SUMMARY: Re: X-terminals

From: Dave King (lsil!mhost!lonfs01!
Date: Fri Oct 30 1992 - 15:12:33 CST

Right then,

The response to my X-Terminals question was very good and has proved very
helpful. There seems to be a mixture of opinion as to wether they are of any
use. It largely goes on the initial cost of the machine vs the network cost
once they are installed.

The most popular X-Terminal seems to be the ones made by NCD's.
FYI we are going to be getting some DEC VXT 2000 (free from our site in Germany)
I know at least one person thought that these were rubbish. But not too worry :-)
Only one person thought that getting sun3's to do the job is worthwhile... but
we are trying to get rid of sun3 kit :-).

I shall let you make up your own mind by posting some of the replys I got.

Thanks to all those who replied.


lsil!!ppc (Pam Boge) Writes:

We have been running NCD17c Xterminals for a variety of applications.
They have performed very well. We use them in our training room to
train people for Unix, FrameMaker, Email, awk, sed, make, etc. The
only limitation we have found is if you want to display large image
data then you need to have at least 8 Mb of memory in the Xterminal
or it will blow up. I would recommend getting the largest monitors
possible. When running Frame the text is very difficult to read
with the smaller monitors.

lsil!!wse (William Edwards) Writes:

We went through a lengthy evaluation process, and wound up getting
NCD 19" monochrome X-terminals. Several factors went into this
decision, but the overriding one was the clarity of the monitor. We
rejected the HP and Visual offerings because of this. My suspicion
is that color monitors would have been even worse. We also rejected
the DEC VXT 2000 because it was difficult to set it up to run twm
transparently under X11R4. On the whole, we've been happy with the

Glenn Carver < Writes:

I evaluated Pericom, Tektronics and NCD colour X terminals. Pericom are
crap and you shouldn't touch them. Tektronics have new RISC terminals out
and they are fast and nice to use. Ergonomically they are not very neat.
The processor box looks cheap and there are far too many cables. The tektronics
also failed to run one of our applications correctly (PV-wave) giving
colour map problems (which Tek. now say shouldn't have happened). I had also
heard from others that Tek's X server software can be a bit ropey.

The winner was the NCD 17" RISC machine. Very nice, very fast. Has options
of different keyboards (which at the time Tek. didn't have but do now I think).

lsil!!hanh (Hanh Vu - xt 2801 ) Writes:

Advantages: Much lower cost for purchase as well as maintenance contract
             Faster displaying

Disadvantages: Complete dependence on network and file server --> network
                  down or server down, your Xterminals would be completely dead.
                You'll need a server with enough memory to handle all your
                  Xterminals (we are hanging 15 Xterms off our Sun4/690MP
                  with 128MB RAM and it's working fine.)
                Definitely vulnerable to a severe X bug (xkeys problem),
                  but then if you run X11 anywhere, this applies too. A temporary
                  fix for it is available. The program in question is 'xkeys'.
                  I can explain further later if you haven't heard of it.

---------------------------- Writes:

Watch out for the resolution. A Sun display is typically 1152x900, small
X-terminals are often in the neighborhood of 740x600 . This is borderline for
things like Frame. I have been told that you need at least 750 vertically for
Frame to display a whole page. I know it uses most of the 900 vertical pixels
available on my Sun.

---------------------------- Writes:

If you're going to get a reasonable number of them, give serious though to
getting a serious dedicated server(s) - this is where the hidden cost of
Xterminals are.

We have some NCDs, and the users of them degraded the performance of our
servers so much that in the end we bought a SS10-41 just to serve Xterminals.


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