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school computer complaints

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sergentsiler
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school computer complaints

if you are going to complain about the school comps that you cant use PAM on ddo it here. it is a great alternitive to 10,000 posts about scholl comps.

[topic locked to prevent unnecessary bumps. I suggest you all respect that fact that you have the privilege to use computers at school - moderator PP]

Steve Lamerton
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Can,

a mod move this to off topic please, I can just see this topic disintegrating into a pile of angry comments of no real use.

*Edit* Was this in off topic in the first place? If not I seem to be going mad Pardon *Edit*

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Kevin Porter
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Don't worry, Steve. We

Don't worry, Steve. We already knew. Blum

"America has never been an empire. We may be the only great power in history that had the chance, and refused – preferring greatness to power and justice to glory."
George W. Bush

"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning." - Rick Cook

BvF7734
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Knew what?

That is the real question isn't it? Wink lol

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do or say will be exaggerated or mis-quoted and used against you.

Steve Lamerton
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Oy,

just cos I'm taking some time off, doesn't mean I won't be here to protect my reputation (or what is left of it now ;))

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Steve Lamerton

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Kevin Porter
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That he's going mad: Was

That he's going mad:
Was this in off topic in the first place? If not I seem to be going mad Pardon

"America has never been an empire. We may be the only great power in history that had the chance, and refused – preferring greatness to power and justice to glory."
George W. Bush

"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning." - Rick Cook

sergentsiler
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not going mad......

it was in general discussion before i moved it here...

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Zoop

Steve Lamerton
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Now that,

is a great relief Smile

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Steve Lamerton

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nocr
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Phuking Skool computors

My school computers are so old, but that's not what bothers me.
They all have Intel Celeron processors, but that's not what bothers me.
The %#^&@! IT people installed keyloggers on them so that the librarians can moniter what we are "up to", but even though that pisses me off, it's not what bothers me the most.

What bothers me the most is that they only have USB phuking 1.0, so all of my PortaApps take phuking forever to load. (especially firefox...)

Please Make TiLP Portable

rsdalton
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School Computers

First - try to keep the language clean.

From your profile I see that you are in the US. Federal statutes require that schools:
1) Have an Acceptable Use Policy (which you probably signed).
2) Use filtering software.
3) Monitor computer use.

These people (IT staff, librarians, etc.) are just doing their jobs.

Oh - BTW - at my job, the filter is my responsibility. Whether or not I agree with what the school district requires that I block, I block it because it is my job. And in case you are wondering, the computer at my desk at work is subject to the same filtering as the students and other staff.

As far as USB 1.0 goes - maybe your school district does not have the funding to replace older computers. Frankly, when you graduate and get a job, you may find that many businesses block the use of USB ports because of the security risks involved.

I am actually surprised that they let you run your own apps off of USB. In my district we only allow the apps on the local hard drive that are approved by IT (which BTW includes Firefox on many systems).

--
Bob

--
Bob

nocr
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sorry

I apologize for my language as it was uncalled for.

Thanks to you, I now understand that the it's a part of the law, but it still seems to me that the use of keyloggers to monitor user activity violates almost every Privacy law ever enacted, especially since not only had I never signed any sort of user agreement (in which I would have to agree to sacrifice my personal rights in order to use the computers), I would have never known that this kind of spyware was being used until a friend of mine found out (the hard way). I believe that Schools should be required to inform students of these sorts of things.

I also believe that it should be included among the list of IT Applications listed on the School Systems web site. Unless I am mistaken, and one of these is a keylogger, then it is not listed there either.

Information Technology Applications

  • Harpers Millennium (Payroll System)
  • Munis (Municipal Accounting System)
  • Cyberlockers (High School student data storage system)
  • First Class Open Text (E-mail system)
  • Barracuda (Protection from Spam, Viruses, and Spyware)
  • Symantec Antivirus (Antivirus)
  • PCS Revenue Control System (Food Service)
  • Chancery Student Management System (Student Database)
  • Healthmaster (Medical database)
  • eSped (Special Education database)
  • Intranet (Town and School internal web site)

About the lack of money, I live in a fairly wealthy district, and over 1 million dollars are alloted for the use of IT per year (Yes, this is true, I checked the FY07 Budget).
You would think that some of that could be used to buy a couple of new computers...

Maybe it's just me, but I think that students, the future of our society, should not be treated as potential criminals.

(In response to Bahamut), I wouldn't use them either, but unfortunately I don't have a choice while i'm at school. I can't not turn in my English essay...

Please Make TiLP Portable

Bahamut
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(In response to Bahamut), I

(In response to Bahamut), I wouldn't use them either, but unfortunately I don't have a choice while i'm at school. I can't not turn in my English essay...
Tell your teacher you don't like having your privacy so grossly violated. You can take it up with the administration, too. Talk to the IT staff and the principal. I don't think they'd have a problem with you doing your work somewhere else. If you're only writing an essay there, it's not a big deal, but make it known that when you have to do research or something like that, you don't want to have to potentially disclose sensitive information.

Vintage!

BvF7734
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...

I see your arguement and it sounds logical. I agree that privacy must be maintained.

However...

In grade school, what projects would you be researching that would require that level of privacy be maintained? You are not working on classified documents. Nor are you doing high level research for grant. Nothing that needs to be researched in a grade school environ would require such secrecy that you could use that as your argument for the removal of the key logger.

Also, You are in a school as a minor generally. Your parents would be the ones who would sign off on your actions at the school and would be the ones responsible for the privacy act. Everything you do at school your are responsible for yes. But... Your parents can be held accountable as well. Therefor, there is no breach in prvicay by having it on there if you have no legal ability to protest it. You can politely ask the administrator (principle and such) to temporarily remove it if you have a adequate reason. If I was the principle, there would be no reason good enough for me to remove it.

Think of the loggers and filters as a CYA (cover your ass) clause against people who are sue happy. These people like to sue people for nonsensical things and would be happy to attack a school for no filtering things or even filtering other things. Plus, if you do something illegal at school such as use a school computer to post something about causing harm to someone, they can trace it to you and the school would not be the target of a lawsuit that someone would try to do.

(the terms you and parents are generalities and are referring to if you are in school and if not to everyone else as well that are a minor on this board and are still in grade school. grade school refers to pre-school all they way through high school.)

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do or say will be exaggerated or mis-quoted and used against you.

Bahamut
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In grade school, what

In grade school, what projects would you be researching that would require that level of privacy be maintained? You are not working on classified documents. Nor are you doing high level research for grant. Nothing that needs to be researched in a grade school environ would require such secrecy that you could use that as your argument for the removal of the key logger.
How about keeping one's email login credentials, for example, private when using it for legitimate purposes? Having a teacher looking at screens periodically is one thing, but documenting everything typed in is too much.

Vintage!

BvF7734
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...

How about instead of using school time to do personal things like surf your E-Mail or even one of the many social sites out there e.g. MySpace, how about you not worry about those and only do school related activities on school owned equipment. Wait to get home to do the other things. You are in school to learn and not plan a party...

Yes I am troll on yahoo answers telling kids to stop whining and get back to class and to stop worrying about finding a proxy to get to myspace.

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do or say will be exaggerated or mis-quoted and used against you.

Bahamut
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There's too much potential for abuse

There's too much potential for abuse with keyloggers, especially if the students aren't even aware. That's all.

Vintage!

BvF7734
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...

I agree that there is potential for abuse. Though, it is up to the school whether to inform them of it or not. What they should do is to reiterate at the beginning of the year that the machines are for school use only and monitoring is in effect. Students don't need to sign waivers or consent as it is implied consent by simply using the machines. Same as with an internet cafe.

I am not trying to argue about this and I apologize if I have come off as being gruff about this. My intentions are not to argue just state that children are not adults and do not have the same rights to object to things as adults do.

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do or say will be exaggerated or mis-quoted and used against you.

Bahamut
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Students don't need to sign

Students don't need to sign waivers or consent as it is implied consent by simply using the machines. Same as with an internet cafe.
It's not the same as an internet café. Students don't always have the option to not use the school machines. The schools don't care about the students who don't want to be monitored, therefore they don't make sure that those students have another option. I can put cameras in my own bathroom, but should I be allowed to make others use it?

Vintage!

rsdalton
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School Computers

Most of your list contains programs that you have absolutely no access to or through. Two stick out here.

* First Class Open Text (E-mail system)
Email systems, whether in school or in business, are the property of the company (or in this case the school). Any message traveling through the system is subject to monitoring by staff and must be able to be retrieved, if necessary, by a court order. No one has the time or staffing to read each email. Usually a person's email will be searched if there is just cause or a subpoena.

BTW - current law requires schools to archive email for possible searches (for law cases).

* Barracuda (Protection from Spam, Viruses, and Spyware)
Probably 2 devices. The spam filter, if configured properly, blocks over 90% of incoming email traffic as spam and viruses. It is possible to scan outgoing mail - our district does not.

The web filter blocks access to virus downloads and to sites unacceptable to your district.

Both of these filters have logs. The spam filter's log probably can be searched back a few weeks. In our district of about 4000 students, the web filter can be searched back about 4 hours! There is no log export either.

Instead of keyloggers, I would bet that someone is scanning the logs to see if anyone is visiting newer, unacceptable sites. We do not even have time to do this on a daily basis.

I would estimate that about 1/3 to 1/2 our current fleet have USB 1.x. We hope to totally eliminate those by 2010.

Many other items, besides hardware purchasing are included in the tech budget: ongoing maintenance and support fees, software licensing, salaries and repair costs to name a few. We also are trying to upgrade the network infrastructure - which has been ongoing for about 2 years now.

Almost all of the programs/devices you list have ongoing, yearly fees attached to them. Some are quite expensive. We do not use the Chancery Student Management System. However, we use another SMS by the same company (Chancery now owned by Pearson) which is called PowerSchool. Their yearly fees are outrageous.

--
Bob

--
Bob

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Want virus and spyware

Want virus and spyware protection, as well as the ability to keep students from running whatever the hell they want on the school's computers? Use the default deny approach.
http://www.horizondatasys.com/169602.ihtml
It's so stupid to let anything go unless it's specifically blocked, especially if you're paying out the you-know-what to do it. I have not had the chance to test ExeLockdown myself since I do not have a machine of my own, but the person who recommended it gave it 99/100 stars. You should give it a test run on an extra machine. That's an excellent article, and so is this.

Vintage!

nekiruhs
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Even Better...

Use Linux. They can install anything without superuser, exes wont run without wine (which can't be installed without superuser!), and NO VIRUSES, NO SPYWARE, NO MALWARE!!!!! Plus they'll probably be better off in life for it, and linux needs the suport. www.ubuntu.com anyone?

----
Linux: Because rebooting is for adding hardware

Bahamut
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1. Not all w32 executables

1. Not all w32 executables will work on Wine.
2. Lack of IT staff trained to administer Linux.
3. Linux is not a magical OS. While it has an excellent security model, it is not immune to malware.
4. Lack of essential software (for current apps, see #1).

Linux is great, but it's not ready for primetime yet.

Vintage!

Bahamut
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The %#^&@! IT people

The %#^&@! IT people installed keyloggers on them so that the librarians can moniter what we are "up to"
I would simply refuse to use the machines.

Vintage!

digitxp
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Poor You...

My school only has Faronics DeepFreeze, to restore everything every day. Fortunately they have a thawspace, so I can put SuperTux On it. And they block websites (i.e. Google Images) at the network level.

Insert original signature here with Greasemonkey Script.

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I like the deep freeze- safe

I like the deep freeze- safe computing for all!

Too many lonely hearts in the real world
Too many bridges you can burn
Too many tables you can't turn
Don't wanna live my life in the real world

tgrantt
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Deep Freeze is the shiznit.

Deep Freeze is the shiznit. Go ahead try and crash it. Reboot and the magic fairies put everything back like it is supposed to be. I haven't had a student install portable apps on their thaw space yet, but as long as it is school appropriate, who cares?

I am not my signature.

Model Rockettier
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deep freeze

lol, not quite magic fairies, but it is kinda interesting, using a lot of really low-level assembly coding, it saves ANY disk changes to the files C:\$Persis0.dsk it then checks that file for changes before displaying various files and whether or not they exist. Although unfortunately deep unfreezer does not work with df6.

ben1014
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I HATE the computers at school

We have Macs....and thats all I have to say.

sergentsiler
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hmmm...

a fiew things.

1, what the hell is wrong with macs? (unless there older macs)

2, i see that the thread is going as i planned it

3, keep the languge cleen! no swears or swear knock offs, symbols are ok thogh as well as abbreveations.

that will keep us all happy \(^^)/

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Zoop

Bahamut
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There are a lot of things

There are a lot of things wrong with Macs.
*The one-button mouse is standard, which means to get any real use, you have to buy a decent mouse. The "mouse" in the iBooks (I think that's what they're called) has only one button as well.
*It treats the user like a child with cutesy error messages (though it has improved somewhat recently).
*Lack of software (except the super-expensive software such as CAD programs).
*Microsoft tries to dominate the software side; Apple goes for both software and hardware (see the point below).
*Apple machines can't use third-party hardware (except a few standardized things like hard drives or RAM).

Vintage!

sergentsiler
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well...

you got a point there.

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Zoop

ben1014
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You missed my big reason...

The main, huge reason I hate Macs is cause all the applications I have on my Flash Drive don't work on them.

EDIT: Sweet, I just found a site with a bunch of portable applications for Macs, though I'm only gonna install Firefox for OS X.

http://www.freesmug.org/portableapps/

Says the applications were inspired by PortableApps.com. Smile

3D1T0R
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Didn't work

when I tried it.

it told me i couldn't start it ([EDIT]terminal disabled in student account).

~3D1T0R

sergentsiler
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well....

the first mac that i ever used was one of thoes crappy tiny ones that only accepted floppys and if you cracked open the back and shuved in a fiew d batteries, and you were portable (thogh only for like 5 minuts.) then the first mac (and the first computer) i actualy used extensively was am mac lc580, the thing was shweet! floppy and cd. potion for modems and all other kindsa shiznit. hell i even had AOL on there. then i spent like 5 minuts on an imac. the only other interaction i have had with a mac after like 5 years of mastering the pc. once i got introduced to my grandparents packard bell platnum II, i was hooked on the pc. it had a "whopping" 255 mhz processor 4 gigs hdd space, 512 megs ram thogh. icompletely trashed that comp. now i have a HP vectra vl18 mt buesness pc. (sorry about the run on and on and on stuff)

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Zoop

roamer
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arrgg!!!

Our school IT is crazy, but at least we have (slightly) new computers. The oldest computer we have is from '98ish. The only thing we can do at school is school work (which it's how it should be) but people ask me all the time "how do I get to youtube? how do I get to myspace?" It's so annoying. Just because I take the time to figure out for myself how to bypass the network, doesn't mean I tell every random person that asks me, especially since I don't use the school computers for anything but classwork (and playing games on my flash drive every now and then when I am done wit my work).

Oh, and about the keyloggers and violating privacy...
privacy law and the like don't really apply to anyone under 18 so...yeah, students have no rights, or privacy, or anything else.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
-Albert Einstein

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Espreon
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Roamer

You just need to know that the US Government loves to treat peeps under 18 like criminals and who invented the law of schools requiring the use of keyloggers and filtering software should be roped on a tree (just being a little more humane than usual) and then be stabbed slowly and painfully for 3 days.

BTW I don't know if my school uses keyloggers since I goto a private school, I am typing from my loaned school laptop right now.

--
As all of ya should know Microsoft is the Evil Empire, and Windows (a.k.a. Winblows or Windoze) is their greatest general, so please make a difference and install Linux or Free BSD on yer Windows comp.

Master Imrahil
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Er,

Espreon, this does not seem to be an issue of demeaning students to the level of criminals; it is, rather, a response to past infractions that have caused huge problems. And Roamer is correct in saying that minors (like myself) do not have all the rights of a citizen of the United States. After all, would you trust every minor with the right to privacy? (Students will be students, as they say) Part of being in a democracy is laying down some of our freedom for the better of the group. (No, that wasn't a facist remark, its the truth) The school doesn't need to deal with all the potential problems that come attached to free-use computing.

That's what you're home machine is for Wink

Master Imrahil

"Enough had been thought, and said, and felt, and imagined.
It was about time that something should be done."

- C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

Master Imrahil

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But by the cross of Christ, I am not what I was. "

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Bahamut
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(em close tags added!)

Free-use computing? No one is suggesting that. I think that there need to be controls, but there are certain limits that should be respected.
Good/acceptable:
Website filters (as long they are well-maintained and aren't burdening legitimate use)
Teacher/staff member seeing what's on the screens (it's an invasion of privacy, but there's not really any potential for abuse)
Executable control (really, this is so much better than anti-virus/anti-malware. Of course, the IT dept should keep the machines stocked with decent accepted software like Firefox. Besides, do kids really need to have the option to play Doom at school?*)
Monitoring/logging visited websites (not only is such information not sensitive, it can find proxy sites and see which kids are goofing off. Also, it can put what seems to be goofing off or doing something bad into context)
Bad:
Keyloggers (logging potentially sensitive information definitely has potential for abuse)
Remote logging (monitoring not so bad) of screens (again, logging potentially sensitive info can be very bad)

*I've done that. I have also played FFIX with ePSXe at school, even with a PSX controller! :lol:

Vintage!

sergentsiler
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emulaters i have placed on my comp at school...

pj64, winfellow, activeperl, ePSXe, comeback 64, desktop distroyer. it really isnt that hard here. if you want to install something you just install it under your username and into your network drive. (i hate surf controll thogh because they block every f@#$ing website known to man!)

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Zoop

Bahamut
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I used my external HD, which

I used my external HD, which even had the disc image.

Vintage!

rsdalton
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Good/acceptable

What you are describing as "Good/acceptable" probably describes what actually is in place at most schools in the US. As I posted before, both web filters and adult monitoring are required by federal law.

Executable control is just good IT practice. Without executable control, tech support of computers would be a nightmare. For example, I know a college student that had a 2-week-old computer so laden with spyware, it was hardly usable.

I think you would more likely see a keylogger at home than on a school computer. Smile

--
Bob

--
Bob

Bahamut
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Executable control is just

Executable control is just good IT practice. Without executable control, tech support of computers would be a nightmare.
Well, most IT depts. (public/govt and private) rely on antivirus (and pay out the wazoo to do it), which is sad.

Vintage!

BvF7734
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...

My fortune 500 global company I work for does firewall on every machine, Symantec on every machine for A/V, our aset management software delivery system also does spyware, and has executable controls as well. We also have a policy where everyone runs as user unless they have 3 level of permission to have admin privs and that is renewed every year. Even with all of the above controls, machines get hosed. Nothing is perfect even in a layered environ.

As for whether or not things need to be on school computers, get over it. Don't want something seen while at school, wait to get home to do it.

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do or say will be exaggerated or mis-quoted and used against you.

Bahamut
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My fortune 500 global

My fortune 500 global company I work for does firewall on every machine, Symantec on every machine for A/V, our aset management software delivery system also does spyware, and has executable controls as well.
I seriously doubt they have both executable control and AV. Executable control eliminates the need for AV.

As for whether or not things need to be on school computers, get over it. Don't want something seen while at school, wait to get home to do it.
Try reading my posts again.

Vintage!

BvF7734
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You may doubt that both are there,

But they are... I know this as I am helping the server admins with this. It suplements AV. It would never replace AV for securing networks.

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do or say will be exaggerated or mis-quoted and used against you.

Bahamut
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It would never replace AV

It would never replace AV for securing networks.
Whitelist-based executable control stops virus execution unless the person in charge of deciding what can be run is incompetent. Period. In systems that need the flexibility of default allow need AV, but where execution control is in place, AV does nothing.

Vintage!

Master Imrahil
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Whitelists

Whitelist-based executable control stops virus execution unless the person in charge of deciding what can be run is incompetent. Period. In systems that need the flexibility of default allow need AV, but where execution control is in place, AV does nothing.

What about rootkits? I'm not exactly sure how they work, but I beleive a advanced virus writer could circumvent execution controls if was installed as an Active X componet or piggybacked off of something like "explorer.exe" or "run32.dll" that everyone uses.

Master Imrahil

"Enough had been thought, and said, and felt, and imagined.
It was about time that something should be done."

- C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

Master Imrahil

"I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I wish to be. I am not even what I hope to be.
But by the cross of Christ, I am not what I was. "

– John Newton

Bahamut
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Antivirus will not protect

Antivirus will not protect against rootkits. In fact, most rootkits will hide themselves from antivirus (most rootkit developers have basic reasoning skills). Antivirus may protect against trojans, however, good executable control will check the hash of apps before deciding whether or not to allow them, which stops trojans. Exe control will stop rootkits from installing, and antivirus will too (but only if the scanner detects it!).

Complete rootkit control requires booting into another OS to scan.

Vintage!

rsdalton
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Antivirus necessary

We allow the use of Microsoft Office. Macro viruses would not necessarily be stopped without AV protection.

--
Bob

--
Bob

BvF7734
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...

Proper protection of computers is a multi line defense. EXE white listing is not THE solution. It starts at the perimeter with site blocking and other assorted fire walling. Then a local FW on the machine. Combined with a promptly updated AV and EXE white listing. In addition to the above, Have a renamed administrator account to something not administrator and have a very strong password on it. In addition to all of the above, have the user run as user or if absolutely necessary a Power User.

What you have suggested Bahamut is only one cog of the entire security chain. It is not the end all of everything. EXE White listing can easily be circumvented. that is where everything else comes into play. It wouldn't get to the machine if it was blocked in the first place. Them it would also be caught on the local FW and also be detected by the AV. Finally it couldn't run as it would not have an elevated account to run with.

Good luck cleaning your machine while only running the EXE Whit List.

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do or say will be exaggerated or mis-quoted and used against you.

Bahamut
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Proper protection of

Proper protection of computers is a multi line defense. EXE white listing is not THE solution. It starts at the perimeter with site blocking and other assorted fire walling.
Right. I never suggested otherwise, and I'm sorry if you got that impression.
Then a local FW on the machine.
Absolutely.
Have a renamed administrator account to something not administrator and have a very strong password on it.
Also a very good idea.
In addition to all of the above, have the user run as user or if absolutely necessary a Power User.
I agree.
What you have suggested Bahamut is only one cog of the entire security chain. It is not the end all of everything.
I never said it was.
EXE White listing can easily be circumvented.
Really? How would one do that? And remember, no semi-respectable exe controller would track by names only.

My point is that exe control can replace AV completely. It's not necessary to have program try to figure out which executables are bad when another will make sure the machine will only run good programs. There are other measures (e.g. email attachment stripping) that need to be taken as well.

Vintage!

OliverK
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I believe I just fixed the

I believe I just fixed the borken em tag. Smile

Too many lonely hearts in the real world
Too many bridges you can burn
Too many tables you can't turn
Don't wanna live my life in the real world

Espreon
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We could just bring thumbdrives armed with Linux or

Windows (Bart'sPE or whatever it is called) and then use our favorite apps with glee, unless USB is disabled at BIOS level (likely to be password protected) or at hardware level. Or a school's Internet access wont allow Net access (what fun is a comp without Net access)without something or something (IDK).
--
As all of ya should know Microsoft is the Evil Empire, and Windows (a.k.a. Winblows or Windoze) is their greatest general, so please make a difference and install Linux or Free BSD on yer Windows comp.

sergentsiler
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i love the fact...

that my school doesent block usb stuff! at least half the kids and teachers use flash drives, im the only one whu uses the PAM thogh. sad (--) i never use my flash drives with out it. \(^^)/

(TM)sergentsilerlogo:<(TM(sergentsiler) http://www.sergentsiler.freespaces.com/

Zoop

roamer
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Same here...

And when I have the time (and patience) I'm downloading DSL (embedded version) for my flash drive. I know how to get into the network at my school from another computer, so how hard could it be to do that for DSL? I don't use any non-school allowed apps (especially since I found out that firefox is allowed) so I am safe from the anger and rage of our IT department!

(\__/)
(='.'=) Ahh!!! Not a plunger! Anything but plungers!!!
('')_('') Ahhhhhhhh!!!!! Run!!! *hops away quickly*

OliverK> you don't live on a cow
IRC: It brings out the best in all of us...Especially when tired.

David Dixon II
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.

i thought we were not allowed to make those little pictures at the bottom anymore Beee

Na na na, come on!

OliverK
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Old Sig . . . .

Old Sig . . . .

Too many lonely hearts in the real world
Too many bridges you can burn
Too many tables you can't turn
Don't wanna live my life in the real world

José Pedro Arvela
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I'm lucky

My school pcs don't have blocking permissions at all!!! They're old pcs with M$ Windows XP and everybody does everything that wants to. The managers of the pcs don't want to care. Some of them had to have Windows reinstalled. There's Windows Live MSN and all (but my favorite has firefox), installed by the students whit out the librarians knoledge, of course. Now the informatics room pcs are diferent... Sad

Blue is everything.

HoTLiNKer
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My School

Our school computers are totally lame when it comes to Antivirus and security.Oh yeh, it also has no internet connection, so in short the computers are just for show and totally useless,

They dont even know as much as we do about comps, the IT staff only know how to open office and type some stuff, i agree that u should learn them. BUT i also think they should know better than just office, most of them don't even know what a REGISTRY (win XP) is.The good part is, we are allowed to do whatever we want.

Hehe, i think i am writing too much, but to make things a little clear, WE DON'T HAVE ANY LAWS REGARDING COMPUTING ie..COPYRIGHT, HACKING, WRITING VIRUS, etc....

______________________________________________________________________________
In a world without fences or walls, who needs GATES and WINDOWS?

__________________________________________________________________________________
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiot

Espreon
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That is good 4 you!

Seriously, KICK-ASS!

--
As all of ya should know Microsoft is the Evil Empire, and Windows (a.k.a. Winblows or Windoze) is their greatest general, so please make a difference and install Linux or FreeBSD on yer Windows comp.

Gizmokid2005
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Schools

Do have computer issues.

[rant]I had to deal with some in high-school myself. Our WebSense internet filter, blocked everything but school allowed websites (IE - infotrac, MEL, etc...) If it wasn't on their DB list, it wasn't allowed. It was bad.

I actually got in trouble for "hacking" the computer system. When going through the files on one of our macs to try and fix an app issue, (it was a stupid network app btw), I stumbled across the MASTER PASSWORD FILE for all users in the school....a stupid excel spreadsheet. I got kicked off the computers because I HACKED to get into it...I don't know how opening an open, unsecure, network share is hakcing...but whatever.

The IT guys at school, didn't know how to get a MAC address off of a computer. They went so far as using a "dummy hub" to try and retrieve it via Windows. I about fell over laughing.

It's true that student's privacy is being violated. A lot. I understand where all of your computer gurus are coming from, as well as you IT managers. All of the security makes sense. But you have to think of it another way also. At least in our district you had to use school computers during "lab time" if you didn't, that was grounds to be sent to "detention" for the duration of the class as not using the computer was not considered constructive time use.

Key loggers on school computers really should be banned. Every user is given a username and password to get onto the systems. These credentials are already known by the IT department. WHY do they need to track it beyond there? Visual monitoring is completely understandable, but not keylogging.

[/endrant]

Espreon
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That is really not good

I feel very sorry 4 you. My IT guy is my mentor (unforutanetly) I think he is upgrading the comps to Vista (Vista is 20000000000 times worse than XP). Meaning I'll hafta deal with a bunch of BS! Plus he is just a guy that learned all this stuff over the summer! I can probably own him. As far as I know he is not technologically adept. Also I don't think he knows that Windows destroys the harddrive every shutdown (with a FLUSH CACHE signal). He even thinks that the Windows CleanUp utility is sufficent (talk about ignorance). Also he thinks that defragging the hdd does not matter much hell yea it matters alot (NTFS fraggs alot compared to HFS/HFS+ and the ext family of fses. I don't think he even knows what the Registry is! I got past the censoreware thanx to the registry! And 2 top it off. I doubt he even has a degree in comp science, plus I think the term wm would cause him to scratch his head. I am getting a new mentor (thank God). Micro$*** Winblows is way beyond me I am no longer using 3rd world OSes like Winblows.

And 2 top it off again he think open source OSes like Linux is worse than Winblows... WHY DOES HE THINK the computers at my school have problems ALOT. People come to his office EVERY single DAY, it is because Winblows has lots of probs and the kids at my school download lots of stuff (prob 20% is malware).

I did get caught with a few things (not objectionable) but my excuse would not make sense to a a person technologically adept but the excuse fooled him.

He blocks EVERYTHING innovative. Thanx to this site I don't hafta use IE or any other BS piece of crap software just to get through the school day.

He also hates Firefox, he stopped using it just because he encountered a prob that could be solved with an extension (FireFTP would solve it). Besides you should use an FTP Client for FTP (what a freaking fool!)

School IT people they have NO souls also they think they are SOOOOOOO smart but they are not.

--
As all of ya should know Microsoft is the Evil Empire, and Windows (a.k.a. Winblows or Windoze) is their greatest general, so please make a difference and install Linux or FreeBSD on yer Windows comp.

Covert.Concept
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Simply put:

School computers are secured not only as a legality (being that the school is accountable for anything that happens inside our outside their network while using their computers) but also because kids aren't idiots and some are smart enough to rival the IT guy.

Kids are not exactly considerate. I know I wasn't and I tried everything (and succeeded many times) to circumvent the filtering and security policies do naughty things on the computer. This puts strain on the IT techs because kids are also creative, and a fair bit more innovative at their approach, so they will try the most obscure ways to circumvent the securtity (*bows to torpark*).

Not only that, schools can't really afford to have an IT helpdesk or a network of technicians, so you'll generally find 1-3 guys responsible for the IT systems (everything included) for the entire school. 3 techs against 500+ kids? I'm betting on the kids finding at least one loophole.

School computers, rather than being made functional but filtered become heavily locked down simply because it's far easier to do that than to try make a network that is secure but adaptable. Quality of hardware generally isn't an issue as long as the PCs run Windows and Office (and barely IE at times) so expecting schools to provide support for your portable apps is like asking Microsoft to help you fix your cracked version of XP.

When most pupils sign an agreement (as I did), the agreement is made by the school and doesn't cover every eventuality (as mine didn't to my exploiting delight). But now I look back and feel sorry for the poor tech that I considered my rival, as I only had him as a rival, but he had many pupils trying to destroy the network he was working so hard to maintain.

I also realise that he had to construct the network to specific schematics by the school even though the software they requested was heavily flawed and quite destructive. He had to oblige and degrade the network because of his instructions.

I don't want this thread to become a slander of school IT techs who do their jobs as best they can (which at times can be quite humourous) even though their hands are tied by the higher staff.

If you want better computers:
-Petition for them and pass it on to the school board
-Stop whining about the school not coughing up and help organise a fundraiser... Then you can whine to your parents about not coughing up. Biggrin

If you want lower restrictions:
-Sorry, it's not gonna happen... Today's policies have been created out of the mischeif of the old days when computers weren't secure and kids ripped the network apart. Luckily for you all, portable apps (at least official ones) can be run without administrator priviliges and from a USB 1.0 drive.

If you want someone to blame for your restrictions:
-Look to your dad/mum and their friends. Each time a technician sees a pupil exploiting a loophole, he is obligated (fancy way of saying forced) to secure it (as it could cost them their job to ignore it). I have found with most school techs, they don't really have time to secure every loophole that exists, so instead wait for someone to find one for them to fix.
-Every time you use a school PC for anything that isn't to do with schoolwork, then you could potentially prevent many pupils down the line from doing theirs. For example, spending your time on flash games leads techs to simply remove the flash player from the system (as this can in some cases be quicker than banning sites). But then, if another pupil wants to look at a flash movie of some educational film, they can't.

Summary: There wouldn't be security if people didn't try to break it. We did this to ourselves... We have to live with it.
_____________________________________________
Is there any way to take that with me? No? Give me 10 minutes... Maybe an hour...

Is there any way to take that with me? No? Give me 10 minutes... Maybe an hour...

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Very well written!!

Yes I am dating myself in saying that computers were first being tested out when I went to school. The Librarian and myself setup the first three Win3 boxes that my high school received and they were fun but people trashed them so i had to rebuild it 7 times that year with the 15 floppies it came with to re-install. I learned alot about computers then as i never had one growing up. But then, they were like $4,000 back then a pop so only the most rich people could buy them back then.

Being in IT now I can respect all the admins who have their hands tied with policy enforcement. Mine are tied now and I work for a private company. Most fixes that a tech can do are outlawed and they can't use quality software to do the most basic of jobs.

When kids don't care (who actually has met one that cared for anything but them self?) it causes more harm to everyone else because of the fact that they think they know more and could blah blah blah blah... Face it... At home you can crack whatever you want and run whatever you want and you don't know the ramifications of it. Mommy and Daddy bought the computer and if it breaks they will buy another one cause they are rich and drive BMW's and crap. Grow up... Life sux, get a helmet. Reality will bite you in the ass when you realize that all you did was raise your future taxes to help buy more equipement that is not needed solely because you didn't care and destroyed the computer physically in some cases or just destroyed the OS.

School is school and home is home. School is for learning. Home is for everything else. Being a parent now, i will NOT buy my kids everything under the sun. They want something, they will work for it. No car, no phone, no computer. I will teach them the value of caring for other things than just themselves.

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do or say will be exaggerated or mis-quoted and used against you.

OliverK
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Well spoken

******************************************
There are 10 types of people in the world.

Those who understand Binary
and Those who don't

Too many lonely hearts in the real world
Too many bridges you can burn
Too many tables you can't turn
Don't wanna live my life in the real world

Espreon
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1st of all I am in a private school

so there really is no school board, plus it is 1 IT guy against 90 kids in my school.

--
As all of ya should know Microsoft is the Evil Empire, and Windows (a.k.a. Winblows or Windoze) is their greatest general, so please make a difference and install Linux or FreeBSD on yer Windows comp.

Covert.Concept
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The fact still remains...

Even if you are in private schooling, the tech is challenged by a mass of people against just him. Further more, his hands are tied by policy, law and budget. The IT sector of a school does not have carte blanche when it comes to buying, so they have to settle for degraded computers and flawed software. This is challenging enough as it is, but then throw in the fact that kids are deliberately opposing him and you're left with a very stressed tech who really couldn't care much about freedom of usage.

However, I had a strong friendship with one of our techs at my school and with his consent, I did things on the PC that weren't usually allowed, but because I took the time to ask him and explain exactly what I was attempting, he was fine with it because it was educational. As BvF7734 said, a school computer is for educational purposes and to use them for anything else is asking for your actions to be restricted. If you really want to do your own thing, buy a computer or, like I did, build it out of spare parts that you scavenge from others. I built a P2 in a week from scavenged parts because I was poor and couldn't afford anything.

School computers are meant for education and as such, will not happily do things that are not specified by the school as educational... Portable chess, although fun, isn't truely educational in the sense that it will help you pass a Physics exam. But if a tech sees it, he is obligated (explained earlier) to deny that opportunity...

Summary: School PCs are not meant for unrestricted usage.
_____________________________________________
Is there any way to take that with me? No? Give me 10 minutes... Maybe an hour...

Is there any way to take that with me? No? Give me 10 minutes... Maybe an hour...

alpha1
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looks like i'm on the other sides...

of this issue

in my high school, we just rolled out a tablet-PC program, and so now 200 freshmen all have tablet PCs. and with the new IT guy switching the school over to a linux based system, there's a lot of chaos going on.

Well the school hired a second IT guy and they still needed help
being as i had worked with the It guy before one of my senior friends and i started a Tech club in the school and help the It guys and learn new things, and have had our eyes opened to the open source world and the beauty of free stuff.
since then we had several freshmen who are pretty good with basic computing skills an have joined us in repairing freshmen tablets and doing server upgrades and what ever else needed to be done, especially dealing with out current teachers and that kinda fun stuff.(the teacher all have tablets too)

the school computers are very secure and locked down, some idiotic locks on them, but PAM works on all of them and i a day hasn't gone by where i haven't used it and while normal students wouldn't be allowed to use it, we are because of our help and with everything and often PA are necessarily to get a job done. So I'd like to thanks everyone at PA for these great apps. But while i wish some of the blocks weren't as strict i find them reasonable and understand why they have them and in some cases, help the out.

well my pet project was actually finding sites to add to the block list and ones that were blocked that shouldn't be. We use mostly Opensuse around there so we used Dansguardian for the blocks and have set up our blocks maintained them and keep the freshmen from hacking our network and closed many security holes windows left when we started moving the system into the linux and open source world.

we built our own IT support site and keep it running within the school, where I Moderate it, and we mange to keep the school up and running and keep the students and teachers with working computers, as well as maintain our high security and site blacklists.

and BTW it's a school of 800 kids, 200 of them freshmen with tablets, 80 teachers, 2IT professionals and 8 tech club kids including me.

just thought you people might enjoy hearing from the other side of this issue,

Regards
~Alpha1

Lead, Follow, or get out of the way.

sergentsiler
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well...

it is kinda nice to see a positive thing in the complaints thread.

Zoop

digitxp
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Wow

there's 400 5th Graders in my school, with 17 teachers, 1 Computer Technichian, and I'm the only one with PortableApps (Everyone else says it has viruses. and this guy that is crazy over pc's [can't call him a guru, he doesn't even know html] has a laptop that's superslow, with a teeny taskbar, and a broken windows explorer. His dad is M$ certified. And he says he knows everything about pc's. He loves payware.)

Insert original signature here with Greasemonkey Script.

David Dixon II
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.

My School Lets Me Use The PortableApps Here. Just As Long As I Fallow The Requirements. One Time, No One Could Access This One Site That The Teacher Wanted Us To Go On For Researching Salmon, And Everyone Had To Scramble Around My Computer, I Finally Said "ONE AT A TIME!!! GEESH" Everyone Sat Down And I Called People One By One. HAHA That Was Cool.

Na na na, come on!

digitxp
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Haha.

And I'm the only one in my school that uses it. Everyone else says there are viruses (a.k.a. False Positives). The PC's are so unlocked down, they gave the public account admin rights!!! Smile

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alpha1
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well one of the problems

well one of the problems with windows is that anyone and his brother can be an administrator

well me and the tech club are the only users, as well as some freshmen with tablets who found out about it from us.

Lead, Follow, or get out of the way.

Unemployed Stor...
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.

My school doesn't care that I use portable apss but they also dont know about Ninja Command really they only ones they have seen me run is Geek Menu, Firefox, and Open Office and they dont block Command.com but even though they lock us out of the C drive a batch file does it. I am not the only person who uses PAs though I have a friend who introduced them to me and I have introduced them to 2 other people

Douglas C
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South Australian School

Not sure about other places in Australia, but at my school, we have:

- McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.5i
- Faronics DeepFreeze
- A Highly Modified Version of SquirrelMail known as edMail (all Government schools in SA use it)
- A Blackboard based thing for team and quota management
- SmartFilter DA Bess Edition Filter at the proxy
- Office 2007
- XP Pro SP2 with IE7 and WMP11
- Other trivial nonsense.

The McAfee I can live with (The splash disappears when you click on it). DeepFreeze is an application that annoyes the heck out of me. For instance, on one image, the admins (well, one of them) decided to have over 70 shortcuts on the desktop to practically everything on the system. And, instead of having the shortucts to Office all grouped together on the desktop (easily achieveable by copying the shortcuts from the Programs\Microsoft Office folder to the desktop), they're all over the place, because they're called "Word" and "Excel" as opposed to "Microsoft Office Word 2007" or even "MS Word" would do the trick! Not only that, but these systems are set at a widescreen resolution on a 4:3 monitor!

I like having my profile set up in a certain way: icons in a certain order on the desktop, the taskbar locked, no language bar, Internet Explorer with no menu bar and large icons, large pointers where available, and so on, but, DeepFreeze and the lack of roaming profile squash these possibilities out.

On later images, this has been fixed, but on one image, the systems have LCD's are running at 1024x768 in 16bit color (let's hear it for the Intel GMA control panel!).

All the computers have USB 2.0 ports, and don't mind if you run stuff off the USB key or whatever (But if the admins find out, they will find you and kill you. Ditto for game playing, which I support -- we don't come to school to play games, that's why we have home computers).

digitxp
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I know about DeepFreeze

my school uses that. But at least there's thawspace.
And strangely enough it says you can't modify anything on the computer and yet the student (anonymous) account has admin priveleges.

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roamer
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You have to use Blackboard?

@Douglas_C
Ooh... that sucks. We had to use it, and the glitches annoyed me beyond reason. It almost drove me to the point of insanity.

also, on the screen resolution/color problems, have you right-clicked the desktop to see if you have access to properties (graphic properties, resolution, output, etc...). Although it should be an admin option, a lot of places do not block these settings...leaving fun times for our class which rotates the screen 180 degrees so it is upside-down for the next class.

OliverK> you don't live on a cow
IRC: It brings out the best in all of us...Especially when tired.

m-p-3
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At my job they restrict the

At my job they restrict the software installation, but I don't care as I am the IT Biggrin

Yay for admin rights !

roamer
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At my school,

Seeing that I don't have a job yet, at my school they "forgot" to block the generic "administrator" account (the one with no password!) on most of the PCs... Yet again, it leads to fun times for my IT class... and account suspension, in school suspension, and detention...

OliverK> you don't live on a cow
IRC: It brings out the best in all of us...Especially when tired.

Unemployed Stor...
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The hardest part

is not getting caught. Though I got lucky as the program Script Logic that my school uses to block command prompt, Run etc cant access the registry settings it needs to run on my account so I have access to Task Manager which I cant stand not having. Though its come at a price as my thumb drive has been wiped 4 times now.

Arkantoz Jr
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FileZilla

At my school, I can use filezilla to get onto the server. By doing so I had access to all the teacher's and student's files. I had it running off my usb drive.

Rules are guidelines put in place for people who are to stupid to use common sense.

Mickeyj4j
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Same prob at work

Hi i have a similar problem at work. i was using firfox fine then one day they blocked me from using any app that accesses the internet. also Thunderbird etc

it would be great if there was a crack, Hack etc that i could run first before firefox so that it tricks the comp and runs firefox, Thunderbird etc. you people should realise that at school you are there to study and not to muck around play the fool etc so simmer down and Just realise as most of you sem to be from the states it is athe law for them to have the kind of protection mechanisims they do.

An Old Irish Blessing
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tadada
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Last seen: 14 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2008-07-23 07:29
I got it lucky it seems at my school

At my school (a small private 100 students from pre-kindergarden to highschool) we got 18 comps. (old dells with celerons) The IT is the principal (decent with computers but not actually trained as an IT) and whoever can fix it which a lot of times is me.
The policy is:
a) whatever your doing it better be school related
b) whatever your doing it better not mess up the computer
c) whatever your doing it must be appropriate (no games unless it is after school (no online games EVER) no online videos ever, no online music ever, no forums ever)
d) you break some of the rules then you can't use the computers any more

They're nice enough though to let me use my email to email myself a report that I need at home.

As far as I know there isn't a keylogger BUT its a new year coming up. At my first study period I'm going to look for hardware keyloggers (little things in between the mouse and computer) and software keyloggers in task manager. (which student account can access for emergencies if the computer locks up) Plus side is I can run anything already installed so I should be able to use my portableapps drive but I had problems with a drive two years ago when it wouldn't let me use the encryption software on it so the jury's still out on that one. (they say every student should have a flash drive for data transfers to and from school/house though)

Arkantoz Jr
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Joined: 2008-04-19 19:43
hacking the school server

At my school I managed to gain access to the server in a couple minutes. All I did was run filezilla off my memory stick. then I just typed in the server name and i was on the server. Talk about poor security lol.

Rules are guidelines put in place for people who are to stupid to use common sense.

digitxp
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Joined: 2007-11-03 18:33
hm...

so it was the school website?

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gluxon
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Joined: 2008-06-21 19:26
Wow,

How did you find out the server name?

P.S. I think I might do that whenever I get angry at my teachers. Blum

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