Monthly Archives: April 2008

HP Compaq Thin Client T5500 – More useful and simple to setup

The 5500 I ordered of ebay came in the mail the other day. I was having a very busy week and didn’t really have time to play with it until Thursday night.

When I first turned it on it loaded windows ce then auto logged in and tried to connect to an Citrix ICA server. After some quick googleing I found out that by holding F9 while booting the T5500 will reset to its default windows cd settings. Once that was done I was greeted with a pretty simple windows interface with Internet Explorer and could browse the Internet and everything.

At this point I figured I had at least a neat toy if nothing else. I was really hoping I could somehow run linux on it which would make it much more useful for me. I went back to google and found that Puppy Linux has a very small installer that could be made to boot from a USB drive pretty easley, so that’s what I did.

Puppy Linux is actually more useful than I thought it as going to be. It ran well enough on the 733mhz with 128mb of memory that it would be more than usable for a simple email / web / writing terminal.

I wanted to try Knoppix and see how that would run but it was 2am at that point so I decided to leave it where it was and play more once I had time.

I’ve sense played with Knoppix on it and must say that it seem a little sluggish. I think the main limit is the 128mb of memory.

I’ll be posting more updates as I move along with this project. What I’m really looking for is something very similar to the Knoppix Kiosk feature. I’m even considering taking the latest Knoppix and stripping it very much down to get a simple X session with Firefox or Konquerer in a full screen window.

HP Compaq Thin Client T5500 – New Point Of Sale Kiosk?

At the office today the idea was tossed around to replace our Point Of Sale terminals which currently are PCs that have a CPU, motherboard, memory and a cdrom drive. They boot a customised Knoppix CD that loads into a full screen Kiosk mode Konqueror. The start page is pos.store.domain.tld which is unique to each store with their local server.

One of the main reasons we are looking for something better is we seem to be going through cdroms about one every 5 months. That in itself isn’t a huge problem the larger problem is that we’re looking for something that doesn’t cost $300.00 for a new terminal. We actually talked about using the Linux Terminal Server Project but the Point Of Sale server is a 500mhz soekris net5501 and we didn’t think it would handle running its normal server duties along with X and KDE for 5 clients at a time.

I’m kind of hoping that I can get the thin client into some sort of kiosk mode then have use Internet explorer to load the same pos.store.domain.tld un full screen window. One thing that I’m a little concerned about after doing some research, which I should have really done before I ordered anything, but its too late for that, is that the one I ordered runs Windows CE 4.20 which seems to have a ghetto version of Internet explorer. From what I’ve read I think I would be better off with a thin client that runs Windows XP embedded.

I’ll actually be posting more as I work through this in hopes that someone elise could use this information too.

I love me a Blizard from Dairy Queen

My wife and I were watching TV tonight and a commercial came on for Dairy Queen and we looked at each other and as if on queue both got up and headed for the car. That is some powerful advertising, to make you jump up and go by the product right now.

I must hand it to them, it really is a the best thing ever, vanilla softserve icecream and Reece’s peanut butter cups. Mmmm

April Fools Comes Early in 2008

I was just catching up on my RSS feeds and came across a post on thenichestorebuilder.com linking to Jeremy Schoemaker (aka Shoemoney) where Jeremy shows you how to make $1,000 an hour. About half way into it it gets to be full of static and hissy. I immediately knew where this was going and by the comments on his forum it seems like he did a good job of pulling the wool over some peoples eyes.

In true April Fools fashion thinkgeek.com is up to their usual post some fake products shtick. I actually want to buy two of them though, the first is Spazztroids – Caffeinated Breakfast Cereal. How could this not be good? Caffeine… Check, Crazy Cartoon Icon… Check, Cereal… Check. The second thing I want is the Defendius Labyrinth Security Lock. I’m aware that it wouldn’t be practical but it sure would be a neat thing to show off.

April Fools also seems to hit slashdot and digg hard. On digg tons of stuff gets pushed up to the front page and it all seems interesting but it is a pain to sort out real news from the april fools stories. At least this only happens once a year, where the internet turns to crap…. oh wait…