Userful Desktop™ 8: Other Administrative Tasks

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Copyright © 2014 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2014.07.04)

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Thank you for choosing Userful Desktop™ 8, the world’s best and most complete public computing solution.

This is a part of the Userful Desktop™ 8 Administrator Manual. To view the complete manual, please click here.

Other Administrative Tasks

Enabling Remote Support Access

Note: You will only be eligible for remote support if you have purchased a support package from Userful.

Userful Desktops typically connect to the Internet through the LAN (via a router or firewall) but it is possible to connect Userful Desktop directly to the Internet through cable or DSL via a public-facing IP address. In such a case remote support access should be automatic and you need not make any changes.

If you are part of a larger organization or if a router or firewall sits between your Internet connection and your Userful Desktop, you are likely connecting through your router/firewall. This situation is covered in the next paragraph.

Enabling access through a Router/Firewall

If your Userful Desktop(s) are behind your firewall, Userful may request that you establish a port forwarding rule on your router or firewall to one designated machine in each location, thus enabling our support technicians to remotely access and troubleshoot your Userful Desktop software. This port forwarding rule will direct network traffic on a specific numeric port (typically port 22) to a specific Userful Desktop computer box within your LAN.

In a DHCP network, the lease on at least one Userful Desktop computer’s internal IP address must be set to “forever” or “permanent” to prevent that Userful Desktop's IP address from changing, which would disrupt remote access. This specific Userful Desktop computer box will be used as a management point to access other Userful Desktops within the LAN.

An alternative is to obtain an available IP address from your ISP and set up the Userful Desktop outside your LAN with a public facing IP address. All stations on a single Userful Desktop computer box (whether there are 1 or 10 stations) will use the same IP address so only one IP address per box is needed.

Restart Userful Desktop

Restarting Individual Stations

Resetting a station with 'Ctrl+Alt+Del'.

There is no way to retrieve “work in progress” from a station that has frozen. The “Ctrl+Alt+Del” key combination can be used to reset any individual Station whenever there is a problem. This reset process exits any programs currently running, clears any unsaved work, and returns the Station to the welcome screen. This process takes only a few seconds.

If “Ctrl+Alt+Del” fails to restart the frozen station, it will be necessary to schedule a reboot of the computer, see below.

To educate users about this option, place a prominent label on each station (either on the monitor or keyboard) stating: “Station Frozen? Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart”.

Scheduling a Computer Reboot

There are two methods to reboot the computer: a scheduled system reboot, and an immediate reboot.

The scheduled reboot is the preferred method. It is designed to solve the problem of “I would have rebooted immediately but there were people using the system”. If a scheduled reboot is used, it will prevent any new logins and as soon as all stations are empty, the computer will reboot automatically. The scheduled reboot should be used when “Ctrl+Alt+Del” fails to restart a frozen station.

Performing a scheduled reboot.

To schedule a system reboot, use one of the non-frozen stations and press “Ctrl+Alt+R” and enter the reboot password, or press “Ctrl+Alt+A” and enter the Admin mode password, then select the “Schedule Reboot” icon. Either method will bring up a window confirming that a reboot has been scheduled for the next time all stations are unoccupied. You may wish to set the option preventing new logins to ensure a more rapid re-boot. If there is a screen for reporting the nature of the problem causing the re-boot please fill it in to help Userful track problems.

Note: If a menu (created by a right-click or pull down) is active it steals the key-press, the Ctrl+Alt+ key sequences may nor work. Left-click on the desktop or application window then try again. If all the stations are frozen (a very rare anomaly) or if the computer hangs on boot-up, an immediate manual reboot is necessary.

Shutting Down the Computer

Shutting down the computer with the Admin Mode 'Shutdown Computer' icon (option 1).

We recommend that Userful Desktop be left running at all times to improve the life of your hardware and ensure that all software updates are received. But it can be turned off to conserve power. Shut down the computer by one of the following methods:

  1. From the Admin Mode Desktop, press "Ctrl+Alt+Q" to shutdown the system; enter admin password to confirm.
  2. From the Admin Mode desktop, double-click on the 'Shutdown Computer' icon. This will 'schedule' a shutdown for after all users have logged off.
  3. Remotely shut down the computer using Remote Monitoring and Control.
    • RMC can also be used to reset stations and reboot computers.
  4. Press and hold the power button for at least 10 seconds.
  5. Switch off the power supply (at the back of the computer; the I/O (power) switch has a circle on one side and a line on the other. Pressing the side with the circle turns the power OFF.).

Immediately Rebooting the Computer

Powering off (or shutting down) the Userful Desktop (described above) and restarting it reboots the computer. When the power is switched off on a computer box, all stations attached to that computer go down. Any unsaved work on any station attached to the computer will be lost. Be sure to notify any users on the system to save their work to a USB memory stick, CD, floppy disk, or web drive, prior to undertaking an immediate reboot. A scheduled reboot (Ctrl+Alt+R) is the preferred method when stations are in use. Immediate reboot should only be used when there is no one using the system.

Recording CDs

Recording to CD-R (recordable) Discs With Userful Desktop

The CD/DVD Creator window showing MP3 files dragged-and-dropped from the desktop.

The following steps enable administrators and users to record CDs with Userful Desktop.

  1. Insert a blank CD.
  2. Double-click on the Computer icon on the desktop to locate the blank CD.
  3. Double-click to open the blank CD. When a blank CD or DVD is opened, the CD/DVD creator automatically launches.
  4. Drag the files to be copied from the desktop into the CD/DVD creator window (see image at right).
  5. Click on the 'Write Disk' button to start the CD burning process.
  6. A "Write to Disk" window opens up with the destination drive already specified. Name the disk and choose the write speed before clicking 'Write' to start the burn.
  7. The disk will be ejected automatically when the burn is finished.

Recording to CD-RW (rewritable) Discs With Userful Desktop

After clicking Write Disk, choose burn options.

To write data to a CD-RW (rewritable) containing previously recorded information:

  1. Insert the rewritable CD into the CD drive in the Userful Desktop computer.
  2. If the CD-RW disc contains information, it must be erased before data can be recorded. If you wish to preserve the contents of the CD, first make a copy of its contents to the desktop.
  3. 'Blank' the disk if CD/DVD creator prompts you to do so.
  4. Follow the procedure above to burn your CD-Rewritable disc.

Using Web Filters

If filtering is optional, the user may choose to use the filter after logging in. In this example, the Internet Filter is 'Always ON'.

Userful Desktop’s web filtering functionality is administered through Userful Manager, the web-based administration portal for Userful Desktop described in the next section of this guide.

For any Session Profile in use, if the “Always ON” option for filtering is selected in Userful Manager’s Filtering control panel, the web filter for that session type will be applied automatically. If “Optional” was chosen, then a pop-up window (see right) will appear when the Session is started, which the user can use to enable or disable the web filter.