USA EdAlive Complete Technical Notes For Windows Network Deployment

Notes

If there are multiple installers to choose from for a particular title, use the one referred to as “Net” or “Network” if available.
“Sch” or “School” indicates standalone versions of the software.
Some titles do not have multiple versions, and some do not have network versions at all, such as Manic Maths.

All EdAlive network client titles are self-contained to their application directories, which stores network preferences in an external folder (explained below).
However, the clients don’t use the Windows registry for anything.

In the usb software bundle, there are groups of titles that work similarly:

EdAlive Server Titles

Include:

  • Braintastic v2 series
  • Volcanic Panic v2
  • Baggin the Dragon v2
  • Typing Tournament v2
  • Words Rock v2
  • Ultimate Math Invaders v2

They all connect to a server application called the EdAlive Server to manage student accounts and progress.
The EdAlive Server just needs to be installed on a computer that has a static IP address.
It can be run as a Windows Service or a regular application, and is usually run as a Service so that it starts automatically on reboot.
It includes a number of modules that represent client programs that it supports connections from.
Each of the above v2 titles uses the “V2 Combo” module, which also means that they all share class and user lists (create a user from Volcanic Panic v2 and its also available from Words Rock v2)
The EdAlive Server stores its data and config in C:\ProgramData\EdAlive\Server on Windows Server 2008/Vista/7 and above, and inside its own application directory on Server 2003/XP and older

Each client application has the file:
\Profiles\system.ini
which needs to contain the IP address and port of the computer running the EdAlive Server.
The IP address is set with the “ForceIP” property
The port is set with the “ForcePort” property. “0″ uses the default port, 1626
Note that this port setting is only the “lobby” port.
Once a connection to the EdAlive Server is made, the EdAlive Server passes that client off to another port to maintain their connection.
By default, this is any available port in the range 2000-4000.
This can be configured in the EdAlive Server’s server.cfg file if necessary

The client installation wizard should have a screen to enter the correct IP address.
Or to install from the command line with the IP address and/or port preconfigured, use:
msiexec /i productinstaller.msi /passive EA_IPADDRESS=192.168.1.100 EA_PORT=1626
However, the best way to specfic the IP address for Group Policy deployment might be to use Microsoft Orca (MSI editor), open up the product MSI, edit the EA_IPADDRESS property in the Property table (alternatively may be the ‘Inifile’ table), then create a .mst file and use it to modify the msi install.
See also: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc779244%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

Note that Braintastic V2 is a modular program, it was originally sold as separate titles that install on top of each other. Thus you will need to install each module from its own MSI separately, beginning with the Central Control module/MSI (after Central Control is installed the installation order of the rest is irrelevant).

Computer Classroom Collection

Include:

  • Computer Classroom v2 series (7 titles)
  • Maths Made Easy v2 series (6 titles)
  • Reading for Literacy v2 series (6 titles)

These titles were created by another company and we have recently refactored and republished them with better support for modern operating systems.
They don’t connect to a server application, but instead use a network path to store their data with regular Windows network file operations.

In the application directory of each of these titles, by default, there are 2 executables to run the application, a 6-user and a 40-user exe.
When the program is run with the 6-user exe, it doesn’t use any networking, and is only limited to 6 users profiles. Intended for home users
When the program is run with the 40-user exe, it makes use of network storage (if it has been configured to), and can support multiple class groups with a maximum of 40 students profiles each.

To configure one of these titles to save data over the network, run the “network_setup.exe” from within an installed title’s application directory.
Enable networking and set a path to the location you want the data saved to, and enable and set up classes if more than one class is going to be using this title.
Each class’s data is saved inside a subfolder within the network folder specified.
Save and quit the network setup app once finished.
It will create a file called “settings.ini” in the application directory.
This file needs to be distributed to all other installations of the Computer Classroom Collection so that all installations use that same shared data folder and list of classes, which can be done via Group Policies.

Others

All of the other titles in the collection are standalone products.
The Manic Maths titles contain a collection of mini games with a focus on maths, and only track the user’s high scores in local profiles (C:\ProgramData\Fun Digital\Manic Maths).
Lastly, Upfront is primarily for computers that drive interactive white boards, or computers connected to projectors that teachers can use for group work/discussion.