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Windows MultiPoint Server
is a thin client or shared resource computing
software solution in which one host computer is shared by multiple users
simultaneously. Basically, it allows one computer to serve several people in a
lab or library at very low cost and with minimum maintenance. TechSoup and Interconnection, one of our
Refurbished Computer Initiative partners, teamed up to supply a group of
nonprofits and libraries with everything they would need to set up a MultiPoint
Server lab in their environment. In most cases, we sent them the instructions,
hardware, and software they’d need and then stood back and watched how the
installation went. We then did check-ins on how the MultiPoint Server system
held up under use.
The Associated Recreation Council (ARC) was one of our test sites. They are
a nonprofit that has a close partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation Department.
The program offers Seattle residents with a variety of recreational and
lifelong learning programs, classes, and activities. One of ARC’s RecTech
Coalition programs wanted a Multipoint Server lab in their Chinatown International
District Community Center. ARC already has a training lab there that
provides lifelong learning opportunities for older adults, many of whom speak
languages other than English. The program specializes in Internet job
search, resume preparation support, software training workshops,
English as a second language (ESL) classes, and an Earned Income Tax Credit Program
developed in conjunction with United Way of King County. We worked with Young
Pham, ARC’s technology support person.
This was a five-station donation:
Installation Date: Oct. 23, 2012
Existing lab IT system the new MultiPoint
Server system replaces: six older Gateway Pentium 4 desktops with Internet
connectivity via 13 MB Wave Cable
Young Pham, who regards his tech skills as medium,
set up the MultiPoint Server system. It took him 30 minutes to set up hardware
largely without using the directions we supplied. It took another hour to get
all terminals activated. He did use instructions for that and reported that
they were complete and easy to follow.
Young had some trouble getting Internet
Explorer to connect to the Internet on the server computer, but after
restarting, it began working. We also discovered that the Plugable USB docking stations needed additional software to run on MultiPoint Server, so Young
consulted with Charles Brennich of Interconnection and then downloaded
DisplayLink USB MultiPoint Server driver software and installed it.
The new MultiPoint Server system will mainly be
used for open public access, primarily Internet use. It will also be used for
digital literacy classes, and perhaps for ESL classes. Since ARC has a large
number of Chinese users, this lab needs to be multilingual. ARC installed the MultiPoint Server traditional
Chinese language pack, so one user can have their session in English and another
user can have their session in Chinese.
To ensure an easy restoration of the configured MultiPoint Server software, Young used Clonzilla to take an
a ISO image of the software in case it crashes and needs to be re-installed. He
said that this will save considerable time in not having to re-install all the
software drivers for their particular system. He does not use an additional program like Faronics Deep
Freeze for that.
Young also takes care of regular software updates for MultiPoint
Server, MS Office, Adobe Flash, Shockwave, 7zip, and Adobe Reader. He reports
very much appreciating having to maintain just one computer.
recommends MultiPoint Server for use in any other public access
Pham of ARC, photo by Charles Brennick