12 Replies Latest reply: Jun 24, 2012 4:57 PM by rccharles
Landon139 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello,

I am hoping this in not an entirely unique problem that has not been addressed yet. I am part of a team who job is to implement 200 iPads into the cockpits of our helicopters. Before we make the purchase, I want to ensure this is going to work. We have two types of computers in our office:

1) Internet accessible but no USB supported functions for external storage devices. CDs are the only way to transfer data.

2) Stand-alone computers (no internet) with USB supported functions.

 

Right now our plan is to buy the iPads along with a docking station that syncs up to 30 iPads via USB. This will have to be done on computers without internet access. I know I can download versions of iOS and put them on CDs for transfer. My question lies within the apps and iPad activations.

Q1) Can I distribute the apps to these computers with the volume purchase program? If so, can I install and update them when new versions are released?

Q2) How are each of these iPads going to be activated if they cannot ever plug into the internet?

 

From what I have read, I believe that it can be done. However, I want somebody smart double checking me before I make any recommendations.

 

Please let me know if I am missing something also.

 

Thank You,

Landon


iPad, iOS 5.1.1
  • 1. Re: iPads in a Workplace Without Internet
    rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,350 points)

    Work-arounds:

     

    Folder copy

    1) I think you could look-into what folder itunes saves its data

    2) copy folder to cd

    3) overwrite folder on usb computer.

     

     

    This is crude:

    1) download software with itunes.

    2) Clone the harddrive with Norton Ghost

        http://us.norton.com/ghost/

    3) restore onto machine with usb.

     

    cloning

    You typically create a master copy of software.

    create an image

    clone to other machines.

     

    This should work for update too.  Assuming you want to keep all machines the same.

     

    ----------------------------------------

    Biting the bullet.

     

    I'm not sure why the internet restriction.  Is it some FAA requirement?  Local management?  Security?

     

    I'd say buy a safe. Store laptop in safe when not in use.

     

    I think you need a Mac to run 30 iPads cloning at a time.  PC may be restricted to 5.

     

    I do not thing transfering data by cd is any safer than by flash drive.  If some malware is going to pollute some flash drive it's going to pollute a cd.

     

    I think by using Linux, SELinux, or Mac OS you have reduced your security risk lower than any Windows solutions.

     

    Robert

  • 2. Re: iPads in a Workplace Without Internet
    gyrhead Level 3 Level 3 (785 points)

    The unanswered question is how are you going to restrict the iPads from ever connecting to the Internet once they are installed in the helicopters?

  • 3. Re: iPads in a Workplace Without Internet
    Landon139 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    rccharles,

     

    Thank you for the input. I played around with the folder copy idea and I think it is going to solve the app problem. I'm still curious about initial set up and I can't seem to find a 5 iPad restriction for cloning with a PC. If it is the case, I'm sure we will have to purchase a Mac for each of our 5 offices.

     

    The reason for the weird set up in our office is because of security concerns. It is a government office and the government has a very unique network infrastructure. For instance, no apple product is allowed on a government network. It took an awful lot convincing to show that iPads were what we needed. A 200 iPad purchase with cases is cheaper than one year of paper publications required for our flights (Most expire every 8 weeks).

     

    Thank you for the input.

  • 4. Re: iPads in a Workplace Without Internet
    Landon139 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    gyrhead,

     

    They will be used in the cockpit, but never installed. Chances are, they will rarely see the internet though. If we are at an airport with WiFi, I'm sure they will be used in that situation.

  • 5. Re: iPads in a Workplace Without Internet
    gyrhead Level 3 Level 3 (785 points)

    Government iPad rollouts

    http://ipadpilots.k12cloudlearning.com/

     

    iPads are also allowed in Congress

     

     

    The US Air Force has deployed 18000 iPads.

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/sybase/top-50-ipad-rollouts-by-enterprises-schools-upd ated-may-22-2012/1274

  • 7. Re: iPads in a Workplace Without Internet
    Landon139 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have seen these Gyrhead. You would think that because one DOD agency does it, all should have a way to do it. Unfortunately, the government doesn't make life this easy for us. The Air Mobility Command was able change IT policy to make theirs work efficiently. We are a much smaller group of users and we have to use the current IT policy for the time being.

  • 8. Re: iPads in a Workplace Without Internet
    gyrhead Level 3 Level 3 (785 points)

    Best wishes with your deployment.  Having worked for the VA some time ago I have a concept of the bureaucracy you are dealing with.

  • 9. Re: iPads in a Workplace Without Internet
    Landon139 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    gyrhead,

     

    I'm glad others can relate with my pain; not being alone in stupidity is what keeps me going. And thank you for your help...you and rccharles. I may be back here for more questions after the purchase next month.

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Landon

  • 10. Re: iPads in a Workplace Without Internet
    Ashish of Boston Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    The volume purchase program still requires connectivity to the Internet.

    Apple has to "authorize" every purchase against an iTunes account before they give you a binary to install on the device.

     

    If you bind all the 200 iPads to one iTunes account then things work. Assuming the devices always come back to a central place to install other apps.

     

    This does not work  if you want end users to be able to install apps by themselves

     

     

    Also check out "Apple Configurator", its like a "ghosting" engine designed to mirror an iPad image to multiple devices. It has severe limitations as its designed to make identical copies.

    http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/enterprise/

     

    Hope this helps,

    Ashish

  • 11. Re: iPads in a Workplace Without Internet
    Landon139 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ashish,

     

    This may be what I'm looking for! It has to have a Mac to hook to so that would be another computer, but it may solve some other issues I've been wondering about. I will let you know if it solves the problem after next month's purchase.

     

    Thank You,

    Landon

  • 12. Re: iPads in a Workplace Without Internet
    rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,350 points)

    If you decide to copy iTunes folders between a PC and a Mac, be sure to check if this works.  You should try to talk to Apple Sales to see if they can help you.

     

    You could copy down what you need a pc running iTunes & copy to cd & proceed to an apple store & try out your solution.  Actually, copying from a PC to a Mac seems riskie.  Better to have at least the same version of iTunes running on both machines.  In Mac OS, most / nearly all applications are in a single folder so they are easy to copy.  There is no registry. Options are keep in xml files.

     

    I'd assume you could mail cds to the remote locations for duplication.

     

    I have moved a harddrive between tower systems as part of a ghosting operations.  My ghost image was on the hardrive. It wasn't too bad once you got the hang of it.  Place you system on an internal harddrive & move between machines. Your security types may not be too pleased.

     

    Robert