Getting Thin

Wyse Winterm can help you shed those extra pounds.

The holidays have come and gone. If you enjoy them as much as I do, you’re probably sitting in front of your computer, your clothes a little tighter than just a few months ago, and writing New Year’s resolutions that seem oddly familiar. Well, this month I look at a product that will help you with one common goal—slimming down. No, not your body. I’m talking about thinning down your desktop computer with the Wyse Winterm Windows-Based Terminal.

Wyse Winterm is a self-contained, terminal-emulation hardware appliance that provides, over the LAN or via remote terminal, access to Citrix MetaFrame and Microsoft Terminal Services. In addition, it can also serve as a virtual terminal for many other environments (3270, 5250 and so on) or can be used as an Internet access appliance in kiosk mode.

Product Information
Winterm 3125SE
Wyse Winterm 3125SE
$399
Wyse
www.wyse.com

The device is about the size of a paperback book but is packed with a parallel port, two serial ports, three USB ports and a fast Ethernet port. Setup entails plugging in a mouse, keyboard and monitor and booting it into Windows CE. Configuring the device is extremely simple using the Windows Control Panel. You can configure touch-screen monitors, smart cards, modems and VPNs, as well as upgrade the device’s firmware through FTP. The device I evaluated has 32MB of Flash memory and 64MB of RAM, and the video resolution can be set up to 1024x768. You can also configure power-saving options such as turning off the monitor after a period of inactivity. Support for 802.11b is available as an add-on.

The Wyse Winterm can be configured with a static IP address or via DHCP. You can set it up to use a Proxy server for Internet access, and it has a built-in SNTP client so the internal clock can be synchronized with an external time source. The device can also be managed remotely via SNMP or Wyse’s Rapport management software. If hardware maintenance is a concern, keep in mind that the Wyse Winterm is convection-cooled and has no moving parts.

Creating a terminal or Internet session is simple with the Winterm’s Connection Manager (see figure). It comes preconfigured with a default ICA and RDP connection, which you can edit, or you can choose to create your own connections. The device supports Citrix MetaFrame load balancing and Secure ICA 6.2 and ICA remote dialup. I had no problems connecting to Windows 2000/XP/.NET Terminal Services. The Wyse Winterm can also be configured as an Internet kiosk using Internet Explorer as the browser, and you can prevent kiosk users from navigating outside of a specific Web space or from searching the Internet. If a kiosk user powers off the device, you can configure the Wyse Winterm to automatically boot into a specific connection. Security can be configured on a per-user basis, with users granted or denied permissions to use a specific protocol (for example, user Joe can be allowed to use RDP but not ICA).

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You can launch an ICA or RDP session from the Wyse Connection Manager or create your own custom sessions.

If you work in a MetaFrame or Terminal Services environment, you may want to look at the Wyse Winterm for your thin-client needs. It’s a versatile appliance that comes chock-full of the essential hardware and emulation software support to meet basically any virtual terminal scenario, and it’s a great appliance to use for Internet kiosks. It’s extremely easy to configure and, with no moving parts, maintenance should be minimal. Keep in mind, though, that if lugging heavy computers around is all the exercise that you get during the day, you might need to get yourself a gym membership.

About the Author

James Carrion, MCM R2 Directory, MCITP, MCSE, MCT, CCNA, CISSP has worked as a computer consultant and technical instructor for the past 16 years. He’s the owner of and principal instructor for MountainView Systems, LLC, which specializes in accelerated Microsoft Certification training.

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