All told, the exercise went well. galactus, with a dual-core Intel processor and 2GB of RAM, managed to serve twenty or so students well enough with very little palpable load. The CPU utilization stayed steady at around 40% during idle moments. The OpenOffice.org processes barely registered a blip on
The only time galactus began to lag was when all the students opened up Firefox. Firefox consistently stayed as the top process. During those moments, CPU idle time went to zero, while the actual load was split between 80% user and 15% system. Fortunately, wait time was still close to zero; otherwise we would have seen thrashing.
Memory still had a few tens of megabytes left over, which fits the profile of other desktop systems that I've handled. Other parameters remained normal.
Given this performance, I would probably recommend a lighter web browser for a thin client setup.