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Publishing calendars w/ out using multiple workstations.

Posted on 2008-10-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
We currently have 12 conference rooms with a monitor that is fed video form a workstation in our server room to show calendar availability for that confernce room. RIght now we have a dedicated desktop with Outlook configured for each conference room. We are looking for a creative way to not have 12 workstations running, condense to one PC (or another option all together) and still keep the current functionality. A PC with 12 video cards and 12 outlook profiles sounds like it would work, but is it possible? Or is there an elegant solution we are overlooking? Any ideas?
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Question by:robertejamison
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Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 22634554
Hi, robertejamison.

Interesting question.  I've never seen nor heard of a PC that can hold 12 video cards.  You could reduce the hardware by moving to one physical box running a virtual server product and hosting 12 virtual machines.  I don't know how that'd interface with the video though, and I think that's the main issue.  Another possibility would be to use a thin-client.  That would reduce the cost a bit, but you'd still need 12 of them.  A completely different approach might be to use digital picture frames.  I believe some of them have a built-in ability to connect to a web server and retrieve pictures.  If so, then you could have a central computer save snapshots of the calendars as jpegs to a web server and let the picture frames retrieve the correct image for their room.  
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by:robertejamison
ID: 22634784
The picture frame idea is clever, but the calendars need to be live. We are a tax firm and especially during the tax season the calendars are continually altered and checked for availabiity.
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David Lee earned 250 total points
ID: 22635014
I think the thin-client solution is probably best.  A thin-client terminal isn't much more expensive than a monitor.  Some of them have an embedded OS with limited functionality like the ability to run a browser.  If you use or can use OWA, then you could use it to display the calendar for the room.
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