Friday, October 17, 2014

ARD Unix Command Lines

I have been in the Bush and working with Apple computers since 2006. If I had to choose one area to which every school district is deficient across Alaska, I would say it is student workstation management. With simple tools like Apple Remote Desktop available, I think every teacher who interacts with student computers should have a tool to manage their classroom. Lots of companies make management tools like this: SMART Technologies, SourceForge, and CognitiveEdge to name a few.

When it comes to the specific interactions between teacher and student in the state of Alaska, then you are probably talking about Apple computers. Let's take a look at a simple example of using UNIX commands in the classroom. Don't work, there is no programming, coding, or even a terminal interface involved.

First things first, open ARD. I use ARD 5-10 times daily and still don't keep it in my dock. Click the spotlight finder and type "rem" and you should get it fast. If you don't yet have ARD, you can download it at the app store and if you work for me, just ask for the redeem codes. Now that you have opened the application, select the users you wish to make a change to. There are UNIX codes for all kinds of things ready to go or you could write your own. Be careful, though, you are about to make some serious alterations to the device in question.

To begin with a simple example, click the user you wish to send the command to and click the UNIX button:

Now you will see a dialog box and several options. Click the radio dial for user and type "root."

In the dialog box, paste the following command: 
chmod a-r /System/Library/QuickTime/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component/Contents/MacOS/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer
chmod a-r /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/CoreMediaIOServices.framework/Versions/A/Resources/VDC.plugin/Contents/MacOS/VDC
chmod a-r /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreMediaIO.framework/Versions/A/Resources/VDC.plugin/Contents/MacOS/VDC

Assuming you have a connection to the user, you should now see the effects of your command: 

The users iSight camera is now disabled. The iSight camera is used in lots of applications, so be careful to turn it back on later when you are through. Someone who is not familiar with your actions may mistakenly think the computer has been damaged. 

If you have any comments or questions, please add them below.