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NX - A Revolution In Network Computing?

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the one-network-to-bind-them-all dept.

KDE 404

Anonymous Coward writes "Judging from this interview, it looks like KDE developers have found a new toy to add to their desktop's networking capabilities. They claim to be able to cram a fullscreen KDE session -- KMail for mailing, Konqueror for file management, Mozilla for web browsing and OpenOffice for word processing -- into a 40 KBit/sec modem connection without losing responsiveness for the user experience. At aKademy, the 9 day KDE Community World Summit, a group of core developers started to work on NX/FreeNX integration to help facilitate the "re-invention of the KDE desktop environment" for KDE4. Knoppix-3.6 is the first Linux distribution to ship an integrated FreeNX server (created by Fabian Franz) with the NoMachine NX Client."

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Educate me. (3, Insightful)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120886)

Is this on top of a remote X display, or in place of one?

Re:Educate me. (1)

merlin_jim (302773) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120972)

It seems to be an alternate way to pass messages back and forth.

I don't know if you've noticed but remoteX doesn't work in a bandwidth constrained environment. They're claiming that this does.

I think the app has to be NX-aware for it to work, however...

Re:Educate me. (4, Informative)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121222)

I think the app has to be NX-aware for it to work, however...

I don't think you're right on that point. I downloaded the Knoppix3.6 iso with Bittorrent almost a week ago and I've been using Fabian's NX server the whole time since then. It gives you everything you get in a regular Knoppix KDE desktop. You can burn DVDs using K3B from a machine in another room among other things I've been doing lately.
I just wish there was some way to make it work at boot time so I could ditch my KVMs.
I did see that small /. thread on hardware IP KVMs the other day though. Sounded great, but I don't have one to play with. But hey if KVM over IP works for hardware, why not software. Sounds crazy, but you never know.

Edumacation right here. (4, Informative)

UnderScan (470605) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121031)

Introduction to NX technology [nomachine.com]
A brief introduction to NX motivation and technology
This document outlines the background and the design decisions that guided NX development. It explains why NX is different from similar technologies and states the goals the NX project is set to pursue.

Teacher (aka non-commercial Tutor) here. (3, Interesting)

SlashdotTroll (581611) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121057)

This is using KDE's widgets; the article does not conclude with any reasonable technical confrontation of the X11 protocol. The feature is KDE can be used to minimize the Xlib transport layer by using only widgets. It is a verry impressive feat, the general purpose of X11, but this is using KDE libraries which are slowly demanding more system resource overhead just to run. The largest gripe I have with KDE is it is more difficult to jump between KDE widget context and Xlib context. I've been able to program using Xlib and Xtk for the past 4.5 years and all the bloat in KDE is justified, but I fear X protocol will slowly be over-ruled to accept legislated features previously extensions. X is meant to be a verry quick drawing canvas for low-bandwidth connections. Next thing you and I will know is they will be calling it XKDE or XGNOME.

Re:Educate me. (5, Informative)

hummassa (157160) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121142)

It's a remote graphics protocol based on X11, but with considerably less round-trips, due to aggressive caching on both sides.

Trying to be more plain:

imagine the work when you click on a button (exaggerated):

server: move your mouse position to x1, y1
client: move your mouse cursor to x1, y1
.
.
.
server: move your mouse position to x2, y2
client: move your mouse cursor to x2, y2; highlight button(button 1)
.
.
.
server: move your mouse position to x3, y3;
client: move your mouse cursor to x3, y3;
server: mouse down
client: display pressed button
server: mouse up
client: display pressed button (client will now do the ON_CLICK event)

under NX:

server: button(button 1) was clicked
client: does the ON_CLICK event

It's a "thin client"; it replaces nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121175)

Every five years, this "thin client" hype floats to the surface and stinks for a while. It's been happening ever since dumb terminals went the way of the woolly mammoth.

Reality check: Compare the total cost of forty "thin clients" and one mega-brute server to do all the work, to the total cost of forty commodity beige boxes on desktops and two more beige boxes in the server room for file serving and Exchange. The forty-two commodity boxes are cheaper.

That's it for today, class. Tomorrow, we'll investigate the abnormal psychology of the freaks (e.g. Larry Ellison) who can't do the simple arithmetic outlined above.

Re:It's a "thin client"; it replaces nothing. (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121250)

There are other advantages to the centralized-server model; the biggest one being that you really only need to maintain one box.

Re:It's a "thin client"; it replaces nothing. (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121293)

While you are probably correct in the general case, in this case the FreeNX tech allows 25 full-screen KDE sessions to be run on a commodity box with 1GB of RAM and a 3GHz CPU.

This is not the same as running forty commodity boxes and a "megabrute server".

This is the same as running 26 commodity boxes and supporting 25 users on one more commodity box.

Do the math.

No one is saying this is going to replace desktop PC's. There are specific places where this tech would be very useful (library patron PC's used to access the Net or shop-floor PC's, for example.) Thin clients have their uses.

I agree that thin clients have been overhyped by people like Ellison, but this is still useful tech. As the developers suggest, this can aid migration from Windows to Linux by allowing companies to run mission-critical Windows-only software on their current Windows servers and allow Linux clients to access it - and vice versa.

Not Any Time Soon (-1, Offtopic)

TheAmazingBob (801587) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120890)

NX will be useless until a sufficient portion of programs support it. This "revolution" is going to be a slow one. Teaching programmers how to successfully implement NX routines is going to take forever. Just look at Microsoft's "re-education" program for developers...

quit whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10120958)

er ... um .. I mean quit wine-ing [winehq.com] .

Re:Not Any Time Soon (1)

XMyth (266414) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120994)

Are you sure this can't be implemented at the toolkit level? That would certainly make adoption easier.

Re:Not Any Time Soon (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120999)

Just have one of the heads of the KDE project get on a stage at a Linux expo sweating and chanting, "Developers!"

Re:Not Any Time Soon (3, Informative)

dago (25724) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121009)

Warning : Acronym Collision

The correct moderation to apply to the parent post is either "Offtopic" or "Funny", the latter being more my choice

Quick karma whoring :
- AMD NX : No Execute, prevention of buffer overflow (stupid webpage here [amd.com] , search google for AMD NX)
- nomachine NX technology (website [nomachine.com] ), which is, functionnality-wise, the sucessor of VNC

MOD PARENT UP, MOD GRANDPARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121048)

Before more people are confused by this acronym crap.... KTHX

Re:Not Any Time Soon (2, Funny)

asoap (740625) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121298)

You forgot NX - Nitrous Express [nitrousexpress.com] .

Really it should be NE, but that's not as Xciting.

-Derek

Re:Not Any Time Soon (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121055)

NX will be useless until a sufficient portion of programs support it.

You are completely right in that, mate!

However, please take note of the fact that virtually all (meaning 100%) of all X11 programs already support it. I have used NX successfully with KDE (each single damn program of the lot), GNOME (most of their programs -- I have abandoned GNOME as my default desktop a year ago), ICEwm, OpenOffice.org, Acrobat Reader, Mozilla, Firefox, Abiword, and a bunch of others. They all worked.

The reason is simple: NX uses the X11 protocoll (which each X11 program uses) and translates it into its own NX calls to bridge the remote link distance. After the bridging, it re-translates it into X11 and, voila!, the local X-server displays the X app's GUI without a hitch...

Re:Not Any Time Soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121071)

You're an idiot. This is not the NX that Microsoft and AMD were touting. This is an X11 protocol compressor.

Re:Not Any Time Soon (3, Interesting)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121108)

I use NX nearly daily. Its just like VNC, just a million times faster and its more clear, so stop whining. NX isn't useless, I've used every desktop program that you can name with it, nothing special needs to be done. I installed the deb with dpkg, added a user, went to work the next day and connected home. Literally nothing else had to be done, it is such an easy setup, I was very impressed. Oh and did I mention, its fast, really fast. I could hardly tell I wasn't sitting at home. Some other cool things you can do with it are printer fowarding and I think something with file transfers, although I haven't used either because I haven't needed to.
Regards,
Steve

Re:Not Any Time Soon (2, Informative)

je4d (254907) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121166)

Nomachine's NX doesn't need applications or toolkits to be reimplemented to run over it. It works by applying intelligent compression to the X protocol, so any X application can run over it unmodified - this includes KDE, Mozilla, GNOME, whatever.

The KDE integration is only in the kNX client, which takes advantage of KDE technologies such as kwallet, dcop, etc (unlike the 'official' NX client which is pure qt).

Great! (3, Interesting)

natron 2.0 (615149) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120893)

This should give them a boost in the thin client workstation office enviroment! It would be interesting to see this in action.

Re:Great! (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121045)

Yeah! Because that market share has really taken off! Okay, so the ever-shrinking modem-using public will finally access co-lo applications much faster.

What is NX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10120896)

What is NX? Because if it is NS mixed with MX it surely is a revolution in DNS computing!

Forrest Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10120899)

I once walked through the forrest and saw a post.

Kan we say marKeting? (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120903)

All participants of that BoF left the meeting with a very excited feeling inside. KDE is going to really take on the struggle for the corporate desktops now, with weapons like NX/FreeNX aboard...

Are they inferring that corporations are all going to finally move to the thin-client type computing that was hyped 10 years ago? I still really doubt that it's going to happen as people are so entrenched in their current mode of deploying applications. MS Office still beats KOffice and OpenOffice and unfortunately I really don't think this is going to change that.

I read through the "interview" (which was more like a press-release-hype-sheet) and I didn't see anything that impressed me as far as non-marketing ad-speak. I haven't seen the source code (and probably won't) but I am confused as to why it must be in Bash scripts and a bunch of libraries. Why can't it just be standard code. I was especially confused by the comment "it's in shell so that everyone can contribute and make our code better." That's odd, I didn't think the Bash code did all that much if you are using libraries of machine code, etc...

I guess I will wait till someone reviews the actual code in use. Maybe after that they will rename it something less Kish than AKademy, blah.

Re:Kan we say marKeting? (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120949)

Does MS Office 97 beat OO1.1.2?

Because we're at MS Office 97 on nearly 10K desktops. (upgrade would be in the millions (which we don't have. so there we are)

Re:Kan we say marKeting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10120992)

I'd say yours is a good case for Open Office. Do you have the wherewithall to deploy and crosstrain your users?

Re:Kan we say marKeting? (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121174)

>Do you have the wherewithall to deploy and crosstrain your users?

No.

Re:Kan we say marKeting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121066)

I run both and can uneqivocally state that Office 97 is superior to OO in terms of memory usage and speed although the feature sets between the two are comparable. A spreadsheet that causes Excel 97 to have a working set size of 10 megs causes OO to have a working set size of 56 megs. Chances are, if you are still running Office 97, you are probably still using lower end hardware so memory consumption can be an issue.

What bothers me the most about the current version of OO is that it still stumbles on all but the most simply formatted word documents.

Re:Kan we say marKeting? (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121219)

>Chances are, if you are still running Office 97, you are probably still using lower end hardware so memory consumption can be an issue.

Actually, not older hardware. All within 2 years (all win2Kpro). Just no money to update.

I mean, we have the money. Our shareholders would like us to do something more productive with it.

I hear you about OO's import. But that's also okay. We'd run both, since we've paid for 97. (btw, I love "save to PDF" in OO)

Re:Kan we say marKeting? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121196)

Yes, it does. In all respects except for cost (which you've already shouldered).

Office 97 is probably the most widely used version out there. They haven't enhanced it in subsequent releases enough to make people upgrade (not much left to enhance, really.)

Re:Kan we say marKeting? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121203)

Because we're at MS Office 97 on nearly 10K desktops. (upgrade would be in the millions (which we don't have. so there we are)

As a general rule, MS Office N-1 beats MS Office N.

Re:Kan we say marKeting? (2, Informative)

hummassa (157160) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121258)

1. no it does not.
2. we (www.almg.gov.br = Minas Gerais [3rd largest economy of Brasil] State House) just switched 700 copies of MSoffice97 for OOo1.1.2; with NO PAIN at all.

Just do it. Proper training, some care, ok, but just do it.

[]s

Re:Kan we say marKeting? (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121010)

Considering I am running 400 remote x thin client terminals on the shop floor I guess the answer is yes, thin client is cool. Now of course we run bluecurve desktops and don't care much about the network efficency but I have actually tried NX and it is damn responsive over slow links.

Re:Kan we say marKeting? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121079)

KDE is dead in the water on the corporate desktop. Novell, IBM, Sun... all GNOMErs. Only the slashdot editors and the zealots seems to think KDE has any future. It was and is crippled by the hugely expensive annual licenses required by developers to use the Qt toolkit.

Destroying NoMachine's business model (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10120907)

FreeNX and KDE are destroying NoMachine's business model for sure....

Re:Destroying NoMachine's business model (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121176)

NoMachine begs to differ as they actually helped in the developement of FreeNX.

So... (3, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120912)

This is PCAnywhere for linux?

I run sessions over shit dial-up connections, like 16.8kbit or so, and the responsiveness is decent. If I get a full 56.6 connection, it's really good.

I know we cheerlead for OSS around here, but is this a brand new amazing wonderful thing, or just another VNC protocol? And does KDE need more stuff? The K is for "Kram it all in!"

Re:So... (1)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120956)

PC Anywhere is a slow piece of shit, don't tell me you get decent responsiveness with decent resolution on a 56.6k line.

Or maybe you have different standards than anyone.
RDP is decent, PC Anywhere = piece of shit.

Re:So... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121083)

Maybe you haven't used it recently (version 10+), or havent paid for the commercial licensed version, and have the crippled crap edition, or you don't know how to tweak it?

With the type of stuff I use it for, 4 color mode is fine, and it works well. I've found PCAnywhere's file transfer mode is faster than ftp too.

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121217)

PCAnywhere for linux is called X11. It's been around for years and years, this is just KDE taking advantage of a protocol to speed that up.

The wierd thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10120923)

I can't seem to run it natively without losing responsiveness for the user experience. On a 2 gig chip with one of the latest NVidia video cards out there.

Why does it flicker so? Windows XP doesn't do that.

Re:The wierd thing is... (2, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121163)

I was thinking the same thing.

Seems the answer to make KDE a nice responsive desktop is simple. Get two phone lines, and two modems. Phone yourself, open NX in a gnome session, connect to a KDE session. Hooray!

Ask martinalderson@gmail.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10120925)

martinalderson@gmail.com [mailto] doesn't think it's much of a revolution. martinalderson@gmail.com [mailto] would love to hear your thoughts on the matter though.

P.S: I am not affiliated with martinalderson@gmail.com [mailto]

Konquerer, Mozilla, and KMail... (-1, Offtopic)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120926)

Doesn't Mozilla serve the purpose of both KMail and Konqueror? Why include all three when you could have one or the other two?

Re:Konquerer, Mozilla, and KMail... (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120990)

Mozilla doesn't have a file manager that integrates well into the desktop env as a whole.

Re:Konquerer, Mozilla, and KMail... (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121059)

You can't use Moz as a file browser.

The example that he stated was to use Konqueror for file management & Moz. for Web Browser.

Re:Konquerer, Mozilla, and KMail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121077)

Yes, but they chose the best tool(s) for the job to show a more realistic scenario. They could have also used Konqui as a web browser but they didn't.

Mozilla is a great browser, but it has some problems--currently, printing (on Linux at least) is pretty craptastic. I occasionally like to print out mail, and when I do, I prefer it non-mangled. KMail does this nicely. Konqui can browse local directories, but also handles SFTP connections seamlessly (which Mozilla does not)

Frankly the weakest link in the mix is Mozilla as a web browser (because of the printing issues, but also because of poor desktop integration). However, even though Konqui prints okay and integrates into the desktop perfectly, it's got much more major problems (some plugins don't work, the home button doesn't work, CSS support is still a bit weird, etc).

wow distributed computing (1)

bkruiser (610285) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120927)

who would have thought!?!? No need to send Aunt Martha to personal computer administrator classes at the local community center!

wow distributed computing-Slim-fast for computers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121118)

I'm wondering how well this will work with other low-bandwith technologies? Like say FLEX or XUL.

Wait isn't open source supposed to only copy (2, Funny)

number6x (626555) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120934)

Wait isn't open source supposed to only copy already existing closed source technology?

How dare they be innovative.

Next thing you know linux will have a measurable and growing market share.

Then software like apache, eclipse, and jboss will be used in enterprise applications.

Oh, wait...

Never mind!

Re:Wait isn't open source supposed to only copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10120975)

Wait isn't open source supposed to only copy already existing closed source technology?

Remote Desktop, PCAnywhere, various others... Where exactly are you taking this?

Re:Wait isn't open source supposed to only copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121025)

He's just another karma whore trying to look funny

Two words... (-1, Flamebait)

Illserve (56215) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120941)

bull...shit

I'm willing to bet these aren't power users with 25 windows open at once multitasking like it's going out of style.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10120943)

Great, I have just downloaded Knoppix 3.4 using 20 KBit/sec modem connection with losing responsiveness for the user experience... Just my luck, I guess...

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10120969)

You must be new here.

More like a revolution in (1, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120947)

Network Komputing

/ob joce

Re:More like a revolution in (1)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121300)

Don't you mean kNetwork Komputing? (the k is silent)

How possible (2, Insightful)

elgatozorbas (783538) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120954)

How can you transfer a browser's contents over a 40kB line when its own internet connection can be a lot higher?
Z

Re:How possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121020)

Apologies if your native language is not English, but I just don't understand what you're asking. Please elucidate.

Re:How possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121241)

How can you transfer a browser's contents over a 40kB line when its own internet connection can be a lot higher?

Anything is possible you know ,-)

Seriously, there is alot of redundant data going down the pipe of a vnc-session. Here's a few quick optimizations I can come up with:

1) Send graphic commands on what has changed, not just bitmaps. VNC does this a bit, but on the wrong level (see next point).
2) Send changes in icons and WM/toolkit, a higher abstraction level than pure X. This will reduce alot of redundant data.
3) Cache non-changing elements, especially bitmaps that pop in and out of vision (eg. maximize and minimize), but also things like menubars and other parts of the toolkit. This will make it faster the longer you use it! Handy!
4) Going beyond: Download code for things that can be done locally. Eg. Pictures can be downloaded separately if you have a huge pipe locally. If it's more effective, the whole browser could be downloaded locally.. This last point doesn't really apply so much to browsers, but could make a handy semi-thin environment to administrate without requiring a fat pipe and fat server in one location.

Been there, done that (4, Interesting)

xcomputer_man (513295) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120963)

Evas [enlightenment.org] -based apps (including the upcoming E17 window manager) perform extremely well over remote X connections, using traditional Xlib. I have tested this myself, over remote connections Evas-based apps are at least 10 times more responsive than GTK/QT apps, using the same traditional X11 connection. Evas is designed to minimize roundtrips to the server so everything gets drawn the first time. And there's a new canvas server in CVS called Evoak that allows remote canvas sharing among applications, complete with gzip compression etc....NX probably won't even be able to touch it performance wise.

Re:Been there, done that (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121036)

Yes, I'm a bible-thumping Christian. You got a problem with that?

Yeah, you're going to vote for Bush. I have a real problem with that. Keep your religious value-systems out of government and keep it off of Slashdot.

Re:Been there, done that (1)

dago (25724) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121119)

Does that works for any random X application without modification ?

thin clients revisited (5, Interesting)

cjsteele (27556) | more than 10 years ago | (#10120988)

My employer had previously deployed 2,000 modified NetBSD thin clients from IBM that ran off of 200+ Linux boxes that provided the OS, print and storage facilities, but let the thin client do the grinding on the apps... only difference here is that the thin client doesn't grind on the data, just renders screen shots. Fact of the mater is, both approaches are highly manageable ways to provide low-cost computing to the masses...

How's that different from how things work now??? (-1, Flamebait)

KZigurs (638781) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121001)

And? What, particulary, have they archieved? Or, rather, who the fuck is going to use something like this.

Here is a subtle message for all unix addicts out there, listen carefully, I'll try to whisper: NETWORKED CLIENTS ARE NO MORE, NETWORKED CLIENTS ARE NO MORE, NETWORKED CLIENTS ARE NO MORE.

What all those developers urgently need is someone who has a clue what users are looking for. Like, for instance, there is no wonder they crammed their tiny/whiny kde in a 40kb/sec modem connection. After all, X11 underlying model already does it, regardless of what machine you are using - dual cpu Athlon 64 or i486SX.

What I would call an archievement would be a KDE GUI that wouldn't feel like being VLC'ed over 40kb/s modem connection on my p4-2.8/512/MatroxG400DH desktop.

Re:How's that different from how things work now?? (3, Interesting)

codepunk (167897) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121042)

Have you actually tried a connection using NX? I have and I can tell you that is damn responsive remote x even over a slow link. I run 400 remote x terminals on a lan and it is not much use for me but if I needed to support road warriors I would not hesitate to use it.

Re:How's that different from how things work now?? (1)

KZigurs (638781) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121134)

Are you trying to tell me it has better user action response over KDE when I'm sitting at my desktop?

Roll /.'ed comments (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121006)

[Insert something about their new application and bandwidth problems here]

Pr0n (0, Troll)

Ravensign (134410) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121014)

How much bandwith does that leave for the pr0n stream?

Re:Pr0n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121272)

The demand for pr0n bw, Bp, increases as t->orgasm at To=0. This leaves the application bandwidth, Ba:

LIM Ba = Bt - Bt/To as To->0

Ba = Bt ( 1 - 1/To)

As you can see, this creates a discontinuity at To=0

Wow! Innovation! (4, Funny)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121016)

Soon, maybe they'll invent "dumb terminals" that run all their programs off a central, "mainframe" computer!

I don't believe (2, Insightful)

Snaapy (753650) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121023)

into a 40 KBit/sec modem connection without losing responsiveness for the user experience.

I'd like to see any responsive image data over 40 Kbit line. Let's imagine some icon takes 64x64 pixels and is crunched to 4KB compressed. It still takes 0,5 seconds per an icon to load. Opening a start menu, waiting... please be patient.

Anyone who have surfed on a modem knows it's far from real-time responsiveness.

Re:I don't believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121098)

Let's imagine some icon takes 64x64 pixels Let's imagine you testdrive that new technology. Let's assume you stop commenting on technical issues by basing your words just on your "imagination". Let's be sure that you would be surprised by the result. Let's hope you comment again after you have tested NX....

Re:I don't believe (1)

omega9 (138280) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121225)

Let's imagine you had a clue what you talking about...

You could've made it easier on yourself and just said "I've never used this stuff so I have NFC what I'm talking about."

Yay, another overloaded acronym.... (4, Funny)

Xentax (201517) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121043)

I know we're running out of possible acronyms that don't already stand for something, but releasing two new 'overloads' for an acronym almost at the same time sucks.

(If you're wondering, we have this NX client software, and the NX 'No-eXecute' flag on CPU's to help contain the threat posted by stack and heap overflow vulnerabilities)

We're running out of TLA space a lot faster than IPv4 space. Not as big a deal, I know, but just wait until companies start trying to brand/trademark acronyms or initialisms (for the purists out there) when there's already existing meanings for their choices...

Xentax

Re:Yay, another overloaded acronym.... (1)

currivan (654314) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121169)

What a great name for software. Does this remind anyone else of the "No Va" urban legend?

Microsoft had this for years :-) (3, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121054)

You can do RDP over analog modem and things are pretty darn snappy. And you could do this since Windows NT4 Terminal Server edition. Remote desktop comes stock with NT OSs since Windows 2000.

Re:Microsoft had this for years :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121161)

Remote desktop is worthlessly slow and just sends screen captures.

Bullshit (1)

melted (227442) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121200)

Try it. You'll be surprised how zippy it is, even over analog modem. Contrary to popular belief it DOES NOT just send screen captures.

Re:Microsoft had this for years :-) (3, Informative)

omega9 (138280) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121192)

To clarify the parent a little,

The client side comes stock on NT, 2k Pro and Server*, XP Pro and 2k3 Server*. However the MS RDP client is downloadable for free from their site.

The server side only comes stock on NT,2k, and 2k3 Servers, not the workstation OSs. And even then, you have get a single "stock" license, so no more than one connection at a time unless you shell out some bucks.

Re:Microsoft had this for years :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121275)

*Sigh*
Why don't you guys try to read what it is actually all about? Believe it or not, but NX actually supports and speeds up RDP-

Yeah, that's a GREAT idea... (-1, Offtopic)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121078)

Because we all know how expensive hard drives are nowadays!

Different than X or VNC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121085)

More than just VNC or X. Redirects sound, printers, works with RDP and other protocols, reduces X round trips, provides security.
Finally catching up to Citrix and Terminal Services.

I'm confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121109)

When you say "40 KBit/sec" is that 40 KiloBits or 40 KDE-style Bits?? Aargh!

Mom & Pop solution (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121115)

This sounds like a perfect application to use with Mom & Pop computers.

You can run a proxy server to help filer out all the "Bad Stuff" (TM) on the Internet, and you know it won't be a support nightmare.

Less bandwidth intensive then a terminal session, but less apps too. Might be a good compromise.

Without losing responsiveness?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121124)

You can't possibly tell me they've found some way to totally circumvent latency issues.

Just wanted to say kudos to NoMachine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121133)

Not only did they develop some obviously impressive piece of technology, they also embraced open source from the beginning.

Not only did they license all their base technology under the gpl, they also helped the KDE and Knoppix devs to implement open source versions of NXserver and NXclient that are in direct competition to the products NoMachine is selling.

One can only hope that their bet that open sourcing their technology will ultimately pay of for the company will be right. (I'm pretty sure it will be, btw.)

Kudos once again.

slashdotted... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121141)

how come every site linked to in a news story gets slashdotted but /. never gets slashdotted?

Not only MS, but Citrix too... (2, Informative)

Vexler (127353) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121171)

An earlier poster replied that Microsoft has had this for years by using RDP. That configuration is not bad, but I would say that the Citrix ICA/IMA architecture has that beat, and more. (ICA/IMA is better at handling burst traffic, and compression is more efficient.)

My company deployed more than twenty-five thin clients in addition to many PC-based virtual sessions that allow the back-end servers to do the number crunching. Each thin client session uses no more than 7-8 Kbps to maintain screen updates, and responsiveness is limited only by the capabilities of the servers and the network bandwidth available.

No it is not. (1)

SlashdotTroll (581611) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121185)

KDE is not a library limited by X11 and is slowly revealing that it can be a Desktop replacement for X11 because it can be used with X11. KDE does not efficiently use X11. X11's transport protocol through X11 is only providing the primitives abstracted by KDE's widgets. The only popular credential to KDE is that it can provide a low-bandwidth complete remote desktop with KDE Drag'N'Drop through a low-bandwith duplex network session while having X11-aware syntax. I've been a Xlib programmer for the passed 4.5 years and protocol-efficiency of X11 is only exhibited by Motif. KDE has all the purpose in a Desktop, yet there are many users that find using proprietary widgets is difficult to switch between context with Xlib. Load the X packet session effeciently is more efficiently accomplished when using strait Xlib. I hope KDE, and not either GNOME, ever try to legislate core changes to X protocol and they should stay as X module extensions.

Imagane an OpenMosix cluster of these. (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121215)

No really if it could be used like a terminal sever with an openMosix cluster it could be very nice. You need more power you just add more CPUs to the cluster.

This Statement Is Not Supported By The Article (4, Informative)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121223)

"They claim to be able to cram a fullscreen KDE session -- KMail for mailing, Konqueror for file management, Mozilla for web browsing and OpenOffice for word processing -- into a 40 KBit/sec modem connection without losing responsiveness for the user experience."

No, they do NOT. The interviewed persons state that a responsive NX session requires a 40kbps link, and about 25MB of RAM. This allows you to run a KDE session remotely and also allows non-KDE apps like Open Office to run remotely.

They do NOT say that you can cram ALL of those programs SIMULTANEOUSLY INTERACTING into that 40kbps.

Obviously they mean you can interact with all of those programs over that link - one program at a time, switching between programs, just like any other remote-control software.

They estimate that a modern PC with 1GB of RAM and a 3GHz CPU could support 25 simultaneous fullscreen KDE remote sessions, crapping out at 35 sessions.

As for usefulness of this technology, they list at least nine scenarios and benefits of using it.

One of which is that it eases Linux adoption on the desktop by allowing Linux clients to access Windows apps running on Windows servers and vice versa, thereby allowing companies to migrate from Windows to Linux at their own pace and not forcing them to find equivalent Linux programs for various Windows-only mission-critical programs. In other words, migration doesn't have to be all or nothing.

Is this too hard for ./'ers to comprehend?

where's the low-cost terminal? (0)

chipace (671930) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121224)

I'm still waiting for the instant-on, 1600x1200 (85Hz @16bit color) vga, fast ethernet, 3 port usb (2.0) box that sells for under $100, is the size of an external modem and consumes under 15watts.

I would like to be able to attach my usb keychain or external HD/DVD+R to pull files off the fileserver (@100Mbits/s). Also, an inexpensive usb sound device to power headphones would be nice too.

If this works... (2, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121227)

...it's a Windows killer. I know, I know people have been saying that for years. But look, at the pace of development and innovation in Linux v Windows. Okay, maybe a killer, but it will most definitely be a nudge toward nitch market status for Windows.

Now that Shorthorn is starting to look like XP Rebloated, 5% of companies are contemplating a complete switch to Linux and 36% are considering some type of OSS introduction, this could push quite a few more over the edge.

Great idea.

Previous Slashdot article (1)

Krunch (704330) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121279)

Here is a link [slashdot.org] to a previous Slashdot article about FreeNX (without the IT theme).

Replacing Thin Clients (3, Interesting)

Bravo_Two_Zero (516479) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121285)

It's interesting, but until there are thin clients (no, not the roll-your-own-with-old-PCs variety) that support the protocol, it's a hard sell in a lot of environments. M$ Terminal Services is a pain, and isn't cheap, but we can deploy thin clients with ready RDP sessions in addition to VT220 and tn5250 emulation (including passthru printing). I could do all that with a PC running *nix, but the PC hardware isn't a book-sized device that churns away happily in a dusty warehouse.

It's not a knock by any means. I'd love to centralize the client apps and just serve sessions over 40kbps. But even that is a little expensive over a 128/256kbps frame relay connection. It's nice. It will be useful. But doesn't sound like something to adopt in a real, low-bandwidth, network computing environment at the moment. I'd love to hear that I'm wrong and missing the point, because I'd *love* to replace MS WTS as well as local PCs in our warehouses.

You can actually try it out at NoMachine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10121301)

http://www.nomachine.com/testdrive.php

The guys at NoMachine will probably want to kill me for posting this on /.
But as a lot of people seem to be very sceptical I just wanted to point out that you can try out the technology right here, right now.

Please be gentle.
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