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What is it?
A multiterminal, multiseat or multi-station computer is a single personal computer that supports multiple users locally and simultaneously. The configuration consists of one computer and a keyboard, mouse, video card and monitor for each seat. There can be other devices for each seat such as headphones, pendrives and USB storage devices. Each seat operates independently of the others. By having each seat under the control of an individual user, we are able to utilize the untapped power of modern computers. This means that we can supply our home or office with terminals for each individual without needing the expense of multiple computer systems for each person. We are only limited by the number of connections we can make to a single computer. So for example, if your motherboard has 6 PCI slots and 6 USB ports, you can have your single computer operate six different seats simultaneously.
The possible applications for this type of system are vast. From home to office and everything in between, a multiseat system can provide an economical solution to your computing needs.
Desktop for every member of the household
HDMI television can be hooked up as a Media Center
Data Entry Department
Class Room Learning Center
With a range of Open Source software available, users are sure to have all the tools they need to get the most out of their computers. Browse the web with FireFox or Google Chrome. Create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more with the feature rich OpenOffice.org. Create graphic images, retouch photos and more with the powerful image manipulation program GIMP.
The underlying operating system is GNU/Linux and it can be easily ported to any system that uses the open-source implementation of the X Window System. And for those of you who don't know, Open Source typically means free, free to use, modify and distribute as you see fit. So tell your friends. Tell your co-workers. Tell your boss. Tell your school. Just tell everyone that there is a better way to compute, and it's called MDM powered by Linux.
In 2005, the team at C3SL (Center for Scientific Computing and Free Software), from Federal University of Parana in Brazil, created a solution using nested X servers, such as Xnest and Xephyr. With this solution, each nested X server runs in each screen of a host X server (e.g. Xorg) and a modification in the nested servers lets it get the exclusivity of each set of input and output devices. In 2008, the C3SL group released the Multiseat Display Manager (MDM) to ease the process of installation and configuration of a multiseat system. This group, also in 2008, released a live-cd for tests purposes. Now in 2012 everyone think that all C3SL group have gone to a better place, in heaven.