by February 1, 2000 0 comments


An ISA card for connecting to NT
Terminal Server or Citrix Metaframe servers. US$ 249

Features: Built-in display
and network functions; auto login at startup.

Pros: Easy to set up; doesn”t
require a network or display card; no hard disk required.

Cons: Hardware documentation
needs to be better.

Source: VXL Instruments, House
of Excellence, No 17, Electronics City, Hosur Road, Bangalore
561229. Tel: 80-8520046/8521048 Fax: 8521048 E-mail:

This card is for you if you”ve got a lot
of old machines gathering dust in a corner, which you”d like to bring
back to life. The Eazi-TC is a thin-client solution that connects to
a server running Citrix Metaframe or Win NT Terminal Server. With this
card, you don”t need a video card, network card, or a hard disk on your
client. It combines all these functions and fits into the ISA slot of
any PC.

The software provided lets you connect
to a server running terminal server or Citrix Metaframe in various ways-with
a modem, over a LAN, or even through a direct cable connect. Once connected,
you”ll get a Win NT workstation terminal on your screen. You can then
run any application that”s installed on the server, provided you have
the necessary user rights.

If you want to connect an old machine to
Citrix Metaframe without this card, you”ll first need to load an operating
system-specific client (provided by Citrix) on its hard disk. With this
card, you don”t need a hard disk, so the hassle of loading a client
on the machine is gone, and so are the troubles associated with an old
and slow hard disk on your client. If you do have a hard disk, the card
gives you an option to boot from that.

The greatest advantage of this card is
the ease with which it can be installed and used. If you don”t plan
to use a separate display card and hard disk, just pop the card into
a standard ISA slot on your computer and turn it on. It”ll boot up,
and prompt you for details of your server name, user name, and password.
Details on how to do this are explained clearly in the manual. However,
you could face trouble if a separate display card is used, as might
be the case if your motherboard has an onboard display. The VGA function
on the card conflicts with the second display card. To solve the problem,
you have to configure a jumper on the card. This wasn”t mentioned in
the manual. In fact, there were several jumpers on the card, but the
manual explained only one. It would be helpful if the manual could also
explain the rest.

There”s another manual that contains instructions
on how to use the software. This is pretty comprehensive. There”s an
auto login feature that makes the machine log onto the server immediately
on booting from the card. So you don”t have to completely shut down
your machine. The client software has an auto-search facility to find
all servers on your network to log on to.

For a built-in display and network, the
card is quite cheap. But you”ll need to invest in the Citrix Metaframe,
Win NT Terminal Server, a well-configured server, and preferably a switched
network, for it to work. All these will add quite a bit to the cost,
but if you already have some of this in place, then the Eazi-TC card
is worth a buy.

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