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Windows Thread, Must have software for lab in Technical; I'm going to be setting up an image for cloning (Via fog server) to 50 pc's for a lab at ...
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    Must have software for lab

    I'm going to be setting up an image for cloning (Via fog server) to 50 pc's for a lab at a non-profit. PCs to be XP and will be used for everything from internet browsing to photo & video editing, lego robotics, etc.

    Trying to build a list of must have programs to install. I'll start:

    Win updates
    Steadystate?
    PDF Reader
    Flash player
    Firefox
    iTALC

    What else is a must have?

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    Java?
    Adobe Shockwave Player?
    VLC Media Player?

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    Anti Virus
    Office Suite - Open Office?

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    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    Have a look on Ninite Ninite - Install or Update Multiple Apps at Once for useful apps!

  5. Thanks to jamesreedersmith from:

    Jamman960 (11th October 2011)

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    Do not install software which won't be used or updated regularly. Programs such as Java should be avoided if they aren't required because they are frequently exploited by malware.

    I would use Google Chrome instead of Firefox since it has Flash Player built-in, it automatically updates itself in the background without prompting users and is probably the most secure web browser on XP due to its sandboxing tech. By not installing the Flash Player plug-ins for IE and Firefox they will also have two fewer programs which need updating on a regular basis.

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    We plan on using FOG to rebuild each machine on every reboot, and i'm sure we wont compile images more than once a quarter, so programs that don't need updated frequently are a plus. All user data will be on a samba server.

    The list so far:

    XP with Win updates
    MS Office Pro
    MS Movie Maker
    Steadystate?
    A PDF Reader
    Flash player
    iTALC
    Browser (FF or Chrome)
    Super Duper Music Looper (K-4)
    Audacity(4-12)
    Notepad++
    GIMP or Paint.net
    SCRATCH
    ActiveX & other add-ons for must use websites

    Still need:
    WYSIWYG website design tool
    typing tutor and educational games for k-12

    Maybe?
    VLC Media Player?
    any antivirus? - will the constant FOGing limit the need for this? Samba will have it's own antivirus.
    Shockwave?
    .net framework
    typing tutor and educational games for K-12 - save bandwidth over net games?

    Probably not:
    Java

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Why not java it's a mist have for my past schools.

    Have a look on the wiki and search essential software list. Lots to be getting on with on there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Why not Java it's a must have for my past schools.
    Depends on whether you need it or not? If it's not going to be used, why install it?

    Java, Adobe vulns blamed for Windows malware mayhem The Register
    Failure to patch third-party applications has become the main reason that Windows machines get infected with malware.

    Drive-by download attacks from hacker-controlled websites loaded with exploits replaced infected email attachments as the main distribution method for malware somewhere between three to five years ago. At the start of this period browser exploits were the main stock-in-trade for VXers but this has changed over time, as a study by Danish security firm CSIS and published on Tuesday illustrates.

    Up to 85 per cent of all virus infections happen as the result of drive-by attacks served up via commercial exploit kits, CSIS reports. The security consultancy, which specialises in e-crime research, monitored the behaviour of 50 different exploit kits over a period of three months, analysing the causes of infection of both commercial and consumer systems.

    The study discovered that 31.3 per cent of 500,000 users who were exposed to exploit toolkits were secretly force-fed malware as a result of missing security updates.

    Systems running vulnerable versions of Java JRE, Adobe Reader and Acrobat, and Adobe Flash were particularly at risk of attack. Vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, by contrast, only cropped up in 10 per cent of attacks. By contrast, Java flaws (37 per cent), Adobe Reader/Acrobat (32 per cent) and Flash (16 per cent) were far more productive routes towards exploit. Apple QuickTime holes were poked in two per cent of attacks. Infected systems are typically loaded with a cocktail of malware, often including fake anti-virus software (AKA scareware) and information-stealing spyware. (Source)
    Java exploits on the rise Naked Security
    You probably should also consider disabling Java in your browser but some exploits just require the runtime to be installed for them to work even if you disable Java in the browser. The most secure approach (if you are sure it won't break anything) is to just uninstall the whole Java runtime. (Source)
    If on the other hand it is required (for certain educational websites for example), Chrome would be the best browser to use because it prompts users before loading the Java plug-in and blocks Java from running if the plug-in is out of date.

    googlesystem.blogspot.com/2011/04/java-and-quicktime-require-permission.html

    Something else you could do is install Microsoft's EMET and add Java.exe to it...

    Protecting your Windows PC with Microsoft EMET v2.1 RationallyParanoid.com and Bottom Up Randomization Saves Mandatory ASLR Didier Stevens
    Last edited by Arthur; 11th October 2011 at 09:13 AM.

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Why bother with SteadyState if you're imaging on reboot? (In fact, given the headaches it gave me when I tried it, why bother with it at all?)

    Typing Tutor: Tuxtype?
    TimezAttack is worth a look - I generally install the free version.

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    How long will re-imaging take? surely the last thing you need is for a pc to need a reboot or suffer a powercut mid lesson and be rendered unusable for 20+mins when it could have rebooted in 3 and been usable again.

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