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Black Box Offers Kit that Multiplies CPU Computer Seats

Black Box has released a new product that enables a technician to turn one CPU into two workstations or two CPUs into four workstations. VirtuaCore allows a school to increase the number of computing seats without adding PCs.

The system uses a virtual machine approach by segmenting a dual-core processor into two separate, independent systems controlled by two individual keyboards, mice, and monitors. The quad-core version provisions a single machine into four individual drives to provide functionality for four users sharing the same computer CPU, each with his or her own input and output devices. Separate software license keys are required for each instance of the licensed product in use on the shared machine.

An instructor can also use the setup to control, view, and lock the other VirtuaCore computers in the classroom, to show lessons or examples on student screens, or view students' work on the instructor's machine.

Each kit includes one or two hardware cubes, a four-port USB hub, a PCI-based video card, and USB cards, along with all required adapters and cables. An installation CD provides step-by-step guidance through the set-up and drive provisioning process. VirtuaCore can run Windows (2000, XP, Vista, and 7) and Linux. Pricing starts at $349.95 for the two-user system and $799.95 for the four-user system.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.