Client Computer System and Remote Access

Client Computer System and Remote Access

Chao Lee (University of Houston, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-376-0.ch009
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An online teaching/learning system is often constructed on the Web-based clientserver architecture. Personal computers at students’ homes perform client-side operations. These computer systems share some computation load and should be properly configured so that they can remotely access the servers through the Internet. For the online teaching/learning system, the configuration and management of the client computers present many challenges due the variety of computer types and application software. In this chapter, we will examine various challenges on the client side and look for solutions that can be implemented with open source products. This chapter begins with the discussion of the Linux open source desktop operating systems. Linux originally created for personal computers is suitable for personal computers and workstations. We will discuss several major Linux desktop operating systems and look at the components included in them.
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Most of the studies related to e-learning are conducted on the client side. Therefore, we can find a large number of publications that deal with the client-side technologies used in Web-based teaching and learning. Hicken (2000) investigated various needs for Web-based applications. He pointed out that different Web access technologies are used for different needs. He explored possible Web access options for various client-side instruments such as desktop computers, hand-held devices, and wireless equipment. He also mentioned the difficulties in developing Web-based applications to meet various needs. Hicken (2000) also discussed some issues related to the development process such as quality control. For the topic related to remote access, Esche (2002) summarized various remote access tools for a remote experiment in engineering education.

Desktop video conferencing can be used to accomplish many tasks in teaching, learning, and class management. Westhoff (2005) reported that the desktop video conferencing technology had been used for the management of the pre-service teacher education classes. The technology was used for the instructor to keep in touch with the students and monitor the students’ teaching activities in the classroom. Geibel (1999) conducted a study on teaching and learning in the computer labs and the desktop environment. He presented several solutions with products such as Novell, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple, Sassafras, and Pharos. He also gave an overview of assessment procedures and evaluation technologies.

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