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Programming Software on RM Networks

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by cods, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. cods

    cods New commenter

    We've all been there before: you ask your technicians to install something on THEIR network and you get "sorry mate you just don't understand........."
    Given the latest programming "requirements" set out by Gove, i asked whether we could get Kodu installed. You guessed it: "sorry mate......."
    Has anyone succesfully installed Kodu? Small Basic? on their RM networks. Was it straightforward? Were your techies helpful........?
     
  2. You might have a problem with anything that compiles to .exe. Greenfoot (Greenfoot.org) might be helpful for you - it compiles to .JAR, which will run fine if you have a JRE.
    The video tutorials at http://blogs.kent.ac.uk/mik are worth checking out. Good pace for students. Each is 10-15 mins.
     
  3. It might be a bit advanced for your network manager, as it involves two syllable words, but can you explain the difference between x86 executables and .NET executables to him/her/it ?
     
  4. "I don't understand what you are saying. I must therefore assume it is evil and reprimand you for perverting the minds of innocent youth"...
    ..is what my "ICT co-ordinator" in senior management would say at the mention of x86 and .NET.
    IMHO we should force the 'leaders' to do GCSE Computing so they can understand us! Maybe that is part of our problem?
     
  5. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I've been using Portable Apps on USB sticks with some classes recently to get round network restrictions. Most of them involve .exe files. I don't know if there's any scope there?

    I would add that as a Supply teacher I get to work with a lot of systems, and take any chance I can get to try Portable Apps out.
     
  6. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

  7. No need to be rude. Not all network managers are incompetent ***. As a former techie, I was the only one in my school with a degree in computing (unlike the ICT teachers). As more schools ditch RM and go vanilla, network managers will need to be more skilled to cope with all that the school demands AND do it properly.
    I have tried getting Kodu to work on CC3 and it didn't want to work correctly under student accounts (permission problems) straight off. In the end the school chose to abandon it so I didn't need to get it working but it was far from just making up a package.
    I'm sure a rule/exception could be written to sort out the .exe running problem for .NET.
     
  8. I know, but the OPs didn't sound very promising.
    Don't understand why people by anything with an RML badge on it. Going back as far as the supposedly "PC Compatible" Nimbus 186 they've all been overpriced junk.
    Managed to get their salesmen to go away though. When once phoned, I said I'd never buy RM anything and when asked why was extremely blunt about the Nimbus. Never been bothered since.
    Not sure. The problem is I expect a .EXE may well still be a .EXE with a stub on it or something like that. MS might have been better to call there VM something else (.net ?) and modify the OS so that .net goes to the framework.
    I'd have thought the problem was the creation of .EXEs, not their actual running though (whitelist ?)
    Mind you the .NET 1 design is awful in places. The 'design' of the SQL interface nearly makes me cry.

     
  9. Agreed - some IT people are an insult to the industry and have no handle on basic troubleshooting skills and exploit their position of power but if you pay peanuts... I see it from both sides though - its not nice being the fall guy either.
    Since I've not worked with CC3 for a few years so my memory might be failing but I wonder if the computers themselves could be run with lower security settings but only do that in the ICT classrooms. As I recall, this needs to be added per workstation, per user. Its not ideal obviously but with the right classroom management, seating plan and firewall/AV/Securus or something along those lines, it might work in some schools. This could be done on a class by class basis. Suggesting that to a techie, like the one the OP eluded to, might not result in much though.
    As for RM sales people - often lack the right knowledge and too pushy. I can't be doing with that which is a pity as they burn their bridges when they do offer some good deals.
     
  10. I've often wondered if the solution is to use Virtualbox. I did a course as part of my MCTS and the coding was all done in a VM, presumably so they could easily "reset" the machine. A lot of stuff runs under these VMs now, even DirectX stuff, and it is near enough impossible to trash the host machine.
     
  11. We have an RM CC4 network. I currently use Scratch, Flash (CS5 - Actionscript 3.0), Greenfoot and BlueJ to teach programming. All work well on the network.
    Ideally I'd like to throw Python into the mix, but when we looked at it a couple of years ago it wouldn't package for the network. Our network team are competent and helpful, but not programmers so I do feel a little on my own. Has anyone successfully managed to get Python to work on an RM network?
     
  12. I've never tried it. AFAICS the Python I'm currently using (2.7) is just a directory tree structure with the Python interpreter in it and I think the Python extensions are just stored in a subdirectory. So it doesn't actually need 'installing' at all. Apart from (obviously) locating the executable it doesn't seem to matter where it is.
    I haven't looked at the install manifest but the only "pythonic" other thing I can is a DLL called python27.dll which is in the windows\system32 directory.
    A google found this http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2319495/installing-python-with-python-win32-extensions-on-a-network-drive with some ideas.
    You could ask the Python guys - they would probably help you, OS people usually are helpful.
    Well, maybe not Hans Reiser :)

     
  13. A school I worked in has cc4 and is now teaching python. The teachers there are also tech savvy so I'll ask them and post the response.
     
  14. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    I have taught Python for the last 3 years. Installation of Python on networks should not be a problem. I have produced Python programming course materials for Scottish Intermediate 2, Higher and Advanced Higher Computing. The 'programming' topic is actually called Software Development in Scotland. Python is, in my opinion, the best programming language to learn for beginners for a number of reasons.
    I am hoping to package these sets of course notes and perhaps sell these at a reasonable price.
     
  15. It is often true that the IT department may seem either incompetent or unwilling to load things onto the network (such as Greenfoot for example). Perhaps sometimes it is even the case, but far more often they have been instructed not to load anything "unapproved". Approved, in such cases, usually means has gone through some esoteric process at the local council or LEA or whatever, which seems to take several years - it took ours four years to "approve" Windows Vista for instance!
    Of course, exactly the same problem comes up with virtual machine software such as VirtualBox, despite the fact they are widely used and would allow them to load pretty much whatever they liked and stil have a secure machine with readily available "clean state" versions of the virtual machines saved in case needed.
    Once again, it is usually the political bureaucracy that causes our problems, not actual incomptence at all.
     

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