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I just *had* to comment.

Derek wrote:
> The idea is simple: the user should be able to log into any computer
> and do the same work, no matter where it is.  We didn't use AFS or
> athena, but we did use other network filesystems and authentication
> schemes to approximate the same effect.  I think it's not a special
> case at all.  [In practice, some of these environments varied from
> this a little, but the data that existed on individual clients was
> considered temporary and/or unimportant, and was not backed up in any
> way by the sysadmin team. OTOH, some of these environments ran with
> dumb terminals...]
> And the point was that storing all configuration in a central registry
> makes this really hard to achieve.  In many environments, that's an
> inescapable fact.

I worked with a particular TLA in the Federal Gov't who did almost exactly
They were an almost-all Windows shop, with a few Unix servers (very few).
They used Windows Roaming Profiles, which was essentially a central
repository of user settings and software installations.  Each desktop
machine was an empty shell, just a base OS.  When the user logged in, part
of the procedure was to download the user's profile to that machine, which
set access to software, set user directories, etc.  Nothing was stored

This is where we found, BTW, that MS violated their own standard in registry
operations.  In a nutshell, anything temporarily set in memory took
precedence over the registry.  IIRC, their own docs said otherwise.

I'm not sure if this is a comment supporting or not supporting a central


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