netscape & eudora local apps using prefs on network

netscape & eudora local apps using prefs on network

Post by Joe Ro » Wed, 18 Jun 1997 04:00:00



This is more to spread information than to ask a question.   I had to
do a lot of testing, searching and programming to find this elegant
solution.      

We have 1200 students and the goal is to let them logon using any NT
Client ( WFW, Win95, WinNT ) and have easy use of eudora and netscape.
Easy means their in/out and mailboxes are stored on the server and so
are their bookmarks.  Meaning students can move from room-room and
computer to computer with the same settings.  Netscape and Eudora are
stable and here to stay so this solution should be vaild for years to
come.

Profiles are a pain and too large to manage and not compatible between
all our clients.

Here is one way to do it:
==============================================

Most importantly you must map a letter to the root of a user's
personal network drive when the student logs on.  Eudora and Netscape
are run from the local disk but use their prefs from the students
network drive.  

---------Creating the folders on the server

Our NT Server has drive F: for our Freshmen class.   I've shared the
root of F: as 2001 so that the students can get to their folders by
browsing in filemanager or explorer.   There are about 300 user
folders in the f drive.   In the drive are sub folders like:
F:\doe jane    shared as "\\server\doe jane$"
f:\doe john   shared as "\\server\doe john$"

The 1200 shares are hidden with the $ so they don't show up when
browsing with a client on WFW or Explorer.

In each students folder is a structure like:
u:\eudora\eudora.ini
u:\eudora\in.mbx.... etc
u:\netscape\bookmark.htm

---------Adding User accounts with the right info

In the user manager the information is as follows:
username: johndoe
fullname: doe john
scriptname: students.bat
homedir  z: as \\server\doe john$

---------Creating the logon scripts


rem use U as the student's home dir
net use u: /h
rem end of batch file

When john doe logs to the domain u: points to the root of their folder
and when you do a dir u:\ you see u:\eudoa u:\netscape

---------Installing the apps on the clients

The applications are on the local hard disks but they use and save
certain preferences on the network U: drive.

Netscape:  On win31 I edited the local netcape.ini file to use
u:\netscape\bookmark.htm as the bookmarks.   On win95 I used regedit
to change the proper entry to use u:\netscape\bookmark.htm.
Different client versions of netscape ( 16 vs 32bit )   If for some
reason the network drive is unavailable netscape recovers and uses a
new blank default bookmark file.

Eudora:   On both Win 31 and Win 95 I put an icon in a group that
launches eudora.    The trick is to use a command line option to tell
eudora to use a mai folder on the server.    The command line is as
follows:     "c:\eudora\eudora.exe u:\eudora".   Eudora will still
function if the network drive is not available.   But the prefs must
be set by the user.

Luckily our network drives are always available.

We use quota manager in case the stuents mailboxes get too large.

No copyright on this document, just be nice to schools and don't try
to sell or profit from this information as your own.

Take care,  Joe.
============Signature======================
                 Joe Rowe
MIS San Francisco Unified School District

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