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Educational Software Thread, Sherston Mega Deal Offer in Technical; I have a couple of schools that have bought this, the copy to disk space and link to the web ...
  1. #16
    conehead's Avatar
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    I have a couple of schools that have bought this, the copy to disk space and link to the web menu on clients looks handy but I would like to restrict options so users can just run the software over the network, not install, and deffo not copy shortcuts for ALL the progs to their desktop

    The automatic resizing of the desktop to run the titles, but not returning to prerun setting on exit the progs is going to be a pain though!

  2. Thanks to conehead from:

    speckytecky (6th October 2009)

  3. #17
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    What I did was copy the data to network, remove the flash frontend and create shortcuts for each of the applications instead.

    That was the easiest way I could think of to allow users to run them without an install option.

  4. 2 Thanks to kesomir:

    conehead (8th October 2009), speckytecky (6th October 2009)

  5. #18
    speckytecky's Avatar
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    My workaround seems to get the job done. Copied all the desktop icons into a New Desktop Sherston folder which then had sub folders, Maths, Early Years etc. Copied that in turn into the All Users Desktop Folder. Seems to work well - so far!

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    conehead (8th October 2009)

  7. #19
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    I have a couple of schools that have bought this, the copy to disk space and link to the web menu on clients looks handy but I would like to restrict options so users can just run the software over the network, not install, and deffo not copy shortcuts for ALL the progs to their desktop
    It is possible to restrict installation and shortcut creation by turning on the teacher options password although it's perhaps not as intuitive as it should be. When the teacher options password is enabled, the Install and Shortcut buttons remain functional. However, for the installation to actually launch or for the shortcut to actually be created, the teacher options password must be entered.

    This is certainly something that we have noted and hope to be able to request in any future developments.

    The automatic resizing of the desktop to run the titles, but not returning to prerun setting on exit the progs is going to be a pain though!
    Would you be able to confirm which programs you are experiencing these difficulties with? We'd be happy to try and troubleshoot these issues if you'd like.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 14th December 2009 at 08:13 AM.

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    speckytecky (14th October 2009)

  9. #20
    speckytecky's Avatar
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    We are finding that the only way out of some programmes is through Task Manager - no M or Q available within the programme. possibly a screen resolution issue?

  10. #21
    Sherston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    We are finding that the only way out of some programmes is through Task Manager - no M or Q available within the programme. possibly a screen resolution issue?
    Would you be able to email screenshots of this behaviour to us at support@sherston.co.uk? We'd be very interested to see this and attempt to resolve the behaviour.

  11. #22
    kesomir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    We are finding that the only way out of some programmes is through Task Manager - no M or Q available within the programme. possibly a screen resolution issue?
    The shortcut ctrl+Q works when no button is available as far as I can tell

  12. 2 Thanks to kesomir:

    Sherston (15th October 2009), speckytecky (15th October 2009)

  13. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kesomir View Post
    The shortcut ctrl+Q works when no button is available as far as I can tell
    There are a couple of other key combinations that are common across Sherston titles:

    • Ctrl + M - Return to Main Menu (present in most Sherston titles)
    • Ctrl + T - Access the Teacher Options (when at the Main Menu)


    Following feedback from the users of the edugeek forums, we are now investigating the possibility of adding an option in the Teacher Options that would hide the Install and Shortcut buttons from the menu. With this in mind, we are also wondering how people feel about the Info button that opens the user guide - would it be preferable if this was hidden as well? Any feedback regarding this would be gratefully received.

    Provided that we are able to arrange the development time for this, we will be pleased to offer the revised menu as a free of charge patch.

  14. Thanks to Sherston from:

    speckytecky (15th October 2009)

  15. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherston View Post
    Following feedback from the users of the edugeek forums, we are now investigating the possibility of adding an option in the Teacher Options that would hide the Install and Shortcut buttons from the menu. With this in mind, we are also wondering how people feel about the Info button that opens the user guide - would it be preferable if this was hidden as well? Any feedback regarding this would be gratefully received.

    Provided that we are able to arrange the development time for this, we will be pleased to offer the revised menu as a free of charge patch.
    Further to our last post, we'd like to let everyone know that we have received a new version of the Mega Deal interface. This has been updated to include options to disable the Install, Shortcut and Info buttons visible in the Main Menu.

    We have not yet completed our full range of tests against this revised menu to ensure that this functionality is working, but we will keep users of the edugeek forums updated as this progresses.

  16. Thanks to Sherston from:

    speckytecky (14th December 2009)

  17. #25

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    Sherston Megadeal

    Have just deployed this using the RM CC3 packages folder. Just copy the whole cd to the server, on a test pc create the following network drives:
    P: RMPublic - this is where the saves folder goes. can be anywhere
    Q: RMpackages- This should point to the RM CC3 packages directory from within the folder structure you created when you copied the cd.

    You now go through and run the msis one by one from the q: drive and it creates working msis in a directory called applications on the q: drive. these can be deployed via gpo. It even creates a shortcut for you, which you mave have to copy to all users desktop depending how you run the network.

    Have fun

  18. #26
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    Will you be running this promotion again?

    Just noticed it, and it seems a fantastic offer.

  19. Thanks to Trapper from:

    Sherston (12th January 2010)

  20. #27

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    Sherston Megadeal

    Have just sent a reply but I think I messed it up.

    You can use the RM C3 packages on the cd to create your own msis easily.
    All you need to do is copy the cd to the server, create a P drive share=RMPublic amd a q drive share = rmapplications on a test pc and run the msis from the q drive one by one.
    A 'normal' msi is created in a directory called applications within the RM CC3 Packages directory from which you can distribute via gpo or msiexec via a login script as is your want.

    The P drive is where the Sherston save directory goes.

    You can of course change both drives by editing the customaction in the original msi via ORCA to suite your installation.

    Cheers

  21. Thanks to ztwtso from:

    Sherston (12th January 2010)

  22. #28
    eean's Avatar
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    MSI Install

    You know, sometimes I even impress myself!

    I've just written a little script that will:
    1. Run the preliminary MSI, to extract the proper MSI.
    2. Run the proper MSI in admin mode to extract a small MSI and all the files within
    3. Edit the sherston.ini to change the P: path for saves
    4. Create the saves file on the server!
    5. Install the file on the local PC so you can test it.

    Here's what to do:
    1. Download AutoitScript and install
    2. Open up the editor (now on your start menu) and paste the script in below.
    3. Edit the variables at the top to the path of your Resource Pack HD, and to the drive letter of where you want to put the saves files.
    4. Create these folders on your c: drive c:\MSIs\Extracted1 and c:\MSIs\Extracted2
    5. If you have a q drive mapped, disconnect it temporarily
    6. At the cmd prompt type subst q: c:\MSIs\Extracted1 (this will make the computer think that that folder is the q drive).
    7. Run the script. You'll need plenty of HD space. After the program has installed you can delete file from Extracted1.
    8. Look forward to adding all the MSIs in Extracted 2 to AD.

    Code:
    #include <Process.au3>
    #include <array.au3>
    #Include <File.au3>
    
    ;This is the path to the MSI directory on your Sherston hard drive
    $SourceDir = "E:\RM CC3 Packages\"
    
    ;These is where it will find the preliminary install you could make this q:\Applications\
    $Extracted1 = "C:\MSIs\Extracted1\Applications\"
    ;This is where it will place the final MSI
    $Extracted2 = "C:\MSIs\Extracted2\"
    ;What drive letter do you want the save path to be?
    $DriveLetter = "Y"
    
    ;This is where the MSIexec file is
    $msiexec = "c:\windows\system32\msiexec.exe"
    
    ;list all the MSI files in the folder
    $FileList = _FileListToArray($SourceDir, "*.msi", 1)
    
    ;Now, for each of those files:
    For $FileN = 1 to $FileList[0]
    	
    	;Full Name of the MSI file
    	$CurMSI = $FileList[$FileN]
    	;Name minus the extension
    	$CurName = StringTrimRight($CurMSI, 4)
    	
    	;Run the preliminary install
    	ShellExecuteWait($msiexec, " /i " & Chr(34) & $SourceDir & $CurMSI & Chr(34) & " /qb-")
    	
    	;Run an admin install to extract all the files to 'Extracted2'
    	ShellExecuteWait($msiexec, " /a "  & Chr(34) & $Extracted1 & $CurName & "\" & $CurMSI & Chr(34) & " targetdir=" & Chr(34) & $Extracted2 & $CurName & Chr(34) & " /qb-")
    	
    	;This is the ini file name
    	$IniFile = $Extracted2 & $CurName & "\Sherston.ini"
    	
    	;Read what the current ini file path is
    	$SavePath = iniread($inifile, "PC", "Savepath", "##ERROR##")
    	
    	;What is the new path?
    	$NewSavePath = $DriveLetter & StringTrimLeft($SavePath, 1)
    	
    	;Write the new path
    	IniWrite($inifile, "PC", "Savepath", $NewSavePath)
    	
    	;Create the new path
    	DirCreate($NewSavePath)
    	
    	;Run the install so you can test it
    	ShellExecuteWait($msiexec, " /i " & Chr(34) & $Extracted2 & $CurName & "\"& $CurMSI & Chr(34) & " /qb-")
    	
    Next
    Note: In 'All Around the House' Sherston didn't hard code the saves path as p: but left it as saves\. My script doesn't recognise that so it needs to be manually set.
    There are some sherston.ini files that are in a slightly different place, don't use the saves= or are otherwise irregular. Do a search for sherston.ini with error## in the search for text within files box. This will throw up 12 files that need manual editing or deleting. Check within the subfolder for sherston.ini file.

    Thanks Sherston - this is an excellent resource!


    EDIT: There are are 16 titles where it will only partly automate this task. This is because sherston have been inconsistent with naming. For these titles you'll need to go c:\msis\extracted1\<titlename> and get the name of the msi in the folder. Then run
    msiexec /a "c:\msis\extracted1\<titlename>\<msiname>.msi" targetdir="c:\msis\extracted2\<titlename>\" /qb-

    After that you can edit the sherston.ini file in extracted2

    Alphonsos Magical Spreadsheet
    Izzys Story Skills - Goldilocks
    LDA Prep and Adj
    Magic Grandad Seaside Holidays
    Magic Grandad The Great Fire V1.1
    Map Detectives Urban Mystery
    Nature Park
    ORT Talking Stories Stage 1 & 1+
    ORT Talking Stories Stage 2
    ORT Talking Stories Stage 3
    ORT Talking Stories Stage 6 and 7
    ORT Talking Stories Stage 8 and 9
    Phoneme Track
    The Science Express 2 - Life Processes
    Tizzys Toybox Special Edition.
    Where in the world is Barnaby Bear

    I'm sure someone could easily fix my script to automate this though. It's a bit crude but only took me 10 minutes!
    Last edited by eean; 13th January 2010 at 03:32 AM.

  23. 2 Thanks to eean:

    Sherston (12th January 2010), SimpleSi (12th January 2010)

  24. #29
    Sherston's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Firstly, we'd like to offer our thanks to everybody posting in this thread for their feedback on our products. This is really useful to us as going forward, it will help us to improve our products even further.

    This thread is giving us several things that we'd like to investigate. We are all out of the office at various stages this week, working at the BETT exhibition (on stand C50), which means that we can't look into everything that we'd like to immediately.

    We would however really like to meet anyone posting in this thread that is visiting the BETT exhibition. If you'd like to stop by and have a chat with us, please post a reply with the day that you're visiting or email us at support@sherston.co.uk. We'd love the opportunity to thank the people involved in this thread personally for their feedback, and discuss any technical queries you have, as well as some of the technical aspects of this thread.

    We hope to see you at stand C50!

  25. #30
    eean's Avatar
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    Thanks Sherston. Unfortunately my school won't fly me across the world to meet you but I would like to suggest:
    Proper MSIs to save this messing about.

    Descriptions in the shortcut of what the program is, so the teacher doesn’t need to open up the software to find out what topics are within it or what it’s about – they can just hover their mouse over the shortcut.

    Cheers.

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