With a little work you can build a low cost computer lab out of old computers. Turning old computers into thin clients is a great way to extend usefulness of computers.
- Identify the lab space.
- Estimate number of computers you can fit in a classroom.
- Evaluate furniture needs and options.
- Consider seating configuration.
- Identify power sources.
- Determine number of computers and monitors that can be sufficiently powered with available power supply.
- Ask community for old working computers and etc. and offer in exchange tax deductions.
- Arrange lab furniture avoiding trip and difficult to see zones.
- Connect computers and monitors to lab power supply.
- Install Linux Terminal Server Project on clients and server.
- Connect computers to network.
- Test thin clients.
- Create users.
- Seating arrangement:(U shaped with students facing away from U)
- If you are doing this at a school, ask about location of circuit breakers as you may blow fuses.
- Encourage friends to help in setting up.
- If you are at a school, create a computer club that supports the lab and gives students practical networking and hardware skills.
Things You’ll Need:help
- Go to Linux install fests and ask for help with your project.
- visit other computer labs and ask for help from that teacher/administrator
- search the web for maps of computer labs and study them.
Things You’ll Need:software
- network viewing and control tool
Things You’ll Need:hardware
- Old computers: PII and up is fine
- Network Interface Cards
- Monitors (CRTs because they are harder to break)
- Keyboards and mice
- Power strips and surge protectors
- Cat5 cables with RJ45 jacks
- Network switches sufficient to supply all thin clients
- tools esp. screwdrivers for opening computer cases
- spare computer parts like RAM