Thank you, and I now see that the Geek actually said that. Sorry for being dense. So for everyone else, yes it works. So two steps:
1. In start menu, control userpasswords2
2. Check the box saying a password is required
3. For individual users who you do not want to require to use a password, as an administrator go into "add or remove user accounts" in control panel, choose the accounts you want to edit, and remove the password if there is one.
Result is that you get a welcome screen, click on whoever you are and it logs in; those who want to have a password can still do so. Obviously no password setups are only for safely located machines, not an office environment.
General question that this posting brings up - on this forum, is it considered polite to say thank you, or is that considered wasting space? Nothing in the FAQ.