Need alternative to At Ease!

Posted on 2000-04-06
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Somebody put the last shovel full of dirt on the carcass of the turkey known as At Ease (winner of the 90's software misnomer award). Please.

I pretty much abandoned this program in favor of the Launcher, on the PowerMacs, connected via AppleTalk and Asante Ethernet, in our school's computer lab.
Of course, now I am running into problems with the kids getting into places I don't want them to be, and not necessarily on purpose.

I have found the trash can dragged onto the launcher (which gave me a good laugh), the default printer changed, etc.

So, I do need something that is easy to set-up and to remotely administer and update all of the computers. A program that protects the integrity of the OS from wandering mouse clicks, yet makes it easy to save to the right disk or folder or server. And, of course, a program that won't eat up the remainder of my miniscule budget.

Recommendations appreciated.
Question by:loincloth
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 2692204
If you upgrade to OS9 youll find that At Ease has been replaced by Multiple Users which lets you set up accounts with privelidges much the same way you would set them up under At Ease.

If your budget doesnt allow for an update to OS9 my suggestion is this....Do a search on for "security". You will find a whole batchload of At Easeish type utilities. Its just a matter of picking the one that best suits your needs, budget, power etc.

Accepted Solution

forkbeard earned 50 total points
ID: 2692409
The university I do work for uses two different programs for security.  We used to have every system running On Guard by Power On Software, but we discoverd it is not 100% compatible w/ OS 9.  We had to replace it with FoolProof (cant remember the manufacturer) for a G4 OS 9 lab.

Neither security software is impenetrable but I found On Guard the better utility.  It allows you to specify which folders, applications and files users can Launch, Open, Copy, Save, and View.  You can export the setting through the network or to a disk.  It even locks out the HD from users when booting up from a CD.

To be fair, I'm still learning the nuances of FoolProof but so far I feel it is a lesser program.

Before you go out and get On Guard I must give you a word of caution.  I think the company either was purchased in a merger or went out of buisness.  This can be a big problem if you are looking for tech support in the future.

I havent played w/ the Multiple Users capabilities of OS9 because we felt it would be too easy to get around by someone w/ a little motivation and skill.


Author Comment

ID: 2698558

Hmmm... I don't mind awarding the pts to you, but I wish you wouldn't lock up the question so quickly. It prevents me from asking follow-ups, unless I reject your answer.

Bear with me, as I am still learning Mac OS. If I go ahead and install OS9, do I have to do a clean install, or can I keep my current apps and files on the hard drive? If I can keep my files in place, how then do I install OS9 over my current OS?

I don't have a lot of prep time to work on the macs in our lab, and would appreciate the easiest way to upgrade the OS.

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Author Comment

ID: 2698589
P.S. These PowerMacs are 5400/180's and 200's.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 2698592
You dont have to reject an answer to post follow up questions. Ive continued with questions even long after theyve had accepted answers. Were always here for you to ask follow up questions.

Anyway, you dont have to wipe your HD clean to install OS9. All your applications can remain where they are unless they install extensions or other such items in your system folder. A system install only wipes the system folder and leaves the other items where they are. To install OS9 you need to buy the CD and follow the directions. Its a VERY small instruction manual. Basically involves booting off the CD and double clicking the "Installer" icon.

On the other hand if all the macs are the same you could create a "master" with a clean OS9 and all your apps then copy that disk to the disks of all the other computers thus getting identical systems without having to "install" on so many computers.

Expert Comment

ID: 2698687
Be aware upgrading to OS 9 will result in an overall slowdown of your system and its performance.  Not sure what OS you are currently running but I guarantee it will feel much slower running OS 9.

Also keep in mind HD space.  The last time I checked it asked for 150-200MB just for the OS which can be a problem w/ smaller, older HD's.

Buy just one copy of OS 9 and test it on a system and evaluate the performance and other factors before you purchase multiple licenses.  I had both 8.6 and 9 running on my system at home and finally got tired of 9 and deleted it.

Also keep in mind upgrading to OS 9 may not work w/ some of the software you are running.  Updates and patches are available for most applications by now, but you may need to buy upgrades just to work w/ OS 9.

Then there are higher Ram requirements...

Many people praise Apples new OS as a must have but in my experience can you really call it an upgrade if it takes more from your system than it gives (especially on older systems.)  I would still suggest looking into actual security software.  If all you want is security software why not just buy security software?

I dont mean to scare you away from OS 9 but I would be cautious before you bought copies for your whole lab.


Author Comment

ID: 2698786
After weighing all my alternatives, I think I am going to give FoolProof a try.

Thx to both for your input.

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