Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 06, 2016, 02:21:21 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Need to limit all but a few applications to keep my kids focused on homework!  (Read 9106 times)

cnbingham

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2006
  • *
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Folks,
Is there an application that will help me limit all flash, java, and other games, but allow Word, Outlook and a couple of other programs to run so I can ensure my kids aren't wasting their time playing games when they should be doing their homework?

Thanx,
Curtis

tinjaw

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,927
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
(Watch closely folks. Tinjaw, a old gray beard around here, is going to dazzle you. Not only is he going to provide a halfway decent answer, he is also going to simultaneously deflect the question to another member and delegate some research to them in the process. Kids, don't try this at home.)

cnbingham,

That's a great question! It's one of those where you hear people always answer things like "I'm sure you can.", "There's got to be a way to do that.", and "There has to be something you can buy to do that." Yet, nobody provides any details on just how.

I'm sure many parents would like a simple How-To article on this topic. I'm sure teachers would love it as well.

(Here it comes.)

That reminds me of a thread started recently by techidave.

(Did you see that smoooooth deflection. Watch now for the delegation.)

It would be great to have a feature article on educational software for the classroom and the home. And let's not for get the homeschooling classroom/home!! What I think would be neat is a series of threads, mini-reviews and then a nice summary article on this stuff. I'd be happy to work on the summary article if people like you cnbingham (ah!!! you didn't see that coming did you, schwing), techidave (see, this is the one you thought was going to get the finger pointed at them... alone. hehe.), and other teachers helped gather some data and do some mini-reviews.

I can help write up some easy How-Tos like maybe a "Parent as System Administrators: How to Series" with stuff like using the stuff built into Windows and free Microsoft products to focus your children's attention on homework during certain times. (For example, creating a separate user account with limited privileges.)

I'm sure some of the parent around here have some experience with products they have purchased and would be willing to provide us with some information and opinions.

And I think I am going to recruit an unsuspecting teacher friend of mine to join DC and help out. (If she doesn't I will give you all her email address so you can harass her. Yes, Melissa, I'm looking at you. )

Give me a few days to get this organized.

cnbingham

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2006
  • *
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
tinjaw, you're sense of humor kills me. But only if the deflection and delegation don't get me first!

I'd love to help out in writing some mini-reviews. 

One really cool tool that I found here at DC was instantboss--I love it as a motivational timer.  I've got it set up so that my kids work for 1/2 hour and get a 10-minute break.  Course, they always seem to be on their break!

I've created an account called "Homework" and made it more limited access, but haven't figured out how to lock out all permissions except for a select few apps.  And.... they keep bringing games home on their flash drives.  I can't lock out the usb ports, as they have their homework files on the flash drives as well. 

CB

Tendrils

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2007
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Ok, Tinjaw.....I was already registered from WAY BACK WHEN.......but HERE I am!   :D   Recruited and at your service.....

tinjaw

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,927
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Ok, Tinjaw.....I was already registered from WAY BACK WHEN.......but HERE I am!   :D   Recruited and at your service.....

View the profile of Tendrils - DonationCoder.com_1199937650859.png
I had nooo idea. You stinker.  8)

OK, let me get this project organized. You all talk amongst yourselves for a bit and stir up some ideas.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 10:04:36 PM by tinjaw »

jazper

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
    • Jazper's Software
    • Donate to Member
Funny this thread comes up...I've actually had a brief conversation with mouser about doing a software review on Parental Control software.  I've been trying to find the "just right" application for over a month now and have tried out about 4 or 5 different applications.  I'm working on putting that review together.   I know this doesn't help you RIGHT now but just wanted to toss that out.



tinjaw

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,927
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
...I've actually had a brief conversation with mouser about doing a software review on Parental Control software... ...I'm working on putting that review together...
* tinjaw points his wand of delegation in jazper's direction. :Wizard:

tide

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
I have never used any of them but a kiosk package may be what you need. Here's a link to one: http://www.kiosklogi...ware/nestoplite.html

My understanding is that you can provide access (with the lite version) to up to 20 local programs and limit internet access. There are lots of other programs out there with similar features. Does anyone have experience with this type of program? My only question would be how easy is it to turn off the kiosk to gain full access to the computer.

cthorpe

  • Discount Coordinator
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 728
  • c++thorpe
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
There is a program called Temptation Blocker (http://www.webjillio...-temptation-blocker/) that allows you to restrict certain programs from being easily run.  Unfortunately, any user can disable the block, but they must type in a long random string of characters to do so.  This might at least deter your kids from the easy distractions, but it won't do much if they really want to be off task.

C

cnbingham

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2006
  • *
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Temptation blocker might have potential, 'cept my kids can be pretty determined if I'm not in the room! :-)

Curtis

StefanC

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2007
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
maybe ProcessGuard (free version should be enough)can help you . I think the settings can be protected with a password
This is actually a security tool that allow only the sellected programs to run . Be sure to read some stuff about setting this app coz' you can kill your Windows if you don't know how to work with it.

homepage
http://www.diamondcs...ssguard/download.php

forum (DiamondCS forum @ wilders is archived ; if i remember right the app is not developed anymore)
http://www.wildersse...orumdisplay.php?f=13

mikiem

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2006
  • *
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 99
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Microsoft offers a free set-up for environments like libraries, internet cafes etc...
http://www.microsoft...1&DisplayLang=en

If you *really* want to guard against damaging your windows install dealextreme offers a few pci cards that can reset the PC to the same baseline condition every boot. They're less than $10 shipped, and seem to have several admin options, so perhaps worth checking out... Allegedly it's a virus & malware proof solution -- according to the manufacturer's site anyway.  :D

jfw06013

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member

hwtan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Via windows registry:

[ Reference: http://www.kellys-ko...er-xp.com/xp_abc.htm ]

Applications - Restrict Users from Running Specific Applications

This setting allows you to specify applications and filenames that users are restricted from running.

Open your registry and find the key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Policies\Explorer]

Create a new DWORD value and name it "DisallowRun" set the value to "1" to enable application restrictions or "0" to allow all applications to run.

Then create a new sub-key called [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun] and define the applications the are to be restricted. Creating a new string value for each application, named as consecutive numbers, and setting the value to the filename to be restricted (e.g. "regedit.exe").

Explained: DK

Right click in the right pane and select New, DWord value.  Name the new value DisallowRun.  Double click the new value and set it to 1.  Then right click on the Explorer sub branch, in the left pane and select New, Key  Name the new key Disallow Run.  Highlight this key, then in the right pane, right click and select New, String value.  Give it "1" for
the name, without the quotes. 

Double click this new value and enter the actual file name of the executable you wish to restrict this user from
running.  Example: calc.exe   This prevents this user from running Calculator.  They'll get a "This operation has been cancelled message" when they try.  Note: The way around this is for the user to rename Calc.exe to something else.  For additional entries, just give the "values" names in numerical order, 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on. DisallowRunReg and DisallowRunCalc

Restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

Applications - Restrict Applications Users Can Run

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer. Value Name: RestrictRun

Open your registry and find the key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Policies\Explorer]

Create a new DWORD value and name it "RestrictRun" set the value to "1" to enable application restrictions or "0" to allow all applications to run.

Then create a new sub-key called [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Policies\Explorer\RestrictRun] and define the applications that are allowed. Creating a new string value for each application, named as consecutive numbers, and setting the value to the filename to be allowed (e.g. "regedit.exe" and "calc.exe").

Explained: DK

This example prevents any applications but those that you specify from being run:

Right click in the Right pane and select New, DWord value and name the new value RestrictRun  Double click this entry
and set it to 1. Right click on the Explorer sub branch, in the left pane and select New, Key  Name the new key RestrictRun.  Highlight this key, then in the right pane, right click and select New, String value.  Give it "1" for the name, without the quotes.  Double click this new value and enter the actual file name of the executable you wish to restrict this user from running. Example: calc.exe  Right click again, select New, String value, name the new value "2".  Double click the new
value, enter REGEDIT.EXE

This example would only allow Calculator and REGEDIT to be run.   Be VERY careful with this setting.  You could wind up locking yourself out of REGEDIT if you were to use the restrictions on your Administrator account.

Restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

Note: If you are the person who applies Group Policy, do not apply this policy to yourself. If applied too broadly, this policy can prevent administrators from running Group Policy or the registry editors. As a result, once applied, you cannot change this policy except by reinstalling Windows XP.

Software Restriction Policies may be set to determine what software may or may not be run by users on the system. (Jim Cavalaris [MS])

Software Restriction Policies can be configured via the group policy editor (gpedit.msc) at:

Local Computer Policy -->Computer Configuration -->Windows Settings -->Security Settings -->Software Restriction Policies.  Policy can be set to either: restrict users from running specified programs - OR -restrict users to allow ONLY the specified programs to be run.

For a non-domain machine, policy can be applied to all users on the system, or non-Admin users only (Admins are not affected by the policy, and may run any/all programs). you cannot specify this policy for only certain users, but for a non-domain machine, the Admin/non-Admin breakdown may be sufficient.

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,406
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Long write-up about a program for this on "Confessions of a Freeware Junkie Blog" today:

http://maximillianx....ty-and-limiting.html

"If you have kids that are on the computer and/or Internet for any length of time, you know that getting them to log off can be quite a chore. Also, knowing just what they are doing can be just as difficult, if not near impossible.

The makers of Spyware Terminator (which I LOVE) have come up with a pretty decent piece of software that can help you control just what your kids are doing on the computer. Not only does Crawler Parental Control help you keep them from getting into certain programs and folders, it can protect them as well by blocking nasty sites, and (my favorite feature) CPC can put time limits on Internet, computer, and even program usage...allowing you to shut down or log off the computer when the max time allotted is reached. The program is completely customizable in that you can add or remove sites, programs, and folders you deem inappropriate (or not)."

timelimits.jpgNeed to limit all but a few applications to keep my kids focused on homework!