A Viewpoint on Terminal Server

Among the various client devices we connected to our Terminal Server test network was a prerelease version of the Viewpoint TC 300 from Boundless Technologies Inc. (Hauppauge, N.Y., www.boundless.com). Scheduled to go into beta testing in the first half of August, with general release in the second half of September, this Windows Terminal device runs the Windows CE operating system, also found on numerous hand-held PCs.

In terms of setup, we found the Viewpoint simplistic. Other than plugging in the basic five cables -- power, network, monitor, keyboard and mouse -- there was simply nothing we needed to do at the Viewpoint to enable us to connect to the Terminal Server in our test environment.

Windows CE, which runs on the Viewpoint, uses DHCP for all of its network configuration options. We were disappointed that the Viewpoint could not be configured with a static IP address, but that is a minor flaw at worst.

After we set up the appropriate DHCP entries on our server, all we needed to do was power on the Viewpoint and enter the name of the Terminal Server to establish a connection. However, this revealed the other minor disappointment we experienced. It seemed that the Viewpoint was determined to cache the IP address it found for the Terminal Server and use that for all future connections. This meant that the Viewpoint could not take advantage of the round-robin technique for distributing the load among several servers. Unless the Viewpoint was powered off and back on, it would continue to always connect to the first Terminal Server address it received.