[mythtv-users] Thin client frontend

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Fri Sep 24 17:31:33 UTC 2010

On Friday, September 24, 2010 11:18:26 am Raymond Wagner wrote:
>   On 9/24/2010 12:48, Brian Wood wrote:
> > On Friday, September 24, 2010 10:21:41 am Raymond Wagner wrote:
> >> Of course if it actually were a thin client, you wouldn't be running
> >> MythTV on it.  You would install Xorg and a sound server, set up
> >> forwarding, and run the frontend on some central system.
> > 
> > With hardware getting cheaper and more powerful, even true "Thin Clients"
> > are getting "smarter", often with browsers and other software running
> > locally on the client itself. The CPU power and RAM of the thin clients
> > is approaching the power of full-blown desktop machines of just a few
> > years ago.
> A thin client has nothing to do with physical dimensions or installed
> hardware, it's a system architecture paradigm.  It means the programs
> are running on a massive central server, and you only locally use the
> minimum of local resources to access those programs.  Beyond that, it's
> just whatever the cheapest hardware you can find to run your needed
> client terminal software.  If your terminal software is a web browser,
> and you just run a bunch of web applications, so be it.
> Disks can be installed in thin clients, but you don't need the storage
> group, and it's usually cheaper and more reliable to use some flash-able
> ROM, or network boot.
> Thin clients can be relatively powerful and have lots of memory, as it
> all comes down to economies of scale.  Mainstream hardware is going to
> be produced in bulk and cheaper, so it's cheaper to buy higher end
> equipment than to have custom embedded equipment fabbed.
> If as you say, there is very little difference in hardware between
> modern thin clients and small form factor computers, the only remaining
> difference you could claim is which processor the software runs on.
> Once you start running things like the frontend on something, it is no
> longer 'thin'.


I'm starting to see what might be called "hybrid" systems, where things like a database run on a central server, while 
other things like a web browser are run locally.

An enterprise might well want a DB to be centrally run and administered, while web browsing can be local, with preferences 
set for the local user, so that plugins and credentials can be set up for the particular user (yes, you could do that with 
the browser running centrally, but there is no need to do that with a browser, while a DB or document repository might 
need to be centralized).

The "Thin client" paradigm is being modified to suit many different scenarios, and is getting away from the original idea 
that the client would he pretty much brain damaged and depend on central computing resources to do much of anything.

I'm not sure if there would be any advantage to running a Myth frontend centrally, since a FE doesn't need much in the way 
of resources to run, unless you had a LOT of frontends and central administration would reduce the admin effort.

Many if not most of us have a centralized DB (on the master BE), so we are getting closer to what enterprise systems seem 
to be tending towards. Certainly it would not make sense to have a local DB on each FE.

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