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vid
24th April 2009, 02:04 PM
I have 2 teenagers, well one is not quite he's 12 almost 13, I set up my old Powerbook for them and didn't mind if they surfed the web for school topics and a bit of fun but these holidays (and for the last few months) they have become obsessed with MSNing they get on it first thing in the morning when they get up (or afternoon in older ones case) We have had many discussions about this and several times I have blocked their computer from the modem for a while.
I would like to know if there is anyway of just blocking certain applications from being used ie: the one they use for MSNing but leaving the browser active so they can research for schoolwork, I'd also like to be able to monitor from my computer what they are doing, does anyone know if either of these things is possible.
Regards, Frustrated father of 2 teenage boys, Vid

Lutze
24th April 2009, 02:10 PM
Hey Vid.

What version of MacOS are you using?

(Click the Apple at the top left of the screen, go to About this Mac and a box will appear showing what version it is)

I should add... depending on the OS version you have - it's very easy to do what you ask.

Viewing their screen can be done with any version of OS X but once we know what version you are using we will know what will work best.

vid
24th April 2009, 02:12 PM
Thanks Lutze,
My Macbook Pro is 10.5.6 and the Powerbook is 10.3.9

alanthomasball
24th April 2009, 02:21 PM
EDIT: Just saw your updated post: That powerbook could well handle Leopard.

You will benefit greatly from the Parental Controls (System Preferences > Parental Controls) in Leopard.

It allows you control over many functions including what applications they can use, and at what time of day and for how long they use those applications. You can even control the amount of time they can use their actual user on the Mac. (note, you will need to be the "Administrator" and allow the "lesser" users certain access.). These controls also provide website and web keyword controls.

Lutze
24th April 2009, 02:24 PM
Thanks Lutze,
My Macbook Pro is 10.5.6 and the Powerbook is 10.3.9

Cool - this makes things nice and easy.

Your 10.5.x can detect other Mac's on the network and you can use Share Screen with them once it's enabled on the 10.3.9 one.

The biggest problem you will have is that, I think, parental controls were not brought in until 10.5.

Parental controls allow you to set access time and permission for specific applications so you could say that Safari is only available between 6.30pm and 9pm and that MSN is not available. Perhaps one of the guys with older OS might be able to check what the Parental controls are like for 10.3.9.


As for viewing a network attached system go to system preferences on the 10.3.9 and find the Sharing section. In here you can set Screen Sharing - add a password and do not tick the box that lets the user know they are being viewed. You will then pick up the Powerbook in the sidebar on your Macbook Pro - click it and then click screensharing - input the username (the one that the kids use) and the password you set up.

Cybix
24th April 2009, 02:34 PM
they can get around blocking MSN by using a different app, or even a web based message client like meebo.com

Brains
24th April 2009, 02:37 PM
I'd agree that moving the PowerBook to 10.5 would be the simplest course of action, but you will need to buy a retail edition of the Mac OS X 10.5 Installer DVD -- the one that came with your MacBook will be Intel-only.

The_Hawk
24th April 2009, 02:42 PM
Depending on your modem it's possible to block certain ports at certain times to limit access to particular applications.

Long story short the most effective form of control is supervision. Anything you can lock will most likely be seen as a mild hinderance until they find an alternative way to do things.

vid
24th April 2009, 02:47 PM
Thanks all for the very informative answers, I think I get a 10.5 for the powerbook or maybe even getting a entry level MB (or 2nd hand one)

Mactalkers expertise is amazing I don't know where I'd be without you all!

Thanks again!

Vid

alanthomasball
24th April 2009, 02:50 PM
Anything you can lock will most likely be seen as a mild hinderance until they find an alternative way to do things.
I agree. Kids can be like water - finding the path of least resistance!
That dam is gonna break sometime you just gotta be ready with a bucket!!

elnewb
24th April 2009, 02:57 PM
What's wrong with using MSN?

Lutze
24th April 2009, 03:03 PM
What's wrong with using MSN?

Nothing... once you've done all the stuff that you are meant to do. Alas, kids don't have the self control to do home work and then their chores before sitting on MSN / Chat apps. all day.

chrome
24th April 2009, 03:57 PM
Put all the computers in a common area. If they need to research something, they come from their room to research it.

I was privileged to have a computer in my room as a teenager because my parents were gullible. This was in the 80s, so no internet for me in country NSW.

These days there is absolutely no way I'd allow children to have a personal computer in their own rooms.

foovo
24th April 2009, 04:21 PM
OpenDNS > Solutions > Home Network (http://www.opendns.com/solutions/homenetwork/)

You might set your router up to use OpenDNS and if you sign up with them you can also filter out IM and other things

mitty
24th April 2009, 05:15 PM
Give them what I had at their age... A Spectravideo 328 (http://www.samdal.com/sv328.htm). Watch em try and get on facebook with that.

Rasta
24th April 2009, 06:21 PM
Put all the computers in a common area. If they need to research something, they come from their room to research it.

I was privileged to have a computer in my room as a teenager because my parents were gullible. This was in the 80s, so no internet for me in country NSW.

These days there is absolutely no way I'd allow children to have a personal computer in their own rooms.

You said all I would have said... I had a comp in my room... I remember as a 13 year old trying to muffle the sound coming out of the PC when I was playing Leisure Suit Larry because I had no idea how to silence the game!

Your first line is the simplest and easiest approach...software will never replace eyes that are well peeled...

timmytomtam
24th April 2009, 06:49 PM
Put all the computers in a common area. If they need to research something, they come from their room to research it.

I was privileged to have a computer in my room as a teenager because my parents were gullible. This was in the 80s, so no internet for me in country NSW.

These days there is absolutely no way I'd allow children to have a personal computer in their own rooms.

What's so bad about having computers in kids rooms?

vid
24th April 2009, 07:04 PM
Nothing... once you've done all the stuff that you are meant to do. Alas, kids don't have the self control to do home work and then their chores before sitting on MSN / Chat apps. all day.

I couldn't have said it any better myself Lutze! My kids have become "totally addicted" and especially these holidays they must be MSNing 6-8 hours a day and the rest of the time Xbox, PSP, PS2, gameboy, DS, TV.....

timmytomtam
24th April 2009, 07:08 PM
I couldn't have said it any better myself Lutze! My kids have become "totally addicted" and especially these holidays they must be MSNing 6-8 hours a day and the rest of the time Xbox, PSP, PS2, gameboy, DS, TV.....

So what?

Thats what holidays are for.

vid
24th April 2009, 07:10 PM
So what?

Thats what holidays are for.

Let me guess timmytomtam you are also a teenager?

cgollner
24th April 2009, 07:10 PM
An approach that I use that works particularly well, although re-active rather than pro-active is edit the hosts file.

Certain apps need to connect to login servers and the like. Get the IP addresses and put them in the hosts file and direct to the loopback address.

Its a bit techie and takes some time but works.

chrism238
24th April 2009, 07:15 PM
As an enlightened, modern parent, I try to be as involved as
possible in the lives of my six children. I encourage them to join team
sports. I attend their teen parties with them to ensure no drinking or
alcohol is on the premises. I keep a fatherly eye on the CDs they listen
to and the shows they watch, the company they keep and the books they
read. You could say I'm a model parent. My children have never failed
to make me proud, and I can say without the slightest embellishment that
I have the finest family in the USA.

Two years ago, my wife Carol and I decided that our children's
education would not be complete without some grounding in modern
computers. To this end, we bought our children a brand new Compaq to
learn with. The kids had a lot of fun using the handful of application
programs we'd bought, such as Adobe's Photoshop and Microsoft's Word,
and my wife and I were pleased that our gift was received so well. Our
son Peter was most entranced by the device, and became quite a pro at
surfing the net. When Peter began to spend whole days on the machine,
I became concerned, but Carol advised me to calm down, and that it was
only a passing phase. I was content to bow to her experience as a mother,
until our youngest daughter, Cindy, charged into the living room one
night to blurt out: "Peter is a computer hacker!"

As you can imagine, I was amazed. A computer hacker in my own house!
I began to monitor my son's habits, to make certain that Cindy wasn't
just telling stories, as she is prone to doing at times.

After a few days of investigation, and some research into computer
hacking, I confronted Peter with the evidence. I'm afraid to say, this was
the only time I have ever been truly disappointed in one of my children.
We raised them to be honest and to have integrity, and Peter betrayed the
principles we tried to encourage in him, when he refused point blank to
admit to his activities. His denials continued for hours, and in the end,
I was left with no choice but to ban him from using the computer until
he is old enough to be responsible for his actions.

After going through this ordeal with my own family, I was left
pondering how I could best help others in similar situations. I'd gained
a lot of knowledge over those few days regarding hackers. It's only right
that I provide that information to other parents, in the hope that they
will be able to tell if their children are being drawn into the world
of hacking. Perhaps other parents will be able to steer their sons back
onto the straight and narrow before extreme measures need to be employed.

To this end, I have decided to publish the top ten signs that your
son is a hacker. I advise any parents to read this list carefully and if
their son matches the profile, they should take action. A smart parent
will first try to reason with their son, before resorting to groundings,
or even spanking. I pride myself that I have never had to spank a child,
and I hope this guide will help other parents to put a halt to their
son's misbehaviour before a spanking becomes necessary.

1. Has your son asked you to change ISPs?

Most American families use trusted and responsible Internet Service
Providers, such as AOL. These providers have a strict "No Hacking" policy,
and take careful measures to ensure that your internet experience is
enjoyable, educational and above all legal. If your child is becoming
a hacker, one of his first steps will be to request a change to a more
hacker friendly provider.

I would advise all parents to refuse this request. One of the
reasons your son is interested in switching providers is to get away
from AOL's child safety filter. This filter is vital to any parent who
wants his son to enjoy the internet without the endangering him through
exposure to "adult" content. It is best to stick with the protection
AOL provides, rather than using a home-based solution. If your son is
becoming a hacker, he will be able to circumvent any home-based measures
with surprising ease, using information gleaned from various hacker sites.

2. Are you finding programs on your computer that you don't remember
installing?

Your son will probably try to install some hacker software. He may
attempt to conceal the presence of the software in some way, but you can
usually find any new programs by reading through the programs listed
under "Install/Remove Programs" in your control panel. Popular hacker
software includes "Comet Cursor", "Bonzi Buddy" and "Flash".

The best option is to confront your son with the evidence, and force
him to remove the offending programs. He will probably try to install
the software again, but you will be able to tell that this is happening,
if your machine offers to "download" one of the hacker applications. If
this happens, it is time to give your son a stern talking to, and possibly
consider punishing him with a grounding.

3. Has your child asked for new hardware?

Computer hackers are often limited by conventional computer
hardware. They may request "faster" video cards, and larger hard drives,
or even more memory. If your son starts requesting these devices, it is
possible that he has a legitimate need. You can best ensure that you are
buying legal, trustworthy hardware by only buying replacement parts from
your computer's manufacturer.

If your son has requested a new "processor" from a company called
"AMD", this is genuine cause for alarm. AMD is a third-world based company
who make inferior, "knock-off" copies of American processor chips. They
use child labor extensively in their third world sweatshops, and they
deliberately disable the security features that American processor
makers, such as Intel, use to prevent hacking. AMD chips are never sold
in stores, and you will most likely be told that you have to order them
from internet sites. Do not buy this chip! This is one request that you
must refuse your son, if you are to have any hope of raising him well.

4. Does your child read hacking manuals?

If you pay close attention to your son's reading habits, as I do,
you will be able to determine a great deal about his opinions and hobbies.
Children are at their most impressionable in the teenage years. Any
father who has had a seventeen year old daughter attempt to sneak out
on a date wearing make up and perfume is well aware of the effect that
improper influences can have on inexperienced minds.

There are, unfortunately, many hacking manuals available in
bookshops today. A few titles to be on the lookout for are: "Snow Crash"
and "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson; "Neuromancer" by William Gibson;
"Programming with Perl" by Timothy O'Reilly; "Geeks" by Jon Katz; "The
Hacker Crackdown" by Bruce Sterling; "Microserfs" by Douglas Coupland;
"Hackers" by Steven Levy; and "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric S.
Raymond.

If you find any of these hacking manuals in your child's possession,
confiscate them immediately. You should also petition local booksellers to
remove these titles from their shelves. You may meet with some resistance
at first, but even booksellers have to bow to community pressure.

5. How much time does your child spend using the computer each day?

If your son spends more than thirty minutes each day on the
computer, he may be using it to DOS other peoples sites. DOSing involves
gaining access to the "command prompt" on other people's machines, and
using it to tie up vital internet services. This can take up to eight
hours. If your son is doing this, he is breaking the law, and you should
stop him immediately. The safest policy is to limit your children's
access to the computer to a maximum of forty-five minutes each day.

6. Does your son use Quake?

Quake is an online virtual reality used by hackers. It is a popular
meeting place and training ground, where they discuss hacking and train in
the use of various firearms. Many hackers develop anti-social tendencies
due to the use of this virtual world, and it may cause erratic behaviour
at home and at school.

If your son is using Quake, you should make hime understand that
this is not acceptable to you. You should ensure all the firearms in your
house are carefully locked away, and have trigger locks installed. You
should also bring your concerns to the attention of his school.

7. Is your son becoming argumentative and surly in his social
behaviour?

As a child enters the electronic world of hacking, he may become
disaffected with the real world. He may lose the ability to control his
actions, or judge the rightness or wrongness of a course of behaviour.
This will manifest itself soonest in the way he treats others. Those
whom he disagrees with will be met with scorn, bitterness, and even
foul language. He may utter threats of violence of a real or electronic
nature.

Even when confronted, your son will probably find it difficult to
talk about this problem to you. He will probably claim that there is no
problem, and that you are imagining things. He may tell you that it is
you who has the problem, and you should "back off" and "stop smothering
him." Do not allow yourself to be deceived. You are the only chance
your son has, even if he doesn't understand the situation he is in. Keep
trying to get through to him, no matter how much he retreats into himself.

8. Is your son obsessed with "Lunix"?

BSD, Lunix, Debian and Mandrake are all versions of an illegal
hacker operation system, invented by a Soviet computer hacker named
Linyos Torovoltos, before the Russians lost the Cold War. It is based
on a program called "xenix", which was written by Microsoft for the
US government. These programs are used by hackers to break into other
people's computer systems to steal credit card numbers. They may also be
used to break into people's stereos to steal their music, using the "mp3"
program. Torovoltos is a notorious hacker, responsible for writing many
hacker programs, such as "telnet", which is used by hackers to connect
to machines on the internet without using a telephone.

Your son may try to install "lunix" on your hard drive. If he is
careful, you may not notice its presence, however, lunix is a capricious
beast, and if handled incorrectly, your son may damage your computer,
and even break it completely by deleting Windows, at which point you
will have to have your computer repaired by a professional.

If you see the word "LILO" during your windows startup (just after
you turn the machine on), your son has installed lunix. In order to get
rid of it, you will have to send your computer back to the manufacturer,
and have them fit a new hard drive. Lunix is extremely dangerous software,
and cannot be removed without destroying part of your hard disk surface.

9. Has your son radically changed his appearance?

If your son has undergone a sudden change in his style of dress, you
may have a hacker on your hands. Hackers tend to dress in bright, day-glo
colors. They may wear baggy pants, bright colored shirts and spiky hair
dyed in bright colors to match their clothes. They may take to carrying
"glow-sticks" and some wear pacifiers around their necks. (I have no
idea why they do this) There are many such hackers in schools today,
and your son may have started to associate with them. If you notice that
your son's group of friends includes people dressed like this, it is time
to think about a severe curfew, to protect him from dangerous influences.

10. Is your son struggling academically?

If your son is failing courses in school, or performing poorly on
sports teams, he may be involved in a hacking group, such as the infamous
"Otaku" hacker association. Excessive time spent on the computer,
communicating with his fellow hackers may cause temporary damage to the
eyes and brain, from the electromagnetic radiation. This will cause his
marks to slip dramatically, particularly in difficult subjects such
as Math, and Chemistry. In extreme cases, over-exposure to computer
radiation can cause schizophrenia, meningitis and other psychological
diseases. Also, the reduction in exercise may cause him to lose muscle
mass, and even to start gaining weight. For the sake of your child's
mental and physical health, you must put a stop to his hacking, and
limit his computer time drastically.

I encourage all parents to read through this guide carefully. Your
child's future may depend upon it. Hacking is an illegal and dangerous
activity, that may land your child in prison, and tear your family apart.
It cannot be taken too seriously.

timmytomtam
24th April 2009, 07:16 PM
^ WHAT THE FUCK?? According to that, I must be a serious hacker, coz I've done all that stuff.





Let me guess timmytomtam you are also a teenager?

Yep.
And for me, during school term, with school, work and sport, I barely spend anytime on MSN, so yes, during the holidays, MSN and facebook and all that is pretty much all I do when I'm not at work..

iPath
24th April 2009, 08:11 PM
Phwoah chrism32 pulled that one from his a$$!

timmytomtam
24th April 2009, 08:18 PM
Phwoah chrism32 pulled that one from his a$$!

Yep.
My favourite part: :p

BSD, Lunix, Debian and Mandrake are all versions of an illegal
hacker operation system,

mallo
24th April 2009, 08:22 PM
BAHAHAHAHA OMG!!!! I DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT ELSE TO SAY....OMG

Seriously Chrism32, i hope that was a pisstake

neg2led
24th April 2009, 08:27 PM
<snip!> We have had many discussions about this and several times I have blocked their computer from the modem for a while.
I would like to know if there is anyway of just blocking certain applications from being used ie: the one they use for MSNing but leaving the browser active so they can research for schoolwork, I'd also like to be able to monitor from my computer what they are doing, does anyone know if either of these things is possible.
Regards, Frustrated father of 2 teenage boys, Vid

Ugh. It's backward thinking like this that upsets me.

No matter how you try to block your kids' computer/internets usage, it won't work.

Just leave them be, and time limit their usage to however many hours a day or don't let them use the laptop until homework etc is done.

You seem to be doing this 2 distinct, opposite ways - first you get them their own computer, then you remove their ability to use it... this totally makes sense doesn't it.

jeez... and i thought MY parents were restrictive...

--neg

Brains
24th April 2009, 08:27 PM
Nah, a repost of some limp US-right-wing-christian blog. I cacked myself reading it the first time.

neg2led
24th April 2009, 08:29 PM
Nah, a repost of some limp US-right-wing-christian blog. I cacked myself reading it the first time.
So did I, it's obviously a joke - and if it's not, then it's very old, completely out of date and still absoloutely hilarious because the writer has no idea what he's on about :P


Nothing... once you've done all the stuff that you are meant to do. Alas, kids don't have the self control to do home work and then their chores before sitting on MSN / Chat apps. all day.

And I thought the answer to this was obvious. Lock up the computer until they've done their work. If computer is required to do work, supervise. If you don't have the time to supervise, find time. Or you need to make use of the parental locks.

--neg

Redman
24th April 2009, 09:35 PM
As an enlightened, modern parent, I try to be as involved as
possible in the lives of my six children................

"My Son used the keyboard for 5 minutes and NOW he's a hacker"
Wow - next we'll be getting the boxing gloves out to stop him masterbating :p

Kirium
24th April 2009, 10:11 PM
chrism238 for post of the week... :thumbup:

vid
24th April 2009, 10:12 PM
And I thought the answer to this was obvious. Lock up the computer until they've done their work. If computer is required to do work, supervise. If you don't have the time to supervise, you obviously don't care enough. Or you need to make use of the parental locks.

--neg

Correct me if I'm wrong, are you a parent? If your not then I would like to be a fly on the wall when you have kids who treat you with complete disrespect !

Gio
24th April 2009, 10:14 PM
I second Chromes advice. In the lounge, share what is going on. Tommytimtam will disagree and with good reason, but the only thing you miss out on in the lounge is the porn. really. I am considering in the bedroom if I can take the door off???

I understand that it is their time in their own world of their own independence but the risks are pretty high.

neg2led
24th April 2009, 10:48 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, are you a parent? If your not then I would like to be a fly on the wall when you have kids who treat you with complete disrespect !

I'm not, and i'm sorry, that came out a bit harshly. Post edited.

--neg

chrism238
25th April 2009, 07:25 AM
chrism238 for post of the week... :thumbup:Thanks, but it's not original (nor from a Christian blog, Brains), but it's disturbing to notice how young or forgetful many are here - six children, wife named Carol, youngest daughter Cindy, troublesome son Peter, .... ;)

iJohn
25th April 2009, 09:37 AM
Used loved the school holidays, all day on msn and mirc back then ,dial up connection had the one phone line for internet and phone. People would use to try call in and then about 30 secs later internet will drop and people ring!! Bastards drop out connection. Mum and dad had this problem alot :), aswell paying the phone bill cause we lost count how many times we used to dial up in the day.


Then it all changed about year later separate phone line stay connected all day and then it will drop out every 4hours. lol

Year later dial up was still $$$ and cheaper to go cable!!

Yeah msn was good fun but yeah it very easy to forget bout the homework and house work

benzoenator
25th April 2009, 09:50 AM
That post is a joke lol, and has been around almost as long as the Internet has itself. Surprised all of you haven't seen it before :P

banjo
25th April 2009, 10:57 AM
The solution should be a neutered computer in the bedroom ... block all apps and ports you don't want them to have unfettered access to using parental controls and other means.

Then, in the lounge room, there's the family computer with nothing blocked (except maybe porn and illegal sites), but with parental supervision or at least the constant risk of being caught.

Young teenagers are not, nor should they be, independent creatures. Sure, when they get to 16 or so they can be ... but make them get a part-time job before giving full Internet privileges. By then they might have learned that social interaction is better when it's in person, or even over the phone where you can actually hear real voices.

I reckon a lot of the disrespect coming from kids these days is because parents are treating them like adults, with all of the rights and privileges that come with it, before they are ready for the responsibility.

dekco
25th April 2009, 11:54 AM
as for restricting net access, myself having finished the teenage years a couple of years back, i had all the luxury a kid could have; computer in the room, unlimited net, caring but free thinking parents, etc.

but i can tell you one thing, no matter how stern the parent can be, or what avenues they take to prevent usage, we will always find a way of going around and getting what we want.
at the end of the day, you have to reason and set out clear but fair rules. once everyone has come to an agreement, stick with it, break them and clear consequences will come.

my parents outlined certain criteria for me, minimum grades, contribution to the household (financially + otherwise), etc. if these were furfilled, then no problem; fail to meet anyone of the combinations, and all hell break loose.

vid
25th April 2009, 12:45 PM
as for restricting net access, myself having finished the teenage years a couple of years back, i had all the luxury a kid could have; computer in the room, unlimited net, caring but free thinking parents, etc.

but i can tell you one thing, no matter how stern the parent can be, or what avenues they take to prevent usage, we will always find a way of going around and getting what we want.
at the end of the day, you have to reason and set out clear but fair rules. once everyone has come to an agreement, stick with it, break them and clear consequences will come.

my parents outlined certain criteria for me, minimum grades, contribution to the household (financially + otherwise), etc. if these were furfilled, then no problem; fail to meet anyone of the combinations, and all hell break loose.

Well said dekco !