Get the kids to bed! How to set access times to the internet for your children

I Tweeted the other day about having to restrict my kids' internet access to ensure they go to bed, by setting time restrictions on our wifi. I've just had another person ask, "so how do you do this?", so clearly there's a number of parents out there with the same problem. Here's how I prevent my children from accessing the internet after their bedtime.

Number one point – if you don't have an Apple WiFi network, stop reading!

We have an Apple AirPort Extreme WiFi box providing our WiFi network around the house. I'll presume you have one or more Macs – iMacs, MacBooks etc – accessing the internet via WiFi and the AirPort Extreme.

You will need to know the mac address of those computers. The mac address is nothing to do with Macintoshes, just a coincidence of naming. The mac address of a computer is a unique identifying number.

On the computer click the Apple menu (top left next to the Finder option), then click the System Preferences option. When the Preferences open click the Network icon. On the Network window you should see the AirPort connection on the left hand side. If it's not highlighted, then click it. Then click the Advanced button.

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The window that opens should display the AirPort Id. Write this down.

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Next open your AirPort Utility. It's in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder.

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The AirPort Utility will open and your AirPort Extreme should be listed. If it's not highlighted (maybe you have more than one WiFi gadget), then click it, then click the Manual Setup button.

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Your Extreme settings should load and display. Click the Access Control tab at the top right. The window will display your MAC Address Access Control page.

Set the Control to Timed Access. You should have a (default) entry called Unlimited. This means that if you don't set anything else up, everyone on your WiFi network can access the internet all the time.

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Click the + button to add a new entry to the list. Enter the Mac address of the computer you want to restrict access for. Enter a description, then set the days and times as you wish. You can have more than one entry. For example, you might want to give the kids internet access until 9pm on school days, but 11pm on the weekends.

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When you are finished click the Done button to close the Access window, then cick Update. The settings will be saved to the Extreme box, which will then restart, so you'll need to wait a minute or two for everything to start working again.

The only thing left is to test – which is easy. Just wait until the magic time you've designated the internet access to cease, and see how loudly your kids yell!

Coca Cola Rips off Young Children

There’s no other way to describe it – Coca Cola (or which ever piss poor promotions company they’ve hired this week) couldn’t give a monkey’s left ball about their young customers. The evidence is clear.

Our 10 year old daughter was at the local Southland Shopping Centre a couple of weeks ago – 25 January. I wasn’t with her, but Coca Cola had some promotion going on. It involved having your photo taken – ‘Summer Huggin’. She was handed a card with the date etc, and told to check the web site to see her photos. Here’s the card:

Each day we checked the web site, but nothing. There were photos from Southland on 23 Jan, but nothing for the 25th.

So on 29 Jan I tracked down the contact form on the web site and sent off a note saying it was pretty disappointing for a young child to be told her photo would be online, and then to find this was not true.

Next day back came a clearly ‘canned’ answer:

“Dear David,

Thank you for your recent contact regarding our Summer Huggin promotion.

Coca-Cola Amatil is committed to producing enjoyable promotions and we appreciate your interest our current campaign.

We are currently in the process of uploading Hug Photos to our Summer Huggin website, however due to the large amount of images there has been a delay in this process.

We thank you for your patience in this matter and for taking the time to contact us.

Regards,
The Coke Webmaster

Please do not reply to this email. For further enquiries visit http://www.coca-cola.com.au/emailus.asp or call us on 1800 025 123”

We continued to check the web site. As of today, 4 Feb, still nothing. But they HAVE managed to find time to upload photos from another shopping centre on 31 Jan.

How hard is this? My 10 year old manages her own web sites, shoots and upload dozens of photos, and writes in her blog. But one of the largest companies in the world can’t get its shit together and stick a few dozen photos on their (crap) web site.

And my daughter is STILL asking about when the photos will appear. Looks to me like they’ve lost the photos but don’t have the balls to confess. If they have the photos and still can’t find 5 minutes to upload them, then shame. What a rip off.

It’s all in how you say it…

Just had a Visa credit card statement. There’s a big promotional box slap in the middle of the front that says:

"Enjoy a ‘payment holiday’ – simply skip this month’s minimum payment without penalty. Your minimum due is $0. You can still make a payment if you choose. Usual interest rates will apply."

Read it carefully. They’re encouraging you not to make a payment. Won’t cost you a dime. Except of course you just paid them another month’s interest. A complete ripoff. Robbery disguised as a benefit!!