The Future

April 8, 2010
        Is Thin In?
    Thin client computing is not a term that generally means much to the average user. A thin client is a machine that does not require an operating system, but connects to a Remote Desktop on another machine. Thin Client machines are common in many Enterprise organizations because once the machine is setup, managing the profiles is centralized to a server. Thin Clients can be run using Citrix, VMWare, or Windows Remote Access and all security and rights are controlled by the system's administrator.
    What makes a Thin Client better than a standard Desktop? A standard desktop must have local storage to install programs and keep files. It also makes it easy for the end user to install anything they like (iTunes, malware, and other unsavory products). A thin client does not have any local storage (hard drive) and a vast majority of models don't even have CD/DVD drives. This lack of hardware usually means that machines are durable, and rarely need to be upgraded. Best of all, Thin Clients are small, very small. Check out the JackPC. This entire machine can be installed in a standard wall jack. the only thing the user can access is the input devices.
    Will Thin Clients ever make the transition to the Home environment? I believe if the current trends with Netbooks and Nettops continue and the concept of owning a Home Server gets any traction, then yes, thin clients may one day be in America's homes. ONe bump in the road is the introduction of Web connected TVs. A TV with a connection to the web is somewhat of a compromise between thin client and Micro desktop. The TV allows users to browse the Web and stream network and web content from the couch and generally has limited functionality (ie. you cannot install programs to the TV).

April 8, 2010
        Opening Thoughts
    This section was suggested to me by a reader. The intent with this section will be to look at the now and see what it says about what the future. You are free to put as much or as little stock in the words here as you wish. I always welcome commentary, but as i have yet to figure out how to enable posting of comments by other users, please send your comments by email to or