internet kiosk-like card that takes over your pc?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Chris, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. Chris

    Chris Guest

    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.
    Chris, Feb 19, 2004
    #1
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  2. Chris

    Chris Guest

    "Nic O`Neill" <> wrote in message
    news:c12dim$gkf$...
    > 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.
    Chris, Feb 19, 2004
    #2
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  3. 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?"
    Lars M. Hansen, Feb 19, 2004
    #3
  4. Chris

    Jon Doe Guest

    "Nic O`Neill" <> wrote in message
    news:c12dim$gkf$...
    > 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
    Jon Doe, Feb 19, 2004
    #4
  5. Chris

    Jerry Polyak Guest

    "Lars M. Hansen" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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...
    Jerry Polyak, Feb 19, 2004
    #5
  6. 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?"
    Lars M. Hansen, Feb 19, 2004
    #6
  7. 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?"
    Lars M. Hansen, Feb 19, 2004
    #7
  8. On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 19:14:27 GMT, Lars M. Hansen
    <> 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
    BinaryBillThesailor@Sea++.com, Feb 19, 2004
    #8
  9. Chris

    Jerry Polyak Guest

    "Nic O`Neill" <> wrote in message
    news:c12vje$p68$...
    > > 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.
    Jerry Polyak, Feb 19, 2004
    #9
  10. Chris

    Jerry G. Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:c12aoa$esl$...
    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
    Jerry G., Feb 19, 2004
    #10
  11. Chris

    Nic O`Neill Guest

    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
    Nic O`Neill, Feb 19, 2004
    #11
  12. Chris

    Nic O`Neill Guest

    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

    "Chris" <> wrote in message
    news:rv2Zb.46133$...
    > 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.
    >
    >
    Nic O`Neill, Feb 19, 2004
    #12
  13. Chris

    John Brock Guest

    In article <>,
    Lars M. Hansen <> wrote:

    >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...


    Is this really true? I recently tried deleting a few fonts on a
    display PC at a major computer store (CompUSA? Circuit City?),
    and while the font files didn't disappear their sizes went to zero
    and they could no longer be used. The account was not an administrator
    account, and I would certainly hope they had made some effort to
    protect their PCs from jerks like me. In addition I installed
    WinNT on a PC a while back and was dismayed to discover that an
    ordinary user could first take ownership and then delete files
    created by the Administrator account. I'm no expert, and maybe I
    did something wrong when setting things up, but as it stands I
    don't have a real good feeling about the ability of Windows to
    protect itself from the depredations of a determined non-privileged
    user. Is there a web site somewhere with a concise summary of how
    to correctly configure Windows so that the non-privileged user
    can do no harm to anyone but himself?
    --
    John Brock
    John Brock, Feb 20, 2004
    #13
  14. Chris

    Trent© Guest

    On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 19:40:44 -0800, "Nic O`Neill" <>
    wrote:

    >> > > 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...
    >> > >

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

    >
    >The idea is to give the user free will, no limits, full rights.


    Whose idea was THAT?! I'd start by firing that guy...and starting
    over. lol


    Have a nice week...

    Trent

    Follow Joan Rivers' example --- get pre-embalmed!
    Trent©, Feb 20, 2004
    #14
  15. Chris

    Trent© Guest

    On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 20:32:12 -0800, "Nic O`Neill" <>
    wrote:

    >> 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.


    Aren't these machines on a network? If so, you don't need any card.

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

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


    You give these folks access to the boot drive?...and all its contents?


    Have a nice week...

    Trent

    Follow Joan Rivers' example --- get pre-embalmed!
    Trent©, Feb 20, 2004
    #15
  16. Chris

    Nic O`Neill Guest

    Your'e a good man, Jon.. you hear me? a GOOD MAN.

    "Jon Doe" <> wrote in message
    news:c12i4k$21c$...
    >
    > "Nic O`Neill" <> wrote in message
    > news:c12dim$gkf$...
    > > 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
    >
    >
    Nic O`Neill, Feb 20, 2004
    #16
  17. Chris

    Nic O`Neill Guest

    > > > 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...
    > > >

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


    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
    Nic O`Neill, Feb 20, 2004
    #17
  18. Chris

    Nic O`Neill Guest

    > 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
    Nic O`Neill, Feb 20, 2004
    #18
  19. Chris

    hermit50 Guest

    "Nic O`Neill" <> wrote in message
    news:c12aoa$esl$...
    > 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
    >
    >

    You could have a look at this url: http://www.personalagent.com/

    HTH

    Regards

    hermit50


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.593 / Virus Database: 376 - Release Date: 20/02/04
    hermit50, Feb 21, 2004
    #19
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