BrianG (1st February 2010)
we used to have Winsuite here. I removed everything when i first started and rebuilt the lot from ground up.
Treating kids like their dense doesn't help. Kids will learn what they need to learn to get to what they want to do. It's staff that hold them back.
We have kids in Reception that can login. They have to type in their username and password and these are built using their firstname, first letter of their lastname and a number which is based on their age when they first started at this school.
Admittedly not all of them can do it but it's good typing practise anyway. Get's them used to finding the letters on the keyboard and matching them up with actual letters (they have their logins on a name card that they take to the ICT room).
Hope this helps.
You're right. treating the kids like they are daft doesn't help. Most kids use a computer at home. Theyw ill all use Windows when they get to Secondary, whether it be XP, Vista or 7. Winsuite really isn't doing them any favours. I might jus reinstall the server and accidentally lose the Winsuite set up cds
The whole point of WinSuite is to make managing your network easier. It was created in the days of teachers managing the network in their spare time, to allow them to apply Group Policies without knowing anything about Group Policies. As such it was a very useful tool but those days are now gone. As soon as it becomes harder to do manage the network with the tool than without it then it's time to stop using it. And since you say you've already turned off all the management options then it's pointless.
As for the Winsuite Desktop - it's basically Windows 3.1. If Microsoft dropped that in 1995 (presumably because it's too difficult for users to navigate) then why is your Head still clinging to it? It's an absolute ****** to administer and dreadful for the end-user. Would he use FrontPage Express to design the school website?
For kids who are already using computers (my 3 year old is) starting on Winsuite is like having to learn a completely new OS; for those who start on WinSuite and then move to proper Windows later on it's the same thing - he's disadvantaging both groups of kids for the sake of a whim.
Also take note of the following:
Sales of winsuite are currently suspended pending an internal review of wether it's viable for the company to continue to support and I get the impression that the answer is likely to be that it will be terminated.
It hasn't been actively developed since 2005.
If you have a problem for instance if you install a new program and it doesn't work correctly with winsuite you are stuffed as they cannot provide support on that.
BrianG (2nd February 2010)
although winsuite had good and bad points, i think this 'type' of software will emmerge once again, as the latest offerings from microsh@ft have been a waste of space as far as the user interface settings are concerned.
The main use of winsuite that i saw, was using W98 clients connected to NT or 2K servers, and the desktop customisation, and control it gave. ( much easier than writing .policies)
When winxp became the desktop connected to 2K3 server, then group policy was much better, but the user add feature was excellent for adding new domain users in a couple if clicks. ( i still use it )
With microsh@fts new dictatorship approach to networks ( YOU WILL STOP USING THE BEST WAY AND ADOPT OUR ONE) i can see similar software appearing again. Though i seriously doubt i will ever be able to do 'as good' a job as i have achieved using xp, and server 2k3.
Now they have usernames, at least our kids will be able to spell their name by the time they leave us!
Well after a long chat he's decided that it would be best to get rid of Winsuite... WOOHOO !!!! This summer I'm giving it the boot out the door !!
Bit of a late response on this, but I too have inherited Winsuite from precessors inability to operate windows server. It seems someone tried writing some GPO's, but I can't for the life of me tell if they are actually active or not, as I just cannot get my head around Winsuite; a software suite that's undeveloped for over 5 years, no documentation, no support, and last I checked the developer no longer acknowledges it's existence on their own website!
I cannot wait for the council to sort itself out, and decide when they will let me buy my new server, so I can rebuild the whole network from scratch, without that ancient bit of technology to get in the way.
On a side note, anyone recommend a reasonable (aka, free, or at least not too expensive) management tool for adding domain users, and/or simple management of them? That's the one thing I don't look forward to, importing all the new users...
Winsuite has a User Import Wizard that does a reasonably good job of importing users into AD. You just need a CSV file with your users details.
Winsuite is not really that complicated to get your head around. It is however as you say old tecnology and not really relevant in a correctly setup AD Domain.
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