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View Full Version : *sigh* Dealing with computer idiots at school.



kaldor
March 16th, 2009, 08:34 PM
I normally bring my own laptop to school as the school computers are horribly maintained and take up to 20 minutes to boot up. It doesn't help that the administration at the school have little to no clue what they are doing when it comes to computers. Recently the (I guess I can say) "main" computer expert in the school got into an argument with me over me using a laptop. He put passwords on all of the school's routers because I was "Stealing" the internet without permission (there is nothing in the school's rules and such saying laptop use is forbidden).

Anywho, I asked for some "valid" reasons, because I told him what he was doing was wrong (now I cannot use my own computer for some courses I needed internet for, and I am suffering because of it due to having to wait rediculously long times to boot school computers) and that I needed the internet access. He told me that I "am likely to not know how to use virus scanners and upload viruses to our networks." I told him that I don't have problems with viruses because I use Ubuntu, not Windows. To further reinforce it, I downloaded AVG for Linux and did a full scan to find absolutely no threats. He still will not let me access the internet; instead he comes up with more bullsh!t reasons such as "you may be going to sites you are not allowed on" etc.

Since then, I have gone to other technical staff at school, and they all seem to idolize this idiot's knowledge and agree with him to keep me off the internet. I went to the principle and he said the same.

It is starting to frustrate me, they will not listen to me and keep telling me I can't be allowed on the network. What can I do?

tom66
March 16th, 2009, 08:38 PM
There is nothing you can do. That is the unfortunate way school IT is run. A better way might be to ask the school techs or petition the school PTA to improve the computers. But there is nothing beyond that you can do.

If you can afford it, you could get a mobile broadband adapter. It'll be quite slow, and you'll have to pay monthly, but it might work for you.

mips
March 16th, 2009, 08:39 PM
What can I do?

It's their network, not yours. Follow their rules.

C!oud
March 16th, 2009, 08:43 PM
(now I cannot use my own computer for some courses I needed internet for, and I am suffering because of it due to having to wait rediculously long times to boot school computers)
I don't see that as suffering I see that as living like the rest of world. I doubt that everyone brings in laptops to school and I'm pretty sure there are plenty of people who do just fine. That being said it's not your network and in the end you have to respect someone else's decision.

canoemoose
March 16th, 2009, 08:45 PM
The issue seems to be the IT guy acting off his own head, if that makes any sense. The OP says
There is nothing in the school's rules and such saying laptop use is forbidden.

IMO, the OP wants to somehow explain to some high-up powers-that-be how the IT guy is wasting everybody's time and knows nothing.

Good luck to him!

mhh91
March 16th, 2009, 08:47 PM
time to be the bad guy :D


seriously,i think you need to convince the IT guy with your view of things,show him a proof that you're not doing anything wrong,and that ubuntu is NOT virus prone :)

MaxIBoy
March 16th, 2009, 08:48 PM
There's not much you can do...
sudo apt-get install aircrack-ng

the8thstar
March 16th, 2009, 08:51 PM
Seeing how the computers are kept, I doubt there will be a change anytime soon.

Eisenwinter
March 16th, 2009, 08:52 PM
There's plenty of things you can do about it, but doing them can get you expelled ;)

Icehuck
March 16th, 2009, 08:56 PM
Unfortunately, if he doesn't want your laptop on his network then that is his decision. When you go out and get employed by a corporation you will encounter the same type of rules.

Vince4Amy
March 16th, 2009, 08:57 PM
We have good machines at school, most are Dual Core P4s or AMD Athlon 64 X2. People do trash them and I have fixed them many times, in fact it's done nothing but good for me as it's just got me more recognised throughout the school. You'll find a lot of people are idiots if they don't appreciate the technology and they enjoy moving Ethernet cables and poking pencils in the monitors. Good job we lock down the software though!

Therion
March 16th, 2009, 09:01 PM
It is starting to frustrate me, they will not listen to me and keep telling me I can't be allowed on the network. What can I do?
In reality, probably nothing. You've stated your case and the answer is "no".

It's not your network and they really don't owe you any explanations on how they wish to administer it.

Speed Demon
March 16th, 2009, 09:03 PM
My school (junior high) has a bunch of crappy eMacs people poke pencils in the speakers lol. I even managed to get into teacher documents once, reported it, without touching a file (until my teacher told me to try and edit something, which I could). Thank GOD I didnt get suspended / expelled for THAT. :lolflag: Anyway guess you have to deal with the idiots, or get your own net access.

hyperdude111
March 16th, 2009, 09:05 PM
<snip>
Hint hint...........

Greg
March 16th, 2009, 09:08 PM
My school (junior high) has a bunch of crappy eMacs people poke pencils in the speakers lol. I even managed to get into teacher documents once, reported it, without touching a file (until my teacher told me to try and edit something, which I could). Thank GOD I didnt get suspended / expelled for THAT. :lolflag: Anyway guess you have to deal with the idiots, or get your own net access.

Your school uses vi? :)

Icehuck
March 16th, 2009, 09:11 PM
<snip>

Yes, lets tell him to break encryption and gain unauthorized access to a network. Doing so would validate the reasons the IT guy gave for keeping him off the network.

linuxisevolution
March 16th, 2009, 09:15 PM
The computers at my school take 50min to boot some times, for what reason, I'll never know.

If you can't convince them then simply use a livecd on thier computers that way they will most likely be A LOT faster. I used Puppy Linux with a nice Xp theme with my flash drive for a while before I got a laptop. Also, why not just try a password cracker? :)

kidux
March 16th, 2009, 09:19 PM
@OP: Don't take this the wrong way, but it's not your network, so you have no recourse beyond what you've already done. Another thing is if they let you on with your laptop, then they have to let everyone on and that WILL get them malware.

Everyone telling him to crack the security, probably not the smartest thing as it will blow up on him and get him expelled in all likelihood.

Vince4Amy
March 16th, 2009, 09:20 PM
Yes don't break the encryption, you're likely to be thrown out of school if you do that. Anyway lets pick this apart and find all the bad administrator aspects.


He put passwords on all of the school's routers because I was "Stealing" the internet without permission (there is nothing in the school's rules and such saying laptop use is forbidden).

Any Good network would not only have WPA Keys on the Routers already, but they would also be MAC Filtered and even then filtered by an ISA Server or something similar to stop unauthorised Internet access. Also if this is not covered in the AUP you signed that says you can't do this then they can't accuse you of doing wrong AFAIK.


He told me that I "am likely to not know how to use virus scanners and upload viruses to our networks."

Again, any good Network would have measures in place to not let the viruses get through the network. For example direct running of .exes on the network should be blocked anyway unless they're specified for use in an allowed list for example Word or whatever applications are required for work.

Also it seems to me all you were doing was using the Internet not actually becoming part of the Windows domain as you would have had to configure Samba. And again, why is this not MAC Filtered!


I told him that I don't have problems with viruses because I use Ubuntu, not Windows. To further reinforce it, I downloaded AVG for Linux and did a full scan to find absolutely no threats.

Remember that your Linux install could still contain Windows viruses that could be forwarded to other computers, but you'd have to do this manually and as I said above, any good network wouldn't allow this to happen anyway.


He still will not let me access the internet; instead he comes up with more bullsh!t reasons such as "you may be going to sites you are not allowed on" etc.

Any good network would have this blocked at the server level if there are restrictions. NOT At the client computer end, and again they could even have something in place that doesn't let unauthorised computers access the internet at all in the first place.

All your post shows me is incompetent IT Staff and a terrible network to start with. Also if the workstations are taking that long to boot then obviously they don't know what they are doing and it could even mean that students are running software they're not supposed to. My home network is more secure than this!

smbm
March 16th, 2009, 09:22 PM
I normally bring my own laptop to school as the school computers are horribly maintained and take up to 20 minutes to boot up. It doesn't help that the administration at the school have little to no clue what they are doing when it comes to computers. Recently the (I guess I can say) "main" computer expert in the school got into an argument with me over me using a laptop. He put passwords on all of the school's routers because I was "Stealing" the internet without permission (there is nothing in the school's rules and such saying laptop use is forbidden).

Anywho, I asked for some "valid" reasons, because I told him what he was doing was wrong (now I cannot use my own computer for some courses I needed internet for, and I am suffering because of it due to having to wait rediculously long times to boot school computers) and that I needed the internet access. He told me that I "am likely to not know how to use virus scanners and upload viruses to our networks." I told him that I don't have problems with viruses because I use Ubuntu, not Windows. To further reinforce it, I downloaded AVG for Linux and did a full scan to find absolutely no threats. He still will not let me access the internet; instead he comes up with more bullsh!t reasons such as "you may be going to sites you are not allowed on" etc.

Since then, I have gone to other technical staff at school, and they all seem to idolize this idiot's knowledge and agree with him to keep me off the internet. I went to the principle and he said the same.

It is starting to frustrate me, they will not listen to me and keep telling me I can't be allowed on the network. What can I do?

I think you summed it up nicely in your own signature.

"Open Source is about freedom of Choice, so let people have the choice of not running Linux. Don't preach about Linux, it is more likely to end up causing people to hate it."

odanawt
March 16th, 2009, 09:23 PM
Using a password cracker is probably not the best idea if you plan on getting on their good side. BTW, first post and loving the new ubuntu experience.

vandorjw
March 16th, 2009, 09:25 PM
Volunteer at the school and offer to help maintain the computers.
You will win 3 things.
a) It'll look good on a resume.
b) The computers might start to run faster & you'll learn a lot.
c) They might give you the password to the network.

Cheers - CC7

Icehuck
March 16th, 2009, 09:26 PM
Volunteer at the school and offer to help maintain the computers.
You will win 3 things.
a) It'll look good on a resume.
b) The computers might start to run faster & you'll learn a lot.
c) They might give you the password to the network.

Cheers - CC7

Even better this could be used as course credits as well.

PythonPower
March 16th, 2009, 09:27 PM
To the OP:

You must be unlucky with your IT department; I've found mine more helpful. We are welcome to bring in laptops and the IT department will ensure they can access the school's network correctly. Not only that but they support Linux and even give us remote access to a Linux server (with a user account each).

The only con is the software they use to block access to inappropriate sites. It is very blunt and simply scans for keywords in the title of each application; if it finds a keyword it dislikes (such as "chat") it closes that program immediately without giving you a chance to save your work.

nyarnon
March 16th, 2009, 09:36 PM
I'm really surprised of this post and the majority ofthe reactions to this post. So here are my 5 cents.

Calling anybody an idiot will get you no where. Your admin is a responsible person and probably is not allowed to let you access the net the way you want.

To get access the way you want is actually very simple and consists of authenticating you on the network and implementing packetfiltering to prevent you accessing sites your school does not allow.

I'm pretty sure your admin knows that and his argument was probably given to not get you into discussions you wouldn't understand.

Now my advise to you is simple. Show the man some respect. Next you might put into paper whats is needed on his network to give you access in a way that would address al his opposition (virusses unsafe sites). Then give him that paper and maybe, just maybe, he will think it over and implement your proposal.

FGS think Ubuntu and stop calling people names. Don't you have parents?

smbm
March 16th, 2009, 09:46 PM
Calling anybody an idiot will get you no where.

FGS think Ubuntu and stop calling people names. Don't you have parents?

Exactly.

lisati
March 16th, 2009, 09:47 PM
Nothing much to add beyond observing that you'll find "idiots" everywhere. You can't count on everyone seeing the same way as you do.

Best bet: try to keep things respectful and try to work with them instead of getting into arguments. Even the silliest rules are there for a reason.

bapoumba
March 16th, 2009, 09:49 PM
It is our own policy to follow local rules. You will not get help here regarding breaking a school network. Closing the thread, sorry.
Will do a little cleanup too..