The difficulties of computer use at my high school

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The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby LSK » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:48 pm UTC

...Teachers ask, "Who keeps on installing Firefox?"
Students ask, "Who keeps on uninstalling Firefox?"
The librarian asks, "Why won't you all use Safari?"
And some students download viruses for sport.

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby OBrien » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:15 pm UTC

1: Buy a USB stick
2: Install Firefox onto stick
3: Bring stick to school and run Firefox off of it
4: ????
5: Profit!
Spelling and grammar can go screw themselves.

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:42 pm UTC

1. Edit the registry.
2. Use your new admin privliges to blanket install firefox across the network at computer switch on.
3. Don't tell anyone.
4. ?????
5. Profit.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Meowgan » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:43 pm UTC

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Klapaucius » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:31 am UTC

The computers at my school all have Firefox downloaded onto them, which is strange because I'm the only one I know who uses it, or even knows what it is.

But there is still that annoying-as-hell WebSense that blocked Wikipedia for being a "blog" and even blocked Google for no apparent reason until every single person complained at once.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby tina-mat » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:45 am UTC

Maybe a fool that neglects the lilies of FG.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby RetSpline » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:17 am UTC

I like to think that myself and a small group of close friends are responsible for getting Firefox on most of the computers in the district (despite the entirely-too-pervasive DeepFreeze, but honestly, once we started un-installing (or just hiding) IE, regular users started taking a liking to it and spreading it themselves.

On school computer troubles in general, my district keeps everything locked up tight; DeepFreeze, in addition to all the other software they have, is the bane of my existence. I'm no hacker or anything, but my small tricks that have served me well in the past are useless now. We actually had a week where a senior Computer Science student completely shut down the computers in the lab. You could pretty much just turn them on and off, and that's probably just because he hadn't gotten around to physically removing the buttons from the case.

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby tina-mat » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:30 pm UTC

My school has both Firefox and IE pre-installed. For some reason, it's FF 1.5, but you can install a newer version if you want.

I just found out the other day that my high school has the third best science education in the country. :P
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Mmmm, Pi » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:41 pm UTC

Our university doesn't have Firefox on most of the computers, but the engineers complained so much that now we have Firefox on our system. No idea if computer science have it too, I've never actually been into the computer science building.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:05 am UTC

OBrien wrote:1: Buy a USB stick
2: Install Portable Firefox onto stick
3: Bring stick to school and run Firefox off of it
4: ????
5: Profit!
Fixed.

RetSpline wrote:I like to think that myself and a small group of close friends are responsible for getting Firefox on most of the computers in the district (despite the entirely-too-pervasive DeepFreeze, but honestly, once we started un-installing (or just hiding) IE, regular users started taking a liking to it and spreading it themselves.

On school computer troubles in general, my district keeps everything locked up tight; DeepFreeze, in addition to all the other software they have, is the bane of my existence. I'm no hacker or anything, but my small tricks that have served me well in the past are useless now. We actually had a week where a senior Computer Science student completely shut down the computers in the lab. You could pretty much just turn them on and off, and that's probably just because he hadn't gotten around to physically removing the buttons from the case.
My high school had Deep Freeze, but neglected to set BIOS passwords, so I would just remove it with a boot disk. This became slightly more difficult when they moved to XP (the computers were too old to boot from anything but floppy or CD, and I knew nothing about *nix) because DOS can't read NTFS. I got NTFSDOS but it spanned two disks itself, with some of the files zipped, so I had to set up a batch file that would create a RAM disk, prompt for the next two disks, unzip into it, and run it. Damn that was fun. (I don't remember why I didn't use a CD. I think a lot of the CD-ROM drives didn't work.) Of course I always installed Firefox once I could.
On some machines, they forgot to actually reboot after installing Deep Freeze, and never shut them off, so it wouldn't take effect until the next power failure. I installed Firefox on several of those, and when they finally did reboot, it was permanently installed. :D

At college they have Firefox installed (but not set to default), but it has some trouble with profiles. I can install add-ons and change settings, but every time I log in, it will pop up saying new add-ons have been installed (the ones I installed ages ago), and ask if I want it as the default browser.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Hoags » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:54 pm UTC

Mmmm, Pi wrote:Our university doesn't have Firefox on most of the computers, but the engineers complained so much that now we have Firefox on our system. No idea if computer science have it too, I've never actually been into the computer science building.


Yep, I think all the machines in CS except for the two Macs downstairs have Firefox. A great deal of them run Linux, as well. It's lovely.

I haven't encountered any difficulties using the computers at uni. It seems there are no filters to stop me going on forums or whatever when I get bored, and that's pretty much the only thing that would bother me, so hurrah!

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Toeofdoom » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:07 pm UTC

I know quite a few people who've installed an entire operating system on their USB sticks or external hard drives, actually. I really need to get around to that sometime...
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Bingo Little » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:14 pm UTC

My school refuses to install Firefox at all. Instead, we have an old and horribly out of date version of internet explorer which doesn't even have tabs.

Dear Lord Why?

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby RetSpline » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:30 pm UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:My high school had Deep Freeze, but neglected to set BIOS passwords, so I would just remove it with a boot disk. This became slightly more difficult when they moved to XP (the computers were too old to boot from anything but floppy or CD, and I knew nothing about *nix) because DOS can't read NTFS. I got NTFSDOS but it spanned two disks itself, with some of the files zipped, so I had to set up a batch file that would create a RAM disk, prompt for the next two disks, unzip into it, and run it. Damn that was fun. (I don't remember why I didn't use a CD. I think a lot of the CD-ROM drives didn't work.) Of course I always installed Firefox once I could.
On some machines, they forgot to actually reboot after installing Deep Freeze, and never shut them off, so it wouldn't take effect until the next power failure. I installed Firefox on several of those, and when they finally did reboot, it was permanently installed. :D

At college they have Firefox installed (but not set to default), but it has some trouble with profiles. I can install add-ons and change settings, but every time I log in, it will pop up saying new add-ons have been installed (the ones I installed ages ago), and ask if I want it as the default browser.


Wow, I know just enough to be aware that what you just said was, in fact, not a random collection of words and letters. This requires more research...

Also, reading this post in the school library where they can occasionally watch specific computers (hi whoever that is!): great idea, or greatest idea?

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Meowgan » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:35 am UTC

Toeofdoom wrote:I know quite a few people who've installed an entire operating system on their USB sticks or external hard drives, actually. I really need to get around to that sometime...
Damn small Linux fitted on my 64meg USB thumbdrive. And even _I_ could do it.

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby lorenith » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:02 am UTC

Highschool computers are a lost cause, I remember mine, they were old, they had crazy blockers, and they took ages to do anything because they were in such poor condition from all the incompetent people using them. Do highschools at least allow students to bring their own laptops now? I know a lot of them issue them out to students these days, bringing your own would negate the annoyance of highschool computers.

University computers where I go come installed with firefox and IE, and depending on which lab you go to a very impressive library of media and art programs. They are automatically restart and wipe themselves after the user logs off because people are amazingly good at breaking the computers. They work okey-ish most of the time.

I still cannot get over how computer illiterate people are, I'm taking a art-education and technology course, and on the first day of class we learned how to-

1. Download pictures off the internet, and save them in the folder of your choice
2. How to open files in Photoshop
3. How to save files in Photoshop

It's been two weeks, and a lot of my class still struggles with the first one.

Really I think the deep-freeze and blockers are a mixed blessing for highschools, they'd probably have a ton of desktop sized paperweights on their hands otherwise. I mean if so many college students can't perform basic functions on a computer, I'm pretty certain there's plenty of highschoolers that somehow manage to be even worse.

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Socal Swimmer » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:18 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:1. Edit the registry.
2. Use your new admin privliges to blanket install firefox across the network at computer switch on.
3. Don't tell anyone.
4. ?????
5. Profit.


how do you do this without the admin password?
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Meowgan » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:20 am UTC

Socal Swimmer wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:1. Edit the registry.
2. Use your new admin privliges to blanket install firefox across the network at computer switch on.
3. Don't tell anyone.
4. ?????
5. Profit.


how do you do this without the admin password?
One of my friends hacked into the school computers and changed the admin password to "swordfish" because my other friend asked him to.

I think you should do it that way.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:53 am UTC

Socal Swimmer wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:1. Edit the registry.
2. Use your new admin privliges to blanket install firefox across the network at computer switch on.
3. Don't tell anyone.
4. ?????
5. Profit.


how do you do this without the admin password?


I'll look up the exact values you need to change to make your account an admin, but it all depends on you school having not had the common sense to protect the registry from manual editing.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:58 am UTC

Or your use of a hacked registry editor that simply ignores that setting.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Socal Swimmer » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:12 am UTC

hmm... I may try this, but then i'd probably be breaking several rules. Up to this point ive just installed firefox, and used an ssh tunnel to get around the web filter. This is a little worse.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Babam » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:27 am UTC

My school is pretty afwull, they use Lightspeed Filtering, but it's easily beaten by https so I can get to gmail at least and loltunnel if I feel like breaking rules.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby mochafairy » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:31 am UTC

if your school is as stupid as mine was, they only blocked the urls. pinging got around those filters...full internet!
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby kaniman2 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:00 am UTC

Some computers at our school use FireFox, and our school banned usb sticks because the techies think that they all carry viruses. We have to stick with fucking IE6, because our school has such a fucked up security system that they spend two decades to make programs completely un-customizable and unusable (which can be hacked in half a day, if anyone wanted to). At least xkcd isn't blocked.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Sarr » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:04 am UTC

I'm not completely sure what my school uses, but I can get around it quick enough (make my way to the command prompt, ect). Some friends of mine, when they had a programing class, basically broke the system over the course of the semester - fucking with each other's computers via the prompt due to them all being networked and the like. They were the reason for the new security upgrades teh school got. And it still phails.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:08 am UTC

If the computers were anything like the ones in my high school, you could easily get admin privileges by pulling out the ethernet cable when you started logging on. If you need the commandline and it is blocked (cmd.exe) try using command.com instead, it worked at my school :P

We eventually had Firefox installed on our school computers...I never touched it though. I hate Firefox enough that I went out of my way to use IE6 or Safari (depending on what computer I was on).

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Socal Swimmer » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:11 am UTC

mochafairy wrote:if your school is as stupid as mine was, they only blocked the urls. pinging got around those filters...full internet!


yeah we have lightspeed i think. how do you use pinging to get around them?
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby mochafairy » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:34 am UTC

PING.JPG
PING.JPG (54.94 KiB) Viewed 2577 times


cmd prompt. type "PING" and then the url. It returns an ip. type the IP into the address bar and tada! If comand prompt is blocked, try the run command, or search for it in windows explorer. if windows explorer is blocked, try windows button +e.

We also did other stuff to the computers...Halo is still installed on an "unerasable" partition that is accessible throughout the entire school, so anyone can play Halo in the school! We also wrote scripts for the computers so when they'd boot up, it's play the mario/zelda/DK/etc theme through beep codes, open and close the CD/DVD drives, and do other crazy stuff.

good times, good times.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby GuitarFreak » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:54 am UTC

Bingo Little wrote:My school refuses to install Firefox at all. Instead, we have an old and horribly out of date version of internet explorer which doesn't even have tabs.

Dear Lord Why?


Sounds a lot like my HS. I got sick of it one day and installed portable FF on my flash drive. I gave it to a few of my friends as well, and within a month, I heard half of the school had it and they blocked FF from opening. The fun part? They only blocked firefox.exe, a quick rename later and it worked. It also got around our horrible filters :D
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Cathode Ray Sunshine » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:57 am UTC

My only problem with the computer labs are the guys that play Warcraft there. Not that I'm against people playing it, as long as they're silent. But these guys just start screaming at the top of their lungs and don't shut up at all. I don't mind them playing, but please be quiet!

This semester the computers don't seem to work at all. They had Firefox and everything, but this semester they seem to have just wiped everything out and don't want to download any other browser or program, so I have to stick with IE. And the internet connection is screwed up as well. Why the hell am I paying for that?

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby kgirlfae » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:00 am UTC

My high school's computer security system was so laughably easy to bypass that around the third day of freshman year every student had been told (usually by teachers) how to hack it.

By my senior year they'd slowly made it more and more difficult to hack, but my friends and I usually sorted our way through it - and 3 of my friends have since been hired by the school system now that they're out of college to fix the same security issues we used to hack.

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby DurAlvar » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:03 am UTC

A bright spark at my HS decided to use/leave the bios password as 'acer' (on acer computers obviously). One friend who was slightly bored guessed it first go. Good times.

Oh, one interesting fact, on win 2000 and xp (and probably other versions, havent tried any others), if all links to the control panel have been hidden/deleted, you can get around it by simply adding a shortcut with 'control panel' as the location and it'll give you access. Also good times.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Socal Swimmer » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:11 am UTC

DurAlvar wrote:A bright spark at my HS decided to use/leave the bios password as 'acer' (on acer computers obviously). One friend who was slightly bored guessed it first go. Good times.

Oh, one interesting fact, on win 2000 and xp (and probably other versions, havent tried any others), if all links to the control panel have been hidden/deleted, you can get around it by simply adding a shortcut with 'control panel' as the location and it'll give you access. Also good times.


lawl ...

unfortunately, on our systems you need administrator access to view control panel.

Sucks cause sound drivers are disabled, and the only way to reenable them (that I have found) is to use control panel (or otherwise run some installer that requires admin powers).

EDIT: mochafairy, thanks for the info on ping!
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Klapaucius » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:39 pm UTC

mochafairy wrote:
PING.JPG


cmd prompt. type "PING" and then the url. It returns an ip. type the IP into the address bar and tada! If comand prompt is blocked, try the run command, or search for it in windows explorer. if windows explorer is blocked, try windows button +e.

We also did other stuff to the computers...Halo is still installed on an "unerasable" partition that is accessible throughout the entire school, so anyone can play Halo in the school! We also wrote scripts for the computers so when they'd boot up, it's play the mario/zelda/DK/etc theme through beep codes, open and close the CD/DVD drives, and do other crazy stuff.

good times, good times.
I can't get past Lightspeed using this...

It won't even let me ping the server, actually, even on unblocked sites. This is strange
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby mochafairy » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:00 pm UTC

you poor sap...

I'm not going to tell you how to hack. If you want to figure it out, do it yourself.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Brooklynxman » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:06 pm UTC

To prove IE is vastly worse, I cant open the news articles in this thread w/o instantly crashing ie.
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Klapaucius » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:18 pm UTC

mochafairy wrote:you poor sap...

I'm not going to tell you how to hack. If you want to figure it out, do it yourself.
Yeah, I hate to say it, but I'm a complete neophyte at this sort of thing. But it shouldn't be hard to figure this out on my own time.

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby wst » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:28 pm UTC

Klapaucius wrote:To the internet!
*coughBackTrack3cough*
Has every tool you will ever need. Wish I could find my USB with it on though...
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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Brooker » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:28 pm UTC

I'm so glad none of the kids in this HS are this smart. Makes my job so much easier. Still use some of the tricks i used at HS to get past some stuff the council imposes on the network

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Re: The difficulties of computer use at my high school

Postby Pizzashark » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:16 pm UTC

mochafairy wrote:We also did other stuff to the computers...Halo is still installed on an "unerasable" partition that is accessible throughout the entire school, so anyone can play Halo in the school! We also wrote scripts for the computers so when they'd boot up, it's play the mario/zelda/DK/etc theme through beep codes, open and close the CD/DVD drives, and do other crazy stuff.

good times, good times.


Someone (not me, not people I knew) did that with UT99 on ours. Our "computer science" class was basically an hour to sleep, study, do whatever (and supposedly get our CCNA at the same time, not that I'd ever try to say I have one.) For those of us that knew how to access it, it was spent fragging each other on DM-Deck16. Sometimes I miss high school.
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