Userful Desktop™ 8: Userful Manager

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Copyright © 2012 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2012.02.07)

  This page is also available in:   English, Español, Français, Português, Deutsch  

To return to the Userful Desktop 8 main documentation page, Click Here.



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.

Userful Manager

Userful Manager (UM) is a web-based portal for managing settings related to the administration and operation of Userful Desktop. Use Userful Manager to modify settings on Userful Desktops including passwords and points of contact for system event notification emails. Customize settings such as operating hours and locations, Welcome Screens and CD drive access to fit your unique needs.

Accessing Userful Manager

The Userful Manager home page.

Userful Manager can be accessed from any computer with a Web Browser and Internet access. To access the Userful Manager:

  1. Open in a web browser.
  2. If you have a UM account, enter the email address and password for that account. If you do not have a UM account, you may create one by clicking “Register”. If you have forgotten your password, click “Forgot your password?” to have a new automatically generated password sent to your registered email address.
  3. Click the “Log In” button to log in to UM.

When you successfully log in, the Userful Manager home page opens.

Navigating Through Userful Manager

Userful Manager is a very powerful and complex tool for managing your desktops, but navigating through the many tools and tasks of Manager is simple. Every function can be reached through either the Userful Manager Home page, or through the Solutions Expert page. In addition, there is a Navigation/Information Bar across the top of each and every page that offers dynamic pull-down menus to help you move from task to task and area to area.

The Navigation Bar is at the top of every page in Userful Manager.

Note: Userful Manager takes full advantage of its web-based platform by extensively using hyperlinks. Any categories, column or row labels, names, options or other text that is blue is clickable; clicking such links opens up functionality or takes you to other areas of the website that relate to your current task. Use your browser's "Back" button to return to the previous screen.

The Userful Manager Home Page

The Home page is your starting point every time you log into Userful Manager.

On the right side of the Home Page you will find news, tips and tricks for getting the most out of Manager.

On the left side is a welcome banner with a link to the Getting Started Guide. Below the banner are shortcuts to system and account management tasks.

The Toolbox navigation menu can also be found on the left side of the Home Page.

My Userful Manager Account

Configure your own Userful Manager account settings using the My Account control panel. Click the Edit button from the My Account screen to change your screen name, password, or e-mail address.

Be sure to click 'OK' to save your changes.

Click here on the navigation bar to access details of your Userful Manager Account.

Your Userful Manager Account details can be accessed two ways:

  1. From the Home Page, on the left side under "Account Information", click on the 'Your member account details' link.
  2. From any Userful Manager page, once logged in, click on your Member (user) Name on the upper left, in the navigation bar.

Note: None of the information associated with your account is visible to users.

The Toolbox
The Userful Manager Toolbox, with links highlighted for emphasis.

From The Toolbox on the Userful Manager home page, you can:

  1. Open the Solutions Expert page (further information below, where you can control most aspects of your Userful Desktop system.
  2. Go to the the Solutions Catalog, which is a quick and easy way to create your Userful Desktop Solution, using pre-configured solutions as starting points.
  3. Use the the Solutions Designer to modify and customize your Desktop solutions.
  4. Generate reports on computer usage
  5. Access the Remote Monitoring and Control portal, which allows real-time monitoring access to your Userful Desktops.
  6. Perform an remote connection (SSH) test to ensure your system is connected to Userful Customer Support.
  7. Download the latest Userful Desktop installation CD or DVD.

The Solutions Expert

The Solutions Expert page is the control center of Userful Manager. This section provides a quick overview of the page, and following sections describe many functions in detail.

The Solutions Expert page gives access to most Userful Manager functions.

The functions on the Solutions Expert page are divided into 6 categories:

  1. Assets
  2. Pricing and Authentication
  3. Solutions
  4. Actions
  5. Global settings

Registering Your Userful Desktop

In most cases, your Userful Desktop installation will have been successfully registered during initial setup and configuration.

Click here to register your Userful Desktop.

If you have previously incorrectly registered your Userful Desktop, or if you have been instructed by Userful Customer Support to re-register, follow these steps:

  1. Enter Administrator Mode by using the Ctrl-Alt-A key combination and entering your Administrator Password.
  2. Double-click on the folder labeled "Advanced Tools" to open it.
  3. Double-click on the "Register System with Userful Manager" icon.
  4. Userful Manager will open. Follow the on-screen prompts and directions to register or re-register your Userful Desktop System.

Configuring Core Userful Desktop Components

While Userful Manager offers many ways to configure and monitor Userful Desktop computers, five core components must be configured in order for the Userful Desktop to operate correctly.

Once you have configured your desktops using the following guidelines, you must update your system configurations.

These 5 components must be configured first.

The core Userful Desktop components are:

1. Locations: Defines the times when the Userful Desktops are available at each location or branch.

2. Usage Agreements: Usage Agreements ensure that users agree to terms of use before being granted access to the Userful Desktop.

3. Desktop Profiles: Desktop Profiles contain information about various desktop environments, such as which program icons appear on the desktop as well as which programs will automatically be started upon log in.

4. Session Profiles & Timing : The Session Profiles defined here utilize the various configuration options offered by Userful Desktop (such as Usage Agreements and Desktop Profiles) and combine them into Userful Desktop sessions that providers can offer to users. Some examples are Internet Kiosk sessions and Office Productivity sessions.

5. Welcome Screens: Welcome Screens provide a convenient way for users to choose their preferred language and Session Profile.

Default values for these five core components are set by Userful, and may have been modified already by the new account setup wizard accessible through Userful Manager.

It is recommended that each of the core components should be configured prior to installing/upgrading a Userful Desktop, or as soon as possible after installing a new Userful Desktop system. Typically, these settings will be shared by all Userful Desktops within a particular organization.

The following sections provide an ordered step-by-step overview of configuring essential settings.

Locations Icon&Label.png

Locations and Operating Hours

Locations are a way to group your Userful Desktops. You can have several locations in one building.

Locations and operating hours should be defined prior to configuring other options. From the Solutions Expert screen, click “Locations & Operating Hours”.

To create a new location, click “Create a new Location”. To edit the details about an existing location, click the name of the location you wish to alter. In both cases, a screen will ask you to supply or edit details about the location. Click “Save & Next >>” to proceed to the operating hours screen. You may also enter the Operating Hours screen directly by clicking on a location’s operating hours on the Locations & Operating Hours screen.

Setting hours of operation for your location.

On the Operating Hours screen, specify the opening hours (in the first column) and closing hours (in the second column) for each day of the week. Specifying “Closed” (at the head of each drop down list) for either the opening or closing hour for a particular day will set the entire day to “Closed”. Click “Save” to return to the Locations screen.

Once locations and operating hours are defined, you may return to the Solutions Expert screen by clicking "Solutions Expert" on the navigation bar at the top of the screen.

UsageAgreements Icon&Label.png

Usage Agreements

Users must agree to Usage Agreements before accessing applications or the Internet on stations managed by Userful Manager. Usage Agreements are displayed after a user has chosen a session profile on the Welcome Screen. You may define and store any number of usage agreements, although each Session Profile may only display one Usage Agreement.

To create a new Usage Agreement, click on the "Create a new Usage Agreement" and complete the following steps:

  1. Give a name to your usage agreement; the name of the agreement should be descriptive and meaningful to Userful Desktop administrators. Examples include “Internet Usage Agreement for adults” and “Computer access for juveniles”.
  2. Select the language of your usage agreement from the pull-down menu. This version of the usage agreement will become the default usage agreement (but you can choose another translation as the default later if you wish).
  3. Add the text of your Usage Agreement into the Usage Agreement field. You may copy and paste this text from a word processor, email message or other document.

When you click on the name of a Usage agreement, this screen appears, allowing you to edit existing agreements or add a new translation.

To edit an existing agreement or add a translation of an agreement, click on the name of the Usage Agreement.

From the "Usage Agreement &, Translations" page (see figure at right), choose the language of an existing agreement from the pull-down menu.

  • If you choose the default language, click on the "Edit" button to edit the text, or the "Add Translation" button to supply the text of an appropriate translation.
  • If you choose one of the non-default translations, you may choose to "Edit". "Add Translation" or "Delete" the text.
  • If you want to make a translated Usage Agreement the default, you must "Edit" the agreement. Then on the Edit page, place a checkmark in the "Default" box.

Remember to click “Save” to save your changes.

DesktopProfiles Icon&Label.png

Desktop Profiles

The main Desktop Profile page lists available profiles and allows you to create a new Desktop Profile.

Desktop Profiles allow Userful Desktop administrators to configure the program icons that appear on the desktop, in the start menu, and to specify programs that are automatically started when users log in. A Desktop Profile is one of the customizable elements that make up a Session Profile.

To set Desktop Profiles, from the Solutions Expert click “Desktop Profiles”. You may create any number of Desktop Profiles, although each Session Profile may only use one Desktop Profile. For information on activating the 'Lock Desktop' feature, see below.

To create a new profile, click “Create a new Desktop Profile” on the Desktop Profiles screen. To edit an existing profile, click the name of the profile. The new profile and profile editing screens contain a number of configurable options under the following tabs:

  1. Default Programs
    • Desktop Profile Name. Each profile should be given a descriptive name that is meaningful to computer administrators.
    • Enable SCIM for All Languages. For Userful Desktop releases greater than or equal to 305, SCIM (Smart Common Input Method) allows users to input characters in other languages.
    • Web Browser. Select a default web browser.
    • PDF Viewer. Select alternatives to Adobe as standard to view PDF documents.
  2. Software Applications. Choose what program(s) will be automatically started when a user logs into this profile.
  3. Desktop Icons
    • Program Icons. Select which program icons will appear on the desktop when a user logs into this profile.
    • Custom URL Link Icons. You can load a custom icon that will launch the default web browser and automatically navigate to a page of your choice.
  4. Start Menu. Optionally, you may customize the Start Menu so that different applications are presented in different Sessions through the Desktop Profile.

Remember to click “Save” to save your changes.

Activating the 'Lock Station' Feature
Adding the 'Lock Station' icon to a Desktop Profile.

To enable patrons to leave their stations for a short time without abandoning their sessions, Activate the 'Lock Station' feature:

  1. From the 'Solutions Expert' page, go to 'Desktop Profiles'.
  2. Click on the name of the Desktop Profile to be edited (that is, to have the Lock Station feature activated).
  3. To add the Lock Station icon to the desktop:
    1. Click on the 'Desktop Icons' tab.
    2. Highlight 'Lock Station' in the list of 'Program icons to add to Desktop'. (See figure at right.)
  4. To add the Lock Station icon to the Start Menu:
    1. Click on the 'Start Menu' tab.
    2. Click to add a check mark to the box next to 'Enable Lock Station Item'.

Be sure to save the changes to configuration.

SessionProfiles&Timing Icon&Label.png

Session Properties & Timing (Session Profiles)

Session Profiles are defined in the “Session Properties & Timing” control panel.

A Session Profile is a collection of settings related to a particular use of a station. A Session Profile includes, among other things, a Welcome Screen icon, a Name and Browser Start Page. The Welcome Screen lists the Session Profiles available at a particular station.

The Session Profiles & Timing page lists existing sessions (with key information) and also allows you to create a new Session Profile.

Session Profiles are typically based on either the basic Kiosk or Desktop, but Administrators can also create Application profiles.

  • Kiosk profiles are intended to provide quick access to web sites and web-based applications such as catalogue searches or email.
  • Desktop profiles are intended to be used for activities such as word processing, job searches and other tasks which require access to a set of applications.
  • Application profiles specify a profile that only allows a specific application to run, or allows users to login to a specific system.

Userful Desktop includes several default profiles that are designed and pre-tested for maximum usability. If you are unsure which settings are best for your users, we suggest that you deviate minimally from these profiles.

Click “Session Properties and Timing” from the main Userful Manager screen to view and configure these settings. To create a new profile, click Create a new Session Profile. To edit an existing profile, click the name of the profile. When creating a new Session Profile, the first screen asks you to choose either the basic Kiosk or Desktop type of profile to proceed.

Desktop Profile Settings

Desktop Profiles are intended to provide users with the experience of a home or office PC. The settings most often customized in Desktop Profiles are:

  • On the Basic Settings tab:
    • Name: This is the name of the Session Profile as it appears on the user Welcome Screen.
    • Welcome Screen Icon: This icon appears next to the name of the Session Profile on the Welcome Screen.
    • Browser Start Page: Use this to set the home page for the Web browser in this profile.
  • Usage Agreement: You may assign a different usage agreement to each profile.

Note: A Usage Agreement must be set up before it is available for use in a Session Profile.

  • On the Timer & Privacy tab:
    • Session Length: Be sure to set an appropriate session length for each profile. For example, a Session length for resume-building should be longer than one for quick searches.
  • On the Desktop Settings tab:
    • Desktop Profile: Desktop Profiles allow you to configure which applications appear on the desktop and start menu. The Default Desktop Profile provides links to the most commonly used applications.

Note: You must set up a Desktop Profile prior to assigning it to a Session Profile.

Remember to click “Save” to save your changes.

Kiosk Settings

The Kiosk mode shares many characteristics with the desktop mode, with the exception of the Desktop Profile setting. Instead, Kiosk mode offers settings which determine the appearance and functionality of the web browser. Note that Kiosk mode does not allow users to run applications outside the web browser.

The following settings are most commonly altered from their default values in Kiosk mode:

  • On the Browser tab:
    • Block Popups/Windowed Mode: If your web applications use popup windows, popups must not be blocked, and Windowed Mode must be enabled. Blocking popups and disabling Windowed Mode are recommended defaults.
    • Show Print Button: If users need to print such as maps or tickets from the web browser, enable this option to show a print button in the browser. If printing is not required, or no printers are set up, disable this option. Note that printers must be configured separately. See Chapter 4 for details.
    • Hiding various toolbars: Toolbars such as the status or menu bars may be shown or hidden depending on the extent of access required by users.
  • On the Kiosk Settings tab:
  • Block Context Menu and Keyboard Navigation: This option disables navigation using anything other than the browser’s navigation buttons and web links.

Remember to click “Save” to save your changes.

Application Profile Settings

Because of the limited nature of this type of session, the options for configuration are also limited. The most important setting for the Application Profile is:

  • Session Type: Specify whether the session will run a single application, or a user login. You will need to enter a command to launch either function.

Remember to click “Save” to save your changes.

Welcome Screens

A typical Welcome Screen showing 6 Session Profiles.

The Welcome Screen is the first screen seen by users at a station. Configurable aspects include the listed Session Profiles, background image branding and available languages. Each Welcome Screen must have a name and refer to at least one Session Profile. The figure at right shows a typical Welcome Screen for Userful Desktop.

Note: You must set up a Session Profile prior to assigning it to a Welcome Screen.

To set up a new Welcome Screen from Userful Manager:

  1. Click “Welcome Screens” from the Solutions Expert.
  2. Click “Create a new Welcome Screen”. (To edit an existing Welcome Screen, click on the its name. To delete an existing Welcome Screen click the delete icon at its right.)

    To add a Session Profile to the Welcome Screen, use the drop-down menu (indicated by the arrow).
  3. Each Welcome Screen must have a name and contain at least one Session Profile. Add a Session Profile to the current Welcome Screen by selecting its name from the drop-down list and clicking “Add this profile to the Welcome Screen”.
  4. To change the order in which Session Profiles appear on the Welcome Screen, or to delete them from the Welcome Screen, click the up, down and delete icons next to each Session Profile.
  5. On the Edit Welcome Screen page:
    • In the Basic Settings tab, you can configure the Early End of Day Logout,
    • In the Welcome Screen Branding tab, you can set a Desktop Background
    • In the Session Branding tab, you can choose a Screen Saver and Welcome Screen Message
    • In the Languages tab you can you can add and configure languages to the list presented in the lower right corner of the Welcome Screen.

Click “Save” to save your changes.

Setting up computers and stations

After a computer has been registered, it will appear in the list on the Computers page. You can set up the profile for the computer by clicking on its name.

Click 'Computers' on the Solutions Expert page to configure computers. Computers may be added during the Userful Desktop installation by completing the registration step, or at any time after installation by double-clicking the Register Computer icon on the Administrator Mode desktop.

Click the name of a computer to alter its settings on the Edit Computer screen.

For basic configuration of a computer, you need to:

  1. Set the Computer Name and Location, which can be found under the "Basic Settings" tab.
  2. Choose the Welcome Screen (under the "Stations" tab) for the group of stations connected to this computer.

Note: You must set up a Welcome Screen prior to assigning it to a computer.

  1. Select the Printers.that will be available for users.
  2. Configure Removable Storage. If your central computer is located in a secured area away from users, we suggest disabling access to the internal CD and floppy drives.
  3. Configure Public Storage options.

Hint: User signage with instructions on how to use removable storage will enhance productivity.

The default settings under Network settings and Boot menu and BIOS password should not be altered without first consulting your IT staff or Userful Support.

Click Save to save your changes.

Station Numbering

Set a new starting value for station numbering in the "Begin Numbering at..." box.

By default, Userful Desktop numbers stations automatically and sequentially, beginning with the number 1. For example, if there are 8 stations on a single computer, they will be labelled Station 1 through Station 8.

In some situations, it may be desirable have station numbers starting at a value other than 1. For example, if one computer with 6 stations is already installed at your location, and you add another computer with 6 stations, you may want the new stations to be numbered 7-12.

You can changed the value that station number starts at from the 'Edit Computer' page. This is reached by clicking on 'Computers' from the Solutions Expert, then clicking on the name of a computer.

Note: If you change the default numbering of stations on any computer, you must reboot the computer after updating its configuration.

Updating Configurations

Applying configuration.

For any changes in Userful Manager to take effect on Userful Desktop computers, you must update computers in the “Computers” control panel. From the Solutions Expert, click “Computers”. The far right column deals with configuration updates. Click to add a check mark to the “Apply Configuration” check box next to any central computer boxes you wish to update. Then click the "Apply Configuration button". The configuration changes will be applied the next time the Userful Desktop retrieves information from the Userful Manager server (this happens every four hours).

Should you wish to immediately see the effects of your changes, press "Ctrl-Alt-U" on the Userful Desktop machines that are to be updated (you only need to do this on one station per machine). You may also enter Administrator Mode on the Userful Desktop (press “Ctl+Alt+A” and then enter the Administrator Mode password) and double click the “Update Configuration” icon on the desktop.

This completes basic computer configuration. The following sections describe configuration options that may not apply to all Userful Desktop installations.

Multi-language configuration

Userful Desktop has application support for over 30 languages including French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Spanish, and input support for over 10 languages including Chinese Simplified and Traditional, Japanese, Korean and Arabic. Userful Desktop also supports 17 additional keyboard layouts in addition to the standard North American QWERTY layout.

Userful Manager can be used to modify the level of internationalization and multilingual features offered to users through Userful Desktop.

Keyboard Layouts and Foreign Input Methods

Currently, only the 'Default Keyboard Layout' will be available to users.

Keyboard layouts provide support for different kinds of keyboards such as QWERTY, DVORAK, French, Romanian, etc. These layouts, or mappings, map different letters or characters to different keys on the keyboard.

  • To change the keyboard layout for a Userful Desktop computer (and all its associated stations):
  1. Go to the Solutions Expert in Userful Manager.
  2. Click on 'Computers', then click on the name of the computer that is to have a different keyboard layout.
  3. Choose the keyboard Layouts tab. Use the drop-down menu to change the Default Keyboard Layout to the desired keyboard layout.

Note: Currently, Userful Desktop does not support offering users a choice of keyboard layouts through 'Alternative Keyboard Layouts'.

Only the keyboard layout selected as the 'Default Keyboard Layout' will be available to users.

Foreign Input methods tell the computer how to translate keyboard input into more complex language scripts (such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean). This does not necessarily change the mapping of keys on the keyboard. This is typically used for languages that do not use English/Latin characters.

  • To learn how to set up Userful Desktop's multi-lingual input features, please contact Customer Support or your Userful Sales Representative.

Multilingual Display Support

Userful Desktop includes a default set of translated menus, icons and applications for many languages selectable from the Welcome Screen. The extent of translation varies among languages and applications, with common languages receiving the most extensive translation. Where translations are incomplete, all available translated material will be displayed with remaining untranslated items rendered in English.

Using Multilingual Display Support
Selecting a display language from the welcome screen.

Userful Desktop users can start sessions in different languages by selecting a particular language from the multilingual drop-down menu on the lower right-hand corner of the Welcome Screen, prior to clicking on a Session.

Once a language has been selected, if the language has translations of the Session Names available, those will be displayed instead. If none exist, the default name will appear with a trailing * appearing after the name.

Clicking on a session will start the session in that language, and any translated desktop icons and menus that are available for that particular language will appear on the desktop when the user logs in. Furthermore, if the user tries to launch an application (for example, the Internet Browser or the Word Processor), if the application has support for the current running language, the application will display itself using that language, depending on the level of support for the current language. This may include translated menus and even translated help files, if available.

Configuring Languages Offered on the Welcome Screen

Configuring the List of Available Languages appearing in the Welcome Screen menu in Userful Desktop Through Userful Manager.

Userful Manager can be used to select which languages are available to be displayed to users of Userful Desktop.

To configure the list of languages appearing on a particular Welcome Screen's drop-down menu, access the properties page for that particular Welcome Screen in Userful Manager. Under the “Languages” section, choose the language that you would like to offer as a choice from the drop-down menu, then click the “Add” button. To delete a language from that list, simply click on the Trash Can icon that appears to the right of the language once it appears in the list.

When done, click “Save”.

Translating the Acceptable Usage Policy

Type or paste a translation of the Acceptable Use Policy into the text box.

The Acceptable Usage Policy can also be configured to display translations of its text for particular languages. If no translations are provided, the text for the Acceptable Usage Policy that was supplied when it was initially created will appear instead, regardless of the language selected.

To supply translations of a specific Acceptable Usage Policy, access that policy's properties page (by clicking on the highlighted name of the AUP) under the “Usage Agreements” section of the Solutions Expert page. Select a language that you wish to supply a translation for from that section's multilingual drop-down menu, and then click on “Add Translation”. Enter text (or paste plain text) into the translation text box. Click 'Save' when you are done.

After updating your Userful Desktop's configuration, the translated text will appear if that language is chosen from the Welcome Screen's multilingual drop-down menu in Userful Desktop, and if Acceptable Usage Policies are enabled for that Welcome Screen.

Translating Session Profile Names

Adding a French Translation to the 'Internet and Office' Session Name. Note that the original Session Name now appears as the English Translation.

By default, a Session Name will use the same name that it was initially created with for all other languages. To specify a particular translation of that name to be displayed when the language for that translation is selected from the Welcome Screen's multilingual drop-down menu, enter the Session Profile properties page for that particular Session Name in Userful Manager (from the Solutions Expert, click 'Session Profiles & Timing' and then click on the Session Name.

If no translations for the Session's Name have been previously provided, click on the “Go Multilingual” button under the “Name” field in the “Basic Settings” section. This will display an interface asking a translation for the Session's name (as seen at right), as well as the language to which the translation belongs to. Once done, click the “Add” button to add it to the list of available translations for the Session's name. To delete a translated name from the list, simply click on the Trash Can icon to the right of the particular name.

When done, click “Save” at the bottom of the screen.

Note: Different Home Pages for the Internet Browser can be configured for each language available in a session by supplying different URLs for those languages in the “Browser Home Page” option. Doing so requires interacting with an interface similar to the one described above, which can be invoked by clicking on the “Go Multilingual” button for the “Browser Home Page” option.

Advanced Userful Manager Configuration

Though not required for the correct operation of Userful Desktop computers, advanced configuration options may greatly enhance the value of your Userful Desktop purchase. Unlike the core Userful Manager configuration, the following options may be set at any time in any order.

Providing Desktop User Help Files

Opening the 'Help' folder on a session desktop provides access to several helpful documents on a variety of topics.

Save staff time and provide answers to users' frequently-asked questions by providing links to "Help" files on the Session desktop. A number of documents from Userful's Support Wiki -- on topics including 'CD Burning', Photo Editing with GIMP and more can be reached directly from the user desktop.

Adding the "Help" folder to the desktop.

To make these links available to Users, go to "Desktop Profiles" from the Solutions Expert page. Click on the name of the desired profile (i.e. the profile used for the session which is to have User Help added) to edit. Under the "Desktop Icons" tab, highlight "Applications Help" in the list of 'Program icons to add to Desktop'.

Remember to click "Save" when you are finished making changes.

Using Web Filtering Profiles

Click on this icon from the Solutions Expert Page to configure Web Filtering Profiles.

Web Filtering Profiles allow you to create different levels of filtering for different user groups. (Web Filtering Profiles are selected and applied from the Session Profiles control panel).) To configure Web Filtering Profiles, click on the icon on the Solutions Expert page.

Userful Manager comes with a set of standard filters that are ready for use. Administrators can also create custom web filters by adding URLs to the "White List" (users are always allowed access) or the "Black List" (users are denied access) and setting a Phrase Limit.

Click on the "Create a new Web Filter" button to make a new filter; click on an existing Web Filtering Profile name to edit that profile.

Remember to click "Save" when you are finished making changes.


While printers must be added and configured using the Print Configuration Tool on the Administrator Mode desktop, further setup is required through Userful Manager. Please refer to Adding a Printer for details.

Print Payment Policy

Create and edit print payment policies from the Print Control Page.

If you have printers installed on your Userful Desktop, the Print Payment Policy determines pricing for print jobs from Userful Desktops. To set the Print Payment Policy, from the main Userful Manager screen, click 'Print Control'.

Each configurable setting is explained in detail on the Edit Print Payment Policy page. You should avoid the use of non-printable characters such as carriage returns in print payment policies.

Remember to click 'Save' to save your changes.

Charging for Access Time

If you are looking for a way to earn extra revenue, you can charge for computer/internet access time. Set rates and minimum charges for computer use on the 'Usage Pricing' page, accessible from the Solutions Expert Page.

Note: Rates set on the Usage Pricing page are only applied to users who are using Pre-Paid cards.

Artwork and Brandings

The Artwork & Brandings panel allows you to customize the appearance of your Userful Desktops by uploading custom desktop backgrounds, Welcome Screen animations and screen saver images.

To view and upload these items, from the Solutions Expert screen, click 'Artwork & Brandings'.

View and edit currently available artwork, or add your own customized, branded artwork for Desktop Backgrounds, Welcome Screen Backgrounds, and Screen Savers.

From the Upload Artwork for Branding screen, you may view, edit and upload desktop backgrounds, Welcome Screen backgrounds and screen saver images. To view current desktop backgrounds, click 'View Desktop Backgrounds' from the Artwork & Brandings main page. The list of current desktop backgrounds contains a preview of each desktop background image, as well as lists of all the Welcome Screens in which the image is used. Click the image of an existing desktop background or the 'Edit' button next to it to change the name of the image. To delete a desktop background, click the 'Delete' button next to the desktop background image.

To upload a new desktop background, click Upload a new Desktop Background from either the main 'Artwork & Brandings' page, or from the 'Desktop Backgrounds' screen. Supply a name for the new desktop background, then click 'Browse...' to select an image file to upload. Click 'Upload' to upload the image. The new desktop background will appear in the list of available desktop backgrounds, which is sorted alphabetically by description.

Screen Saver images or Animations and Welcome Screen Backgrounds are configured in the same way as desktop backgrounds.

Once you have uploaded custom artwork, you may assign it to given profiles with other tools from the Solutions Expert page.

Note: Uploaded desktop backgrounds and screen saver images must be in .jpg, .tif, .gif, or .png file formats. Welcome Screen pictures must be JPEG files, preferably with dimensions of 1048x868 pixels.

User Groups & Authentication

Each Authentication Profile defines a way to verify the credentials of users prior to granting access to the Userful Desktop. There is a charge associated with integrating an authentication profile with your environment. Please complete the form and consult your Userful representative for instructions on how to configure these settings should you require authentication services.

Note: These settings should not be changed after your system has been integrated to work with your ILS.

Access Manager

The Access Manager is reached from the Solutions Expert Page.

Use this control panel to create and configure user accounts for individuals to whom you wish to grant access to Userful Manager. The access level granted to a user determines the extent to which they may configure Userful Desktop computers through UM.

Note: Only administrators may access this control panel.

The Access Manager is under the "Global Settings" section of the Solutions Expert page.

Creating a New User Account.

Click 'Create a new User Account' or the name of an existing user account to configure the settings for that user.

The three levels of access are as follows:

  1. Read only - Grants the user the ability to view settings in UM.
  2. Read/write - Grants the ability to modify settings in UM.
  3. Administrator - Grants read/write access, and the ability to manage user accounts.

Remember to click 'Save' to save your changes.

System Passwords

System Passwords are accessed under Global Settings on the Solutions Expert page.

To configure System Passwords, from the Solutions Expert page click 'System Passwords'.

The first configuration screen, Step 1: Edit Passwords, allows you to configure passwords used to access administrative functions to Userful Desktop computers managed by Userful Manager. Described below are the functions which require passwords, and their access key combinations:

  • Administrator Password (Ctrl+Alt+A) - Provides access to key administrator resources such as network settings.
  • Grub Password - Provides access to single user mode while grub is booting the system. This feature is supported on Userful Desktop 431 and later and is only for use under the direction of Userful staff.
  • Staff Password - Provides access to a subset of Userful Desktop functionality for managing stations.
  • Time Password (Ctrl+Alt+T) - Extends the length of a session in progress.
  • Filter Password (Ctrl+Alt+F) - Turns off filtering for the remainder of the session.
  • Reboot Password (Ctrl+Alt+R) - Schedules a system reboot the next time all users are logged out.

After changing passwords, click 'Save & Continue'. In Step 2, it is recommended that e-mails be sent to administrative personnel in your organization to notify them of these password changes.

Adding Extra Modules

There are a number of add-ons availble for Userful Desktop. Please contact your Userful sales representative for more information about subscribing to extra modules.

Other Userful Manager Tools

The Solutions Catalog

The Solutions Catalog lets you choose from several pre-designed sets of Welcome Screens and Sessions.

The core of the Userful Desktop experience for your clients consists of a Welcome Screen and it's associated Sessions. For your convenience, Userful has created several Welcome Screen/Session 'Solutions' that you can simply load and use at your locations. These Solutions are found in the Solutions Catalog, accessible from either the Userful Manager Home page or from the Solutions Expert page under 'Add Solutions'.

Hint: Pre-made Solutions can be good starting points when customizing your own solutions.

The Solutions Designer

The Solutions Designer offers a simple way to preview and customize Solutions for your Userful Desktop, based on profiles from the Solutions Catalog. To create your own unique solutions, follow these simple steps:

From the Solutions Designer, you can make several basic changes to customize a Welcome Screen for your needs.
  1. Use the pull-down menu to choose which Welcome Screen to customize.
  2. The Welcome Screen you chose to view/edit appears on the computer screen graphic. You may click on Session names on the screenshot to preview individual sessions.
  3. Use the "Edit" button to change the Solution name, background image, default language and more (See figure at right).
  4. Go directly to your list of computers to build configurations.

Note: if your desired welcome screen does not appear on the list, simply click on the "Add" button located under Step 3 on the Solutions Designer: Preview page. This will open the Solutions Catalog; choose the Welcome Screen(s) you wish to edit, and click "Copy Solution(s). The Welcome Screens you selected will now appear on the pull-down list.

The Solutions Designer is accessible from either the Userful Manager Home page or from the Solutions Expert page under 'Design Your Desktops'.

View Usage Reports

To get more information from a basic Usage Report, click on the highlighted links to view detailed sub-reports.

Usage Reports give you detailed data and statistics on how your computers are being used. You can customize reports by choosing the machines/locations and time period you would like your report on.

From the basic report (see figure at right) you can access more details by clicking on any of the highlighted, boxed links.

You can reach Usage Reports from either the Userful Manager Home page or from the Solutions Expert page under 'View Usage Reports'.

Download Install Disks

The link to Download your Free Userful Desktop Install Disk can be found on the Userful Manager Home page and the Solutions Expert page.

Manage Pre-Paid Cards

Click on this icon from the Solutions Expert page to Manage Pre-Paid Cards.

Userful makes it easy to earn revenue by charging for computer/internet access time by offering Pre-Paid cards that you can sell to your customers.

Customers log onto your Userful Desktop system using the card, and their fee is automatically deducted from their Pre-Paid card. Please contact your Userful Sales Representative for more information.

If you are using the Pre-Paid card system, go to the Solutions Expert page to 'Manage Prepaid Cards'.

Access the Userful Store

From the Solutions Expert Page, click on "Place Orders" to go to the Userful Store -- an online shop for all your Userful software, hardware and accessory needs.