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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Desperate plea for apple script/multiple users help!!

Desperate plea for apple script/multiple users help!!
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Apr 2, 2001, 10:42 PM
 
I am very inexperienced with Apple Script but need some info - My school is going to allow students to take essay exams on their laptops next year. They were originally only going to allow windows notebooks because they have some PC only software which apparently blocks access to everything but the word processor, but I demonstrated that much the same thing can be accomplished within the Multiple Users control panel. They were impressed, but concerned with the feasability of getting hundreds of Apple laptops set up for the exam. My question is: is it possible to write an apple script that students could download (or copy from another HD or CD) which would run, create a new multiple user, set user privileges, logoff off as the current user and then log back on as the new user with limited access? Please help if you can!! Thank you!
     
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Apr 3, 2001, 10:34 PM
 
try the "Record" feature in the script editor then touch it up by hand.
Carpé Bandwidth
     
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Apr 4, 2001, 01:46 PM
 
Hi rjc3,

AFAIK, the Multiple Users (MU) Control Panel is neither recordable nor scriptable (at least under Mac OS 9.0.x; I don't know about 9.1)... However, it is possible to work around this limitation if you really want to, by "faking" control of the MU CP's user interface. E.g., there are scripting additions (OSAXen) available which would let you simulate mouse-clicks & key-strokes (they can be found in the Interface "folder" of MacScripter.net's Scripting Additions library). Similarly, the Finder's Logout menu-item has a command-keystroke equivalent which could be simulated via an OSAX. On the other hand, "login" is not so easy to automate, because usually a script applet (or any other visible app) cannot run when the Login dialogue is onscreen, although there is a 'Multiple Users Actions' OSAX available that might overcome this limitation too. Note that you could also try asking your question in the Developer Forum, which covers scripting issues as well (actually, the Mac OS Forum moderator might even move this thread over there).

However, I'm not sure all of that hard scripting work would really be worth it... ;-) It might be easier to just set up a "typical" user account once on a single machine, and then replicate that machine's Multiple Users preferences to all the others (assuming that they all have the identical applications installed). I don't know if such a procedure would actually work, but it's probably worth testing on a few machines, before plunging into a script.

[BTW, I'm no sysadmin, but the overall task sounds like it would be a good fit for a client/server network environment, especially since that would also be more secure than local MU setups (which are all-too-easy to bypass)... For instance, your school could have a central Mac OS X Server machine running NetBoot / Macintosh Manager Server software (the server counterpart of Multiple Users) for controlling users' access to server-resident applications. The remote clients (laptops, etc.) would then login to that server via NetBoot / MU... This might not be a viable option for your school (depending on budget/platform considerations, etc.), but you could try asking for advice in Apple's own Mac OS X Server Forum or Networking ... > Macintosh Manager Forum (or one of the mailing-lists described on the abovementioned Mac OS X Server web page), or the OS X - Server Forum here on MacNN, or the Network Managers (limited-access) Forum over on MacFixIt. You could also try checking out the Macintosh Security website and the MacSecurity.org website, both of which cover Mac security options.]

Regards,

--Paul

[This message has been edited by Paul Crawford (edited 04-04-2001).]
     
   
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