I was talking with someone here who went to a numerical workshop, and they handed out thumbdrives with full linux distros on them, so everyone had the same environment. If there's money for something like that, it might be fun to have a full yt stack on thumb drives to minimize the startup cost at the workshop, if we want an interactive portion for new users.
This is a very good idea. Maybe we could try it with Amazon EC2? I have had success building an AMI in the past, and it's very easy to do... although not free, and not local. I do though like the idea of thumb drives... and I can't imagine it wouldn't be an interactive workshop!
To this end, somebody at MSU (Dirk Colbry) has taken to doing precisely the same thing for people who go to Teragrid/XSEDE/whateverthehell workshops here at Michigan State. He loves it and is very fond of doing it. If this is something that seems interesting to people, I can ask him about the setup, and what it would take to make a yt-specific one. I get the impression it isn't that hard!