Software to control access to PC

I have a computer that is primarily for my kids to use, but I want to have some control over when they’re on it. Anyone heard of software that has the ability for me to set a time (e.g. 8:00pm) that would automatically log them off?

Also, it seems I’ve seen before something like a USB “key” that wouldn’t allow a computer to run unless it was inserted. I’ve seen ones that encrypt the files when removed, but that isn’t exactly what I’m looking for.

Try a google search of “Windows Security Console”. I remember researching it last time when an officer wishes to restrict surfing hours for the men on the Internet. You can only prevent certain accounts from logging in during certain hours, among other stuff.

Sorry, I can’t remember more details, but it defintely do exists.

I am no computer expert by any stretch and the following may be overly simplistic but…

Do you want to restrict the ability to start the computer? If yes, then set up XP so that logon requires a password that only parents know - the hassle factor here is that everytime a youngun wants to use the computer, supervising grownup has to physically log them on. XP pro also allows you to set up limited access accounts so that some users who log on can not access certain software.

For restricting use of the internet, buy a router which allows you to restrict port access for each computer on home network at certain times of the day. With this, you, as the administrator can make the kid’s computers IP address subject to shutting off their internet access during certain hours. This sounds complicated, but it really is only a matter of selecting a couple of options in the router setup screens that you get when you logon to the router manangement software.

To the best fo my knowledge for home use there is no way to force log offs. It is possible on a network, such as ones at businesses though. That sounds to me like what ExtraKun is talking about. The suggestion by OslerKnew is a good one, and is really quite simple. You can even log what internet sites people visit so you can know if they are visiting sites you don’t approve of. Of course you would have to go through the logs though which can take some time.

Buy a timer for electric outlets. Connect the power cord through this to the outlet. Put box around and padlock box. Viola, computer turns off when you want it to.

But the OS won’t have had time to shut down…

Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend doing this at all. It could end up corrupting your OS if it happens to often.