Kiosk Newsbit

Vol. 1 Issue #9                         April 1, 1999

Offering news and tips concerning the Public Internet 
Industry.  Each month we will bring you the latest information on 
what's hot and what's not when it comes to offering Internet Access 
to the public.  Please feel free to contact us with any information 
or feedback you may wish to contribute (yes, we will be publishing 
contributing articles).  We look forward to hearing from you!


You may or may not have heard the news.

PCs are slimming down, and it brings good
tidings to the Internet Kiosk Industry.

For those who have not heard the term, it
deserves a brief introduction.  Here's a
definition quoted from

"...Thin clients are PCs that rely on servers
to harness their processing power, applications
and data. They resemble terminals but aren't 
necessarily pinned to mainframes. Technically, 
thin clients must have a Java Virtual Machine, 
which allows read access to non-Windows 
applications and operating systems. 

The Java Virtual Machine is software that 
recompiles code, allowing it to run on a variety 
of hardware platforms. A thin client must also 
have a browser but needs no fancy peripherals
such as floppy disk drives or CD-ROM drives..."

It's interesting to note how the evolution of
the computer is starting to reverse direction.

Once upon a time there were huge mainframes that
fed information to dressed-up screens called
terminals.  These terminals merely acted as an
Input/Output interface to a large, bulky calculator
that ran hot and broke down often.

Eventually, these terminals began to put on weight.
They started to take on more of the tasks that were
previously reserved for the mainframe.  Video cards,
Hard Drives and Memory began to appear in these 
terminals.  Eventually, there was no need to even
connect to a mainframe.  The Personal Computer was born!

(Bear with me..I'm going somewhere with this..)

This was a good thing.  Now everyone was able to 
compute on their own, at much greater speeds than 
before.  Programs responded by becoming larger and
more powerful.  PCs were outfitted with more speed,
more memory and larger drives. 

The Problem?  Disorganization.

Everyone had their own PC doing their own thing,
and collaboration became a nightmare. Who had the
Johnson proposal?  Where was the Smith Spreadsheet?
Who's machine doing the get the idea.

Enter the Server.

Lets take these PCs and get them connected to each
other and to a central PC.  Files and peripherals
could now be SHARED. 

Of course, each PC (now called a workstation...) needs
its own Operating System, Applications and Hardware.
This is costly, and quite difficult to upgrade and maintain.
How do you solve this problem?

You Guessed It! - Thin Client Computing (Feeling the Deja Vu?)

OK, so we're back to terminals and mainframes..So What?

What does this have to with Internet Kiosks?...


There is probably no greater application for a thin
client PC than a kiosk.

All you want to offer a potential customer is
a quick, reliable, eye-catching information

You dont need a 24GB Hard Drive.  Forget the 256MB
of RAM.  That 16MB Video Card?  Save it for Nintendo.

Who needs a bulky Operating System when all you 
do is display Web Pages?

The customer wants to access the Internet...FAST.

Your 400Mhz Pentium II still needs to wait around
for the 56K Modem.  Save money on your hardware and
use it toward a faster connection.  It will greatly
increase the overall effectiveness of your Kiosk.

Now, we know WHAT they are and we know WHY they are.

WHERE do you get them?

OK, well I've jumped the gun a little bit. 

The one thing holding this architecture back is
the current speed of communications.  56K Modems
just wont cut it when it comes to thin clients.

Offices can put this technology to work immediately
thanks to their high speed LANs.

With Kiosks spread across counties, states and/or
countries, communication costs can really take off.

Hang tight though...DSL and Cable Modems will duke it
out over the next year or two, and the result will
be low cost, high speed access for all.  When this
happens, be sure to embrace this new technology as it
will provide you with the tools to build a successful
network of Internet Kiosks.

This discussion of Thin Client Architecture was intended
to introduce the concept and show the benefits this
technology has to offer.

For more information on Thin Client Architecture,
please visit

Until next month, best of luck in all your ventures.

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Next Month's Issue - Structuring a Win-Win-Win Deal

Thanks Kinetic!

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