Ive played around with some portable Linux OS distributions, but a more complete and extremely easy distribution for carrying around on your flash drive or CD has to be Slax.
Just a couple of features that interest me;
1. They provide an ISO and Zipped archive download, allowinf you to immediately burn the ISO to CD and extract the zipped archive to Flash and run a .bat file to make the flash bootable and your set to start using Linux!
2. The standard build is only 200mb!
3. Youc an customize your build, remove certian software and add other and then they compile the build and allow you your custom download!
4. To improve performance there is an option on startup to copy to ram, this allows you to for example remove the live CD from your drive while youre using the software!
5. Allows any VNC client connection to it (Once allowed in the software)
6. Havent found on board drivers not picked up by slax, everything just works.
6. Network immediately picks up an ip from available dhcp server on network
Been dealing quite a bit with a client using a server setup with thin clients connecting to it. The workstations(clients) dont have any cdroms nor drives in them, and the slax (or any live cd for that mattrer) allow a thin client setup in an instant! I tested slax with an extremely old machine at work, no drive, no cd rom, no cover even (!!) and only 64mb ram! And slax runs! Running the gui interface is admittendly bit slow but running console mode is lightning!
You say it doesnt make sense to use this type of setup on an ongoing daily basis in your workplace for instance, mainly due to the fact that your changes on OS is never saved and lost during reboot, but all you do is setup a file sharing service on your DHCP server and whenever booted into slax the staff immediately have access to the network and their network shares and aslong as staff save all their info on there nothing will be lost!
An extremely viable sollution, the moment you are confident that your staff will be able to use linux instead of windows.