Peanut Butter PC 4.0 Public Beta

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 07:03 by JRBenning

Yesterday we opened up our first public Beta.  This is a milestone for us, as we have always done our own testing in our own labs.  But, for  this release of Peanut Butter PC , the changes are too big and important. 

Our goal from the beginning was for Peanut Butter PC 4.0 to resolve our two biggest support issues: Flash  Installs & Administrator privileges. 

It has frustrated me for some time that when a customer struggled with Flash (through no fault of our software), it reflected negatively on us.  We've seen corrupt installs of Flash, unpatched versions, or plug-ins installed for every browser accept the one we need.  If you ask me, the corrupt Flash installs were the worst because they caused really odd behavior in Peanut Butter PC (again, looking like bugs in PBPC).  Fortunately, Peanut Butter PC 4.0 no longer needs Flash installed on the computer, so these troubles will soon be behind us.

We also think we've also resolved the quandary of needing privileges in order to remove privileges.  Frankly, the irony was never lost on me.  Schools and libraries have lead the charge to move away from running Peanut Butter PC from an Admin account.  They always feared a teacher or librarian would add a non-child-safe program like Word to Peanut Butter PC and basically open the floodgates.

Yet, I think we have an elegant solution in Peanut Butter PC 4.0.   You can launch the software in any account (guest, admin, standard user).  If the current user does not have sufficient privileges, a login window will appear.  This will capture the admin credentials needed for some of Peanut Butter PC's low-level security changes, while still enabling games and applications to be launched from Peanut Butter PC with the same rights as the logged in user.  There's a whole lot more to the story, but I won't bore you with the details.  Basically, Microsoft doesn't make it easy to launch programs non-elevated programs from an elevated one.

Since both of these changes really stretch the boundaries of what is allowed under Windows, we realized they needed to be field tested.  You just can't mimic real-world scenarios in a lab.  So, please download the new Beta and take it for a test spin.  If you find a problem and want to switch back, just uninstall it.  You won't lose any of your settings.

J.R. Benning
Peanut Butter Software

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