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Author Topic: NANY 2009 Release: CrazyLittleFingers  (Read 59342 times)
kwacky1
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« on: December 11, 2008, 06:19:55 AM »

NANY 2009 Entry Information

Application Name CrazyLittleFingers
Version 1.1.2 (25/01/2009)
Short Description Keep your computer safe, while letting your little ones, little fingers explore and discover
Supported OSes Windows XP and Vista
Download Link CrazyLittleWebsite
System Requirements
  • A Computer (with Keyboard)
  • A Toddler
Author kwacky1


Description
Bub's are curious, bub's like to imitate.  You're always amazed at the way bub copies the things that you do, and laugh when you see her with one hand one the keyboard and one on the mouse like a true fps'er, but at the same time getting quickly frustrated because 'nothing' is happening.  And then she hits the magic combination to hack into the fbi, delete some important files and shutdown your computer.

The solution, CrazyLittleFingers.  I don't want to deny my bub the simple pleasure of tapping away at the keyboard mindlessly, she may well write the next great OS, or simply become a DC member like her dad (and then write a revolutionary new program, that's donationware, of course).

The aim of CrazyLittleFingers is simple, lock out all the keys on the keyboard, except for one that lets you exit the program, and remap each key to provide a reward for bubs exploration. For example, pressing 'g' will display a goat and bleat, while pressing 'c' will moo at you and display a cow.

Features
  • Add your own images
  • Automatically Scales Images to fit screen
  • Supports bmp, gif, jpg, mov (quicktime), mp3, wav
  • v1.1.0 - Compatible with Dual Screen configs
  • v1.1.1 - Now Vista compatible
  • v1.1.2 - Now supports Multi Monitor configurations

Planned Features
  • Integrate IdleStart by App
  • Add GUI Interface for advanced configuration
  • Support more video formats
  • Add support for png, ogg files
  • Create more/better themes
  • Add support for dual screen/multi monitor configurations

Usage
Installation
Unzip to a desired location, run CrazyLittleFingers.exe

Configuration
CrazyLittleFingers.ini
Formatted for XML with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. [Main]
  2. ;Specify the theme to use
  3. Theme=Default
  4.  
  5. [MyPictures]
  6. ;Change to True to source files from the default My Pictures folder
  7. UseMyPics=False
  8.  
  9. ;Specify the full path to an alternative pictures directory here
  10. ;MyPicsDir=

Using the Application
Smash keys until bored.
Ctrl-Alt-Delete to exit.

Known Issues
  • System Beep on keypress every now and then.
  • IMPORTANT: Press and hold Ctrl, then Alt and then press Delete to exit.
  • CLF only searches subdirectories for photos when in my pictures mode, and only searches 1 level deep
  • Mouse is not disabled
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 04:00:07 AM by kwacky1 » Logged

Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2008, 07:56:39 AM »

from personal experience?

I remember sitting with toddler at the keyboard, and it seemed to completely miss the point having to restrain hands and direct interest so closely  cheesy
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kwacky1
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 04:32:49 AM »

Yeah my 18month old DD loves to sit in my chair and 'use' the computer.  I got an old PS/2 keyboard, cut the cable off and gave it to her.  That kept her interested for about 3 seconds, nothings as good as the real thing.

I did my first round of proof of concept testing today (just testing keyboard capture at this stage), and it was great.  Because I'm not capturing the mouse, I launched CrazyLittleFingers and used the mouse to start a slideshow in Picasa, we all happily watched the slideshow while bubs pressed random keys and the slideshow kept on playing.

So I'm thinking there might be 2 features, interactive mode where bubs interacts with the program, or silent mode, where the program just sits idly in the system tray swallowing keystrokes, so you can leave your computer unattended while burning a dvd or what have you.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2008, 07:59:39 PM »

So I'm thinking there might be 2 features, interactive mode where bubs interacts with the program, or silent mode, where the program just sits idly in the system tray swallowing keystrokes, so you can leave your computer unattended while burning a dvd or what have you.

For slightly older, mouse aware, children you may also want to restrict the mouse?  tongue

For even older, OS aware, children you may also want to password protect closing the programme and access to the Task Manager?   tongue tongue
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2008, 08:02:06 PM »

System Requirements
  • A Computer
  • A Toddler

Will the Toddler be a download option?  Wink
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kwacky1
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2008, 07:27:20 PM »

Did a round of beta testing with v0.0.0.1 and my daughter loved it, she instantly knew that the buttons she was pressing were changing the images on screen.

Perry, not sure if I need to restrict the mouse as the program runs full screen, always on top, but I will keep it in mind.

Currently Ctrl-Alt-Delete is the key sequence to exit the program, this also has the side effect of bring up Task Manager, but I guess I could use an AHK script to control the exit of the program, ie. by capturing those keys and prompting for a password.

Thanks for the ideas.
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app103
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2008, 07:37:41 PM »

One of the easiest ways to restrict mouse usage is to use a USB mouse and unplug it and put it in a locked drawer.

I was thinking how this would be good if it autolaunched after a certain length of system idle time, in case you step away and forget to run it.

If you would like to use it, I did create a utility for that awhile back: http://appsapps.info/idlestart.php
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Deozaan
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2008, 07:44:51 PM »

Skrommel has a great similar utility called ToddlerTrap that locks the keyboard and the mouse (except for one tiny little place to close out the program) that you might be able to look at for some ideas.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2008, 07:49:05 PM »

I was thinking how this would be good if it autolaunched after a certain length of system idle time, in case you step away and forget to run it.
Thmbsup This is such a clever and simple idea!!

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kwacky1
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2008, 10:17:36 PM »

Thanks App, I was thinking of having some kind of ScreenSaver option as a feature, but I think I might incorporate IdleStart as a configurable option within CrazyLittleFingers!

Deozaan, yeah I check out ToddlerTrap, Skrommel hasn't done anything about Ctrl-Alt-Delete, and I can only assume this is intentional. Wink

Keep the awesome ideas coming people!   Thmbsup
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lanux128
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2008, 10:30:37 PM »

a great idea! another similar program is Toddler Keys.
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app103
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2008, 10:32:31 PM »

Thanks App, I was thinking of having some kind of ScreenSaver option as a feature, but I think I might incorporate IdleStart as a configurable option within CrazyLittleFingers!

Just make sure you add something to your application to ensure that only 1 instance can run, otherwise there is a risk that more than one will run if the previous instance isn't closed before the pc goes idle again.

This was an issue I had with using IdleStart to launch other people's applications. When my cat moved my mouse, I'd end up with more than 1 instance of Stellarium running, and that wasn't too good.

I am not sure what language you are doing this in, so I can't recommend any sample code/components to show how it's done, but in some languages it's pretty easy to do without having to do any actual coding yourself (with Delphi, you just drop a component on your main form and you are done).
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 03:10:35 AM »

Another similar app is: Keyboard Pounder (search at: http://www.littlebitsmult.../littlebits_downloads.htm).
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kwacky1
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2008, 11:21:29 PM »

Hi Everybody,

I have uploaded a preview release of CLF, let me know how you go.
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kwacky1
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2008, 05:40:57 AM »

Just a quick note to anyone who tried to download CLF in the last 6 hours (since my last post).  It's been a bit windy here and I hadn't noticed until now that my upload had failed. 

So v0.0.0.1 is definitely now available.
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ghacks
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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2008, 03:03:15 AM »

Kwacky nice program. I have one question though. You mention sounds in the introduction, is that something that you still need to implement? Another question, what about the directory structure, do you have plans to allow multiple image sets?
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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2008, 04:45:36 AM »

Martin (ghacks) forgot to mention his blog post "Protect Your Computer From Crazy Little Fingers"
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kwacky1
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2008, 11:12:41 PM »

2ghacks

Sounds implemented, I just don't have any smiley

Directory Structure completely customisable..  There's currently 2 modes
  • Media Pack mode (thanks mouser) which is the whole a is for aardvark etc etc... (although I may not have enough images to release a full MediaPack by tonight)
  • MyPictures mode, which is, point CLF to any directory that contains pictures and CLF will search that directory and all subdirectories and show them randomly.
These will be configurable, so you will have the option to choose from different sets of media (currently only 1 but i would hope that the community will contribute their own over time) or MyPictures mode.

My implementation of MediaPack/Rewards mode works like this.
  CLF searches the assigned Key directory (eg. a) for all files, chooses 1 at random and ignores the extension, with that info, a second routine steps in and searches the key directory for all files starting with the found file.  So if aardvark.jpg is found, clf will search a\aardvark.* and display any other related files, eg aardvark.wav. (does anyone know what sound an aardvark makes?  cheesy )

and embarassed thanks you so much for the post on your blog!  I hope I can live up to your expectations!

Well the clock is ticking.  tellme
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kwacky1
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2008, 09:08:23 AM »

Well there you go, it's done  cheesy

I hope you like it, it's not quite the finished product I had envisioned but it does what I set out to do and the future only holds promise for more options, more themes and better interaction (especially as my daughter gets older and more demanding  Wink )

Happy New Year everybody and I look forward to checking out some of the other NANY releases now that I've got a bit more time available.  tongue
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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2009, 03:52:18 AM »

Unless I miss something, dual monitor are not really supported.
At least for me (win XP Pro x64), the second monitor is usabled with the mouse .. and thus it is possible to do bad things with the mouse.
Except this, this is really a useful tool.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2009, 03:58:07 AM »

Unless I miss something, dual monitor are not really supported.
At least for me (win XP Pro x64), the second monitor is usabled with the mouse .. and thus it is possible to do bad things with the mouse.
Except this, this is really a useful tool.

Now you mention it I found that too, but thought it was a good thing: I thought that the second monitor could just be turned off, and if I'd moved any work I was doing to the second monitor, it'd be there safe and sound when I turned the monitor back on again (If I needed to do something quickly) !
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kwacky1
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2009, 07:21:54 AM »

Unless I miss something, dual monitor are not really supported.
At least for me (win XP Pro x64), the second monitor is usabled with the mouse .. and thus it is possible to do bad things with the mouse.
Except this, this is really a useful tool.

Hi Jocelyn,

Thanks for the feedback, Multi Monitor support definitely in the pipeline.
Glad to hear it works on x64 smiley

kwacky1
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2009, 10:26:19 AM »

Hi kwacky!

I know dualscreen isnt supported yet, but i understood that it should show kind-of-work on a dualscreen, except that it only works on the primary monitor.

I just want to let you know that on my vista x64 with dual-monitors, it behaves a bit more quirky...

Only my left (primary) monitor blacks out, but instead of showing the picture fullscreen, it compresses the picture into a +/- 100px high bar. that bar seems to be center-aligned over both monitors.

If this is already a know issue, then nevermind. :-)
Keep up the good work! it seems to have more potential/entertainment-value than babysmash
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 10:28:54 AM by koesper » Logged
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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2009, 12:26:11 PM »

I run Windows Vista (only on a 1 monitor thing though) and even though I run the app in compatibility mode it shows me a black screen with a bar halfway across it and makes noises when i press keys (i'm fairly sure the pictures change)
Is there any chance of Vista support?
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koesper
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« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2009, 01:02:22 PM »

So probably eric's and my situation are just vista related. Eric, are you running a 32 bit version? or 64 bit?
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