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This might be best explained by trying to paint a picture. It would be nice if either scenario exists, or that someone is working on it. I'd love to at least subscribe to something to get updates as the development progresses.

Setup: I have several PC's in the home; them being my office PC in the back of the house, one connected to the TV in the front, and a laptop floating through various rooms.

Scenario: I'm either programming, or watching videos on my office PC. I'm tasked with cooking on the BBQ so I bring the laptop outside and continue using the same session that was on my PC, but is now on the laptop. After finishing there, I head back inside and transfer the session to the TV's computer.

Theoretically, I can see this happening through two different methods.

  1. A network hosted OS and each "PC" essentially is a dummy terminal that handles only the display and input capture. Everything else is sent to the server to handle the work. This scenario would likely only have one or two users... not a huge number so I don't really need a super computer as the server.
  2. A "sharing" OS where each PC has it's own installation but it can share some or any running applications to any of the other PC's given they were running the same fundamental architecture. The concept would essentially "pause" an app transfer everything about it to the second computer where it would then "resume". How this works is not really necessary, just that this is what it does.
  3. A sync like program that manages the data isn't really what I'm looking for as that's almost what I have now. And I'll often have to prompt the necessary programs to sync, as well as some programs need to be shut down to unlock files. lots of time and thinking on my part and time

I'm not necessarily looking for a working solution today, just something I'm interested in knowing if it exists already. I know virtual servers can move the guest machines while they are running, so long as the target server is running the same CPU.

Ideally, the example that I like best is an ad I saw for netflicks where someone is watching a moving in bed, pauses, goes downstairs and continue watches in the kitchen, then pauses and continues watching in the living room (or maybe it was the other way around)

Notes: Any security related issues are irrelevant. While they are important, it's not the focus of what I'm wondering. If it's listed on Google, I'm using the wrong search terms (but I don't know the right ones).

Update: As per entertainment purposes, I wonder what a good solution is for videos. And in regards to gaming, something similar to OnLive's services would be cool too. Infact, if OnLive's services could be utilized for regular PC use,m I think that would be ideal.

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2 Answers 2

Have you tried remote desktop connection? It essentially makes one computer a terminal for another computer (both running Windows). This would be the best answer for the first method you described.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Remote-Desktop-Connection-frequently-asked-questions

It's not just a random feature :-). This is basically how Microsoft programmers use/switch between their computers, so it's well supported.

I'm not sure there's a solution for the second one. If there, were I bet a number of datacenter admins would love to use it. As for the 3rd one, it would be very challenging for a 3rd party program to understand how various apps are using files in memory, and to transfer this info across the wire (hence why most apps can't sync without the apps closing & writing files to disk). It'd actually be impossible to do this without operating system support (the 2nd method you described) or support by each running app, and I'm not aware of any major operating systems that currently do this. Perhaps there's one that I'm not aware of.

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You want something along the lines of blogs.technet.com/b/iftekhar/archive/2009/07/08/… –  ta.speot.is Jun 13 '11 at 3:42
    
Especially now that Server 2008 R2 SP1 has RemoteFX for streaming video via RDP. –  ta.speot.is Jun 13 '11 at 3:42
    
I use RDC at work, but it's to fairly old windows servers (I'm a little embarrassed as to how old... even though I don't have the authority to change it). I never seriously considered what RDC could offer in the newer versions. especially with multiple monitor support. –  Foobar Jun 14 '11 at 4:06
    
I guess the hack enabling multiple concurrent user would be useful as well: missingremote.com/guide/… –  bubu Jun 14 '11 at 4:18
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there is a solution called cloud OS - I am not sure, whether this can work on a local network, but it could be what you need.

There are various cloud OS like Joli OS, or Peppermint for example. Other way is, as mentioned, the remote desktop access.

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