Post by Simon Hunt
The position I am in is sitting on the fence between Solo being a useful
product for the community and public, and Solo being as you rightly say
too dangerous for the public at large - which is why I'm seeking peoples
opinion. Do I drop it to save the public, or keep it and put up with abuse
from customers who say "Well, SBS should have WARNED me when I started
el-cheepo drive repartitioner that it wasn't going to work..."
A huge pre-install infopage complete with a mandatory questionaire at the
bottom forcing people to prove they've read the above, where such things
are covered, should solve that :P
Joking aside, it doesn't seem impossible to inform people of a few "don't
even think about it" situations.
A few things working against this:
It's been a good whiles now since I installed SBS, so I can't be sure, but
I don't seem to recall any major warnings prior to installation or initial
encryption when it comes to harddrive reconfiguring while encrypted. No
mention of safeboot.fs in relation to defragging, something even many home
users do at irregular intervals. Why would the average joe suspect
defragging, something he's been told for years is a great thing for his
computer, can break it after SBS is installed unless an exclusion is added?
Yes, it's covered in the FAQ on the web, but most don't go there until
after a problem's appeared. Same applies to other tools. Unless told, they
have no way of knowing.
Peeking at the helpfile (for 4.1.1 which is what came with 4.1.3a
apparently) there's numerous dead links in there and very little actual
One of the things the helpfile states is "Most importantly, SafeBoot Solo
can be fixed or recovered if you forget your password or break your
computer, but only if you have a "Recovery Disk" - without it, your data is
lost. ". Based on this, a computer illiterate has no reason to think
there's any tool s/he could run that would make the machine difficult to
recover. Of course, this is assuming the person even reads the helpfile.
My point being, unless very specifically told SBS needs to be taken into
account before making changes to a system, a non-geek has no way of knowing
what not to do.
An alternative to making SBS free and supportless, might be free and
community supported. Either by opening a forum for it controlled by your
company, or directing users to an appropriate newsgroup or publically
controlled forum. You/your support staff could then poke their noses in
when time permits to offer brief advice that those others in the know could
"translate" into step-by-step procedures for the regular user if they so
choose. If an end-user has need of more than that, they're left no choice
but to pack up the drive and pay for the fixing, or format and start anew.
No different than if they manage to muck up their store-bought PC for any