At Ease for Mac OS 10

Question: Is there a patch for AT EASE with Mac OS 10?

The IT Guy says:
“At Ease†was a software security program Apple sold for “classic†operating systems like OS 9, OS 8, and OS 7. At Ease allowed a very basic user interface for students, essentially a page of clickable “buttons†that would launch pre-selected programs chosen by the teacher. Computers could be setup with multiple accounts, so different classes of students could access different programs. Students could not install programs or even directly access the hard drive in the At Ease environment. This limited the amount of computer literacy students could learn about file management and basic operating system navigation, but provided wonderful control over available software applications and limited accidental or intentional mis-configurations that students could cause on the computers.

At Ease is not a part of Macintosh OS 10, but the same functionality is available, and it is built right into the operating system—it is not necessary to purchase a software license for each machine (as was the case with some versions of At Ease.) If you have an earlier version of OS 10 the system preference choices and options may be slightly different, but for OS 10.3 (Panther) here is how you can setup a classroom computer to limit student access to software and the hard drive:

  1. From the Apple menu in the upper left corner choose System Preferences.
  2. Under the “System†category at the bottom of the preferences window click on “Accounts.â€
  3. Click the plus icon in the lower left corner to create a new user account, specify a username and password if desired (you can leave the password blank.)
  4. Click the tab at the top labeled “Limitations.â€
  5. Click the option “Simple Finder.â€
  6. Select applications to allow for this user account by either browsing for them with provided buttons (Locate) or dragging and dropping application icons into the window.
  7. Log out and log in as the new user. Selected applications will appear in the dock at the bottom of the screen.

If you have a Mac OS X server on campus, you can configure user accounts from the server and avoid setting up each classroom or lab computer individually. More information about setting up user accounts in OS X is available in the Mac OS User help: access this from the “Help†menu choice at the top of the screen in OS X when you are in the Finder (not in a software application.) Search for the keywords “user account.â€

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