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internet kiosk-like card that takes over your pc?

 
 
Chris
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      02-19-2004
What exactly do you have against "software-based" limits?

Also, why would someone feel compelled to utilize your crippled computers,
when they could go nextdoor to an internet cafe or kiosk, and use the full
capabilities?

Basically, I'm curious why you think you need to go the hardware route, and
secondly, why bother with restricting the use, when it's your function in
the hospitality industry to provide service, rather than behave like
overprotective parents. If you do go the restricted route, explain the
limits to your clientelle, and not in fine print. Many people do their
computing on the move, and not all of them have only some emails to send.
You'll be risking the loss of business to a more computer-savvy competitor.


 
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Chris
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      02-19-2004

"Nic O`Neill" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:c12dim$gkf$(E-Mail Removed)...
> okay, i just spoke to our tech human and apparently i had it wrong, sorry.
>
> what this card does is load windows into a virtual mem (physical) card. So
> the user may go wild and delete whatever he/she wants, uninstall programs,
> install new programs, make configuration changes etc., BUT,
>
> when the machine reboots, it loads the original default configuration from
> the card.


Caught you, didn't I?

> So basically the users may do whatever they want and we dont care 'cause
> once rebooted, the machine is back to normal. --saves us having to take
> calls from the hotel e.g. because some user decided to uninstall a

critical
> component.


That's more reasonable. I don't know of any such hardware, personally, but
I do believe such exists. A security expert might be able to point you to
the right equipment.

> We have tried a few software based solutions, but after some testing we
> found that it results in a horrible end-user experience.
>
> If indeed you know of a good software based solution I'd like to know the
> name. However we've already kinda settled for a hardware based solution...
> yet to be found.


Well, hardware might be better for what you propose, as there's nothing
stopping some idiot from erasing your rebootable software. Good luck.




 
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Lars M. Hansen
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      02-19-2004
On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 15:24:32 -0800, Nic O`Neill spoketh

>okay, i just spoke to our tech human and apparently i had it wrong, sorry.
>
>what this card does is load windows into a virtual mem (physical) card. So
>the user may go wild and delete whatever he/she wants, uninstall programs,
>install new programs, make configuration changes etc., BUT,
>
>when the machine reboots, it loads the original default configuration from
>the card.
>
>So basically the users may do whatever they want and we dont care 'cause
>once rebooted, the machine is back to normal. --saves us having to take
>calls from the hotel e.g. because some user decided to uninstall a critical
>component.
>
>We have tried a few software based solutions, but after some testing we
>found that it results in a horrible end-user experience.
>
>If indeed you know of a good software based solution I'd like to know the
>name. However we've already kinda settled for a hardware based solution...
>yet to be found.
>
>Thanks in advance
>Nic
>


With a properly installed and configure windows computer, the user
doesn't have the rights to install, uninstall or delete files the user
should not be deleting...

Lars M. Hansen
www.hansenonline.net
Remove "bad" from my e-mail address to contact me.
"If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?"
 
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Jon Doe
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      02-19-2004

"Nic O`Neill" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:c12dim$gkf$(E-Mail Removed)...
> okay, i just spoke to our tech human and apparently i had it wrong,

sorry.
>
> what this card does is load windows into a virtual mem (physical)

card. So
> the user may go wild and delete whatever he/she wants, uninstall

programs,
> install new programs, make configuration changes etc., BUT,
>
> when the machine reboots, it loads the original default

configuration from
> the card.
>


Have a look at these :
http://www.radix.co.il/
http://www.moonscape.com/

They might give you some ideas.

---
/JD


 
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Jerry Polyak
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      02-19-2004

"Lars M. Hansen" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 15:24:32 -0800, Nic O`Neill spoketh
>
> >okay, i just spoke to our tech human and apparently i had it wrong,

sorry.
> >
> >what this card does is load windows into a virtual mem (physical) card.

So
> >the user may go wild and delete whatever he/she wants, uninstall

programs,
> >install new programs, make configuration changes etc., BUT,
> >
> >when the machine reboots, it loads the original default configuration

from
> >the card.
> >
> >So basically the users may do whatever they want and we dont care 'cause
> >once rebooted, the machine is back to normal. --saves us having to take
> >calls from the hotel e.g. because some user decided to uninstall a

critical
> >component.
> >
> >We have tried a few software based solutions, but after some testing we
> >found that it results in a horrible end-user experience.
> >
> >If indeed you know of a good software based solution I'd like to know the
> >name. However we've already kinda settled for a hardware based

solution...
> >yet to be found.
> >
> >Thanks in advance
> >Nic
> >

>
> With a properly installed and configure windows computer, the user
> doesn't have the rights to install, uninstall or delete files the user
> should not be deleting...
>
> Lars M. Hansen
> www.hansenonline.net
> Remove "bad" from my e-mail address to contact me.
> "If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?"


Yep, I thought a restricted user account achieved just that...


 
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Lars M. Hansen
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      02-19-2004
On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 19:40:44 -0800, Nic O`Neill spoketh

>
>The idea is to give the user free will, no limits, full rights. When the
>machine reboots, any of such alterations will be lost and the box is reset
>to a defined state.
>check jon's links
>
>Nic
>


Everyone can have free will without (local) administrator privileges on
their company laptop (or on a hotel courtesy computer).

Granting such access as a means of "convenience" is a bad plan.

Did you look at diskless thin-clients at all?

Lars M. Hansen
www.hansenonline.net
Remove "bad" from my e-mail address to contact me.
"If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?"
 
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Lars M. Hansen
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      02-19-2004
On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 20:32:12 -0800, Nic O`Neill spoketh

>> Everyone can have free will without (local) administrator privileges on
>> their company laptop (or on a hotel courtesy computer).

>
>yes, but it results in maintanance and additional support when one user
>after the other works on the same machine. The card idea simply gives you
>more control, having the ability to reset the machine back to a working,
>defined state? Saves you at least 4 support calls a day.
>
>> Granting such access as a means of "convenience" is a bad plan.

>
>how so? There's really no difference.
>
>Nic
>


Because you all allowing persons who are ultimately not knowledgable
enough about the operating system to have access which allows them to
basically destroy it. Since regular users cannot install software,
you've taken away a significant source of malware, unauthorized
installations and accidental removal of software or components that will
render the computer either inoperable or simply not working right. Not
having "clueless joe" futz around with network settings and display
settings will essentially reduce the number of support calls, because
they don't have the opportunity to make it fubar.

In addition, the security aspect. If it's a shared laptop, if everyone
logs in either with one (local) account, or with administrator
privileges, they'll have access to all the documents on the laptop,
regardless of their owner. Imagine the CFO's layoff-plan being on there,
and the next person to borrow the laptop spotted it?

I'm not saying that the hardware "mirroring" is a bad plan. It does
protect the underlying system ... I'm just saying you'll get pretty much
the same effect by not allowing "joe putz" to mess around with things he
shouldn't be allowed to do.


Lars M. Hansen
www.hansenonline.net
Remove "bad" from my e-mail address to contact me.
"If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?"
 
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BinaryBillThesailor@Sea++.com
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      02-19-2004
On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 19:14:27 GMT, Lars M. Hansen
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 20:32:12 -0800, Nic O`Neill spoketh
>
>>> Everyone can have free will without (local) administrator privileges on
>>> their company laptop (or on a hotel courtesy computer).

>>
>>yes, but it results in maintanance and additional support when one user
>>after the other works on the same machine. The card idea simply gives you
>>more control, having the ability to reset the machine back to a working,
>>defined state? Saves you at least 4 support calls a day.
>>
>>> Granting such access as a means of "convenience" is a bad plan.

>>
>>how so? There's really no difference.
>>
>>Nic
>>

>
>Because you all allowing persons who are ultimately not knowledgable
>enough about the operating system to have access which allows them to
>basically destroy it.


Which matters why? The OP wants a solution that completely reloads the
original image every time the computer gets rebooted. As long as the
users don't attack the PC with a hammer and crowbar, there's nothing
compromised in any way.

>Since regular users cannot install software,
>you've taken away a significant source of malware, unauthorized
>installations and accidental removal of software or components that will
>render the computer either inoperable or simply not working right. Not
>having "clueless joe" futz around with network settings and display
>settings will essentially reduce the number of support calls, because
>they don't have the opportunity to make it fubar.
>


I don't think you fully understand what the OP is talking about. Your
objections are groundless.

BB
 
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Jerry Polyak
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      02-19-2004

"Nic O`Neill" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:c12vje$p68$(E-Mail Removed)...
> > Everyone can have free will without (local) administrator privileges on
> > their company laptop (or on a hotel courtesy computer).

>
> yes, but it results in maintanance and additional support when one user
> after the other works on the same machine. The card idea simply gives you
> more control, having the ability to reset the machine back to a working,
> defined state? Saves you at least 4 support calls a day.
>
> > Granting such access as a means of "convenience" is a bad plan.

>
> how so? There's really no difference.
>
> Nic
>
>
>
>


Once again I have to agree with Lars. As long as you don't grant
administrative privileges to a user there is very little chance of him/her
doing any damage. And you are not reducing the usability of the system at
all. I work at my local Community College and that is exactly what we do in
the classrooms and computer labs. Additionally all the machines have GoBack
on them, and get restored to a predetermined point on regular bases.


 
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Jerry G.
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-19-2004
If you are running an NT type operating system, such as NT4, 2000, or
XP-Pro, it is possible to configure the machine to be very restricted in a
guest client mode. You can go very deep in to the set-ups, and make
whatever restrictions you want. NT operating systems have a great recovery
capability. There are also a software called go-back that allows you to do
some type of recovery. You should also have dual hard drives, and do an
image of the main one. This way, with the proper software you can have a
very fast full disaster recovery that is internal to the machine.

Your choice would be to not allow the uninstallation of software, change the
clock, change any parameters, or to install new software. You would only
want to allow them to use the software given, and to only allow them to
create basic user type files for themselves.

Many corporate computers are set-up in a very restricted manner. This
prevents the employees from deleting valuable files, and uninstalling, or
installing software's from all over the place.

You will probably need the services of a professional IT support person who
is versed in this type of set-up.

--

Greetings,

Jerry Greenberg GLG Technologies GLG
=========================================
WebPage http://www.zoom-one.com
Electronics http://www.zoom-one.com/electron.htm
=========================================


"Nic O`Neill" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:c12aoa$esl$(E-Mail Removed)...
Hi guys

Im looking for a pc card that basically takes over the host computer and
prevents users from doing anything except browse and send/receive email.

Background: Hotel lobby or Business Centre computers, available to the
public, needs limited windows functionality.

Apparently PcOnTheGo (www.pconthego.com) manufactures such a card. It's
called PC Angel, but their site seems down and so does their business. Cant
find nothing on them except references to their dead website.

I know there are software solutions available that does this, but we would
prefer to go the hardware route.

Please give me your thoughts, ta!
Nic





 
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