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Network and Classroom Management Thread, EduGeek Classroom Control Toolbar (ECC) First Look in Technical; Thanks for the reply but not sure I understand what you mean by "Edugeek project". The term "EduGeek Project" means ...
  1. #31
    ICTNUT's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply but not sure I understand what you mean by "Edugeek project".
    The term "EduGeek Project" means I have been asked by the EduGeek team if I could do this so I deem it to be an EduGeek Project.

    To me open source is collaborative development through sharing source code and ideas.
    I totally agree.

    Anyhow just thought you may be interested in collaborating, but I want to keep my project in open source domain, so I guess we will not be.
    As I stated before I am not the one to make this decision however the ethos surrounding Edugeek is to keep applications like this Open Source and freely available for all to use so with this in mind I would say that it is very likely that the source will be released I just cannot say when. So we may be able to collaborate yet
    Last edited by ICTNUT; 31st May 2009 at 09:08 PM. Reason: typo

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    @monkeyx: The reason that the EduGeek apps that are being developed by ICTNUT are closed source initally, is to get a stable product that EduGeek members can use as quck as possible.

    Once the apps are stable and do thing that they are meant to, the source can be opened for new features to be added. We just want to make sure that there are no hold-ups.

  3. 2 Thanks to Ric_:

    Gatt (31st May 2009), ICTNUT (31st May 2009)

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    OK, after looking into AD delegation for staff in order to allow them to do:

    Password changes
    Membership changes - for banning internet access
    Acount Lockout reset

    These are all easy to delegate within Active Directory with compromising security.

    With this in mind I will work towards adding Membership changes and Account lockout reset to the toolbar so staff can do this also.
    Last edited by ICTNUT; 1st June 2009 at 08:29 AM. Reason: typo

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    A monday morning question! How does this work with laptops that are used in more than one location, or in our case, any classroom?

    What happens if 2 banks of laptops are used in a classroom which won't necessarily be the classroom they are normally located?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d View Post
    A monday morning question! How does this work with laptops that are used in more than one location, or in our case, any classroom?

    What happens if 2 banks of laptops are used in a classroom which won't necessarily be the classroom they are normally located?
    As long as you have the laptop list as a selectable "room" then the changes will be applied.

    Remember the text files you create simply has the PC/Laptop name in it with one per line and selecting these will push the changes out.

    The word "room" can be seen in a virtual sense in this case.

  7. Thanks to ICTNUT from:

    alan-d (1st June 2009)

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    Looks good. When can we get our hands on it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJonas View Post
    Looks good. When can we get our hands on it?
    Hoping to get a release out by the end of the week but I also have a release of the helpdesk to get out as well so it maybe the week after.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    Sounds good but will it need a proxy restart to take effect like the current room filtering does?
    That is officially a bug, which will be rectified in this change, yes.

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    <honest comment mode - sorry>

    It's the text files full of IP addresses that always bothers me about things like this.

    Most domains use DHCP and IP addresses obviously can/do change = maintenance pain. Programatically pulling lists of comps+OU paths out of AD isn't hard, nor is subsequently getting IPs (although laptops can have the added complexity wired + wireless). Worst case you might need a file to map a user friendly display name to some typically static but not pretty/comprehensible LDAP path.

    So why the text files everyone? Are we betting on typical OU structures being such a mess that they're the only pragmatic option (and if so should continuing mess be encouraged)?

    </honest comment mode>

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    @PiqueABoo: I understand it that DNS names can be used for the config rather than IPs. The text file is simply to limit the clients that will be displayed.

  13. Thanks to Ric_ from:

    ICTNUT (2nd June 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d View Post
    A monday morning question! How does this work with laptops that are used in more than one location, or in our case, any classroom?

    What happens if 2 banks of laptops are used in a classroom which won't necessarily be the classroom they are normally located?
    Perhaps a rethink on the term "room"... computer block, group...?

    If you can put a tooltip in for that so it explains what a "room" is though I'm sure that would help... Just thinking teacher style for a minute

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    <honest comment mode - sorry>

    It's the text files full of IP addresses that always bothers me about things like this.

    Most domains use DHCP and IP addresses obviously can/do change = maintenance pain. Programatically pulling lists of comps+OU paths out of AD isn't hard, nor is subsequently getting IPs (although laptops can have the added complexity wired + wireless). Worst case you might need a file to map a user friendly display name to some typically static but not pretty/comprehensible LDAP path.

    So why the text files everyone? Are we betting on typical OU structures being such a mess that they're the only pragmatic option (and if so should continuing mess be encouraged)?

    </honest comment mode>
    You don't have to put IP addresses in the text file you can use NETBIOS and FQDNs if you wish

    There are a few reasons for using text files:

    1 - You may not want all PCs in an OU
    2 - Pulling information from AD adds another 2 or 3 steps to the whole process and is problematic in that we would need to filter off all the stuff in AD that you don't want anyone to get access to i.e. Servers OU
    3 - Ease of deployment - The domain admin can control what rooms are listed.
    4 - AD/OU setups are different in each school (naming conventions) and may not be clearly obvious to the teacher what the OU is.

    I am not saying that it cannot be done as it interfaces with AD to dothe whole Password Reset / Account Lockout / Group Membership thing already I just think it is far easier this way and if anything much more flexable from an admin point of view.
    Last edited by ICTNUT; 2nd June 2009 at 06:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by contink View Post
    Perhaps a rethink on the term "room"... computer block, group...?

    If you can put a tooltip in for that so it explains what a "room" is though I'm sure that would help... Just thinking teacher style for a minute
    Hmm Yes you could be on to something there !

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTNUT View Post
    Hmm Yes you could be on to something there !
    It's just nit picking but as I'm sure you know the whole "intuitive" thing is a whole other kettle of kippers when it comes to some users. The more 1d10T level coverage the less* some poor tech is going to have to explain it...

    *I did say "less"... No explanation required is nirvana and you should really wake up now

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    General point for any project: The best time to ask for comments is when you've just made the list of requirements and proposed a technical architecture/solution to satisfy them. It's a lot harder to say things I'd have happily stated earlier when something is mostly finished - makes me feel mean/ungrateful, and no one who has just done a load of work ever wants to revisit square one do they?

    You don't have to put IP addresses in the text file you can use NETBIOS and FQDNs if you wish
    Apologies I missed that bit.

    There are a few reasons for using text files
    Not persuaded. My starting position for any domain management app is that AD is where you do everything you possibly can because it is the native central, queryable, nicely replicated domain management database after all. Subject to the app (not for this) I'd also go for ADUC context menu extensions. Might be more short-term work on an app, but it's almost always less work afterwards.

    Some random comments:

    - If people's computer OU's do not reflect physical site topology then it's sad, but..

    - There is a computer object attribute you can readily find and edit in ADUC specifically intended to hold a location and that can be entered in a user friendly format.

    - Filtering AD objects by OU or some attribute is a pretty basic AD concept (both in ADUC and any code talking to AD). You control the vertical so if Fred shouldn't see X then don't show it. See also: Security through obscurity.

    - Hands up everyone if you have credible evidence of your proxy settings being reapplied during a policy refresh in the absence of any changes to your GPOs.

    - Haven't thought this through, but is the real requirement to block the Internet (which might cause minor collateral damage when done via proxy fiddling e.g. maybe AV uses the IE proxy to get updates), or stop kids running apps they're not supposed to at any given point in time? Would it be more useful as something that stopped IE, Firefox and any other apps? Might write it off if I think about it some more, but I'd have considered a small appinitDLL to kill and sabotage subsequent startup of (temporarily) verboten apps.

    - ToolStrip.GripStyle=Hidden?


    All the above said, I don't think it really matters much for this app and I agree that less is usually more, but I feel better now

    Question: I'm not clear about where the app that actually disables the net and shuts down a PC runs. Remote APIs, WMI etc., code running permanently on each PC (if so what's the rough memory footprint) or both?

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