Windows Thread, home netbooks for children. in Technical; Our school is currently in the process of buying netbooks for the children to use at home. These netbooks run ...
12th December 2008, 12:15 PM #1
home netbooks for children.
Our school is currently in the process of buying netbooks for the children to use at home. These netbooks run XP Home and for home use are great.
The problem comes during our testing phase. The ICT Co-ordinator wants to buy 34 (a class set's worth) to test inside of school. The only problem is he wants the children to have access to their document folders. I informed him they are XP Home and I cannot join them to the domain and really I shouldn't even be dealing with the home edition.
Anyone got any suggestions as to how I can give the children some kind of access (they just have usernames, no passwords)
Currently their 'documents' folder is linked to '\\ourserver\users$\theirusername'
Now I could just put a link to their desktop and say "click that and type your P number when it asks" but the problem is these children are sharing the computers with another child in the year below so I'd have to put 2 links on and say "this child must share with this child"
If our moodle was on site I would give it access to the home folders and do it that way during the test (only 1 term), but unfortunately it is not.
All ideas welcome, even stupid ones!
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12th December 2008, 12:22 PM #2
Cant you get them with linux then buy educational XP pro licenses?
What netbooks are you looking at? as we are thinking of doing something similar biggest problem I am having is finding one for the right price that will give us the performance we need (battery life rather than processor)
The new issue of PC Pro has netbook reviews in it
12th December 2008, 12:24 PM #3
You could create a script which runs from within the Startup folder and maps a drive to the root of Users$, then children can locate their name and save/open work. Not exactly ideal, but I can't see how else you can do it. XP Professional is definitely what you need. If the school are serious about the long term investment, then it makes sense the netbooks talk to the domain appropriately
12th December 2008, 12:35 PM #4
As I said,we are only testing them in school, each child would have their OWN at home, so connecting to the domain is not required as any work they do at home would be on our VLE anyway.
I was pushing for Linux (It's what I do ) but the senior staff and Govenors dismissed it, but in their favour they did take away 3 eee pc's running their asus distro and thought it was cool but dismissed it due to the fact software they may want to use in the future may not be available.
However they loved openoffice and how it was free (asin free beer and freedom) and are thinking next time we buy a shed load of machines we're going down that route.
We were looking at the acer aspire one, or the msi (not wind) because our Local Auth were REALLY pushing those two over the eeepc.
*edit* JJonas thanks, I printed off a spreadsheet with every known netbook on it and had things like battery life, hard drive, OS, price etc. I'll try find it and add it here
*double edit* ding ding ding, we have a winner! [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_netbooks"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_netbooks[/ame]
Last edited by Daleus; 12th December 2008 at 12:37 PM.
Thanks to Daleus from:
JJonas (12th December 2008)
12th December 2008, 12:41 PM #5
how about createing a batch file with something like this in it.
net use u: \\server01\users\%1
then ghet them to type
then it shoult map a drive letter to there name after asking them to type their username in again.
Cant be more specific as i dont really have a system on which to test this config, but with a bit of mucking about i recon you could do something.
12th December 2008, 12:58 PM #6
I thought about that, but I just know that they'll type something stupid and it will say "path not found" and they wont think to close it or anything and they'll call me x34 times.
Oh joy, I may just say "no, you can't access it, internet only"
12th December 2008, 01:07 PM #7
Ummm.... tell him no! Bad person, don't think outside the box!! Bad! Get back in the box!
Other thing to try would be to get the laptops on the schools agreement then pay the whatever per device to get Office and XP Pro.
12th December 2008, 01:10 PM #8
How about the HP 2133 mini notes instead - ship with Vista Business installed but include recovery media/license for XP Pro. At £290 ex VAT, probably cheaper than buying Home based ones and paying for an upgrade...
Alternatively, if the XP Home version is still multiuser, just create a "Student A" and "Student B" account on the welcome screen then setup the drive mappings for each separately
12th December 2008, 01:38 PM #9
It is indeed multi user!
Originally Posted by OutToLunch
Thanks for the replies, but a lot of them seem to assume the laptops are going to be in school, they are not and we do not WANT them in school, they are for the children to use at home.
The OP was only regarding the testing period of the actual devices in school BEFORE they get wiped and go home with children.
12th December 2008, 02:07 PM #10
Did I miss a question in the OP - it seemed you were asking about how to handle file/folder access on the server during the testing period in school, not how to give students access once they're in use at home?
My suggestion will definitely work for the testing period - just create multiple student accounts on them when setting up. If you want less work for yourself then create a shortcut on the "All Users" desktop to
Originally Posted by Daleus
and tell them to enter their username when prompted. If you install access based enumeration package on the server, all other folders will be hidden when they see the share.
If you want it foolproof, you'll have to create the full shortcut on individual desktops as you set them up eg '\\ourserver\users$\P1234' or add it as a network drive mapping on startup. As you mention you have no passwords, this should work really easily.
The 2 user accounts will then have no problems if one of the students clicks "Remember Password" - otherwise you have major problems with one student then not being able to access their files and crossly deleting the other lot.
This will work quite happily - had to do it here to support quite a few residential students who only have XP Home on their laptops.
Last edited by OutToLunch; 12th December 2008 at 02:10 PM.
12th December 2008, 03:43 PM #11
Thanks, but they aren't going to have access when they eventually go out to homes, but while we are testing the first batch of 34 IN school he wants them to have access to their folders, I say its ridiculous and we should just leave them as 'net' books
12th December 2008, 03:47 PM #12
If you are testing it for something, you should be testing it to do that, not something else, link it to the VLE and get them to work from there if thats what they're for!
12th December 2008, 04:13 PM #13
Beware about buying things with Linux on and then installing XP, someone told me the other day it was actually against the EULA...
12th December 2008, 04:28 PM #14
I think you (they) are thinking about OEM requires it purchased WITH the hardware and is non-transferrable (can not be re-sold).
Volume license should be fine, so long as they are owned by the company\school. If they are sold, they go back to non-windows.
12th December 2008, 04:51 PM #15
Hmm best thing is to always check your individual licence agreements, but my general understanding is if it is not a MICROSOFT O/S supplied with the PC it is just the same as buying a PC WITHOUT any O/S - check what the Volume License says about that...
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