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Educational Software Thread, Podium and Proxies in Technical; The school has decided it would like to use another piece of software that never gets used, much like the ...
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    Podium and Proxies

    The school has decided it would like to use another piece of software that never gets used, much like the 7 or so other bits installed. This time its podium.

    I have all of the details and it is easy enough to setup unless you use a proxy which i guess 95% of schools do. The recommended action is to use "USER username@podiumpodcasting.com" in the Username field and the PROXY address in the address field which unfortunately doesnt work here most likely due to the proxy not forwarding it on as it hasnt got a clue what podium is trying to tell it to do.

    Is there a hack to get around this stupendously large pitfall in an otherwise already flaky program?

    We have two connections to the proxy, one we (techs) use which is completely untouched by the proxy and goes straight out which works fine for podium of course, and the other for staff and students. I can use the untouched line for podium because the settings are encrypted so no-one can get at the proxy IP, except of course podium doesnt offer a proxy option so is there a way of hacking it to go through a proxy with a certain IP or am i flogging a dead horse?

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    Our LEA bought (I assume it wasn't free) Podium. Then, in a triumph of planning, hired an outside contractor to train teachers in podcasting; the software they used was the (free!) Audacity. Obviously it was far too difficult to transfer the techniques they learned to another bit of software so no-one used Podium (which actually looked quite good, as these things go, to me). As a consequence I can't remember how it seemed to work, but if memory serves it just picked up the proxy settings from IE.

    Could be very wrong, and I just tried a quick test that didn't work - but like I said, no-one ever used it so I might be doing it wrong.

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    tom_newton's Avatar
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    Sounds like it might be wanting you to pass through its authentication.. what's podium actually trying to do at the far end?

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    As it so happens we use a smoothwall device here a UTM-1000 to be precise

    Podium does pick up the proxy settings from IE but that is the problem. IE is set to our filtered IP address which, even though the podium address is added to the "allowed" list, still seems to be stripping some of the data or otherwise modifying it. Podium connects fine if i put in our unfiltered proxy IP in IE but then the kids and staff get unfiltered internet access which isnt an option. We use Ident to authenticate to the proxy so i dont see a way of having separate auth for podium.

    From what i gather podium is sending off a username and password, probably via http POST to an ASMX script at the far end. the asmx is then authenticating and presumably passing on our token to further scripts to allow the uploading of podcasts.

    Another option is to look at opening up the proxy to forward on FTP connections but as I've only been here a year and the boss aint around id rather see if it can be worked via HTTP.

    Podium reports a http 417 error which i dont fully understand but im guessing that smoothwall is adding in this "Expect" data as when we go through untouched it connects fine suggesting that podium isnt expecting an "expect" but smoothwall gives it one anyway. Just a guess though...

    Is there a way to tell smoothwall to automatically pass through a connection to a specific address/ip so we could add the podium address to an exceptions list and have smoothwall just pass it straight through?

    Strangely enough our LEA bought this too, if it was up to me they would actually learn how to use computers and use audacity (which is already installed) but it seems the educational authorities would rather baby the students into using diluted software for the sake of grades. Or maybe im just cynical... Who knows?

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    Perhaps try allowing the podium IP "direct" through the firewall with no proxy? Then unset podium's proxy settings.

    Have asked in support if anyone knows a better trick.

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    Seems that Podium and Squid (our proxy) don't get on. Will see if anything might happen on that front - but it looks like podium should drop to using HTTP 1.0, but doesn't. Hmm.

    Podium seems like it could use FTP instead - is that an option? Your smoothie can install an FTP proxy (though you will need to ask support for a download).

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    I expect FTP is an option, like i say ive only been in the game for a year and its not my decision to make. The boss is back next week so if theres no fix ill let him know the situation and see what he says. I dont see it being a problem though.

    I will look into the direct IP solution and see if that gives any luck. Much appreciated! Seems a fairly stupid idea t leave out manual proxy config in podium if you ask me!

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    Have emailed podium to see if they're up for a game of "solvey solvey". Hmm.

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    Do let us know if a solution arises, podium is never going to get used here anyway but its on the list so i suppose i should at least try

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    Suggestion from nice folk @ Podium:

    Try adding the following code into the <system.net> section of
    C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\CONF IG\machine.config

    Code:
    <settings>
      <servicePointManager expect100Continue="false" />
    </settings>
    I was a bit fearful that their tech support would tell me to go jump in the lake, or not really be able to help - but they are friendly and knowledgeable, so +1 podium.

    Edit: This fix may work for other .Net applications by the looks.

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    possibly being a bit stupid but i cant work out the config file.

    I was expecting some nice XML like:

    <system.net>
    <Settings>
    blah
    </settings>


    And so on but alas no.... Instead its just nasty!

    Have you tried this fix? If so can you tell me exactly where to put the code. As it stands the CONFIG file goes something like:

    Code:
    <sectionGroup name="system.net" type="System.Net.Configuration.NetSectionGroup, System, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089">
    
    			<section name="authenticationModules" type="System.Net.Configuration.AuthenticationModulesSection, System, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089"/>
    
    			<section name="connectionManagement" type="System.Net.Configuration.ConnectionManagementSection, System, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089"/>
    
    			<section name="defaultProxy" type="System.Net.Configuration.DefaultProxySection, System, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089"/>
    
    			<sectionGroup name="mailSettings" type="System.Net.Configuration.MailSettingsSectionGroup, System, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089">
    
    				<section name="smtp" type="System.Net.Configuration.SmtpSection, System, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089"/>
    
    			</sectionGroup>
    
    			<section name="requestCaching" type="System.Net.Configuration.RequestCachingSection, System, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089"/>
    
    			<section name="settings" type="System.Net.Configuration.SettingsSection, System, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089"/>
    
    			<section name="webRequestModules" type="System.Net.Configuration.WebRequestModulesSection, System, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089"/>
    
    		</sectionGroup>
    (thats from one of my machines, not a workstation but it looks the same)

    that is the section "system.net" and there are no other occurrences of "system.net" in the file. I tried inserting the code in the middle of that block (obviously not breaking the tags) and it just gave a .net error report when opening the podium settings app.

    Thanks for getting this bit of info though.

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    FIX&#58; Web Services Performance When You Use Authentication <-- this would indicate you are about right! I'll point the podium chap at this thread, see if I can tempt him into the geek

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    Again, from Podium:
    If <system.net> is not present then it needs creating further down in
    the file. I can see in my file that it is between <system.data> and
    <system.web>. If he does that then it should work.
    I have suggested they float around on here a bit more - hopefully we'll see some Podium Presence - must reiterate that they've behaved much better than other vendors when we go talk to them about interoperability. Just hope the fix works ok now!

  14. Thanks to tom_newton from:

    shadowx (31st August 2010)

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    Thanks i shall take a look at the MS site and give that a try.

    It does seem they are good on the support side, still doesnt mean i like their software though But i suppose its target audience is several years younger than me!

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    Superb, the fix works as it should

    I did have to add the system.net section and it worked first time, now time to get to grips with the thing.

    Cheers (and thanks to podium too i guess!)

  17. Thanks to shadowx from:

    tom_newton (12th August 2010)

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