03 July 2009

NComputing and Sugar

Apologies for not posting recently, but I've been really busy with various events and tasks for the summer. I just got back from NECC09, where ISTE had been nice enough to give Sugar and other FLOSS projects their own presentation room, gratis.

While assisting with the various presentations at the Open Source Center and staffing the Sugar/OLPC booth, I ran into some of the folks from NComputing. Their corporation has some similiar goals with that of OLPC, as both involve low-cost computing for the third world and elsewhere. Providing multi-seat technology, which is similar to thin-clients without the lag and network overhead, they enable multiple displays and mice to function off a single computer. Since they support both Ubuntu and SuSE Linux with their (admittedly closed) hardware, I decided to investigate their technology as a means of enhancing deployment of Sugar.

The method to activate the NComputing software (requires registration to download) is not obvious; one must navigate to the console, select "Serial Numbers" from the side menu, and then right click the empty license list and choose "Manage". Many users would not be able to do so without the manual; maybe it would be easier to prompt for a license key in the debconf install process?

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to test their software with Sugar; the most recent version of Ubuntu they support is 8.04, and I can't even insmod their kernel module on 9.04.

aside: meant to put this out an age ago, just got around to hitting "publish" today. (2009-08-16)