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Actually had a patron doing this when we used DeepFreeze to lock patron computers. I told him it was against our policy and he said he didn't trust our security - so around we went. Anyway, with our new setup, using MS Shared Computer Toolkit, the patron account is locked and is not authorized to run application files. I chose to do this because along with the handy applications you listed, go keyloggers, spybots, and other hacks that let one patron send all the data from a patron station that doesn't get rebooted all day to an email or web page. Too much of a security issue.

Also, in testing I have tried portable firefox and thunderbird (email# and they both worked just fine before the security change. You can add to your list that you can actually install XP on a thumbdrive and boot from it unless the PC is configured to not boot from USB drives #by default, most newer PC's are set to boot from them). This also defeats any security you put on the machine and lets the user access anything on the PC and run it, since they are both running XP. Tried this as well and it works pretty slick - unless you turn the option off in the bios and password protect the bios.

Long comment, sorry.
Rob MarshPL


Thanks for sharing this -- you've got some wily patrons! LINK computers are similarly locked-down, as I found out this week, as are the SCLS-supported non-LINK computers.

Kind of disappointing, but also a relief, considering all the potential risks.

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