David Peterson is the chief technology officer for Fiddlehead, a young company merging with CDI this month. Peterson has been developing the Fiddlehead software for most of his 21-year working life.
What does the Fiddlehead software do?
Fiddlehead is software that creates up to four virtual computers from one CPU. With Fiddlehead, up to four students can work independently on the computer, each with their own monitor, keyboard, mouse and operating system.
How is Fiddlehead different than using a central server or thin client?
Thin clients don’t offer real PC performance because the server is remote from the user and performance suffers, especially multimedia. With Fiddlehead, the multimedia is perfect, which is important in schools. Also, because each “seat” has its own operating system and its own set of applications there are no problems with multiple users sharing the same file, as is the case with thin clients.
Besides turning one computer into four, what else does Fiddlehead do?
It allows schools to unify and manage their diverse collection of computers with centrally controlled operating system images. It allows a tech coordinator to install, update, lock/unlock, replace or repair the entire operating system and software collection on any computer from a central location with browser-based, drag-and-drop functionality.
Why is this important to schools?
School districts buy new computers all the time, so there is typically a wide assortment of brands and models sprinkled across schools. Ensuring image consistency among all computers is important for users and network administrators. The ability to remotely clone an image onto a collection of different computer models is very valuable.
How does Fiddlehead differ from other software for managing operating systems?
Our product is one unified enterprise-wide product. It allows technology coordinators complete flexibility to manage their enterprise systems any way they want by giving them complete control over every machine from a central location. For instance, if a student downloads a file that disables a computer with a virus, the machine’s infected operating system can simply be replaced with a clone of the master image, all from the technologist’s office.
Are there other features that would help a school district technologist?
Yes, from the same remote console you can clone operating systems, lock a computer so a student can’t introduce a virus, start and shutdown computers, distribute and install applications via virtual CDs and conduct other PC management tasks—all either manually or on an automated schedule. No other single software program provides this level of enterprise-level control.
How do customers save money by using Fiddlehead?
We estimate a savings of about 40 percent because the customer can get away with buying one CPU instead of four. And by simplifying the management of imaging and operating systems, fewer technical work hours are needed.