If you want to go with Mac Minis (which, having had to use one as my primary work machine for the last two weeks while my Macbook was in the shop, seems like a perfectly inexpensive and awesome choice), I would probably just max out the RAM on them and opt for putting Windows in VirtualBox (or its ilk) rather than worry about Bootcamp.
It would give you more options (Windows 7/8, Linux, etc.) and wouldn't require rebooting.
I do like the idea of more versatile public computers, although I'm not sure how much real use they would get beyond web browsing, in practice. I would imagine that probably depends a lot on what you make available and how you promote them (for example, offering iMovie and making firewire cables available, etc.).
Also, I can't comment on what the maintenance overhead would be. Obviously in the library world, there's probably a lot more acquired knowledge on imaging and locking down Windows than alternatives.
On Aug 12, 2013, at 11:57 AM, Nate Hill <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Is anyone on the list using mac computers and bootcamp or some other
> partition to offer public access to either a mac or windows environment for
> their users? This seems like ti could be a pretty cool option to present
> folks with.
> Any thoughts on the matter? I'm trying to figure out what to replace our
> public computers with here in Chattanooga. Obviously I want them to be
> both inexpensive and awesome.
> Nate Hill
> [log in to unmask]