Alternate low-cost platform for OVC

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Wed Jul 07 2004 - 09:55:34 CDT

In the last week there have been two reports of Four headed PCs, that is systems with one computer that supports four separate keyboards and screens. You may recall this was one of the potential advantages of the sun-ray scheme.

HP is producing a low cost system specifically for south african schools (at present they are only producing it for SA, but are considering US distribution if they see a market)

And a group in South America has hacked the linux kernel to produce a four headed machine.

The obvious plus is that for the cost of additional video cards one could use a single PC.

One OVC model is to have machines bought for single time use in voting then transfered to other government uses. Splitting one machine four ways makes it attractive to buy high-end PCs for single-time use in voting systems which one would find much easier to "give away" to other government agencies. One could retain the extra video cards and screens for use in the next voting cycle.

Upside is in cost, transportation costs, security costs, set up time, and post-processing votes during vote reconciliation. Downside is that one machine failure now takes out four stations. Probably minor concerns about keeping the processes separate so accidentally I dont suddenly get the video screen for another user. Likewise Minor concerns about making sure the right printer and right keyboard is in front of the right voting station. Some constraints in voting station geometry.

This might also apply to the vote verification stations.

p.s. I still think palm pilot-like devices plugged into full-sized screens and keyboards are the way to go due simplification of robustness in rough handling, battery operation, transport, storage, and physical security.
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Received on Sat Jul 31 23:17:10 2004

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