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Need help with new SteadyState role: Senior Citizen management

    Question

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    Here's an interesting application of SteadyState, and a technical issue I've not yet resolved.

     

    New Application: managing Senior Citizen use

    As many people know, when folks age they often are no longer able to safely drive a car. Sometimes they suffer "executive decline" resulting in disinhibition, rigid thinking, inattention and a decline in working memory.This results in embarassing moments with family and friends when the wrong thing is said or done in front of everyone.

     

    I just ran into the Computer Technology implications of this issue. A parent who goes online at random times, and does inappropriate things: buys products then never remembers (so buys again); takes unwise financial actions ("I lost my checkbook so I started a new account" -- 30+ times!), shares private info (publishing all family email addresses in a public place -- hello Spam!) or offensive info, etc. Bottom line: we need to take the "Internet car keys" away, while still allowing appropriate local use of the computer.

     

    Our goals

    * No Web browser use or email ,at ALL on his computer. Yes at library w/ spouse present

    * No software installing/uninstalling at all, no configuration changes at all.

    * Full permission to use a selected set of software, and to manage a wide variety of documents (quicken, taxes, photos, memoirs, etc)

     

    SteadyState seems an appropriate tool to accomplish this, but I've run into some snags

     

    Technical Issue: no permission to move/rename files?

     

    This is an existing computer, with existing profile. I set up the computer (Win XP SP3) with SteadyState as follows:

    * Disk Protection OFF

    * User "Joe" Locked

    * IE fully disabled

    * Most Windows functions unlocked, except for access to control panel, etc

     

    Obvious real or potential challenges:

    * Desktop gets replaced on login (not a real issue; training can fix that)

    * My Documents gets replaced on login (I moved the "My Documents" folder out of Docs&Settings, into C:\Permanent Docs\My Documents. I created a shortcut to that folder on the desktop, and set it to auto-open on login.)

    * Applications tend to store files in the Local Settings/Application Data area of the profile (Not sure if this is a big deal or not. Any hints?)

     

    With all that set up, I've run into my first real snag:

     

    In the "new" My Documents folder, which is outside the Docs&Settings area, the user can create and edit new files. But renaming a file, or managing the files (moving a file into another folder in the same area) is blocked by permissions.

     

    Question: how can I re-enable moving files within c:\Permanent Docs\My Documents ??

     

    Thanks for any help or suggestions you can give!

    Pete

     

    Saturday, June 14, 2008 3:08 PM

Answers

  • Why you would want them to save any documents anywhere on the hard drive is beyond me? Let them save to a flash drive or floppy? I wouldn't want anyone who comes after me to look at any files I may have put in some folder, senior citizen or not.

    As far as unwanted software being installed, you could have the account set as a User, that will disallow any new software being introduced and installed. Or, being mindful of the seniors, Faronics Anti-Executable is a nice program that does essentially the same thing, but it pops up a nice unobtrusive customizable message when someone tries to install software. (incidentally, if the machine has no Internet access, the only other way to introduce new software is a flash drive or cd-rom, and you can disable those easily). The issue of seeing a different desktop every login could also be remedied by the disk protection tool, or Faronic's Deep Freeze. Don't know why you're not using either of those?
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 1:51 PM

All replies

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    Hi Pete, have you restricted the user to modify/create file on C:\? If you have second partition on the computer, we can simply move the folder to D:\ to resolve the issue.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 9:14 AM
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    There's only one partition, it is not blocked or restricted. I only "locked" the user, which is understood to wipe out their profile on each logout/login.

     

    Presuming this is a bug rather than a feature Wink... I'm playing with workarounds. Right now, seeing if unlocking the user will help. I'm cautious about that... I don't want "holes" that allow installing new software on his own.

     

    Update: Unlocking does not help.

     

     

    Thursday, June 19, 2008 10:39 AM
  • Why you would want them to save any documents anywhere on the hard drive is beyond me? Let them save to a flash drive or floppy? I wouldn't want anyone who comes after me to look at any files I may have put in some folder, senior citizen or not.

    As far as unwanted software being installed, you could have the account set as a User, that will disallow any new software being introduced and installed. Or, being mindful of the seniors, Faronics Anti-Executable is a nice program that does essentially the same thing, but it pops up a nice unobtrusive customizable message when someone tries to install software. (incidentally, if the machine has no Internet access, the only other way to introduce new software is a flash drive or cd-rom, and you can disable those easily). The issue of seeing a different desktop every login could also be remedied by the disk protection tool, or Faronic's Deep Freeze. Don't know why you're not using either of those?
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 1:51 PM