At my school, the laptops that the district gives us are very securely guarded. It is nearly impossible to run almost anything, and because it is the district that controls the software, it can take months for software to get white listed, and many times the request is still denied.
However, we have figured out a simple way to run exe files without whitelisting. It requires us to place the exe in a special folder and change a couple permissions. One thing to note is that the RobotC installer file will not run in this folder.
So it comes to my question:
How can I install RobotC manually into a specific folder so I can run it without whitelisting? I know the installer does some specific things like installing drivers, the program itself, and other special things to make RobotC accustomed to the specific computer. Can I do this process manually?
(Also, in the most polite way possible, please do not reply with one of those pretentious stack overflow answers on the lines of “Oh you shouldn’t do this because the district doesn’t want you to.” I just want a simple clear answer to a legitimate problem.)
This is what we have to do…our community college will not allow any non-standard software to be installed, with the only exception being a computer attached to a CNC machine in the machine shop. So we have half a dozen team computers with the software we need, and our students bring their own which we can set them up with RobotC, SolidWorks, Inventor, Project Libre, and/or SnapCad which we keep on a flash drive. Most of our team computers came from one of our corporate sponsors: older computers which were being replaced, but they are good enough for Robot C, and with a memory boost and good video card, run Solidworks OK.
That is currently what we are doing. However, I would like for some of my teammates that regularly use the school laptops to be able to work on programs and practice robotC during their free time or at home. Right now we’re just using a school desktop to do everything and it hasn’t been the best tool to teach during meetings.
That’s totally ok. Is there a way to at least get the IDE running?
EDIT: I just want to take advantage of the tools at hand. It’s kinda sad to see such good laptops (and I mean good laptops, I couldn’t believe how legitimate and high quality they were) not being able to put to good use.
Lots of schools have this policy due to software license issues. People often just load software and when audit time comes it can be a surprise billing.
You can be a little proactive and help speed the process by letting your administration know that their is no longer a charge for the RobotC software. Get them copies of the announcement by VEX and from the RobotC pages.
Yes but we can’t really talk to someone about this. We can’t just shoot an email to our tech guy or anything like that because he doesn’t control this. We filled out a form and physically mailed it to HISD. That’s all we can do.
Also, RobotC has further complications, such as having to purchase a kit to be able to download it (or at least having a Vex Robotics account I’m not entirely sure). I’m quite skeptical that RobotC will get passed because of these complications. Even if it did, I also doubt it being something that is updated frequently.
(I forgot to note, nothing downloaded from the internet will run, with the exception of the trick I talked about before. Everything must go through the “software center”)
There is always someone you can talk to. Make an appointment to see who you feel is the appropriate person. For example in my district there is an assistant superintendent that oversees the IT department. So see who runs your software center and make an appointment to see them. If they won’t help, move up to the next higher person. Be prepared, be nice, be polite. Take a parent or your mentor.
From the RobotC page where you go to purchase RobotC
We are excited to announce that the software that is required to program VEX robot hardware is finally included with every VEX IQ and VEX EDR kit at no extra charge! Current VEX users can now download their no-cost version of ROBOTC 4.x for VEX directly from the VEX Robotics website.
Click that link. That takes you back to VEX. They want you to have a VEX account, but it’s easy to do, give them a name and an email. Once you log in, the site lets you download the software. So there is no charge, your software people should be able to manage it.
Bonus is that because the software is now free there isn’t a license check any longer. So the software does not need internet access after it’s installed. This also means your software guys can load the same version of the software on all machines. More importantly, they can put RobotC in their standard image.
Circumventing the IT people’s software policy makes them cranky. Make the requests, but follow up. Don’t just fling a paper mail into HISD. Follow up, did they get it, what’s the status, etc.
Lastly, but after you’ve tried to go from person to person inside the school management, track down a school board member. School board members love helping out with student problems especially from STEM students and even better one that is trying to do things with robotics. And there is nothing the school district management hates more than a call from a school board member going “Hey, I was talking to Phantom285A and their parents today. Can you explain why it’s taken 5 weeks to get some free software they need for their robot to be loaded on all the computers?”