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Thread: Earn an F with Ubuntu!

  1. #41
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    May 2008
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    Johannesburg South Africa
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Smile Re: Earn an F with Ubuntu!

    I guess it's not only the students who find faults with the whole Respondus method.

    At the University of Johannesburg, as of yesterday it is now possible to do online tests and assignments through normal firefox! All that happens now is you have a time limit per attempt at an assessment, and the questions are ever changing. This way there isn't really an opportunity to cheat.

    Respondus is still on the PC's on campus but when opening the browser it 404's.

    I AM FREE!!!
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  2. #42
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    Apr 2008
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    Re: Earn an F with Ubuntu!

    Our tests still have time limits and we have to use repondus

  3. #43
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    May 2008
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    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Exclamation Re: Earn an F with Ubuntu!

    All I can say is the replies (for the most part) to this thread are completely off topic and ill-educated. The idea behind Respondus LockDown Browser is for on-campus computer testing labs that are monitored by cameras and staff; students in this situation would not be able to cheat by cellular phone or physical notes. Respondus would then restrict the user was opening more than one session - additionally, the windows box has already been locked down by the IT staff.

    However, back to the topic, why campuses are using this application for remote test taking is obviously under thought.

    I, too, was just looking for a user agent code to input into Firefox, however, most everyone else here was too busy to consider answering the question.

    Thanks for the few who submitted the idea for VM.

    Regards.

  4. #44
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    Jun 2008
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    Re: Earn an F with Ubuntu!

    Umm, I go to the University of Minnesota and have never encountered any such nonsense.

    I would hardly say UMN is "forcing" anyone to use Windows, in fact, their ResNet system skips scanning Linux systems for antivirus or firewalls. A good number of the computer labs use Linux based operating systems.

    I've never at any point been forced to adapt because I use Linux. At least not for any reason you can blame the UMN for.

    As has been said: VM.
    People will be much more willing to help you if you ask smart questions.

  5. #45
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    Apr 2008
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    Denton, Texas
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    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

    Re: Earn an F with Ubuntu!

    A second computer would do it. Check older and newer versions of wine and.....wow....that browser is truly locked down
    REGISTERED UBUNTU USER - #25241
    I void warranties.
    Programming is 10% science, 25% ingenuity and 65% getting the ingenuity to work with the science.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    5

    Re: Earn an F with Ubuntu!

    Quote Originally Posted by faction918 View Post
    All I can say is the replies (for the most part) to this thread are completely off topic and ill-educated. The idea behind Respondus LockDown Browser is for on-campus computer testing labs that are monitored by cameras and staff; students in this situation would not be able to cheat by cellular phone or physical notes. Respondus would then restrict the user was opening more than one session - additionally, the windows box has already been locked down by the IT staff.
    As an excuse for locking out non Microsoft/Apple operating systems from homework assignments, schools generally say they have computer labs with the software installed, so if the student doesn't want to pay MS taxes they can use the lab. That does not mean the software was meant to be in labs only. From their download site, there is even an option for using it on your home computer. Respondus LockDown Browser was something students were to use for online exams, which could be taken from their own computer, unsupervised. Naive professors who are fond of the program tend to press it on students, saying they have to do "homework" or "quizzes" using the program. The program isn't necessarily a school-wide policy, but it's an add-on to a popular quiz-generating program called "Respondus" that the instructors use. They check a box that says to require students' use of this piece of junk, and then the students are prompted to install the browser before starting the exam, so naturally a few professors will tick the box thinking their tests are safe from academic misconduct. Some schools (mine at least) are beginning to realize that turning a student's laptop into a kiosk does little to prevent cheating but risks angry students at IT desks with broken operating systems, so they're encouraging requiring use of classroom lab computers for in-person tests in conjunction with it instead of end-user installation. I think they even mention the incompatibility with Linux as a consideration now...

    Quote Originally Posted by faction918 View Post
    I, too, was just looking for a user agent code to input into Firefox, however, most everyone else here was too busy to consider answering the question.
    Don't bother with the user agent. It just embeds the OS default into itself. So, if you have Internet Explorer 7 installed, it will identify itself with all the exact same details as if you were using IE7, for example Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1). Since it doesn't have Internet Explorer to embed, or Windows Explorer to hook for that matter, it doesn't run in wine, although it will install.

    Quote Originally Posted by TCSnyder View Post
    i am writing my outline for my letter to the president of my college. and if anyone else is I found a great point to use. after a little research i found out that all the program does is look through all the current processes and finds different .exe files that flags that program as one it cannot start with. OpenOffice.org is written in Java. Java is compiled through a virtual machine. Your computer reads a .jar file and all the processes are shown as the java runtime environment. so Any program written in Java is invisible to the software, even OpenOffice.org
    An easy way around that is by renaming the processes. For example, once they figured out there are open source instant messaging programs and people don't always use aim.exe for instant messaging, I renamed pidgin.exe to pigeon.exe and the browser let it run. They seem to be doing just a little bit more (description or window name or something) because it's now recognizing whatever I pick by its original file name. By some strange coincidence, they added that just after I posted it to my web page. Having another program open on top of the browser won't do a lot of good, since task switching is disabled, and I think it now puts itself on top of all other windows, but some of the program's restrictions can be nulled out in a hex editor. If you're looking for material in your report to the deans, then perhaps tinyurl.com/lockdown is a good start. Be warned that it's going to be a little out-dated; I think Respondus is reading my article, because when one of the first "holes" I published involved AVG, they immediately blacklisted it in an update and I can think of little other reason for them to blacklist security software.

    To the point, the best ways around it are the following:
    1. Tell the instructor the program won't work for you. Be either specific (tell them you use Ubuntu) or ambiguous.
    2. Use a virtual machine (Wine won't work). While I've heard rumors of it detecting VMs, I've yet to see it realize when it's being run in QEMU from Ubuntu.
    3. If all else fails, when you get a bad grade for non-compliance with proprietary standards, appeal to the dean or provost. Unless it's a Microsoft pre-CIS learn-to-use-Office/Windows type of course, or the instructor said you need Windows on the syllabus, you'll probably have a good case and might get a grade change out of it.

  7. #47
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    Apr 2008
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    75

    Re: Earn an F with Ubuntu!

    I'm currently looking for a way to run the lock down browser without a VM (which by the way it works just fine with virtual box) and I've almost got it working. Problem comes when it needs to use Java. it is of course installed but it's not yet recognized, and I have not been able to get it recognize IE through wine either. So in short, I can do most of my normal stuff through it, but I am unable to take any tests. Until a work around or a linux version is made I would do exactly as others have suggested and either us VM or talk to your Instructors and or Dean of the college.

    If anyone has had any luck getting this to work or any suggestions that my help me to get this fully functional please leave me a comment. If I can get this to work I'll post a "How To" Thread.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    México
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    980
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    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Earn an F with Ubuntu!

    This thing is ridiculous! Since my school is now using it, I translated all the tips that I found to Spanish.
    conky gui: thread, web site

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hidden!

    Re: Earn an F with Ubuntu!

    Took me 5 mins to figure out how to bypass it.

    Download Useragent Switcher on firefox and use:
    "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.1; Trident/4.0; SLCC2;
    .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center
    PC 6.0)"

    as your agent.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Connecticut, USA
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    1,572
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Earn an F with Ubuntu!

    I would do whatever you need to in order to complete your schooling while at the same time draft up a letter to submit to the school talking about how they are limiting the choices of the students by shutting out an operating system that has seen significant growth and is being sold by major computer manufacturers.

    In essence they are forcing students to spend much more money for proprietary systems which have been known to have a lesser security record than the alternative forcing their students to perpetuate a convicted, known abusing monopolistic company.

    At the same time, this said operating system is also posting growth despite the current economic climate which should say something about the relevance of the operating system and future employment by the students.

    Or something like that.... Good luck!

    At the very least, by sending a letter to them (multiple people, heads, deans, whatever) it will probably go on record and if you can get multiple people sending letters they may actually take some notice.

    Can't hurt, can it?
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