How do you remotely view and control computers on your network?

When reflecting on iTALC, I think of LANSchool. If you have the money, LANSchool–which is priced aggressively–is a solution to consider. However, if you need to save that money, why not try iTALC like Abilene ISD did? Below is how they set it up…I stumbled across the instructions in an old email from 2008. It may be the instructions have changed. If so, I’m sure you can find more up to date instructions online at the iTALC web site.

Some of the features of iTALC include the following:

iTALC has been designed for usage in school. Therefore it offers a lot of possibilities to teachers, such as

  • see what’s going on in computer-labs by using overview mode and make snapshots

  • remote-control computers to support and help other people

  • show a demo (either in fullscreen or in a window) – the teacher’s screen is shown on all student’s computers in realtime

  • lock workstations for moving undivided attention to teacher

  • send text-messages to students

  • powering on/off and rebooting computers per remote

  • remote logon and logoff and remote execution of arbitrary commands/scripts

  • home-schooling – iTALC’s network-technology is not restricted to a subnet and therefore students at home can join lessons via VPN-connections just by installing iTALC client

Response from Abilene ISD technical staff member:

We have used iTalc for the past year.
We had a number of problems with the initial implementation but we now have it working well in about 10 computer labs at our high schools. Below is our list of steps we follow in installing this program.

Here’s a rundown of how I install iTalc for our labs.
       Creating Master Keys and Pub File

1.    Install iTalc
           Select iTALC Client Application (ICA)
           Select Master Application (IMA)
2.    Create a new key-pair
3.    Change the directory to export the public keys to C:\
4.    After the install completes, browse to
C:\Program Files\iTALC
copy the KEY directory to the C:\
5.    I then copy the KEY directory and ITALC_DSA_KEY.PUB from the C drive to an area on the network or on a  thumb drive
6.    With the keys and pub file saved in a safe place, remove the iTalc program using cmd “C:\Program Files\iTalc\ica.exe” –unregisterservice (quotes are necessary), manually remove the iTalc directory from Program Files and the registry.

       Installing iTalc on Client Computers
1.    Using the same computer in the previous steps, install iTalc Client Application (ICA)
2.    Copy the KEYS directory and PUB file to the C drive
3.    In the Security options of the install, import the KEY of the Master install from the C drive (I believe that since this was originally a Linux program ported to windows, it has difficulty with UNC paths)
4.    Finish the client install
5.    If this is going to be used on multiple computers in the same lab, you can sysprep/ghost this image with iTalc pre-installed.
     Install iTalc on Master Computer
1.    On the teacher/instructor/master computer, install iTalc using the Master settings
2.    Keep everything default, after installing iTalc, copy the KEYS directory and the PUB file to C:\Program Files\iTalc\ and overwrite everything.
3.    Install the DemoForge Mirage video driver from this tweak assists with video rendering on the teacher/instructor/master computer
4.    Install the TCPIP.SYS tweak from make sure to disable any antivirus/spyware programs you have running in order for this install to be successful.  If you are prompted about an unrecognized file, just click CANCEL and the OK or YES.  This patch allows for more than 10 simultaneous connections to the master computer.
5.    Now it’s time to set the GlobalConfig so that all users that login to the master computer can access the client list.  Create a .reg file with this information in it, then import the reg file
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
“GlobalConfig”=”C:\\Program Files\\iTalc\\globalconfig.xml”
The above steps may seem confusing and cumbersome, it’s a processes that just takes some getting used to, as soon as you get used to it, it’s easily accomplished.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure