Local Profile versus Roaming Profile

I have a dilemma. When we first installed the Macs in my IT suite (PCs and Terminal Servers everywhere else) we had to make do with a local profile. This meant that all work was saved directly on the computer – although it could be copied to the server it had to be done manually and was a pain (and it was always my fault if pupils lost work, naturally).

After a lot of work we managed to set up roaming profiles – so work was automatically (transparently) saved into students’ home directories on the network. We even managed to set up local shortcuts for DV files and video editing. Huzzah!

The problem now is that applications such as Flash, Dreamweaver (and everything else made by Adobe), Google Earth and even MS Office applications use temporary and cache files on the server rather than locally. This means that applications run slowly and running Flash with a full class is simply not viable.

So do I return to a local profile and risk students bemoaning their lost work and that PCs are easier because My Documents works or do I stick with a simpler file managent system and sluggish (even unusable!) applications? Some days I hate computers…

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