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Mac Thread, Anyone using Portable Home Directories (PHDs) with Students? in Technical; Is anyone using Portable Home Directories (PHDs) with Students? I'm thinking of converting our students from Network Home Folders to ...
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    Anyone using Portable Home Directories (PHDs) with Students?

    Is anyone using Portable Home Directories (PHDs) with Students? I'm thinking of converting our students from Network Home Folders to PHDs. But I'm in two minds and would appreciate feed back from others.

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    manxdan's Avatar
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    mobile accounts

    We use mobile accounts on all wireless kit as the wireless bottleneck meant that network homes became unusably slow with large classes of iBooks or MacBooks. they're managed such that no synchronisation takes place, but the dock contains a shortcut to the users network home. Users need to copy work to/from they're network homes.

    Pros: relatively fast wireless login / apps like iMovie and Photoshop run well / students can work at home / always starting with a fresh uncluttered home / less load on network/servers.

    Cons: users forget to copy work and forget which laptop it's on / iphoto, itunes, imovie create local libraries making it hard for students to access their "stock" of pictures etc. / if used by many users, smaller drives can rapidly fill up with user accounts / Dreamweaver completely loses the plot if your "site" moves.

    IMO mobile accounts work extremely well for the one to one type loan scheme where a student uses a laptop for a two week project or whatever. not so good with trolleys in classrooms. I think PHD's are a necessary evil. if it weren't for the wireless networking being too slow, we wouldn't be using them.

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I was thinking of using them instead of Network Homes, to speed up the user experience. But I am concerned about the sync'ing of files and extended login/logout times.

    I'm also "playing" with folder redirection as I think this may help too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmaccadmins View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    I was thinking of using them instead of Network Homes, to speed up the user experience. But I am concerned about the sync'ing of files and extended login/logout times.

    I'm also "playing" with folder redirection as I think this may help too.
    For anything beyond a static laptop the portable homes are pretty useless. I was experimenting with them to try and reduce server load due to the users libraries being on the file server (no other choice with AD integration).


    The huge issue is that you cannot redirect folders in a phd, I wanted the library to be copied to the machine to reduce load, unfortunately you cannot then redirect the documents/desktop back to the server to stop large amounts of data being copied when syncing (I find the library is small but heavily accessed by OS X).

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