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12149Re: Windows SteadyState - Possible future Deepfreeze Replacement?

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  • Jonathan Studer
    Dec 3, 2007
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      > I thought about doing that but didn't for two reasons: PAFInsight
      > saves a file to "My Documents" and it's not designed to be
      > multi-access. That is, I wouldn't make all the computers point to a
      > common "My Documents".
      >
      > Secondly, patrons may not realize that by placing a file in "My
      > Documents" temporally they are placing the file where any other user
      > at the center can see it. Given that a PAF file can contain names,
      > birth dates and mother's maiden name, I didn't want to surprise the
      > patron that's trying to be careful with their family's information.

      This was definitely a concern for us too. I talked to the director
      and we decided that the staff would just inform everyone when they
      come in that if they save something to the My Documents folder it is
      visible to everyone. Having it centralized has really helped a couple
      of people that seemed to only have their PAF file on a floppy disk
      and the disk became corrupt. I can think of at least 5 people that
      were able to grab a slightly older version of their PAF file and were
      very grateful for us having. We just leave all the paf files in that
      central location. It has also helped with someone that found several
      census pages and downloaded them as .jpg's file and then left the
      center forgetting to copy it to her flash drive. The next day she
      came back very stressed that she had lost the images, but to her
      great excitement we had them.

      >
      > > The desktop is also redirected to the server share and is set to
      read-
      > > only so it can't be modified.
      >
      > Hmmm. So you have a common Desktop? I hadn't thought about that.
      I
      > think I can reset the Patron Desktop to be "read only" without
      having to move it to the server.
      >
      > One thing I did do is separate Patron from the "All Users" for the
      > Start Menu. I then created my own Start Menu for Patron. So they
      > don't see those "uninstall" icons, or any other icon I don't want
      them
      > to see. Plus I don't have to go clearing unwanted icons after I
      > install a software package.

      I have also done this, It just keeps everything really simple. The
      only things on the start menu for Patron is IE, the typical research
      databases, and Open Office.

      >
      > But probably the most important thing I've done is set Patron to be
      > just a User, not "Power User" as shipped from SLC. This severely
      > limits what the patrons can do with the machine.

      This is very good practice. I have done that as well.

      I have also setup a web page with links to all the usual websites. I
      then embedded this as an Active Desktop on the Patron Desktop. The
      page is hosted by IIS on the 'server'. I just update or add links and
      refresh the desktop and they show up.

      Another thing we do is leave the computers on all the time. We have
      the monitors set to turn off after 5 minutes of inactivity and have
      the hard disk spin down after 1 hour of inactivity. Then, I have a
      script that runs every night to reboot all of the Patron machines to
      ensure that when the staff comes in the next day everything is reset.
      We have a really busy center that is open 5-6 days a week and leaving
      the machines on really makes my life a great bit easier.

      In my 'spare time', I'm working on a script that will allow me to
      logoff the current user (Patron) and login an service account that
      will then execute a windows update and reboot the machine to have it
      autologin as Patron saving me from having to do this manually.
      My 'spare time' has been few and far between lately as being a
      Scoutmaster takes most of my time.

      One last time saving step that I do involves the DSL Modem and the
      PIX firewall. It seemed like I was getting calls at least bi-weekly
      from the staff telling me that the 'Internet was down' (to which I
      promptly reply, Call Al Gore). The resolution was to power off the
      powerstrip that the modem and firewall were connected to and turning
      it back on. It resolved the problem immediately.
      To keep this from happening, I bought an inexpensive digital light
      timer. I set it to power off at 1:00 AM and power back on at 1:15 AM.
      I did this about 6 months ago and they haven't had the problem since.

      With all these things I've been able to set up the center so I only
      go in once a month. (a week after patch Tuesday) to install Microsoft
      updates if they didn't auto install.

      -J.S.
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