Rethinking the Linux Distribution
Subject:   SaaS and live CDs
Date:   2007-05-14 18:47:41
From:   matt_n
Perhaps the client-side piece of the puzzle can be solved by simple Live CDs that are built primarily or exclusively for web browsing. One such Live CD is cl33n ( cl33n just boots, connects to the internet and opens Firefox. There is no other functionality.

I put cl33n together after running a bunch of usability experiments existing live CDs and occasional computer users. I loved all the live CDs that I tried and I thought they would work out great but unfortunately the users (all Windows beginners) were confused by each of them.

With LiveCDs, the desktop machine becomes nearly irrelevant so all the heartache of backup & security management is centralized and/or becomes Someone Else's Problem :). The management issues reduce to those relatively-easy-to-manage dumb terminals of my youth :) but better....a LiveCD-based desktop is a smart dumb terminal :), able to do lots of client-side processing using Javascript. If it becomes virus-ridden, just reboot. If it breaks, no data is lost.