Hi Dark,

Dark said:
It just shows that obviously all the Audio game dev's had their heads screwed on regarding user accounts.

My response:
Yes and no. As far as where the icons get installed most accessible games do install them to the default all users start menu folder as it should be. However, there are plenty of other areas where the accessible game developers have not adopted a good multiuser design. Take the GMA Engine as an example here. Every game that uses the GMA Engine saves games, settings, etc directly to the game's root directory. Why is that bad? Well, beginning with Windows 2000 only the administrator accounts have read write access to folders and directories inside c:\Program Files. So as a result anyone running his/her computer as a non-administrator, which they should be if they are smart, the games will crash with an unable to read/write error. This error could easily be fixed by adopting a multiuser design that writes the saved games, settings, and so on to the end users local directories instead of the root folder. I confess this annoys the heck out of me, but I do understand why GMA, Jim Kitchen, and others have not as yet adopted a good multiuser design. Most of our accessible game developers are still using Visual Basic 6, a technology designed for Windows 95/98, and in a very real sense many accessible game developers are designing software for a different era of Windows. They probably have never thought much about how their old habits, ways of doing things, is becoming less and less compatible with newer versions of Windows all the time. Another reason is as simple as I'd say most of my fellow game developers don't adopt good security measures to begin with. According to Microsoft an end user should create two user accounts. you should have one administrator account to handle software installs, system upgrades, and other admin specific tasks. Then, you should have a standard user account for your day to day use such as e-mail, playing games, working on Word documents, etc. If a user follows that advice not only will their system be more secure it will help cut down problems with viruses and other forms of malware. However, I've personally noticed most Windows users either don't know or ignore this basic security measure and go on right ahead and run as administrator anyway. Assuming the laws of averages are on my side I'll say most accessible game developers hardly think about multiuser support, because they only run as administrator themselves. They don't have a problem with the game crashing as a standard user, because they never run as a standard user. If they took proper security measures, as they should, they'd have fixed the problem by now.

Dark said:
About multi-user environments in general, i personally would give a lot to have precisely the opposite option.

My response:
Well, when it comes to multiuser environments Windows users have been extremely spoiled as it wasn't always necessary to have multiple user accounts setup on the system. Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and Mellennium all were designed to run with only one single user account. When Microsoft switched over to the NT platform with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 they adopted a Unix style user account setup and security. Instead of having one account you should have two accounts one for administrative tasks and one for standard operations. Most Windows users haven't put that kind of security in place either because they don't know they are suppose to do it that way, or just don't care about that extra layer of security. Either way I rarely see people put it into practice on Windows. As for myself I learned early on about multiple user acounts when I began using Linux about 10 years ago. At any given time a Linux user usually has at least two accounts. I have a root account for performing administrative tasks, and a single user account for everything else. Most of the time I can perform admin tasks by using a Linux tool called sudo which gives me admin permissions without being logged on the system as root. Anyway, when I began using Windows 2000, XP, etc the concept of having an admin account and a standard user account wasn't any big surprise for me. It was probably easier for me than most to configure my Windows computers to boot directly into the standard account, and I would only login as admin if and when I needed too.

Smile.


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