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Can this be done?

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nightowl

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Location
N.E Scotland
I was speaking to my Dad today and he asked me this. I could not answer his question, maybe someone here can?

The place where he works has some computers that are available for use by members of the public who have never used the internet before. Some people have been abusing this and downloading and installing things they shouldnt be. This leads to all sorts of problems.

Is there any way to setup a machine so that when it is turned on it will automatically load an internet browser that can only be used for surfing the net, no downloads allowed and no access to anything else on the pc?

I imagine schools these days must have some sort of limits as to what a pupil could do. Could this sort of thing be applied to these computers so they can only be web browsers?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

bdf24

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2001
Location
Harford, WI.
I'm not sure what OS is on those computer's. But in WinXP if you got into the Browser options, then security setting's. Click on Custum and you can disable downloading. I'm sure earlier versions have this as well, But I'm not sure.
 

rogerdugans

Linux challenged Senior, not that it stops me...
Joined
Dec 28, 2001
Location
Corner of No and Where
It is definitely possible, but more details are needed to know if it will be easy or not.

An os with little security, like Win9x, will be harder; something with NT kernel will be a lot easier;)
And it is possible in *nix as well, although I don't know what steps need to happen there...
 
OP
nightowl

nightowl

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Location
N.E Scotland
I believe he is waiting to find out what would be required to do this and will then go buy an os and some licences. I think it would be best to stick with windows as the people in the office have no computer sense and it would be easier.

I suppose it would come down to which windows version with NT kernel was best suited for this and I guess the cheapest too as this is a charity orginisation with limited budget.
 

rogerdugans

Linux challenged Senior, not that it stops me...
Joined
Dec 28, 2001
Location
Corner of No and Where
I haven't done it myself, but I know that with NT kernel it is possible, including NT 4.0.

Back when I ran my home lan as a MS Domain I used Policies to control many aspects of how all the computers ran: access permissions to files, shares and so on.

Easiest might be experimenting with users: set up a GUEST account with read permissions and NO write permission maybe, or limited to one directory and no download or install permissions.
 
OP
nightowl

nightowl

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Location
N.E Scotland
OK ,thanks for these pointers. My home network pcs run xp so I will start having a go with some of these suggestions and see how I get on. I didnt realise you could do all this stuff you see :D
Thnx
 

su root

Senior Member, --, I teach people how to read your
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Location
Ontario, Canada
one solution is to install the OS & set up the computers completely, then install this program:
http://www.deepfreezeusa.com/
it will lock-down the hard drives so that nothing can be written to them.. you could format the harddrives, reboot and it would boot right back to windows :)
this doesn't stop them from downloading, but it makes your job easier.. reboot them to undo everything they just did.

another option would to get kiosk software.. the kind where it boots into a webbrowser, and that's it.