

GrpA (691294) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049577)

My wife went through a passing phase a while back ago, so I got her a quad-core P4 w/4gb/500Mb, Radeon 1950 x 2 in crossfire, 41" monitor, Wireless mouse, Keyboard, joysticks, gamepads. Basically everything I wanted in a game machine, while I only had a small netbook (although I could play Farcry on my netbook so it wasn't that bad...)

I thought it was a GREAT idea... She would get tired of it and I get a new gaming machine that she would never let me buy.

Unfortunately, she loved it so much she kept it and I didn't get to "inherit" it all after the passing phase.

But at least she didn't give me any grief over getting (more recently) a much better spec machine, because it cost me a lot less than hers did at the time.

GrpA

Re:For goodness sake, just buy her a REAL MACHINE. (1)

averner (1341263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049995)

What kind of "small netbook" could play Far Cry back when Radeon 1950s were good?? My 2 year old laptop with discrete graphics hardly handles Doom 3 (~30 fps at minimum res and low settings), and Far Cry is supposed to have similar system reqs..

Re:For goodness sake, just buy her a REAL MACHINE. (2, Funny)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28050021)

Is marriage really this antagonistic?

... I ask as a wide-eyed youngin.

Use her netbook (1)

virtualXTC (609488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049595)

Have her use remote desktop (rdc / rdp ) to gain a second session on your box.

Use a rental (1, Interesting)

Mr_Tulip (639140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049597)

If this is only a short term thing, why not rent a shiny new laptop for a few months. Not only will you be able to show it off at cafe's, but it will also be a tax-deductible expense.

As a bonus, I guess your 'partner' could use it to 'play games' while in bed.

Still not going to work... (3, Informative)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049629)

Well, aside from the fact that the software you pointed to requires a second video card, which for gaming, should be the most expensive part of the computer, you will also have the issue of game license issues due to only having one computer, running 2 instances of the same game at the same time will be very difficult if not impossible for many games. Most will check to see if multiple license keys are in use at the same time with online play, and to my knowledge, installing 2 copies of the same game on the same computer using different keys is not something that will work either since that is a use that was never designed into the games and they will usually check to se if it is already installed and basically say that it is already installed on the computer. And for most MMORPGs you are not allowed to connect two sessions/characters online at the same time, so that will be something you need to look at as well.

It is probably just better to build a cheap game rig. Simply do a budget gaming PC:
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200 Wolfdale ~$70
Asus P5QL Motherboard ~$90
4GB DDR2 RAM ~$20
320GB hard drive ~$45
DVD+/-RW ~$25
SIGMA La Vie LBYWBP computer case with 500W power supply ~45 after rebate
ATI HD4770 video card ~$100
Total: ~$395

If you need an extra copy of XP or Vista, well that will be another ~$100, and if you need a monitor, another $100-150.

Re:Still not going to work... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049703)

To explain what BeTwin does, it hooks into Terminal Services and drivers, and redirects devices to each terminal.

So, you don't need an extra copy of Windows. They somehow reimplemented terminal services to get around licensing problems (as you can see with their other product). Not sure how that works.

BeTwin only requires you get the video card and USB hub + peripherals. Which is far cheaper than what you have posted.
Cheap Video Card $40
You can get these USB hubs with integrated audio, for around $20 USD in China.

The only problem, is that BeTwin itself is really expensive. You can buy BeTwin clones in China for next to nothing.
Not sure if they're legal though.

Re:Still not going to work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049735)

It's an MMO.

Aka account-based authentication.

Aka your entire first paragraph is n/a.

Re:Still not going to work... (1)

WSOGMM (1460481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049783)

Yeah you could probably get a laptop that would run it fine for less than $400... better yet, you could get a desktop that would run it for $300. Fry's always has good deals if you don't want to build your computer. Or you can just buy one off someone else. I think either way, it would still be cheaper and easier to just get a new computer.

Re:Still not going to work... (1)

Stormie (708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049833)

running 2 instances of the same game at the same time will be very difficult if not impossible for many games. Most will check to see if multiple license keys are in use at the same time with online play, and to my knowledge, installing 2 copies of the same game on the same computer using different keys is not something that will work either since that is a use that was never designed into the games

Bear in mind that the games mentioned by the questioner are MMORPGs, which generally are friendly towards running more than one instance on one PC. You need two subscriptions, of course.

Re:Still not going to work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049879)

This comes out to about $500. Last I checked, XP home *IS* required to play Windows games, and sells for ~$199+ tax.

Regarding the multi-seat setup... well, others have already talked about it. My experience is mostly with installing the program in several places / hard drives.

Now, your point about the extra account is valid, since Heroes / Villains requires one full-paying login (subaccounts otherwise just kick out the login prior logins.) If you have that, bringing you down about $30 a month, then you also need to have some bandwidth. Heroes is normally OK on DSL, but I would recommend cable (patch days tended to get annoying below 2MB speeds)

Once you have registered the second account, you can PROBABLY install the secondary client in another folder. CoH doesn't make use of windows profiles, so it will try to dump its data folder in Program Files --BEWARE VISTA USERS, YOUR OS HATES COH BEING THERE AND YOU'LL HAVE TO INSTALL TO C:\USERS\PUBLIC\COH\ or something.
If you use the screenshot function, note that pics will be harder to manage

You'll still have to run full game patches for each install, since CoH doesn't run at all until it's fully up to date. If you stop playing for a whole month, updates will overwhelm you, but there's a workaround...One can safely copy one COH folder to a second folder and run the app from its new home. It's pretty tame, only saying something like "CoH needs to be reinstalled, please choose destination" but once you select the correct new folder, it finds the files are already there and won't really download and install stuff. The hard part is probably making each shortcut point to the right place.

Re:Still not going to work... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#28050001)

CoX will allow you to run two instances from one install. I do it all the time to xfer stuff between characters using two accounts.

A relationship obviously not built on respect (2, Interesting)

mkanoap (209584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049683)

"she has a cute little notebook.... what amounts to a passing phase."

Are this condescending to your fiance directly, or just when she is not around?

Re:A relationship obviously not built on respect (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049693)

Are you a full time femenist or just a whiner over the internets?

Re:A relationship obviously not built on respect (2, Funny)

mkanoap (209584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049751)

Are you a full time femenist or just a whiner over the internets?

Oh come on now anonymous coward. Why can't I be both?

Re:A relationship obviously not built on respect (1)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28050047)

Oh come on, you can respect someone intellectually even if they aren't knowledgeable in a specific field.

It's not as if he said "she has a cute little interest in having a career..."

VM software maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049705)

I'm at the comparing features phase of learning about virtual machines, but I was wondering if something like VMware workstation (or equivalent to run on a the AMD64) can output different VM's at the same time to a dual head setup?

Anyone know of freeware that could pull this off and not bury the system?

sage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049709)

I don't believe you have a fiance. Enjoy your Slashdot-designed basement-bargain multibox XP/Gold farming solution.

2 Girls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049719)

...1 CPU?

Priorities out of line (5, Insightful)

Vermyndax (126974) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049727)

Dude, wtf? You aren't going to be married long with this line of thinking. Get off of it and buy your woman a fantastic gaming machine and forget this crap. It shows you care. Priorities, man. She IS paying attention to your choices.

Seriously. WTH.

I bought my g/f a PC (1, Interesting)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049765)

I just put together a $200 TigerDirect (I know, may I burn in hell) special for her and slapped in a GeForce 6800. She and I play WoW together every once in a while. She doesn't have the patience to raid, but she likes questing and running the occassional instance.

Don't let her get into mmo's. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049791)

Its not worth it. She'll gain 20 pounds, lose her job, and end up blowing her 19 year old guild leader when she takes a trip to go "see her parents" so she can get some extra dkp.

I'm not bitter.

betwin (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049815)

Try betwin. I used it to share my laptop with my daughter while in the field.
You can download a demo that is time limited, you have to restart it after one Hr.
Unfortunately, I don't know how much $$$ the full version is.

Re:betwin Ouch! (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049837)

$99 a seat! See all comments above for cheaper solution.

You could have it engraved.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049847)

You can buy her the first of a series of nice machines. Sony was nice enough to engrave the (now 5th? 6th?) one I got for my Mrs. of 15 years this year (a nice Vaio mostly for watching Dr. Who), engraved on it 'At least it is not a drill.'. There you go. So, either cough up the dough, play m.p. games on a console (like the Wii perhaps?) or...take turns, one watches, the other plays, switch on every other death. Or something. Good luck!

Parentheses! (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049857)

Just get the cheapest inspiron from dell and dump the integrated graphics for...anything that's not integrated. Then you won't have to worry about virtual machines with direct graphics access or any other time sucking rough spots.Also, if you can wait a few weeks, keep checking the best buy circular for the coupon code for the extra-discounted cheap dell machine.

You need a server (2, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049875)

Desktop environments - especially WINDOWS desktop environments - will not allow two people to log onto the same hardware at the same time.

Oddly enough, most Linux distros come with an X-server installed. Just create an account for her, she can log in, then direct the video output to her own netbook, or to a second monitor, or whatever.

To do anything similar on Windows, you MUST install a Windows Server, whether it be Win2K, Win2003, or Win2008. You CANNOT log multiple people on at the same time with Win9x, ME, XP, or Vista or Win7. Microsoft won't allow it, you ain't doing it without some SERIOUS hacking.

Can it be done? (4, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049893)

Sure. Is it worth it? No.

I set up a dual user computer (1)

ethana2 (1389887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049917)

..wtih Ubuntu 8.04 and userful. I had to use the same gpu for both seats, and neither had 3d accel. Doing what you want seems like it may require having multiple identical gpu's. You may have to wait for MultiDisplay Manager to make it into Xorg, in addition to WINE supporting the game you want to play (Maybe Direct3D gallium frontend or something.) Right now? Rent a rig or something.

NComputing (1)

jrottman (1324775) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049927)

I work for an Education Management company, where we have about 57 schools across the nation. This past year we deployed NComputing (http://www.ncomputing.com). This setup involves dropping a PCI card in to a desktop computer, then connecting up to 3 additional small black box stations that have their own PS2 ports for the keyboard and mouse, and a VGA port for the monitor. The black box stations are connected back to the 'host' desktop via CAT5 cable. While this setup does effectively allow multiple users to simultaneously log in to the same machine, complications often due arise, such as software/applications that can not have multiple instances running at the same time. Also we experienced random crashing of the 'host' desktop and all connected stations.

It's never worth while (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049947)

Really, to use that program, or things like it, you still need a second video card. And even if you don't, by the time you have the input devices, speakers, screen, and game licence, what have you saved? You've saved about $400 of computer. Maybe $800.

If you planned to die tomorrow, then the $800 loss wouldn't matter. If you don't, then the $800 of extra hardware will eventually come in useful, even if she never plays again.

But most importantly, if you want her to enjoy it, and you want her to start gaming regularly, it's not going to happen when things just barely function with glue and shoestring.

Now, if you want her to have a bad experience as a way of convincing her to either not use your machine, or to buy a second machine, then you've got the right idea.

But hey, we're computer people. Advizing someone to buy another computer is about the easiest thing we can do.

I've done it. (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049961)

I've used BeTwin to run two simultaneous instances of Diablo 2 for a small LAN game. It worked okay, but at US$99 for a single license, there are probably cheaper ways to run old games.

I have an idea that isn't RDP! (2, Informative)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049985)

Multisteating Windows is crap. But heres an idea of how it could be done with Windows. This idea does not involve Virtual Machines (not suitable for games) or RDP (also NOT SUITABLE FOR GAMES FOR THE LAST BLOODY TIME!).

He could use the BeTwin software which appears to give direct graphics access (good for games) - and then to deal with the fact that a lot of games (Like WoW) don't like to run two different sessions at once (unless you are on Wine) you can also do some Application Virtualization using Sandboxie (or Novell Zenworks Application Virtualization) to keep the two games somewhat separate. To fully separate the games you might need separate NICs, but they are a dime a dozen and you could probably get one for free.

Else you could buy a computer that could handle it for $300.

Well that's my two cents.

In short (3, Funny)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049991)

In short, does anyone have any experience with setups like this?

Since you asked in short, the answer is - Yes.

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