What to do with a bunch of Wyse Terminals?

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Re: What to do with a bunch of Wyse Terminals?

Postby slipfriction » November 2nd, 2012, 5:31 am

Loving your ideas st2000, I sent off 3 of those Wyses to UAirLtd........lets see what he makes of them :)
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Re: What to do with a bunch of Wyse Terminals?

Postby UAirLtd » November 3rd, 2012, 6:39 pm

Hey, thanks slipfriction, got the earlier in the week, sorry I didn't get back to you earlier, I just pulled a 48-hour non-stop hacking session to get some awesome stuff working on our quadrotors.

I haven't had time to boot up or hack around with the terminals yet, but I did have a poke around inside. There are some differences between the S10 and 30, it looks like a different board revision, but there is no evidence that there are any new hardware goodies on the mainboard of the S30 (the specs of the two models are the same). The only difference between the S10 and 30 appears to be that the S30 ha a few megabytes of flash memory, which is installed in what appears to be a 44-pin IDE plug (the same type used as 2.5" laptop drives), 128Mb doesn't seem like much given the $50-$80 difference between the S10 and S30 prices, particularly when you can grab several tens of GB of USB flash drive for that cost.

The presence of what is probably a 44-pin IDE socket opens up the interesting possibility of installing some drives/flash memory internally. I have an IDE-to-SD device which would be an interesting way to install an IDE device, and I also have an old (and very slow) 8GB SSD from a netbook that has a ZIF socket that should be IDE. I also have a 1.8" hard drive from an iPod, but that is also ZIF socket, so I'll look for a converter.

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So the first few things I'll try to do is to get some internal memory going and installing Linux on it, perhaps a RAM upgrade if I can locate my old laptop, and get WiFi going. This will give it the flexibility to do other projects.

Also a side note: the Wyse S10 terminals are a bit thinner but actually a fair amount larger than Pico-ITX computers, here's a photo of the two together. The Artego Pico-ITX is currently running all the internal service of our business, who said companies need spend thousand on IT service? We just hack it with whatever hardware we had lying around. The Pico-ITX was actually an upgrade from a Mini-ITX computer built into a cookie tin.

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In terms of cost, the Wyse 30 is MORE expensive than a Pico-ITX computer like the Artego A1100 with comparable parts installed. And given that the Pico-ITX runs a 1.2GHz VIA Nano, and has far more expandability and storage options, a Pico-ITX computer would actually make (spec-wise) a superior thin-client for the same cost. But of course you don't get the OS support and such, and you'd have to spend a lot of time configuring and testing.

I am liking st2000's idea of running a NAS, I might try to get FreeNAS installed on it.

Also the camera idea, I've been playing around with pan/tilt mechanisms that are designed for RC aircraft, and I recently purchased one to install on our quadrotors for testing. If you mount a webcam on one of them, and combine with some low-cost micrcontrollers, they actually make for quite decent pan/tilt webcams, capable of very fast movements needed for target tracking.

I made a video of it in action last week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgwBUYCEhiY the small board it's connected to is the flight controller prototype from our new quadrotors, and it contains gyro/accelerometer/magnetometers, allowing it to use the pan-tilt as a stabilized camera gimbal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUdhmMpSogA

So not only does this become a networked webcam, but also one with pan-tilt controls (perhaps software-image tracking using something like openCV? I don't think I have the time to hack around with that unfortunately). I doubt there would be an application for using a stabilized webcam though, but it's an interesting thought.

I may try this, but may not have time to do all the fancy stuff. But at the very least I'd like to get it doing something basic like displaying today's news and weather, or providing email notifications. I'll post updates here.
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Re: What to do with a bunch of Wyse Terminals?

Postby slipfriction » November 4th, 2012, 5:42 am

Glad they got to you safely! Do both s10's have the same board revisions? One of the two s10's is about 3 years older than the other, newer having Wyse written on the front. Just curious really! Most x86 linux distros boot with no problem so you shouldn't have issues running something like freenas.

Difference in price is probably down to WinCE preloaded on the 128MB flash, very slow though. Would be great if you manage to re-write that flash drive, I have a few lying around that I would love to use as boot devices. Good luck anyways, still have quite a few s10's that boot up but have issues connecting to my TS farm. They're up for the taking as Nottinghack still have not got back to me :(
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Re: What to do with a bunch of Wyse Terminals?

Postby UAirLtd » November 4th, 2012, 9:56 am

Ah yes, interesting

The three models have manufacturing dates printed on their stickers. From left to right is:
- S30 - August 2008
- S10 - June 2006
- S10 - November 2008

It would appear that the S30 from 2008 has the same mianboards as the S10 from 2006, while the newer S10 is a different board despite being only a few months older than the S30.

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Re: What to do with a bunch of Wyse Terminals?

Postby UAirLtd » November 5th, 2012, 4:47 pm

ack, hit a wall pretty fast, these terminals don't appear to want to enter BIOS, an internet search reveals that the solution is to try a different keyboard, particularly an official Wyse keyboard.

I will take the terminal with me and try out different keyboards that I come across.
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Re: What to do with a bunch of Wyse Terminals?

Postby slipfriction » November 9th, 2012, 6:19 am

Hit del! Password is Fireport - works all the time for me. Try plugging the keyboard in the front ports!
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Re: What to do with a bunch of Wyse Terminals?

Postby slipfriction » November 15th, 2012, 7:04 am

Still got a few wyse terminals to give to whoever wants them, they are free and if not too far, I'll pay for the shipping. All I ask in return is to share what you did with them!
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Re: What to do with a bunch of Wyse Terminals?

Postby UAirLtd » November 15th, 2012, 10:09 am

I've been trying! Holding del, hitting del repeatedly (in different patterns), the different ports on the thing, holding del before plugging in the power. Can't even get to the bios password screen. I checked online, people have been having similar problems but were able to get it to work using a different keyboard.

I'll try out different keyboards that I can find, but I don't have many spare USB keyboards lying around (have a whole stack of old PS/2 ones)
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Re: What to do with a bunch of Wyse Terminals?

Postby Mike » November 17th, 2012, 7:43 am

I might be able to find a use for one or two; I'm in Oxford. I'll be sure to blog about anything interesting I do with them, and wouldn't pass up the opportunity to spam it here ;)

Thanks a lot,
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Re: What to do with a bunch of Wyse Terminals?

Postby UAirLtd » November 17th, 2012, 12:00 pm

Finally! I found a keyboard that gets me into BIOS, an old Logitech Multimedia keyboard, got into BIOS and have set the boot order. Am downloading Fedora (32-bit LXDE edition) now to see if it will run from USB
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