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Author Topic: IDEA: Babies on keyboard  (Read 6241 times)
vrgrrl
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« on: July 15, 2005, 08:10:27 PM »

mouser, wasn't this your idea??? i seem to remember you telling me about this...so it was something that "sort of" locked the keyboard when babies and other kids start banging on the keyboard but then turned into a fun game for babies. I don't know...something with interesting colors and shapes or small animations? I have all kinds of friends with all kinds of babies (I don't know what I mean by that...). I was thinking that it'd be cool.

VRGirl
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2005, 08:35:55 PM »

yup, this is something ive been meaning to write for a while..
just have to figure out if it can be written well in a day or if i have to schedule it for my next app.
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Scott
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2005, 10:07:56 PM »

I hope no one minds that I mention this...

Parents really need this kind of application.  I use Toddler Keys at the moment.  And it does other "necessary" things, like lock the toy--err, sorry--CD/DVD drive doors, disable the power button, and so on.  It can display pictures and play sounds when the keyboard is locked (nice for entertaining very young children), and can disable the keyboard and mouse, while leaving the screen as-is (nice for cleaning the keyboard or mouse, or for letting a child watch a video on the computer without having them wreak too much havoc).

Toddler Keys has been abandoned:

Quote
I do not really have time to work on this project any more. If anyone has some software development experience and would like to take over this project, e-mail me at dschaeffer@cc.usu.ed

Which is too bad...  It is pretty decent, but I'd be willing to pay (or donate smiley) for an enhanced version of this software.  I have no idea what language it's written in.
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« Next Edit: Tomorrow at 12:13:47 AM by Scott »
mouser
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2005, 01:44:29 AM »

i've done a lot of planning for such a program in the past - i had some grand ideas for fun stuff to do; it's definitely something ill write, and passable version could be written in a day or weekend, but the version i have in mind would take longer.. still, i could whip up a version in a weekend if someone else gather the clipart and sounds..
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momonan
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2005, 09:24:47 PM »

A program like this would make my day.  I have a one-year-old in my house who is a techno-whizz.  Give her anything with a bunch of buttons, and she will hover over it for just a second before she pushes one finger firmly into the power button.  She can already work the TV remote and loves to make magic things happen on the screen.  Although she knows that pushing the little power button on my computer tower is strictly forbidden, she also knows that pushing it is terribly entertaining since it causes me to stand up and jump around the room like a jack-in-the box.  So she will play innocently nearby until she sees an opportunity to drop something and casually push the power button on the way down to pick it up.  While I would like to give her little finger a shock so it would never happen again  Wink, I would certainly settle for a lock and something fascinating to do when I pick her up to see what great work I have created on the screen.  I vote for this as the next coding snack -- even if you can't get to the larger program you no doubt have planned.
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mouser
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2005, 09:50:47 PM »

i'm working on it..
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JeffK
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2005, 10:11:39 PM »

What's that?  the baby or the coding?
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Scott
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2005, 12:46:17 AM »

A program like this would make my day.

In the meantime, try Toddler Keys.  It works well.  Believe me, I should know.

http://tk.ms11.net/

P.S.  Kids do seem to be very good at finding power buttons, don't they?
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« Next Edit: Tomorrow at 12:13:47 AM by Scott »
mouser
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2005, 11:30:03 AM »

i've been working really hard collecting and assembling code to disable keys and mouse and stuff to make the computer safe from toddler interference, block ctrl+alt+del, similar stuff, and have got that finally pretty much sorted.  i new it was going to be a little tricky to ramp up to this project, but this basic code to lock computer may turn out to be useful for other snacks..

i've got lots of plans for this baby typing program, i think it might be something we add modes to regularly as we think up fun things to add..

anyone want to suggest a good name for it?
i was thinking: Baby's First Keyboard
or maybe Baby's Magic Keyboard
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momonan
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2005, 03:33:12 PM »

I was thinking something like "Computer Baby" or "Baby Safe."  A search on the names, though, turned up a similar program put out by batista.org and called baby safe II.  It is designed for MAC, but otherwise seems similar.  Not sure how this impacts our plans, and you may already know about it.  In any event, that leaves only computer baby on my list of possible names.
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Scott
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2005, 03:45:49 PM »

Toddlock
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« Next Edit: Tomorrow at 12:13:47 AM by Scott »
cracksloth
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2005, 07:24:10 PM »

you know what babies love?  audio visualizations (like the ones for windows media player, winamp, or sonique).  has the same effect as giving a grown adult acid (only without the brain damage).  what you could do, it create a fullscreen window that displays a visualization (i would suggest windows media player visualization support because they resize nice, it's a format guaranteed to be around for awhile, and it should be easy to tie into).  then when a baby hits a key, a sound plays which makes the screen dance.  depending on how you hook into the wmp visualization, it would even be posssible to send simulated bass thump to the visualization even when a sound was not attached to that key.  just an idea.  i would probably use it too.  and best of all, you could set it as your screensaver.  that way, if you leave your computer for an extended period of time, it will automatically engage and your computer would be baby safe (or secure from coworkers).  pretty clipart could always be displayed in front of the visualization.  anyway, babies would love it and it would broaden the audience a bit.  it would be a really cool project.  you could call it "baby crack" or a tamer "baby keys".

-cracksloth
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cracksloth
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2005, 07:28:50 PM »

p.s.  there are free 3rd party tools that will launch a user selected program instead of a screensaver so this part would not need to be part of this snack (unless you just wanted to be over-ambitious)
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mouser
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2005, 07:40:13 PM »

i thought of that.. and believe me i would have prefered not to have to handle such code..
but running as screensaver is not sufficient i dont think, to prevent ctrl+alt+del and other keys and mouse actions..
at least i dont think so.. but if i'm wrong id be interested in hearing.
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cracksloth
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« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2005, 12:04:17 AM »

i didn't mean to imply that by being a screensaver, the program would automatically inherit these qualities.  unfortunately, you would still need to code them (unless there is something i am missing with password protected screensavers).  but the features you speak of would be great security additions to any screensaver.
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mouser
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2005, 12:33:56 AM »

ahhhh
i see now what you were saying!
you were saying that i dont need to add screensaver specific code to the program, because there are already programs to run an arbitrary application as a screensaver!!  my mistake, i'm sorry, i read too fast.  yes i agree with you 100%.
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