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What is the difference between the Remote Access, Terminal Emulator modes?

Last updated 06-02-2009

Remote Access:

In this mode, the ConnectPort Display plays the role of a thin client, providing remote access to a computer over an IP network. Communication can take place across a LAN, WAN, or VPN network, or even across the Internet. Think of it as a KVM switch with added peripheral support (via its USB and serial ports) and without distance limitations (due to Ethernet being used for data transmission).

As the VNC protocol is used to facilitate communications, VNC Server software must be installed on the Host computer (the computer that is to be remotely accessed). Although UltraVNC Server software is provided on the ConnectPort Display Setup CD, for Windows Operating Systems, other VNC Server distributions can be used, i.e. RealVNC for Linux Operating Systems.

Ultimately, this mode offers the "user experience" of interacting with a remote computer and its peripherals - using a USB keyboard and mouse connected to the ConnectPort Display USB ports - as if you were sitting in front of it.

A common application scenario is to combine multiple ConnectPort Displays with a single computer running Virtualization software, such as Microsoft Virtual PC/Server, or VMware Server, which are both free downloads at the time of writing. The end result is that each ConnectPort Display allows you to interact with a different, independent Virtual Machine (guest Operating System).

Terminal Emulator

In this mode, the ConnectPort Display emulates a "dumb terminal" that''''''''s connected to an Application Server. Data sent from the Host Application (the software running on the Application Server) is processed and shown on the display attached to the ConnectPort Display. A keyboard can also be used, if input is required. If a keyboard is connected to the ConnectPort Display, the keyboard data is sent to the Host Application for it to process.

The Application Server can be connected to the ConnectPort Display directly with a serial cable (the same as as "dumb terminals"), or it can be connected over an Ethernet network. When connected over the network, the Digi RealPort driver must be installed on the Application Server. RealPort serial ports appear to Host Application as local serial ports, and the data is redirected over the IP network to the ConnectPort Display. This allows existing legacy, terminal-based software applications, that traditionally communicate over serial cables, to now work over the network, via RealPort "serial-over-IP" technology without changes needing to be made to that software application.
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