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At my school, the administrator seems to have completely muted our Macs. Students are not permitted to raise the volume, and when we try, a the volume symbol pops up with a line through it.

How did they do this?

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I liked to find ways to circumvent computer security at my high school when I was younger too. Wanna know what it got me? A week of detention and a year of using a typewriter. – ubiquibacon Oct 26 '11 at 8:02
It's okay; I'm actually in a good situation with our tech admin. I find flaws for him to patch - but this one I'm not sure about. Once I know how they do it in System Prefs, I'll try it from the command line... Ideas how? – tekknolagi Oct 26 '11 at 8:29
Try executing AppleScript using osascript. There you can use set output volume (documented in Standard Additions, I believe). – Daniel Beck Oct 26 '11 at 8:55
There can be a load of ways to do it... – m0skit0 Oct 26 '11 at 8:56
@m0skit0 Explain, please. – slhck Oct 26 '11 at 10:06
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I can think of three ways off the top of my head:

  1. If the Mac has an audio output method available besides the built-in speakers, the admin can change to an output method that doesn't actually output sound.

  2. The admin could remove all audio-related KEXTs (in other words, the OS sound drivers)

  3. I don't have personal experience with this, so this one might be wrong, but: An admin can use Apple's Server Admin Tools to restrict access to different preference panes, and i think maybe if they restrict the Sound preference pane it might prohibit volume changes. But i'm not positive, i'm not a system admin (and Apple's link to Lion's Server Admin Tools is not working at the moment, so i couldn't test)

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wow. that's awesome! thank you! – tekknolagi Oct 27 '11 at 5:47

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