Not a fan of RM...
Logging on of XP is a problem because of the massive profiles it downloads.
I was at RM the other week and was very impressed at the speed at which the
XP (CC3) machines logged in and asked about this.
If the same user logs onto the same machine, not having logged onto
another machine in the meantime, then it's fast. That's because the
most up-to-date profile is cached on the local machine. But that's not
how most schools work, as students are more likely to logon to a
different machine each time -- at least they do in my and probably
most other secondary schools.
Furthermore it's easy peasy to tweek an ultra fast login on a
workstation used in a demo environment, which I assume is what you
were shown. But in the real world...
(I think that this is an RM (read MS) bit of code -
because I was
unable to find reference to profile caching when I looked).
As far as I can ascertain RM adds a bit of proprietary code at the
very beginning of the XP boot sequence that takes over before anything
else can rum. This crudely accesses the CC3 server (hence CC3
workstations only work with a severely limited range of RM approved
network adapters) and then clunkily downloads any pending new RM
proprietary (kludged MS) security updates, virus signature updates,
plus other RM stuff.
Well in the process this completely negates the big advantage of
Microsoft's 'Fastboot' and 'Prefetch' technology. In essence this
orange-peel patch turns vanilla Windows-XP into an RM proprietary
closed 'XP look-alike' operating system. Now here I get a strong sense
of dejavue, having struggled with 3Com's ill fated '3+Open'
proprietary version of MS's OS/2 based LanManager back in the 80s
...the NOS that nearly sunk my networking business!!!
But what they do is cache the profile locally and
then just check for changes. So downloading about 3MB instead of 30+MB (I've
seen profiles that report to be over a gig!) Depending upon the number w/s /
users this could work quite well. It also manages the cache itself, flushing
less used when high tide (1000? profiles) is hit.
Well yes CC3 used to flush out unused profiles. But then RM
announced a 'product recall' and requested all their CC3 customers
to downgrade back to an earlier non-flushing version. So far this
problem (among many others) has yet to be resolved.
Agreed, virtually all of CC3 is slightly better C2.x
or things that were
glaringly missing. The less well thought out bits will just never work.
As far as I am concerned CC3 is premised on the basis of some sharp
marketing hype. Namely "Let's fill potential users with FUD (fear
uncertainty and doubt) about the poor security of generic Windows-XP."
Then let's offer them an expensive kludged RM proprietary version of
Windows-XP that we claim will address all that imaginary security FUD
we've been spreading around.
However the improved security of the XP w/s (yes, I
know that you can do it
with LINUX, but we're talking CC3) makes the system so much more secure than
2.x, however the server-side is still woolly!
...but in the process RM has made CC3 almost completely unusable in a
typical secondary school environment.
Furthermore they are highly secretive about how their system actually
works. It took me ages to gain access to their password-protected
KnowledgeBase -- not that I learned much from this anyway. As far as I
can work out if you really need to find out more about the inner
workings of CC3, then you have to pay through the nose for their
expensive seminars or for access to one of their senior support