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Jared Kipe

Multi-Seat Mac

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I've been thinking about this for quite some time. We have multi processor powerful computers these days, why not be able to have more than one user at the same time?

 

http://linuxgazette.net/124/smith.html

 

So I'm thinkin, if its doable on linux, why not in unix based OSX? I would like to get this going on a Powermac G5, since you can put multiple cards in it, and that may be a requirement.

 

What do you all think?

 

 

http://www.redstonesoftware.com/multidesktop.html

 

Found this, I guess this is probably easier than anything else you could do.

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Remote login would let you VNC or something to it via another computer. What I want is two monitors with two mice/keyboards on one Mac that would effectively have two desktops and be running different apps.

 

Can Mac OSX Server acomplish this? I didn't know that.

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That would be cool but i dont know if thats possible yet. The OS would need to be capable of assigning the keyboard, mouse and monitor to each desktop. I dont believe there is such an option yet in an OS. And i think you'd need something like a Pentium Extreme Edition, or maybe one of those new-fangled Quad-Cores that will come out at the end of the year, otherwise I would imagine a huge slow down in speed (ie: 2 users trying to video edit at the same time). Again because of the OS not being optimized for such a feature. I dont really see this happening anytime soon just because this doesn't sound like a smart route for a company that makes an OS to sale hardware to go. Maybe some crazy third party company will write a program that will allow this to happen, but I wouldn't keep my fingers crossed. Or maybe Bill Gates will become innovative for once and make this happen in MS Vienna...

 

thats my humble opinion.

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Well by the first link its totally possible. And I'm not proposing it for two people doing heavy stuff. But for web browsing or simple stuff like even Dreamweaver it would be fine.

 

My G5 has over 2GB or ram, 2 hard drives, two processors. There is nothing stopping it from becoming a fast multi head system. Other than software.

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The closest thing you are going to get to this on any current desktop OS is Remote Desktop. As you mentioned earlier, that still requires a second actual computer, but that computer could be pretty much anything (even old PII's and G3's work well as Remote Desktop terminals, since the processor speed of the remote computer isn't really that important).

 

By the way, did you read this at the end? :

Problems: Did you catch the phrase "between resets" above? While the system worked very well, it was extremely unstable. In particular, we got a kernel oops fairly often when we logged out.

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Pretty good idea, just allocate say a core(or even a thread instead if it's multithreaded per core), split the memory, and dedicate a small gpu and you're set! I could see this as an amazing idea on an SR-2 build!

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