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Public Android PC's

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Pat.Estes, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Pat.Estes

    Pat.Estes New Member
    Thread Starter
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    Jul 9, 2010
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    Hi All,

    I'm the PC admin for a Public Library in Florida. I keep the labs running. I have NO experience with Android.

    We never have enough PC's for the public at peak times. Putting in more PC's is expensive, or even impossible in some buildings. I'm always looking for ways to serve more patrons cheaply.

    Portable PC's are an idea for getting around this, but have problems. Notably, some are going to get stolen. All of them will get used heavily, and often by people without the necessary skills to keep their data private. Sometimes they get used by our young hacking community for naughty things.

    I saw the Cherrypal PC and got interested. These things are ultra-cheap. That's enticing. Theft of a single unit would not hurt so badly. Neither would having one fall and go boom.

    So here's my big question: How do I lock down an Android public PC? Specifically I need the machine to boot or log to a state that's exactly what I want EVERY time a new user comes on. There can be no remaining information about the old user (credit cards, passwords, chat history, etc.) that the next user can steal.

    Can you give some thoughts on the situation? Can I lock down the PC's? Is it easy and fast to restore to a base state that has the homepage and appearance that I want for the library, while keeping away changes I don't want? Is there anything that would keep Android from being a good addition to public PC's in the library?

    Thanks,

    Pat Estes
     

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  2. macprv

    macprv Well-Known Member
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    Mar 16, 2010
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    what you want to do with the android laptop sounds a bit complicated.. perhaps a custom kernel/rom might do it? .. but even if it was possible, i dont think it would be a good idea, putting a computer with an OS that people is not familiar, might be bad for the library.. i mean people would keep asking how to do thing, or how things work.. and that pc you are talking about is a 500mhz pc with android 1.6 which could be pretty slow... just MHO
     
  3. wayrad

    wayrad Well-Known Member
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    May 12, 2010
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    I can't answer most of your questions, but I thought that the units people had actually received from Cherrypal were WinCE, not Android? And there seem to be many reports of people and institutions such as yours not receiving anything...caveat emptor.
     
  4. SjefTheMan

    SjefTheMan New Member
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    Aug 22, 2012
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    Hi,

    the only reliable tool that I know which locks down Android properly is SiteKiosk Android. There should be a trial-version, either on their homepage or in the Android Market. Anyway you should think about some PC's you can update to a higher Android version than 1.6.

    Cheers,

    Sjef
     
  5. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Sep 22, 2010
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    Teachaaa
    Jinan, China
    How about just using cheap standard PCs, running say locked-down Ubuntu or Linux Mint rather than Android? What do people need in a library? - just a browser to surf isn't it? Chrome or Firefox.
     
    jerofld likes this.
  6. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy
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    May 10, 2011
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    I fix stuff
    Over there <points>
    This is what I was thinking. You can get PCs for pretty cheap, forgo getting Windows on them (which strips another $100 US from the pricetag) and install Linux. That way they are not likely to get stolen (as you can mount them to a desk) and no worries about drop damage.
     

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