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Educational Software Thread, Nelson Thornes science software in Technical; I have 3 packages that are running on our network, biology for you, chemistry for you and physics for you. ...
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    dezt's Avatar
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    Nelson Thornes science software

    I have 3 packages that are running on our network, biology for you, chemistry for you and physics for you. All 3 are located on our server and shortcuts allow them to run on other PC's. I am having a problem with 1 PC not running them, all it does is show the splash screen and do nothing else, whereas all the others bring up a new window with the program in.


    Any ideas as to why?




    Dezt.

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    Its probably something to do with the player that they use like flash or director. Try reinstalling these or just reimage the PC if possible as little problems like these tend to take up too much time and it is easier jsut to reinstall.

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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    We had a similar problem with Scientifica from Nelson Thornes. Here's the Email they sent me -

    Hi ,

    ************************************************** ***********

    Here is the details on how to change the security settings with Flash player 8.

    You probably have Flash Player 8 installed and will need to alter your Flash Player settings as follows to get the program working (you'll need to have an Internet connection on your machine to do this):
    a) Launch the Just Click program, right-click on the opening animation and then select Settings…
    b) On the first tab in box displayed click on the Advanced button.
    c) On the web page displayed click the Global Security Settings Panel link on the left.
    d) Click the Edit locations drop-down menu, click Add locations and then the Browse for folder button - Always allow
    e) Navigate to the Nelson Thornes folder on your hard disk (default location C:\\Program Files\Nelson Thornes) and click OK.
    f) Refresh the web page and close all browser windows before running the Just Click program again.


    Please fell free to contact me if you have any questions.

    Regards,

    Ieuan WIlliams
    Nelson Thornes Customer Services - Technical Support
    01242267372

    ************************************************** ***********

    Hope this helps.

    RoyG

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    Ah yes I had similar problems with a Geography package detailed here

    These settings are per user though which maybe a problem for some setups. The best way to get round this if possible is to serve it from a webserver which will get round the permission problem.

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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    We have been battling with them for 18 months to fix this ... and the best answer they gave was to allow *all* local content completely unsecured ...

    And they wondered why we said that we would prefer not to do that as it might make the machines a little insecure.

    Thanks for the above stuff ... does this apply to the powerpacks as well?

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    dezt's Avatar
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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    Thanks for the help, I've added the location to flash player and installed the goal plugin from hienemann, (don't know why), but they all work now.



    Thanks again.


    Dezt

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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    Hmmmm..

    We struggled with similar problems on packages like Multimedia Science School. We found that making all users "Power Users" (Put the Domain Users Group in the local Power Users Group). It was a permissions problem in the end but was difficult to identify exactly what was wrong. This may of course be a problem for some but as we have a desktop lockdown system in place it doesn't cause us a prob.

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    I have both versions of the multimedia Science school running now as normal users. My latest victory was over the V2.0 version which proved to be very awkward. I put and entry on the wiki if you need any info.

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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    Just trying to do two of their languages packages, worst software ever!

    It installs a java service! Failed on my server with a silly error and then wouldn't uninstall from it. The two programs when installed locally consist of 1.2GB and 13k files!

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggg ggggggh

    Did find out where flash keeps this setting though, its in a application data dir. Not tested it yet though

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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    We've had problems with their software aswell. A lot of which plugs into the Granada Toolkit software aswell. Looks like they've just taken something from windows 3.11 and recompied it, badly, to get it working under XP. We're still stuck in the situation where two of Granada's programs don't work at all as they try to copy files into C:\windows\ and fail to let you load/save documents if they can't do it. Goes without saying that opening up read/write access for all users to C:\windows\ or granting them power user access like Granada suggest isnt an option! Spoke to their support 2 years ago and they promised us they were going to rewrite/patch it. Still Waiting........

    Sorry excuse for a software company IMO

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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    As we, the members of this esteemed forum, have to install and support this "Educational Software" what say you to setting up a dialogue between ourselves Edugeek) and the developers at Nelson Thornes, Granada, Birchfield et al to get this stuff written properly so it works on our heavily managed environments. Some can do it (e.g. "Focus on" range) so why can't they all. Perhaps a "corporate" approach from some 500+ forum members might get something sorted.

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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    @secman
    good plan, can't imagine they'd listen, they sell to teachers not techs.
    I vote for easy to install OS neutral software that ideally runs from any web-server.
    -= my favorite software

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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    Quote Originally Posted by secman
    As we, the members of this esteemed forum, have to install and support this "Educational Software" what say you to setting up a dialogue between ourselves Edugeek) and the developers at Nelson Thornes, Granada, Birchfield et al to get this stuff written properly so it works on our heavily managed environments. Some can do it (e.g. "Focus on" range) so why can't they all. Perhaps a "corporate" approach from some 500+ forum members might get something sorted.
    I think this is an excellent idea. Get them all to do at least the following;

    - Provide an MSI based installation which has been tested in a network environment (failing MSI, a working FULLY silent installer)

    - Default to saving documents in the 'My Documents' folder (which has been standard Windows procedure since Win95 for f**ks sake)

    - Where software is 'licensed', it should be possible to enter the license details during an 'administrative' install of the product (just like Office)

    - All software should work for normal users

    - Do not install desktop shortcuts or 'uninstall' shortcuts (although these are quite easy to fix on MSI based installations)

    Let's get a list together and starting hassling those developers!

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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    I think that main problem is that most of the people coding software don't have much knowledge of how their software is going to be used in a locked down network environment where users have very limited access and don't stick to recommended standards because it saves them time writing the app.
    Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be a problem limited to only educational software companies (though they tend to be some of the worst offenders). There's been couple of times when companies have actually asked us which permissions/keys needed to be changed to get their software running as a non-admin user 8O
    Thankfully the situations slowly getting better as schools move towards XP and having users without full admin priveledges becomes the norm. It would be lovely to see more companies thinking about providing MSI packages for their products though as it saves us months of man-hours each year. Also keeps the teachers happy as it means they can have their software days after they get it delivered instead of weeks.

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    Re: Nelson Thornes science software

    I told the makers of Multimedia Science school that they needed to make their installer an independant MSI so that schools can distribute it and their answer was that I install it on one and use disk imaging to deploy it to all the other machines! As if you want to be reimaging everytime you get a new piece of software.

    I do think though it would be good to a get a dialogue going with some of the major players.

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