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Any way to block a central computer from screen-watching me at school? Answered

So the good old school library bumped up its security this year - you know, cool wastes of money like biometric scanners. Now, while I giggle every time I check out a book, I can't even bring myself to browse the internet.

Never mind the fact that the school seems to be running IE's grandfather  for a browser (we just got tabs last year). Never mind that we as a junior class finally discovered the joys of caching, and that last year someone seemed to have started running Firefox off a USB to download mario games to the desktops. Our efforts have been in vain. All the library's computers are now linked to the central computer, so that the librarian can watch about 12 screens in real time simultaneously. She just sits there and watches your screen. Shoot me now.

It's really not a big deal, as I normally only do legit research in school, but now I'm curious - is it possible to trick the main comp? Like, somehow running Firefox from USB invisibly if I have the bastardized IE up on the side? Or do I just save anything deviant for unsuspecting teacher computers?


The easiest solution to get around this "Central Computer monitoring" is to open "Notepad". 

In Notepad go to help, Now you have the Notepad help window open in Notepad. You should see the list of notepad help topics.

While in notepad help go to the upper left corner of the notepad help window and click the left mouse button. You should get a list of options like 'move', 'size', 'minimize', 'maximize'. Look for the option "jump to URL" and click it.

You get another window asking for the new URL you would like to go to. Type in your URL(i.e http://www.anyurlyouwant.com)

The central computer monitor displays that your in notepad and not I.E.

If the librarian is roaming around just click to the notepad window to cover up the notepad help window.

Good Luck,


The way to get around a security system is to go through a human being. Find a friendly teacher and explain (truthfully!) what you plan to be doing and how this benefits your education. Bring a note from this teacher to the librarian. I'm sure that given half an excuse, she would much rather be using that library science degree to help people with research than policing your internet use.

Explain to the teacher that you want to gain more experience with Linux. Free and open source software projects are of great importance to cost-conscious companies and to people in the developing world, and you want to be ready for them.

Your experimentation with Linux might require you to reboot the computer from a LiveCD, such as PuppyLinux. Further explain that by using a LiveCD, you can completely avoid writing anything to the hard drive or changing any of the computer's settings. If the teacher is curious why it's free, explain that it was produced by a large volunteer effort with occasional corporate sponsorship. (Big companies make money selling extras like Linux manuals, support, packaging, etc.) If you still need a slick printed CD case to look legitimate, you can buy or request a free CD of Ubuntu Linux.

Oh, thank you very much for this idea! I had vaguely thought about talking to the most technical of our librarian trio about trying alternative programs (like Linux) on a library computer, but this would definitely help solidify my inquiry. I was worried that she would think I'm trying to damage the computers or the network, but I think if I explain myself well she'd probably even want to be in on the process, haha.

Yes. Don't use the school computer. In fact, don't use any school resource monitored by the central computer.

No. It's on a network, they've thought of these things. It might not be the answer you wanted but that is it. Kids might say things like "run as administrator", but it's "sewn-up" - sorry.