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Getting more from your iPad with Citrix and Desktop Connect (Page 4)

By Sean Kalinich from May 7, 2010 @ 8:57 CDT
Manufacturer: Apple

Citrix Receiver - Continued

Now that we have gotten past the long and tedious part, let's dive into the fun part; running Windows 7 on an iPad. As we mentioned before, we used VMWare's ESX 3.5 Server; this allowed us a good deal of flexibility as to how we setup our Windows 7 system. As we wanted responsiveness, we allocated 2GB of RAM to the system as well as two cores of the 3.2 GHz CPUs that run the ESX server. Using one of the options in the Virtual Center, we allocated 128MB of RAM to the GPU. We later increased the RAM to 4GB; this should help with video reproduction and also help prevent some internal system slowdowns. We also installed Office 2010 (beta) before we added the desktop to the group.

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The next step was the installation of the Citrix Receiver onto the iPad. This is a free app available in the App store; there is a version for both the iPad and the iPhone. When you have these two together you get some interesting extra features.

Setting up your new Citrix Receiver is fairly simple. The first thing you need to do is setup the workspace. This is how you connect to the DDC server and find the desktop groups that contain the apps and desktops available. You can also see the reason for the domain setup here. It requires you to have a valid domain account to connect to the XenDesktop server. The last item on the setup is labeled Access Gateway; this is only if you are using the Citrix Access Gateway product for connecting over the internet. We do not have one so this option will be left untouched for this article.

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After this is all setup, you can connect to the desktop group (the receiver software calls it the workspace). Here you will see all of the available desktops and applications that are available to your user account. Here you only see the one Windows 7 desktop (as that is all we setup for this). A simple tap on the icon launches the desktop and voila, you are running Windows 7 on the iPad.

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Now, before we get too deep into the performance of this setup, we want to take a few minutes to explore the options you have once you get your workspace going. If you click on the little gear icon in the upper right hand corner you will get the Settings menu. Here you can adjust basic settings for the display, session and even the wallpaper that shows up. You can also share your desktop via e-mail etc.

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The display options are more for orientation than anything else with the exception of the hide status bar options. This one does come in handy as it lets the presented desktop fill the screen.

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Session options allow you to control how you exit the session and also if you want to push audio over the connection. There is also an option to force the iPad to stay awake when you are active in the session. This is nice as you do not have to keep waking the iPad up, but will seriously affect your battery life.

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The other options such as wallpaper etc. are not much more than fluff, but are interesting to play with.

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