Help needed with setting up windows xp pro.

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Ashley

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After an event today I have come to the conclusion that we need to install XP pro at our hotel. I have notied there seems to be a lot of I T guys on the forum and I would like to pick your brains and would be very grateful for your help. The reason is the staff on reception keep going on line to play games both my wife and my mother have both caught them at it. I will give an outline of our system and our requirements as I would hate to buy xp pro and find I can’t do what we require.

1. We have four computers all networked 2 on reception, 1 back office, 1 my office (if possible I would like to avoid paying out for XP for my office as it is always locked and only members of my family have keys). The PC in my office is plugged into broadband socket although there is a connection

2. One of the reception PC’s also handles faxes via the program that came with windows xp (needed).

3. We sell via the internet and get an email to inform us of new bookings and then have to log on to our booking site to recover details and update availability.

4. I don’t want the staff being able to go on any website apart from our online booking sites for update and retrieving information.

5. I don’t want any games on the pc’s or being able to use ms massager (I have removed it on all the computers with a tool I downloaded) or the old style chat rooms.

6. I don’t want any people being able to load new programs (expect back up CD of booking database which we do every night).

7. We share files & printers across the network and have 4 printers 1: a3, 2: a4, and 1 thermal Receipt printer.

Many thanks in advance.
 
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Not entirely sure that you need XP Pro; from what you have said, XP Home should suffice. Do you have a server? I'll assume not.

How are the computers networked? Do you have a hub or router? Again, I'll assume a simple hub, in a peer-to-peer network.

To lock your PCs down, have a look at Windows XP Security Console . You would also make sure that your users only had "Limited" User Accounts, which would prevent them from installing any software.

You would ideally restrict website access using a firewall, either in software using something like ISA Server, or in hardware using a router or a hardware firewall. Assuming those options aren't available, have a look at FreeProxy, which as it's name suggests, is a free Proxy server. Here's some blurb:

FreeProxy said:
What does it do ?

FreeProxy is professional Freeware which channels requests for internet pages via a single computer and enables many computers to share an internet connection. If you have dial-up internet access, you can use the Demand Dial or Auto-Dial feature to dial up the internet either when it detects you want to access the internet (demand) or maintain a strict schedule of connection times (auto). Otherwise is works with Cable/Broadband.


Filtering every which way...

if you would like to prevent access to certain internet sites, FreeProxy enables you to block access based on a filter. Comprehensive 'Resource Security' enables you to filter URLs, IP addresses, ports, hosts accessed. In addition you can secure access using userid and password. FreeProxy utilises the web standards of Basic and Digest authentication but also allows you to authenticate users to a Windows Domain. Access can be limited to certain times using a calendar. This is very useful if you make use of low-cost access times. Here are some examples:

Allow access to the internet at certain times

Allow some users access to some sites

Allow some users access to a selection of sites at specific times.
Not used it, but just had a quick skim of the help files and it looks easy to setup and live with.

Hopefully this helps. Come back with any questions, or confirm (or deny!) my assumptions.

OT: Where's your hotel in Cumbria? We were up there at the weekend (nr Eskdale) and got comprehensively drowned :D )

Cheers
Andrew
 

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