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Old 06-12-2013, 07:54 AM   #16
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This was left on the second post and it brings up some really good points. What is everyone's take on thin clients. Just not dummy terminals to say the least.

Originally Posted by coley909 View Post
I would rather go the Linux route...
While I too would rather you go down the Linux route, too, let's just consider a few of the problems.

When windows users come across a computer that isn't what they are used to, they tend to consider it as 'wrong' or 'broken'. A typical reaction will be 'why did they put that computer there that no one can use.' However wildly incorrect you consider that reaction, you'll have to get used to fielding that reaction a dozen times a day.
You'll also get a lot of 'I can't find Internet Exploder' reactions; you'll know this isn't helpful. You'll also know that you shouldn't want to hit the people who say that, but that might not help. These days, you'll probably be able to cut down the number of these reactions by ensuring that a nice gleaming version of Firefox or Chrome/Chromium is waiting for them, but there will still be some.
You will then bet with your colleagues 'You know that guy who just asked two stupid questions that he could have answered by reading those notices in 72 point, I bet he'll be back within seven minutes asking about Word or Excel'
At this point you may be thinking 'You are right, I am lucky that I don't live an area in which carrying guns is legal, because I could probably shoot a few, pour encourager les autres, and that wouldn't be all that helpful. Or you could live in area in carrying guns is legal, and the implications of that could be troubling. After all, killing too many of your customers isn't generally considered to be great customer service.
After getting past all of that (Hey, all we've got to do is get better customers!) we can get on to the more technical aspects.
A Live CD is a tempting approach; beware of it being slower, and that causing the custards to come creeping back with complaints.
You will want something like 'kiosk mode'
If you can treat these computers as something like an appliance, you could probably build your own custom DVD quite nicely with the Suse Studio (here is some stuff that leads you there)
there are still a load of decisions to take; probably the worst/most pressing one of those is 'which GUI'? In general, Windows users are thought to be more likely to adapt to the 'everything is configurable' approach of kde than the 'we know what is best for you' approach of Gnome (and Apple users the opposite). In some ways, something plain-and-simple like XFCE or LXDE might be better still if your hardware dictates something on the lighter side (while you might be able to configure the heavyweights in a gazillion different ways, as you'll probably prevent the punters from storing configurations, spending an hour getting KDE just as you like it won't be all that constructive, because you'll throw it away at the end of the session)

Originally Posted by coley909 View Post
That way I can eliminate HD's and keep everything as easy and simple when we upgrade just pop in the disc and your done.
So, no swap, then. If you've got enough ram, I can understand this as an approach. But, if you haven't got enough ram, it could be problematic.

You might also want to consider one of the 'thin client' approaches. Using your old computers as sort-of dumb terminals, and a central computer holding configurations has the potential to simplify admin. (The clients get a fresh config at the start of each day, so old configs and pushing out updates becomes simple, and there shouldn't be too much risk of customers storing their own stuff somewhere on the computer.)

Originally Posted by coley909 View Post
(conservative library)
You need some kind of content filtering. Whether or not the library is particularly conservative, you will need this. People will come in to 'research' bomb making, mass murder and porn. You don't want to see the headlines after this. Even if you are pretty liberal, you don't want to see the headlines after someone who has, eg, researched bomb making puts those 'skills' into practice. You know, maybe the information is clearly 'out there', and maybe even if you didn't help, they would find it some other way, but you are the line of least resistance and they find it using your equipment and you are in the frame, maybe even personally.

Originally Posted by coley909 View Post
custom ISO disc to ease staff with any IT problems. Have an issue new disc done and moving on easy for the staff
custom applications and settings normally not included in live Cd's
Do you have a minimum list of applications? If the list is essentially common, open source, applications (eg, Libre Office, Firefox, etc) then it will be reasonably easy, if it includes much proprietary stuff, you'll have to think about the apps more carefully (particularly for something like Flash, there might be a security risk with how fast you can get security updates and push them out. Oh, I don't know why I mention Flash. No, no, it is not at all because it is a crock with a history of late and badly-done patches. No, its not that at all.)
Old 06-12-2013, 12:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by coley909 View Post
Not sure why double post nothing showed and now both are here. admins delete this one please!
Threads merged and cleaned up. Next time please just don't use your browsers back button but edit your original post instead.
Old 06-13-2013, 05:18 PM   #18
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Something else to consider... not sure if it was covered/buried in some of the longer quotes; didn't see it though.

For something like this that is going to be left in place for an extended period of time, you probably want something with some form of long-term support for releases - CentOS/Scientific (5 years) vs. Fedora, Ubuntu LTS vs. their regular six-month release cycle, openSUSE 'Evergreen' vs. their 'regular' releases, etc. The individual packages may be somewhat older, but are usually more tested/ have fewer bugs. For you, being a one-man show, it should help minimize the total amount of running around you need to do once everything is up and running, and you can work on testing upgrades when new LTS versions come out every few years rather than every 6-9 months.


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