Thin client technology (Sun Rays)
Contention for access to computers on campus has always been very high and Computing Services are committed to providing more computers for students to be able to do coursework and for visitors to gain easy access to the internet. So BUCS has recently been investigating the use of thin client technology to improve the situation.
How do they differ from conventional PCs?
Sun Ray terminals are thin clients that use a central server to process everything. This means they are very simple - no hard disks or fans required. One of their major attractions is that they use much less power than a conventional PC and they do not need to be replaced as often.
What can I use them for?
The initial Sun Ray menu presents several choices:
- Library Catalogue
- Web browsing
- Login to Microsoft Windows
- Login to Unix machines
- Login to Linux
The web browsing options allow you to quickly check web pages such as web-based email and news reports.
The Windows option is like logging into a Public access PC. With it you can:
- Access your own files
- Use Microsoft Office, EndNote and Reference Manager
- Use your USB memory stick!
- Plug in headphones for listening to sound clips
- Browse the web using Internet Explorer or Firefox
The Sun Rays makes it very easy for us to give people choice over how they interact with our systems.
Where can I find them?
After a successful trial period in two e-lounges and the Library we are currently rolling out Sun Rays to more communal areas, with over 270 currently deployed. See the pages on Where to find a public access PC for details of where the Sun Rays are located, and where we plan to install them.
To get more information about the Sun Rays please use the BUCS contact form.