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The thin end of the wedge - and about time too

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In a recent Architech story (AJ 7.3.05) I suggested practices might think about moving to a thin client approach in which their Microstation - or other desktops - are actually more accurately described as terminals with very basic functions, the heavy-duty computing taking place on a central server.

One downside to this approach is that you still have to buy a Windows licence for each terminal. Now the Evil Empire, which once told the EC that there was no technical possibility of removing any of Windows' many constituent parts - until an outsider showed the spooky geeks how easy it was - is, according to the Bink Microsoft watch blog at http: //bink. nu, coming up with a thin version of Windows XP. Two, actually.

One is currently coded as Eiger, the other as Mönch. When released, they are expected to cost rather less than the full version, and thin client gets another boost.

I never quite know why people suggest I take a look at their sites when they must know they are going to get a lot of Dutch uncle stuff about speed, adjustable type size, speed, clarity of organisation, speed and so on. But that is what Hoxton-based Witherford Watson Mann Architects has done.

As someone who makes his living from words, I find it difficult to subscribe to the proposition that a picture is worth a thousand of them. Especially when that accurately mirrors the relative fees involved. But, reluctantly, I do. And the Witherford Watson Mann site at www. wwmarchitects. co. uk is long on words, which, too often, sprawl down below the screen, infected with the NewLabourSpeak virus:

'where members of the public are accommodated as valued participants' and 'youthful demographics and vigorous civil society' being two random examples.

But let's not be churlish. The type size is adjustable and the images come up without delay. So let's have some really severe text pruning please.

sutherland. lyall@btinternet. com

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