I have often wondered if the older generation of game consoles could become Thin Clients. PlayStation1 and Sega’s Dreamcast are two examples of consoles which would probably be available for under USD 50. We need to a few things to make them Thin Clients:
– Port Linux and X (specifically, the X Server)
– Be able to connect to a monitor rather than TV
– Add networking capability (Ethernet)
It is in this context that this item from News.com makes interesting reading:
Two security researchers on Friday showed attendees at the Defcon hacking conference here how to reuse the small [Sega Dreamcast] off-white boxes as stealthy network monitoring devices.
Higbee and his programming partner, consultant Chris Davis of RedSiren Technologies, created the software to turn a Dreamcast into a network bug. Their software, when burned onto a CD-R and placed in a Dreamcast that has a broadband network adapter, allows the game console to give a hacker access to the network to which it is connected.
“We are really attacking the concept of what computers are,” he said, adding that many other devices could be used to monitor networks, including TiVo television recording devices, some new “intelligent” vending machines and even printers.