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With the Jack PC, the computer's in the wall!

By

November 2, 2010

The Jack PC thin-client desktop computing solution puts all the end-user computing power i...

The Jack PC thin-client desktop computing solution puts all the end-user computing power in a wall plug

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The Jack PC from Chip PC Technologies offers a neat and novel thin-client desktop computing solution where the computer doesn't just plug into the wall, it is the plug in the wall. Running on power provided by the ethernet cable that also connects it to the data center server, the computer-in-a-wall-socket supports wireless connectivity, has dual display capabilities and runs on the RISC processor architecture – which gives the solution the equivalent of 1.2GHz of x86 processing power.

Jack PC technology enables the conversion of any standard LAN port into a desktop computer solution. The patented modular layered construction is claimed to give the device the world's smallest thin-client core and comes with either a 333MHz (800MHz x86 equivalent) or a 500MHz (1.2GHz x86 equivalent) RMI Au processor. There's also up to 256MB disk-on-chip storage , which may not seem like much, but most of the data storage needs will be taken care of by the data center. Similarly, the onboard memory options run from 64MB to 128MB DDR.

Examples of Jack PC configurations

The Jack PC can be installed into walls, floor or users' desks where only the connection plate is showing. This effectively protects the internals from any accidental damage that might be caused by well-meaning self-fixers, as well as deterring would-be thieves from making off with the company's computer assets.

Connectivity comes courtesy of four USB ports for attaching peripherals such as the keyboard and mouse, with support for wireless connectivity possible via an optional USB adapter. Optional PS/2 and serial port connectivity is also available. Either VGA or DVI versions are offered, providing support for up to 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution and dual display setups and backed up by 128-bit 3D graphics acceleration with separate SDRAM display memory of either 4MB or 8MB.

Every way you look at this computer, it's a neat solution to thin-client end user desktop ...

The Jack PC can either run on power-over-ethernet or via a separate power source and offers low power benefits to business (max 5W/0.35W in sleep). With a U.S. mount, it has maximum dimensions of just 2.78 x 4.56 x 1.58-inches (6.96 x 11.4 x 3.95cm), weighs in at 12 ounces (350g) and works with Xcalibur Global Management software that caters for data center management and monitoring of the entire network.

As well as providing end users with desktop computers, the solution can be used for other office functions such as running a printer, terminal emulation and various ICA/RDP/VDI applications.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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14 Comments

Why would you tie yourself to the wall with this device when with the same technology you could be mobile?

winzurf
3rd November, 2010 @ 12:04 am PDT

@winzurf This is a great item for Citrix implementations and you are actually running off a central server. Anyway how often do you take your work PC home with you?!?! :)

Richard Mayes
3rd November, 2010 @ 06:45 am PDT

"Why would you tie yourself to the wall with this device when with the same technology you could be mobile? "

Because as I'm saving discreet clinical data to the webserver during an exam, a network connectivity interruption on my tablets wireless will result in data loss forcing me to key everything in a second time. Additionally, even on N drafts wireless signals are very latent. Most commercial buildings are constructed with steel studs. Throw in an x-ray room with some lead walls and an electric elevator and you essentially have built a Faraday cage.

This Jack PC is pretty sweet as far as im concerned.

Facebook User
3rd November, 2010 @ 07:21 am PDT

@winzurf

Because not every usage case calls for mobility. Look at the average enterprise using a terminal server. People at their desks. What good would it serve to have them milling around using (vastly more expensive) wireless devices?

Facebook User
3rd November, 2010 @ 07:40 am PDT

These should be perfect for call center deployments. Also, schools/universities could use them for lab environments. I can think of two functions we could use them for where I work alone. Of course, the big issue is making sure your apps run on them. If the apps can be web based this becomes much less of an issue though.

CeridianMN
3rd November, 2010 @ 07:56 am PDT

With the All-In-One PC (PC inside the display) and Internet TV (ie. PC inside the TV) , I am not sure if PC in the wall has any better compelling value or competitive advantage over the other two PC model.

Facebook User
3rd November, 2010 @ 10:48 am PDT

Looks all lovely and good, except it's not news :-)

2 years ago I took this picture whilst at a Dell briefing, where they were trying to flog us it as part of a VDI solution

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kylegordon/5143110079/

Shiny, but not news!

Kyle Gordon
3rd November, 2010 @ 11:51 am PDT

I missed that briefing, so it is news to me.

Johnboy
3rd November, 2010 @ 02:53 pm PDT

good stuff.ty for posting

Vivek Bandebuche
4th November, 2010 @ 11:37 am PDT

My initial point was not clear - if I have a small footprint PC the size of this unit, and I want to use it anywhere in a room, I would need to provide it with power and possibly a network connection if I didn't want to wireless, this is 1 or 2 cables, and the power cable can be to the nearest convenient location.

On the other hand, if I mount the same device in the wall and then want to work anywhere in the room I will need:power cable(s) for the monitor etc, monitor cable (or 2 if 2 screens), usb for keyboard, usb for mouse (or usb extender) and then cables for any other peripherals I want to have at my work desk. All these cables will be trailing across the room.

So my question is, if I can make a PC thats this small, why mount it in the wall and then run cables across the room when I could perhaps mount it on the back of my monitor and at worst run a network cable to the wall?

nbs
4th November, 2010 @ 08:45 pm PDT

@winzurf @Vivek Bandebuche Chip PC Technologies also makes extremely mobile (fits in your pocket) thin PCs: http://www.chippc.com/thin-clients/thin-clients.asp

Paul Danger Kile
7th November, 2010 @ 05:03 am PST

I think it would be very useful in my college where the CPUs are under the computer table. and every time you need to connect something u gotta bend under turn the CPU hoping u wont get an electric shock n plug the device.

But instead of being put on the wall it can be put on the table top.

Daniel Furtado
3rd January, 2011 @ 10:53 pm PST

This looks awesome, I'm imagining all the crap I could clear off my desk at work right now with this and a vesa mount wall bracket screen

Drew__1
5th January, 2011 @ 05:40 pm PST

It's an interesting novelty, but there's no point in tying it to the wall.

Facebook User
16th March, 2011 @ 06:48 am PDT
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