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norweeg
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scriptable install

I'm looking to automate the process of setting up the platform on USB devices for lower-income students who don't have access to their own PC and I was wondering if there is a way to script the platform setup to run silently and install several portable apps automatically without user intervention. I've been googling and googling but I am not finding anything. I can't even find the NSIS source code for the platform setup. Please help! I just want to automate the creation of a bunch of devices for these students

John T. Haller
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Just Copy

Install the PA.c Platform to an external drive. Install all the apps you'd like to use but don't start them. When done, copy all the files from the drive to a folder on your local PC. Then just copy that folder to each drive you'd like to setup for your students. No scripting needed Smile

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norweeg
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Thank you for your suggestion

Thank you for your suggestion, however, it isn't quite what I'm looking to do. I am looking to write a script or installer which a student can use to add the platform to a mobile device along with some suggested apps that align with the needs of the curriculum. I will never physically touch their device, nor will I ever actually meet them (I am a former student of the professor who teaches one of their introductory classes). While I could document a detailed how-to, I'd rather just automate it.

John T. Haller
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Not at Present

There is not a way to automate a custom suite from our servers. We may introduce that feature at some point but it was originally intended to work with paid business users, a segment that did not materialize, so the code isn't yet appropriate for general use. You could have the professor host that set of files on a shared university drive for the students to copy.

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norweeg
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so just to confirm: the NSIS

so just to confirm: the NSIS source that was used to create the platform and individual application installers is not available anywhere and the installers do not take any command line arguments at all to set certain options e.g. install location programmatically?

John T. Haller
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Source, Automation

The source code for the PA.c Installers is all bundled with the PA.c Installer creator itself from our Development section. You can pass an install location to them using /DESTINATION= on the command line. The user will still need to confirm this in the installer GUI.

The PA.c Platform installer itself is not officially scriptable by third parties at present. It can accept a /DESTINATION= path on the command line but I don't know offhand if this will work for your purposes. It runs an entirely automated (though not silent as the GUI will display) install sequence that is designed to work to upgrade the existing PA.c Platform install that called it. It's not intended for initial installs. Additionally, this may change in future releases.

In the near future, you will be able to distribute a MyCustomSuite.pasuite text file and tell students to download and install the PA.c Platform and then open that file when prompted. What's your timeframe for students as I may be able to work this earlier into the 15.0 Beta process?

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

norweeg
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My timeframe is hopefully

My timeframe is hopefully before their fall semester. I have some ideas for what I can do. Can I request command line flags to automate as many of the installer options as possible? Users are fallible, tested scripts are not.

John T. Haller
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Another Option

Another thing we're thinking about doing is letting users define suites of apps themselves on-site and then distribute a single suite-builder app. You'd be able to rename the suite-builder tool to match the name of your defined suite and redistribute that to students. They run the single EXE and it downloads the platform and then fires it up and automatically downloads and installs the full suite of apps.

We don't plan to expand on outside automation with third party tools and scripts at the moment.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

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