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Educational Software Thread, PROMISOR ADMINISTRATOR / ESM SERVER ISSUES in Technical; We were advised by GOLA not to install the latest update because the fixes were minor (i.e. they probably knew ...
  1. #16
    Gerry's Avatar
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    We were advised by GOLA not to install the latest update because the fixes were minor (i.e. they probably knew it could break the system).

    As for rolling back to an earlier version, I can't see why not...

  2. #17
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    2nd line support said it was not possible it would cause even more problems to rollback after an upgrade, And they could not find the previous version of software's files
    Its amazing what excuses people come up with
    Last edited by lsheldon; 23rd February 2009 at 04:57 PM.

  3. #18

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    Sorry for the delay.

    You may find these useful in the future: http://repository.neoplosive.co.uk/e...N_Practice.zip

    In theory if they don't work the program won't work (simulates real environment behaviour).

  4. #19
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    Angry oh the pain that is edexcel "online testing"

    It's that time of year again, after a painful (though thankfully a small group) edexcel numeracy test, it's time for french reading and listening (joy).

    The Numeracy test started at 8.45 and started well, I was filled with optimism and started wondering why i had been dreading the test.

    I was soon reminded , at 9.00, when the rest of the curriculum network users logged on, edexcel online testing started to slow down, panic started to set in with both teacher and invigilators
    (this was only a very small group, approx 10 pupils).
    I hasten to add that I'm not one to panic, but all positivity that had built up before 9.00 suddenly evaporated leaving a rather bitter feeling, how could I have been so naive as to believe it would work.
    We've recently had a fiber backbone put in for the curriculum, we run promissor (a fantastically titled program that should be called the empty promissor or fibber)
    on a dedicated server, but still it crawls along.

    I've followed every recommendation that edexcel made, to ensure each pc is configured correctly to give the test the best possible chance and spent a lot of time recently talking to various companies we use regarding ways of segregating the traffic to and from the exam server and there appears to be no easy way around this.

    I have requested some demo tests for tomorrow, which will be conducted whilst the networks at its busiest, then later we will attempt the same at a quieter time.

    I will be running the real french reading and listening (back to back) for 19 pupils at 10.30 this thursday (4th june) and my fallback solution is to pull all the uplinks to all the cabs except the cab serving the exam PC's, although this seems an extreme solution and will ruffle many feathers, I am not prepared to faff about and waste my time hanging about during the exam in order to make excuses for edexcel, whilst trying to defend the network.

    Please excuse me moaning on this post, but you fellow edugeeks are the only people who understand.

    If anyone has any suggestions as to how to remedy any of these performance issues, they would be gratefully received.

  5. #20
    jfairbairn's Avatar
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    For those of you waiting with bated breath, losing sleep, wondering...

    Did the exams run successfully for him?

    Well, the answer is yes and no.

    The tests started well, up until the point when 50% of the pupils taking the test realised they were doing last years test.

    Exams halted, my long suffering collleague Immediately reported the problem to Edexcel.
    Due to the sheer volume of calls Edexcel were experiencing at that time, the phone was answered by non-support person (a cleaner perhaps or a conscientious passer-by, on hearing screams of anguish coming from within the Edexcel office, went to investigate... I digress) who took details and arranged a callback.

    This delay affected the whole school (as i disabled the rest of the network) for nearly 2 hours longer than necessary, almost overunning into the next exam and resulted in pupils having no break between exams. - Not good!

    Once Edexcell had rectified the problem (ha ha ) the tests got underway, it was then discovered that half the pupils had been given the mock tests they had already completed, Ridiculous!

    So I await instruction as to the next step.

    All the errors on Edexcel's part aside for a moment, the delivery of the tests (albeit the wrong ones) went smoothly, the machines behaved well. Prior to the exams, during our testing phase, we only had one PC that refused to play the audio clips and due to time constrainsts another PC was used (I suspect a removal and re-install of Flash will remedy this).

    The pre-exam routine we followed was this...

    1. Log on to all PC's to be used as Admin and update prommisor client.
    2. Check flash player is installed.
    3. Ensure the pupils have full permission to access Edexcel/Promissor folders in C:\Program files.
    4. Log of Admin and log on as your test user.
    5. Run demo tests (these will have been requested by you from edexcel).
    6. Once demo test are completed (assuming no issues) log off test user and log on as Admin and clear Internet cache files.
    7. Shutdown PC, it is now ready to be used for Exams.

    As well as these steps, I disabled the rest of the Curriculum network to ensure there was no other traffic and this made all the difference to performance, compared to the numeracy tests we conducted whilst the rest of the network was up.

    I hope this post is useful to someone (other than myself, to vent my spleen), I live in hope that one day Edexcel Online testing will be just that, Online, login to a website and sit the exam (in at least IE7), then all we (long suffering tech's) would have to do is update flash and maintain a good internet connection, whilst Edexcel earnt their money by doing everything else at the backend of the website.

  6. #21
    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylv3r View Post
    Unfortunately this is the start of online tests and we currently do ALAN and Assett languages online as well as the QCA KS3 ICT tests a few years back, the shift for all exam boards to move online is just around the corner to save on costs etc. Unfortunately the software needs to improve and consideration needs to be given to schools to organise ICT suites for exam use as well as disruption to other lessons.
    Such software often appearts to be badly written and badly documented.
    It might well also help if they designed the software with the assumption of being run from a network share, with minimal requirements on the client machine.

  7. #22
    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    Flash not working is down to folder permissions on the client machines. The students need full control of the promissor client folder. You can set this via scripting using xcacls in a machine startup script. I personally tried setting the folder permissions using active directory but for some reason didn't work so used the xcacls method.
    If they'd done something sensible like looking in HKCU\\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ex plorer\Shell Folders
    and used something under "My Documents", "AppData", "Local Settings", "Local AppData", etc even $TMP and $TEMP then this sort of hack probably wouldn't be needed in the first place.

  8. #23
    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasssp View Post
    We had the same problem, and again was the promisor folder in program files, users and power users need full access.

    I ran the update on Monday and it broke itself. But support fixed it. It does seem to hate flash 10 though. Poor coding as usual, it sees flash 10 as flash 1. Never thought double digits would be so hard for programmers...
    These are the same programmers who think that having write access to the place where the executable are stored is a good idea. With that mentality it's probably not too much of a suprise version numbers confuse them. It's actually more of a suprise that they made it up to V9 as opposed to thinking V2 was V0, V3 was V1, V4 was V0, and so on

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    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfairbairn View Post
    we run promissor (a fantastically titled program that should be called the empty promissor or fibber)
    There's also the irony of the client being called "Administrator".

    Maybe they paid so much for some consultant to come up wth the silly names that they couldn't afford to employ decent programmers.
    I've followed every recommendation that edexcel made, to ensure each pc is configured correctly to
    give the test the best possible chance and spent a lot of time recently talking to various companies we
    Assuming that is the correct advice in the first place. There's also the issue of even if you do optimise for one specific app you may get something which is sub optimal for everything else.

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  11. #25

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    The software takes way too much time to setup and get working securely.

    administrator + supervision

    nuff said.

  12. #26

    EduTech's Avatar
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    We have had to get this installed in one of our classrooms ready for wednesday, down to machines looking else where for the install. it rolled out no problem.

    Touch wood everything goes ok wednesday!

    James.

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    You must be the first person to have had it work amazingly well OOTB! I pull my hair out when they say ALAN test, I still have knightmares about it now Well not really, just a flash back today when I found some paperwork on my desk for them!

    IMHO Give them paper tests much easier and FAR less hassle

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    I tell you something now mate, it was a shock to see it deploy with no issues!! it gave me nightmares for weeks the first time round. we can thankfully say we have now managed to hand over the administration side back to a teaching member of staff. so all we have to do is make sure the software is deployed in the right rooms! and thats enough!

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    Red face

    Same problem here today; 2 classrooms with 18 candidates in each taking the adult numeracy level2 test and after they logged in to promisor and started the first question and guess what: the tables weren't showing in the questions, the odd thing was on all the machines, out of 36 we had 11 with this problem.

    I don't know if it was down to flash (current version 10) or permissions, well at least this is what the edexcel support told me that it's to do with the version of flash being old or not enough permissions on the promissor folder in c:\program files. The odd this is not ball of the faild and all of those PCs are setup the same way all ghosted from same image.

    What I noticed students who logged in first it worked for nthem and it got to the 17 candiadte the problem started.

    Any advice is much appreciated.
    Thanks

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    We've had items not appear on the test screens due to the various students who have fiddled around with the contrast and brightness settings.

    May be worth a look?

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