VEXcode: Unable to Launch Compiler; Students not allowed access to Command Prompt

So my school IT department does not allow student computers to access the command prompt, which is what I guess VexCode needs to download a program from the computer to the robot brain. I called VEX support and they told me my IT department is to strict. I called my IT department and they said there is no way they will allow students to access the command line as anyone with a couple hours and a youtube video can do major damage to our school network/informaton/etc…
Any solutions out there? I feel like we are dead in the water, stuck with just driving robots around and not being able to program.
Much appreciation for any suggestions.

If you have a home computer then you could use that to code your robots. Edit I forgot to ask are your school computers windows, chromebook or mac?

Robotmesh may be a solution, but there is also a plugin that has to be authorized. My school district did the plugin auth with a phone call.

Thanks for your reply.
Computers in our lab are Dell running the latest version of Windows

Foster, I am unfamiliar with Robotmesh. I will look into that.
I have a classroom full of great robotics equipment this year but no way to let the kids program at this point… very discouraging :pensive:
But thanks for your suggestion!

They don’t know how to properly secure the school network/information/etc., lol. It is entirely possible to have a limited command line environment, or even isolate all robotics computers from the larger network - they should be isolating sensitive departments anyway for security.

I don’t have any solutions as my school computers work fine with VexCode and PROS, but I am sorry that you have to deal with such an incompetent IT department.

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This just showed up in my second chance feed, sorry for the late post. I don’t know about the OP situation, but school districts that I have dealt with err on the side of caution. They lock because they are running networks at multiple schools and administration buildings. It’s very hard to keep people from clicking stupid links. School level firewalls are common, blocking proxy servers driven at the network level for all traffic, not just the ones at the browser level. Active directory domains that control everything, with hourly scans for new rogue admin accounts.

You were in your schools “computer security club” so you know the millions of ways that APT hit places from the outside. And you know that some students try to hack their way from the inside. So its multiple cats after a mouse.

Add in the workload of thousand plus devices at each school of swap in / out, traffic and device monitor, etc. 17 locations, 20,000 devices with 3 network people means one offs for 4 students on a robot team is above their work level. I’m pretty sure the district IT people are not incompetent, just doing their mitigations.

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You’re right, I was thinking more from the standpoint of my smaller school district. However:

If they can’t do that because they’re understaffed, they’re not enabling students to learn to their full potential, and the district should hire more people. In that case it’s not IT’s incompetence, I agree.

It’s not some small, shady vendor, Vex is a pretty big STEM education organization; they could give privileges to just signed software from Vex. (I’m pretty sure Vex has Microsoft signing, I haven’t checked recently)

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Lol in my district people happily go around finding out passwords to secure wifi and bypassing proxies. Everyone has high speed all access internet now.

But to fix the problem there is probably someone at your school who has an admin password that can install Vex Code V5 and it should just run from then on out. You don’t need the cmd line unless you are using pros or something else. There is a download button in the top right corner. Hope this helps.

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VEXcode and VEXcode Pro both require behind-the-scenes access to the command line to run the Clang compiler.

We are just finishing up implementation of the web-based VEXcode for IQ/EXP/V5 that will use WebSerial to allow users to work on Blocks / C++ / Python projects directly inside of a Chrome-based web browser with no install required. This will use our cloud compiler service in order to compile projects without needing the command prompt.

I’m hoping we’ll have this released for all platforms in the next few weeks, first of which being EXP to support Chromebook users (due to Google not accepting new ChromeOS applications for their Web Store).

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That is so stupid get a computer that your team pays for is an idea. I feel so bad for you guys.

Yes, our IT department is absolutely swamped, so I understand why they are giving me this blanket answer to the issue that it “can’t be done”.

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This will be such a relief for us! Our district recently dropped $50k on V5 only for it to be nearly unusable for programming in a classroom environment due to this issue.

Trying to get students to iterate on their work when none of them could download onto their robot was disheartening at best. One teacher is a pretty bad bottleneck for 24 budding programmers to download through. I ended up shelving the physical robots and teaching using VexVR.

Please tell me that the web-based VEXcode has the same UI. With all the different coding environments V5 has gone though I feel like I have to redo my coding lessons at least once a year.

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It is possible to get a $50 desktop computer off of ebay and slap in a Kingston SSD. Would do more than enough for coding robots. :slight_smile:

Good lord 50k!? You got a great school district.

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At that level of investment wouldn’t it be enough of a priority for IT to make it work in its current state (i.e. native app)?

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We really do! This got both high schools 24 sets of V5 and sets us up to use VRC as an in-class part of our engineering courses instead of limiting it to an after-hours club. I’m really excited to see what we can do with this as pandemic restrictions ease.

True, and this would work well for a VRC team where you have a few dedicated students programming a small number of robots. Our challenge was trying to teach 24 students (each moving at their own speed) to program. Even if I could get it down to 30 seconds per student to download, we were still looking at a 12 minute wait to test each new version of their program.

Just an update - Web-Based VEXcode IQ is now live at https://codeiq.vex.com

This allows 1st and 2nd Gen IQ users to code their robots via a USB cable directly from a Chrome web browser. This site is compatible on Windows, Mac, and Chromebooks using a Chrome web browser. 2nd Gen IQ users can also update firmware from the web-based VEXcode IQ.

Web-Based VEXcode V5 will be released within the next 1-2 weeks.

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Great news! We cant wait to take VEXCode V5 (web-based) for a spin. If it works well, we can “unbrick” our robots! I know the students will be grateful for sure.