It’s now time for a brief foray into what I’ve done with my daylight hours for the past couple years.
I’ve got a kid, he’s in grade 3 now. It was about a year ago that I first woke up early (you know, 6 AM kinda thing) and found him on the computer. Playing games on the internet, and watching videos on YouTube. Sure; part of me is the proud that he’s capable on the computer, but the rest of me knows that everything is on the internet and that he really shouldn’t be surfing completely unmonitored at six in the morning. We started locking the computer at night before going to bed. It’s a bit of a routine chore, but it’s the effect we need.
Eventually, I’ll put a computer in his room. At that point, locking it wont be an option anymore. Fortunately, I can go into the router and tell it to block him from the internet entirely during certain hours. Hours that he should be asleep or otherwise productively engaged. When the internet is on though, he still shouldn’t be left completely to his own devices. Who knows what he’ll click on and what malware I’ll have to clean off his computer god knows how many times? I’ve certainly done that enough times on lots of other people’s computers. And that’s just one of the many things he could get into. It would be best if I could *limit* the internet. And that’s what OpenDNS is for. Of course, OpenDNS only works if they know your IP. Being on a PPPoE-based internet connection, my IP changes at least every power outage. For the OpenDNS to work, I need a way of automatically let them know what my new IP is every time it changes. That’s what DynDNS is for.
Of course, all of this is extremely technical. I’m a professional at this, this is what I do for a living, and sometimes it doesn’t work the way that I expect it to. How is anyone else supposed to manage?!?
Well, that’s what my day job is all about. This is it: WebCurfew!
It’s a website that ties together all of that… STUFF… and gives you a simple on/off button for each internet-enabled device in your home network. You can assign time slots during which a device is or is not allowed on the internet, and you can apply global rules about what kinds of websites are or are not available from your home network during any given hour of the day.
Actually, during any given 15-minute period if you want to get technical. You wont easily find someone else that can get more technical than I can.
There’s a lot more to it than that, there’s a whole website about parenting in the information age and forums and everything. What it comes down to though is this: One day I’ll put a computer in my son’s room and I won’t have to worry about it. Because today it already works the way I would want it to.
That’s my day job.
It’s good to have a job that’s worthwhile.