Hi Erik,

A thin client/terminal server approach would probably work well for this,
too (maybe even better).  The reasons I ended up going the LiveCD image
route (aside from familiarity) were: 1) a lack of available server
hardware/money and 2) an overabundance of old PCs laying around.  OPAC
stations are our lowest hardware priority, so they always end up being old
PCs retired from other areas.  A LiveCD type system seemed like a good way
to deal with auto-detecting the wide variety of hardware in use.  With the
image on a USB stick, I can just pull any old system out of the closet and
have an instant OPAC station, no server required.  Phase 2 of this project
will be taking the boot media out of the picture and net-booting the
clients (a sort of "fat client" setup), probably using Diskless Remote Boot

I haven't done any formal evaluation but I can tell you anecdotally that
the response here has been exactly the same. Users generally  don't notice
a difference and are confused by the question.

In my case, the kiosks are strictly for browser use (we don't even allow
printing on the OPAC stations, although WebConverger supports it), but I
could certainly see word processing and other applications causing more
problems.  For that reason, I expect that our general use public PCs will
remain on Windows for the foreseeable future.

For my own curiosity, if you have any recommended resources on the thin
client approach I would be interested to read them.


On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM, Erik Mitchell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi Joshua -
> Interesting work!  I took on a tangential project to implement thin-client
> opacs using linux/gnome sessions a few years ago with pretty good success
> so it is nice to see some new work here.
> Other than an internal report that says that the project was mostly
> successful I do not have much that came out of that work but it was
> interesting to see that the opac users (largely undergraduate students) had
> no issues with simple tasks (web-browsing, document printing) and readily
> adapted to the linux/gnome environment.  I had less success with some
> linux-based thin clients in more robust word-processing environments though
> (seemed to be an issue with lack of open office familiarity).  We actually
> tried to conduct a user-satisfaction/perception study but found that our
> students did not even recognize that the environment was different as and
> such had no positive or negative opinions about the platform.  Have you
> gathered any data from users that would show how people react to these
> types of platforms?
> Erik
> On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 3:13 PM, Joshua Cowles <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Hi Code4Lib,
> >
> > First post here but I've been following the mailing list for a while and
> > the Journal and planet.code4lib longer.  I just posted a write-up
> (updating
> > one previously posted to about using WebConverger to
> > create OPAC kiosks.  I'm hoping to 1) share it with anyone who might find
> > it useful and 2) hear feedback from others who are interested in Linux
> > kiosk solutions.  I suspect that some of the people/projects I reference
> > may be on this list as well, so feel free to chime in.  There is a disqus
> > comment area beneath the write-up:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks & I hope to attend the Code4Lib conference for the first time this
> > year, so I hope to meet some of you in person soon.
> >
> > --
> > Josh Cowles
> > Fond du Lac Public Library
> >

Josh Cowles
Fond du Lac Public Library
920-539-4569 (On-Site)
[log in to unmask] (IT Requests)