This might be an odd article but this piece of software is really great and does exactly what I want it too. In my continuing effort to spend more time outside and work on projects that aren’t computer and web related I’ve installed Mac Minder. It’s mostly intended for teachers or parents that want to limit access and set computer time limits for their kids.
Mac Minder comes with different ‘plans’ so you can limit types of applications used, how long the can be used or you can just do a simple plan that limits computer usage by time. I went with the simple plan and allowed myself 3 hours of computer time each day. So far it’s been working and I am getting everything I need to get done, done and I am not spending time aimlessly surfing the web. If you choose to get complex you can map out times and applications on a nice built-in calendar.
There’s a neat feature that lets you give unlimited time for a day, maybe your child has been extra good and you want to reward them!
A notification system warns the user when the time is getting close to being up. You can set a window to pop up at a set time before their ‘session’ expires. I have set it to 2 minutes. I find this to be helpful because when I am working I get so engrossed that I loose track of the time.
Mac Minder also allows you to remotely manage other systems. This is great for administrators at schools or offices. The application also generates logs and graphs so you can see which applications you’re spending a lot of time with.
The one feature that really really got my attention was the ability to setup a master password. This means each time you want to change a setting or access the application you must input this password. I let my girlfriend input a nice long password with characters and numbers so that it wouldn’t be easy for me to figure out. I made her swear to never tell it to me unless I really needed it. This means I am pretty much locked into 3 hours of computer time!
As silly as it sounds I have a feeling this will let me get my work done without distracting myself on Digg.com or other fun websites. I will be more focused so I can get done whatever needs to get done. Plus it’ll limit my computer time and that means I can be outside enjoying this nice Vermont weather!
You can grab a trial version of this software from the following website. You can unlock it to a full copy for $29.95 which I’ll be doing shortly. It’s really a great piece of software!