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Windows Security and On-line Training Courses? 189

Posted by timothy
from the temporary-education-discount dept.
eggegick writes "My wife has taken a number of college courses over the last three years and many of the classes used on-line materials rather than books. The problem was these required IE along with Java, Active X and/or various plug-ins (the names of which escapes me), and occasionally I'd have to tweak our firewall to allow these apps to run. I don't think any of these training apps would work with Firefox. All of this made me cringe from a security point of view. Myself, I use Firefox, No-Script, our external firewall and common sense when using the web. I have a very old Windows 2000 machine that I keep up to date. To my knowledge, I've never had a virus or malware problem. Her computer is a relatively new XP machine, and at this point she feels her computer has something wrong. But now she prefers to use my old machine instead of hers since it seems to be more responsive. We plan to run the recovery disk on hers. Assuming the college course work applications were part of the cause, what recommendations do any of you have for running this kind of software? Is there a VMware solution that would work — that is, have a Windows image that is used temporarily for the course work and then discarded at the end of the semester (and how do you create such an image, and what does it cost?)."
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Windows Security and On-line Training Courses?

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  • vmware is free (Score:5, Informative)

    by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon&gamerslastwill,com> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @06:42PM (#27174609) Homepage Journal

    vmware is free, so is virtualbox and xen.

    you would create the image yourself.

    install a default XP machine and run IE on it.

    • Re:vmware is free (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @06:45PM (#27174675)

      Exactly. make known good snapshots and you're covered.
      It's the best way to run windows nowdays.

    • Re:vmware is free (Score:4, Insightful)

      by isj (453011) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @07:06PM (#27174963) Homepage

      Vmware Player is free. Vmware Workstation is not. But I doubt that for online courses that the extra funtionality in the workstation edition are needed.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MartijnL (785261)
        You can always install VMware Server (which is free) to make the image
      • by Knara (9377)

        VMware Server is free. [vmware.com]

        It's more than up to the task you are trying to accomplish.

    • Re:vmware is free (Score:5, Informative)

      by QuantumRiff (120817) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @07:33PM (#27175271)

      VMWare is free, however, you would have to check your licensing to ensure you can install a second copy of windows on it, without having to buy another license. (unless, of course, you put linux on the machine, and run windows inside vmware)

      I think virtual machines are going to be the death of Microsoft. Its just too damn hard to keep track of in a VMAppliance world...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The OEM Licence is non transferable and bound to the physical hardware.
        AKA Intel Chipset/Broadcom Network and Intel Processor for example.

        running windows inside vmware is running on Different VM Emulated hardware thus breaches the OEM licencing agreement.

        If you bought retail and uninstalled it from your PC and reinstalled into a Linux Host VM then you are ok

        • And how is the "emulated hardware" different from the "physical hardware"?

          • And how is "this physical hardware" different from "that physical hardware"? Its not a simple case of semantics...
        • Running two copies at once on the hardware might be breaching your license, but you're not doing that here - you're running Linux on the base hardware, and if the VM counts as license-affecting hardware you're only running Windows on it, and if it doesn't count, you're only running one copy of Windows on the physical hardware, even if you're not running Windows the way Mr. Bill expects.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      If you have an underpowered computer, just dual-boot instead.
      If you don't want to dual-boot on the same hard disk, use another hard disk in a swap tray.

      These options have been common for more than a decade...

      • The big reason to use VMware or its competitors here is to let Windows run in a safe protected environment, not exposed to the cold cruel world. Also, you can boot the Windows OS from a clean copy each time, so even if it gets infected you're not very exposed.

    • The VMWare Player is free, as is VMWare Converter.

      1)Create new image on box (smallish disk). Update same
      2)Create an image of that box's C: Drive, place on another drive
      3)Make copy of that image file/folder
      3)Run that image, throw away when done.

      VMWare server is also free, and not hard to get running on Linux.. on WinServer 2k3 it's a doddle.

  • Clue Stick (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @06:45PM (#27174673)
    Have her take her courses from a school with a clue.
    • The courseware he's talking about is almost certainly Blackboard and up until very recently that was basically the only available product for this kind of stuff. Yep, it is a titanic piece of KAKA, but no matter how clueful a school is, they pretty much don't have a choice. WebCT was somewhat better, but Blackboard bought that a good while back and they don't put new customers on it.

      In the last year or two there are some OSS apps that are at the point where they would be a better choice, but switching is al

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Patch86 (1465427)

        Strange. My GF, who is at uni, uses Blackboard regularly. She's used Firefox + unmodified Zonealarm for the entirety of her 4 year course, and never encountered a problem.

        • http://etudes.org/ [etudes.org]

          They use it at Foothill College Los Altos CA where where I am a somewhat permanent student

          I have taken dozens of online classes and it seems to have worked well for a variety of classes and teaching styles

          -I'm just sayin'

        • by Chabo (880571)

          I used Firefox on Blackboard too. Hell, my mom was having issues with her Blackboard courses in IE7, cause for IE they only supported v6, so I told her to install Firefox, and it worked great!

          Maybe the school has a really old version of Blackboard?

      • My girlfriend uses blackboard for all her courses. She mostly uses the Ubuntu system in the living room with the big screen. Easier to study the rock pictures. (Geology) No problems so far.
      • by Arivia (783328)

        My university standardized on Firefox and uses Blackboard with no problems. The only time it's ever complained is when I sign on with a nightly it doesn't recognize the user-agent from, but it still works perfectly fine.

      • by i.r.id10t (595143)

        Strange - I've never had a browser related problem with WebCT (pre-blackboard days), Blackboard, WebCT Vista, or Angel from my Linux desktops. Always used Netscape 4.x, Mozilla, or Firefox 2+

      • by tubapro12 (896596)
        Some of my school's classes are done through Cisco's Network Academy, which will only run effectively in Internet Explorer from my experience. I use Blackboard all the time under Firefox, and don't struggle to run it in Linux either.
        • by zoward (188110)

          I'm currently taking the routing intro class at a community college night school that uses the Cisco Academy software, and it's running fine under Firefox 3.0 under Vista. I haven't tried it under Ubuntu (only use my laptop for class), but there's a guy who sits behind me who has the academy site up on his Fedora desktop every class.

          As a side note, I just noticed that the Slashdot spell checker doesn't recognize either Ubuntu or Cisco. Go figure.

      • Negative, Been using blackboard in Ubuntu and firefox for nearly a year

        A lot of online only colleges use a custom made POS,
  • by pwizard2 (920421) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @06:48PM (#27174719)
    I review software for a living (in addition to doing other things) so I've been using virtualized Windows XP installations for awhile now. (I prefer Virtualbox, but you can do this with any utility)

    A long time ago, I created a virtual hard disk image of a Windows XP installation, got it the way I like it, and then backed it up. (storing a few GB long-term is trivial these days) When the current disk image I'm using gets overly cluttered after a few weeks or months, I just get rid of it and load a fresh copy from my backup and start over.

    You could probably benefit from the same system.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mrphoton (1349555)
      Don't know if this helps, but I use qemu-kvm under fedora. With qemu you can install XP or whatever base system you want to an image, then I generate an overaly file associated to the disk image. This means that all future changes to the disk image are stored in an external file. So if I think I have a virus or want to reset the system all I do is delete the changes disk image and I am back to a clean install of xp. This page details how to do it. http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Qemu [archlinux.org] Also, I would
  • by magamiako1 (1026318) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @06:59PM (#27174867)
    all of this made me cringe from a security point of view.

    Why would this make you cringe from a security standpoint? Security is only a problem with nefarious things are intended. The act of allowing these specific ActiveX controls to run within the context of the training courses has no bearing on whether or not you are permitting other ActiveX controls to run. If the prompts annoy you, rather than simply completely turning off ActiveX security features, you should add this site to your list of Trusted Sites.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with enabling IE, using IE, or using ActiveX. And within the context of this single site there's not likely to be a problem. After all, if they were using their software for malicious deeds you surely have legal rights on your side.

    • Assuming the firewall is at the network edge, you can't just turn it off for one application. And when you enable scripting, you can not enable scripting by site. (NoScript isn't on IE...) You use a condom every time you have sex. You don't take it off for the girls that look clean.
      • by magamiako1 (1026318) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @07:39PM (#27175343)
        Completely terrible analogy to make.

        And yes, you can enable scripting per site. Or rather, on IE you have "zones". And you can set different security levels for each zone. You have your "Internet" Zone, "Trusted Sites", and even "Restricted Sites".

        You can add sites and change security settings for each one of these. Trusted sites typically have less security requirements because you trust them. And that would be the proper solution to this question.
      • by mcmonkey (96054)

        Assuming the firewall is at the network edge, you can't just turn it off for one application. And when you enable scripting, you can not enable scripting by site. (NoScript isn't on IE...) You use a condom every time you have sex. You don't take it off for the girls that look clean.

        Wow, you could not be more wrong. Yes, wear a condom every time, but if the girl is so skanky you feel the need to double bag it, how about you just don't have sex with that girl?

        Just installing IE does not mean you have to

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Security is only a problem with nefarious things are intended
      That's not correct at all. While in this case it might be possible to open up only the features needed for this software to run, it's highly likely it will only work if you open up the gates for other malware to enter as well. Adding the site to the trusted zone may only resolve some of the problems (did you read the firewall bit?). Software that isn't designed with security in mind (read: most software) is often so sloppy that finding all of
      • Okay, so I was a little vague in explaining my point with regards to security.

        You are correct in the sense that software is sloppy, but what this guy is seemingly trying to prevent (and what he hinted to with his wife's computer performance problems) has to do with the general problems that people find with IE and ActiveX controls period.

        That is, it's not the controls that are flawed, but he believes that by even having IE open will somehow open a doorway to insecurity to his system.

        And what I was trying to
        • by Hucko (998827)

          What do you call a prostitute who has sanctified sex on the side? Just wondering because of this ...

          Does opening IE and allowing a trusted site's ActiveX controls to run cause my computer to be more open to viruses than it otherwise would be? No. It does not.

          What difference is there if the next bloke she sleeps with is her husband?

    • by omb (759389)
      Nonsense
    • Security is only a problem with nefarious things are intended.

      Well, actually, security is about being able to trust the system to do what you want it to do. It doesn't really matter whether you lost the customer database because a hacker broke in and wiped out the server or two drives failed and the array went up in smoke from a security standpoint. This is why as security professionals we try to adhere to the principle of granting the minimal amount of access necessary to accomplish a given task; And by default not allowing access. It limits the number of possible fa

    • by multisync (218450)

      Yeah, he also could have closed those ports on the firewall when his wife wasn't actually working on the course material, and had her use Firefox with no-script etc. for everything *but* the course work.

      He would be better off picking up a cheap laptop for his wife to use for these courses than trying to run VMs and whatnot. Even one of those ASUS eepcs might do, or a used notebook if she needs a better display.

      What's he gonna do when the setup borks while his wife is in the middle of something important? Yo

    • "Security is only a problem with nefarious things are intended. "

      Wrong, wrong, wrong.

      When you open a vector attack for a benevolent application, you are opening a new vector attack that can be abused.

      In simple terms, opening access to a "good" application means that you have to do all kinds of reconfiguration to ensure your environment remains clean.

      I share the pain of the original poster on this regard ...

      • So here's how you solve the problem of security. You don't turn on the PC, don't connect it to the network, don't let it run hardware or software that you did not hand design yourself and keep completely closed off from others being able to see what goes on inside of it.

        I mean, that's the level of comments you guys are taking this thread to.

        The reality of the situation is the guy's post wasn't about whether or not any software was insecure, the implied statement was this: "By allowing my wife to run IE and
  • ...and this is the worst askslashdot ever.

    that is all.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Maestro485 (1166937)
      I was thinking the exact same thing. It almost reminds me of a Yahoo! Answers post.

      Her computer is a relatively new XP machine, and this point she feels here computer has something wrong. But now she prefers to use my old machine instead of hers since it seems to be more responsive. We plan to run the recovery disk on hers. Assuming the college course work applications were part of the cause, what recommendations do any of you have when having to run this kind of software?

      What the hell kind of "recommendations" is he looking for? If your school needs ActiveX plugins (I know, I know, the schools needs to get a clue, etc.), you use IE and run them. I guess we could recommend that he doesn't, but that kind of defeats the purpose. ActiveX isn't an automagic virus.

      She feels her computer has something wrong? So what? What the hell does that have to do with his question? What the hell does "plannin

    • by Plutonite (999141)

      Yeah. First there was this talk of slashdot-ers having girlfriends, and now we have to help out somebody's wife. These guys have got to be kidding.

  • Windows SteadyState (Score:5, Interesting)

    by benjymouse (756774) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @07:02PM (#27174913)
    is also an option. Can completely lock down a PC. All changes are written to a separate "log" partition which can be reverted. Logs can be kept separate for individual users and the system. For instance you can configure Windows SteadyState to discard all user changes at each boot but allows the system to update itself through Windows Update

    It's available for XP and Vista (32 bit) free from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/sharedaccess/default.mspx [microsoft.com]

  • require you to turn off your firewall and pop-up blocker. Why they cannot write web software to work without needing pop-ups and can work with firewalls is beyond me.

    Virtual PC 2007 [microsoft.com] is free. Use Pricewatch's operating system price search [pricewatch.com] to find a version of Windows to run under it. Windows XP [pricewatch.com] can be bought in OEM version for under $100.

    Run all college web sites in a virtual machine.

    Use Avast Home [avast.com] for Antivirus as it is free for home and non-profit use.

    • Use student discounts if you can buy a copy of XP for cheaper than pricewatch can offer an OEM copy.

      VMWare will work as well, but the VMWare Player while free cannot create install virtual hard drives. You'd have to create it with the Free Server version or buy the Workstation version.

      • I left my basement last century, you insensitive youngling cod.

        • "I left my basement last century, you insensitive youngling cod."

          So did I, you insensitive basement leaving last century oldling clod! But I still can join up as a student to any college and get a student ID to apply for a discount. I was in my 30s when I last got my student discount from Microsoft, as it is never too late to go back to college. Some vendors don't ask for age, as it is age discrimination [eeoc.gov] and can even cut you last century basement leaving oldlings a student discount.

      • Some colleges (Washington State University for example) offer MSDN copies of OSes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by markdavis (642305)

      Technically, MS-Windows XP Home is "not allowed" to be run in a virtual session. Read the license. You have to use the more expensive MS-Windows XP Pro or ultimate, and even then, there are draconian restrictions.

      Me? I just use Linux. Free. And no need to have snapshots in a VM to protect my system from typical MS-Windows snafu's. But if you want, you can run MS-Win under Virtualbox under Linux; also free, but in addition, it is open source (while just as fast and capable).

      • Thank you Captain Obvious, did you happen to notice that Pricewatch has Windows XP Pro listed for $88? If you didn't, then you obviously did not click the link.

        I was going to write use Windows XP Pro, but felt that the person who asked already knew that XP Home is not allowed under a virtual machine. Besides even if he did run XP Home under a virtual machine who is going to know?

        Yes for good sakes he could just run Linux, but how about IE? He needs to run XP Pro under XEN or some other open source virtual m

        • by markdavis (642305)

          1) I wouldn't say it was "obvious" that you can't run XP Home under VM. I bet if you asked people (only that even know what a VM is) maybe 80+% had no clue it wasn't within the license. *I* didn't know you couldn't legally do that until a few years ago (granted, I avoid using MS-Windows as much as humanly possible, but there was a case I had to set up some XP-under-Linux machines and had to determine which MS-Windows licenses to buy; that is how I learned).

          2) You are right that I didn't click on the link,

    • The reason why javascript and popups are needed is the two major protocols used by all major learning management systems, AICC and SCORM require them.

      • How those popups are invoked is key.

        Most browsers these days disallow popups without user intervention, e.g. the old trick of attached a popup script to a page's onLoad or onUnload body attribute. Popups by default are still allowed using "onclick" events.

        What some of the LMSes we trialed a few years back did was when you selected a course to launch, it would reload the page and then try opening the popup window. They were auto-populating a form with the selected course info and POST-ing it, to get a URL (

    • Just going to throw this out there. The way web-based applications work is that you send data back to the server via a refresh. HTTP POST acts on a refresh, which then uses the data you posted to create the HTML that your browser is going to display to you.

      They could go and write their own application interfaces but that becomes a burden when you can load everything over the internet right from the browser.
  • by Malc (1751)

    Best thing you can do on XP is logon as a normal user (not admin, nor power user), and learn how to deal with the occasional problems caused by having insufficient privs. Aaron Margosis' (sp?) blog has some great tips.

    VMWare Player is free, but doesn't make it easy to create VMs. Sunbarrow.com has lots of tips.

    Virtual machines are a great way to run stuff where performance isn't critical. It's a useful sandbox that you can easily restore to a known state just by copy some files from your backups.

  • Windows Security. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vistapwns (1103935)
    The solution is easy, though you may not like it. Install Vista (It has ASLR, heap protection, pointer protection, dep, integrity levels, and so on) and latest updates. Enable DEP for all processes and memory protection in IE advanced options (must run IE as admin first to change this setting.) Disable all the AcitveX and .NET stuff in the internet zone. Enable Protected Mode for 'trusted zone.' Add necessary, trusted sites to 'Trusted Zone' site list, that require an active-x/.net plug-in. Leave auto-upda
  • by diggitzz (615742) <diggitz.gmail@com> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @07:25PM (#27175179) Homepage
    Virtualization is easy, but non-virtualization is even easier. There is a VMWare solution that will work: It's VMWare, and it works exactly like you think it does. The current price is listed on the VMWare website. I don't understand why this is a community-posed question, though, since you seem to have answered yourself in the question.

    The free solution, on the other hand, is to just clean up the problems on the XP machine. If the other machines on the network continue to run trouble-free, just fix the one with trouble. You probably don't even need to recover or reinstall. Uninstall the ActiveX components, close the firewall back up, run anti-virus and anti-spyware apps (at least 3 different free ones) to remove anything that might have shown up, and if there are less than a handful of problems detected, you don't really need to reinstall. Run msconfig to check for extra crap at startup, and use HijackThis to check for any remaining browser toolbars, add-ons or other crap you don't want. Then make Firefox the default browser. Incidentally, there is a Firefox add-on available called IETabs which lets you run an IE-specific webpage from Firefox without starting IE and all its add-ons (it does use the base IE rendering engine tho).

    If the machine hasn't had a fresh XP install in over a year, then it's time to reinstall anyway, and the sluggishness might have little to do with the extra ActiveX crap your wife had to use.

    A cleanup might take you 2 hours. A reinstall could take longer, depending on how organized you and your wife have been about backing up data and how many programs you'll need to reinstall. VMWare works, but isn't free. These are the considerations to balance. Good Luck!
    • by Spit (23158)

      Virtualbox is free, in both regards.

    • by Malc (1751)

      "If the machine hasn't had a fresh XP install in over a year, then it's time to reinstall anyway,"

      Why?

      My work laptop is five years old, never reinstalled XP. It's fine. Until I replaced it with a MacBook Pro, my home computer hadn't been reinstalled for years either. Why would I want to do so?

      • by diggitzz (615742)
        Whether you need to reinstall on that sort of time frame has a lot to do with how you're using the machine, and how well you're maintaining it. For lots of people, Windows just "gets sluggish" after a while, and a fresh install is the easiest thing they can do to fix it. The problem is usually caused by one or more of:
        1. malware
        2. too much crap running at startup
        3. a full hard drive / failure to clean up caches and temps
        4. failure to defragment after
          1. constantly installing and uninstalling programs or
          2. using apps tha
        • by Malc (1751)

          I can check off most of those. Obviously not the malware. I still don't get it.

    • by LurkerXXX (667952)

      If you need to install XP fresh each year...

      YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

      • by diggitzz (615742)
        Memory leaks aren't the problem. The problem is the way the file system clusterfucks itself if you're doing anything that creates and destroys thousands of small files without defragging the hard drive, resulting in even moderately-sized files being fragmented all over the place, skyrocketing access times for doing just about anything, and wearing out the hard drive too. Non-tech users are more likely to have this problem since they A) have only a single partition for everything, B) never defrag, C) don't c
    • by LurkerXXX (667952)

      VMWare player IS free.

      VMWare server IS free.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      He could reinstall XP, but his wife would just screw it back up again.

  • Sandbox software (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bakuun (976228) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @07:35PM (#27175289)
    While running a virtual machine certainly would solve the problem, I think it might be more than a tad overkill.

    Just get some sandboxing software (i.e. "sandboxie", which I've only heard good stuff about) and run internet explorer from within such a sandboxed environment.

    Just like a VM it will keep IE (or anything spawned by IE) from messing with the rest of the system, but with the advantage that it is much more lightweight than a typical VM.

    • by bakuun (976228)
      Ah, another note btw: using a VM you would have to purchace another windows license. You'll avoid that by using something lighter (the software I mentioned, sandboxie, is not free - but it is a hell of a lot cheaper than a copy of windows.)
  • Load up Linux and Virtualbox. Then you can run any number of MS-Windows snapshots under it as needed. If you get infected, just revert to a previous snapshot and your problem is solved.... instantly.

    Meanwhile, you have the opportunity to learn and experiment with a newer, more enjoyable, free, and open OS (and VM) instead of just being "stuck" with MS-Windows 2000. And it will be an OS that will likely not be compromised by virii, spyware, and malware.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @08:16PM (#27175675) Journal

    Wife in question has administered lab machines before. So I left the Windows admin to her. B-)

    For net access I put a third ethernet card in the Linux-based firewall machine and added rules:
      - This new "red" net, like the "blue" net where the linux boxen live, was essentially restricted to talking to the firewall machine and outgoing TCP connections (plus very few specific other things.)
      - "Red" and "blue" were treated, with respect to each other, as just as foreign as the wild-and-woolly Internet.

    I know this doesn't answer questions about "How do you protect the Windows machine?". But there is plenty of stuff elsewhere about that. Plugging Microsoft's security holes is a multi-billion dollar industry. This was "How do you protect the rest of the machines in the house?". Giving Windows boxen their own LAN segment and walling it off from reduces the problem to the equivalent of a Windows box (or LAN of them) alone behind a NAT/Firewall machine. That's an already (sorta) solved problem.

  • Make your system a dual boot and install Ubuntu and Crossover Office, at which point you can click a button and install IE on it.

    Ironically, I had to install IE to take an online Linux course.

    But IE works great and it being that it isn't actually running on Windows, I've never had a moments trouble.

    Also, in some cases you can stick with Firefox. There is an add-on to let you report back to the site that it is IE. I've found that a lot of sites that say they are IE only will actually work with Firefox...but

  • Simply start by making a non-administrator account on XP and surf from that account. It will reduce the likelihood of getting a system-wide virus or worm to near zero. You still could end up with a bunch of crudware on that account if she clicks "yes" to questions about installing plug-ins and such. But you should be able to fix all that by just deleting that user and making a new non-administrator one.

  • But if you use IE for anything but college classwork...Bang! Zoom! Straight to the third moon of Omicron Perseii Eight!
  • There are things far worse than worrying about possible security threats from "courseware".

    1. getting it to work in the first place can be a real big problem. A few years ago, a friend was taking online courses using WebCT. He was unable to get any of it to work. Instead, he commuted to campus and used the computers there.

    2. IMO a lot of courseware is crapware. Somehow in the education market it is acceptable to subject students to software that would be higher quality if it was malware! Well, what did you

  • What What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Protocron (611778)

    First off. Windows 2000? That you keep up to date? I haven't seen Windows 2000 updates since.... 2005. Security? WTF?
    For the love of dog, use something like VirtualBox or VMWare. Now!

    Second, as a techie who has returned to college I deal with this a lot. Firefox has been hit or miss. Sometimes, I have HAD TO use IE. It's a bitch, cause I use Ubuntu. Nothing sucks more then having to keep a dual boot system (I used previously) or a VM around just for that one class that requires that you submit

  • This thread has generated a lot of great responses, and you can pick and choose from a variety of good solutions. Here is another, the one that I have settled on as my preferred safety-backup-reinstall method: hard drive clones.

    I use XP-SP2. My main machine has been running smooth as silk for 4 years. I have had rare problems, but when they have occurred, they have been of mixed causes - hard drive failure, a UPS failure which caused unbootable file system corruption, and even a trojan picked up right h

  • An oxymoron ?
  • I've been involved with online college since 1997 (as a student), through today as an associate professor at one of those really big online schools you all know. Only until a couple of years ago did the powers that be realize the more IEx, ActiveX and other proprietary requirements you impose on the student body, the FEWER students will pay for your courses. There is no excuse, given the open framework of basic .html, to use ANYTHING that won't work on ANY computer (within reason...no 20 year old cpus, pl

  • Windows Security and On-line Training Courses?

    Chinese Democracy and On-line Training Courses?

    Christian Science and On-line Training Courses?

    Market Self-regulation and On-line Training Courses?

    Safe DRM and On-line Training Courses?

  • I don't think any of these training apps would work with Firefox.

    To me that sounds that you have not even tried to use it with Firefox. If you are seriously concerned about running Windows or IE or whatever, you could have at least tried Firefox.

  • I know it doesn't help much with the current problem your having, but you might want to drop a line to the college in question and let them know about the existence of Moodle [moodle.org]. An open source virtual learning environment. The school where I work use it [lancs.sch.uk] both in school and at home after hours. By all accounts the teachers and kids love it (and works in Firefox too!).

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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