Can an Administrator deactivate USB...

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Can an Administrator deactivate USB...

Post by Guest » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:26 pm

My company provides technical aviation training, and in order to cut down on printing costs we are investigating the deployment of iPads to each student.  However, we only want them to be able to read the PDF files which we would install thereon, and not to be able to access the Internet or download those proprietary PDFs.  We have already seen that the Apple administration tools will allow us to prevent Wifi access, but I cannot find any information about the deactivation of the ports.  Is it possible to prevent the downloading or uploading of any files via the USB ports, and is it possible to disable all the other ports? Pete

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Re:Can an Administrator deactivate USB...

Post by Guest » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:56 pm

For clarity's sake, there is no USB port on an iPad. There is only the Dock connector, which connects to the computer's USB port but which is not a USB port per se. I'm not clear on what it is you wish to accomplish, since you first say that you want to install the PDFs on the iPads but then say you don't want them downloaded. Do you mean that you don't want the users to be able to transfer the PDFs from the iPad to a computer? If that's what you mean, I know of no way to prevent that - there are no tools I've seen that can prevent document transfer via the Dock connector to the computer - though someone else here might be able to think of a workaround I can't. It's possible that one of the document-reader apps (such as GoodReader) might be able to lock a document.  Regards.

Guest

Re:Can an Administrator deactivate USB...

Post by Guest » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:03 pm

Thanks very much for the response! Subsequent to my posting, we discovered what you said about the absence of a dedicated USB port. However, we have also seen that there is an accessory which will allow some sort of USB connection; I am still pretty foggy on what this means, tho', since I do not own an iPad, nor do any of my assistants. Our over-arching goal is to use some sort of tablet or Netbook PC as a substitute for physical paper.  A typical course would have over 2500 pages of print, which at our printing costs of 6 cents/page comes out to about 150 Euros per student per course.  Although this is below the cost of an iPad, it is price-competitive for the long-haul.  If anyone has alternate suggestions for solutions, I would be most appreciative of those. We have to have color displays, so that rules out Kindle, and perhaps some others. As for the PDFs, we want to avoid having the work of our specialists and instructors propagated throughout the Web and stolen.  Our thought was to somehow lock the iPad, or whatever other brand we went with, so that the student only had an electronic book, without any means for exporting the data on that device. As a secondary issue, we want to prevent students from for using the device for play. If the Dock connector cannot be locked out by an Administrator, then perhaps the iPad is not right for us. As a Mac guy since 1985, I have a very strong preference for Apple products, but if need be we will go with Android or some other platform. Pete

Guest

Re:Can an Administrator deactivate USB...

Post by Guest » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:11 am

I don't think there is any way to lock out the dock - it would be in the settings of the iPad, and I can't see it there.  One option ... Convert it to ePub format, and then see if you can sell it through the ebook store? Or even offer it for free through there? Then it's protected by DRM and can only be associated with the iPad account of the user of the device ... I'm not sure how the logistics of that would work, but it might be possible, and it wouldn't be readable by anyone without the same iTunes account.

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