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Re: How is typical home computer used today?

On 12/10/2014 02:42 PM, Joe wrote:
Proof of Concept. A bit short of a prototype.

There are two different concepts here, almost no home *workstation* will
be used truly multi-seat i.e. with more than one person connected
simultaneously to it. A home computer may have multiple users, but
generally not simultaneously. A simultaneous-multi-user computer is by
definition a server of some kind. My home contains one of those, but
most peoples' won't. They are becoming more common, with cheap Windows
versions aimed at home server use, with a particular emphasis on media
playing and backup of workstations. The tiny and very cheap Raspberry
Pi and other similar devices are being used as servers, but generally
for very limited purposes, and certainly not as multiple-user

There is a sort of half-way house, whereby a second user can login
to a workstation without the first user logging out, but the same
keyboard and screen are used and the first user cannot do anything
while the second user has control. I don't know how commonly used this
is, Windows has had it for many years, but few home computers have
enough resources to do this efficiently. Second and subsequent users
have a poor 'user experience'. Server versions of Windows can allow
multiple simultaneous remote users, but again, this is not likely to
happen in the average home.
That's the way the computer is set up at our house. A single computer, keyboard and monitor (and seat) used by three different people who are all logged on almost 24/7. My wife, daughter and I each login to a separate vt. It makes no real difference who logs on to which vt, but usually we each log in to a particular vt. I have created aliases for startx for each of us that create separate X sessions for each of us. My X session is on vt-7, my wife gets vt-8 and my daughter is on vt-9. All it takes is a quick ctl-alt-f7 for me to be at my session right where I left it no matter how long that has been, or what the other two persons have done in the meantime..

The box has a quad core AMD FX CPU and 8GB of memory. It runs snappy enough with no noticeable delays. I did recently add an extra case fan to help keep the temperature down, but as long as my daughter doesn't leave flash games running that is not really an issue, either.
I think the main point being made is that computers are now
sufficiently cheap that we don't have to all crowd around one machine,
that where there are two or more people in a household who use a
computer more than very occasionally, they will have their own
Space is the reason for a single computer. If I can get the family room remodeled then we might set up a second computer (I have a spare sitting around doing nothing) there, but that is still one less computer than user.


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