[Athen] Thoughts on K3000 Web Enabled licenses?

Todd Schwanke tschwanke at wisc.edu
Wed Oct 14 07:41:12 PDT 2009


We have been using the Kurzweil 3000 web licensing v11 for about 6 months now. Overall our experience has been quite good in terms of the added benefits with this new option. Frustrations that I encounter tend to be more with the core software, so aren't specific to the web licensing option.

>From the responses I received from tech support when we have had issues, it seemed that we were probably one of the early groups to implement it. Some of the issues included: the server not enforcing which version students were authorized to use (subsequently fixed), needing to use an updated app to set the 'Site Name' when students have 64 bit Windows Vista because of a registry difference, and one known outage. As far as I know the license server has only been down once and that was over a weekend. We just had the software in place for a short little while and so I didn't realize that something I saw on Fri afternoon was the license server going down. So, I'm pretty sure I got their attention when I called in on Monday morning to report that it was down and they hadn't noticed yet, especially when I had asked them up front what their guaranteed up-time was and how quickly they responded to outages.

There have been a number of positives that I really like, and I am hoping they offer it for Mac soon. It addresses a lot of issues.
1) It's concurrent licensing, so you only have to buy as many licenses as are needed to be in use at one time.
2) Because it has authentication built-in you don't have firewall issues to limit or hide access to the server and be able to tell that someone connecting is a valid user. The server is off campus, so the idea of on and off-campus essentially goes away.
3) You don't have to manage a server.
4) You can specify if they get access to any mix of LearnStation, B&W, Color
5) When a student graduates, all you have to do is remove their account
6) Unless a student just left their computer on all the time and didn't disconnect it from the network (which is unlikely since they move around a lot) you won't have unused licenses sitting out there for extended periods like you can with License to Go
7) Main logistics are getting the software installed and then turning their account off when they graduate. From there you don't really have to worry about policies and procedures regarding check-out periods.
8) It's not a big deal to install it on a student's computer who doesn't end up using it much as they only pull a license when they actually do use it...
9) etc., etc.

The main down side is that students have to be connected to a network whenever they are using it. If they lose the network connection it goes into a limited function mode after 5 minutes. As far as I know there is no License to Go option built in. Since our campus is so wired and wireless that hasn't been much of a problem. Where it could be a problem is if a student wanted to work on a bus or while traveling.

It is possible to set it up in a lab environment. Basically when you install it you create a generic account on the license server and then cache these credentials. I'm guessing it would continue to work after imaging. We also use this trick sometimes so that students don't have to enter their user name and password when they start the software.

Another thing I'd like to see changed is that when you go into the admin utility to create an account for a student, you see their password and all other students' passwords. We are very careful to tell them not to reuse a password since we are able to see it.

* We don't enter the student's name when we create an account for them. We use a nickname that others wouldn't recognize
* Make sure they assign you a "Site Name" that is short, concise, and without spaces.
* You can upgrade and convert old licenses (including individual licenses) over to this type of licensing, which can save money.

Feel free to contact me offline if you have additional questions.

Todd Schwanke
McBurney Disability Resource Center

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On Behalf Of Al Puzzuoli
Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 8:59 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] Thoughts on K3000 Web Enabled licenses?

We currently host our own K3000 license server here at MSU; However, we are looking at moving to Kurzweil's Web Enabled model.
Can anyone speak to the pros and cons of the web enabled implementation?
If we could get out from under needing to manage the licenses here, while still maintaining all administration abilities we are already used to, that would be great. I assume features like Licenses to Go are still available?

Al Puzzuoli

Michigan State University

Information Technologist
http://www.rcpd.msu.edu <http://www.rcpd.msu.edu/>

Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities

120 Bessey Hall East Lansing, MI 48824-1033


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