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June 4 2012


Written by / Posted in pubcon poker tournament / 0 Comment

The kids have been using a 10 year old Dell computer full of viruses that show a Barbie ad every few minutes. 🙂 Either Go Mattel! or Go some spammy affiliate marketer who knows how to target kids! LOL Of course I can’t be too critical as whoever wrote it is probably a friend of mine. Of course, using a computer like this for the kids sends the wrong message, like using a PC instead of a Mac!

Anyway, I want the kids to learn to be Mac friendly, and I want them to learn how to program from an early age. The world of the PC is not the place I want them to get started. I also don’t want them to get lost in mindless games, where you can have fun spending your whole life, yet never accomplish anything but complete the quest for the princess of Zara’s brassiere ringlet or some crap. I know because I have wasted years of my life playing mindless games. I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand they are hella fun, but on the other hand, I know a lot of very unhealthy, both mentally and physically people who wasted huge parts of their lives as gamers, and somehow mistakenly take pride in their accomplishments online. Bottom line, if it didn’t make a bunch of money, it was entertainment, but not worth a crap.

I also didn’t want to buy a brand new mac computer for a couple of lower end school age kids, as I am sure this computer is going to get trashed.

I went to ebay and found a 5 year old macbook for $300 bucks. The thing came looking almost brand new, with the OS reinstalled and the disk wiped clean.

I also don’t want them cruising the internet looking at random things. I am all for this when they hit 13 or so, and have some good values built in, but the next thing you know you will have a 4 year old watching a Nazi propaganda video, and thinking they should learn it, and coming after their Jewboy almost step dad. (me).

I then googled firefox extensions for whitelisting sites. What I really want is a plugin that only allows them to look at sites I have pre-approved, instead of the more common, we block porn. In my opinion people looking at pictures of naked people is not nearly as harmful as people watching videos about racism, or hate. In fact, I am not too keen on them watching tons of marketing of junk products that have no long term value.

I found a firefox extension called Zoodles. That is what I am testing now. It has a free version, and you can do a paid upgrade. They were not too in your face about the paid upgrade, and they sell it to you before you log the kids in. It does not allow your kids out of the site easily to the rest of the internet. It is a browser of kid safe, pre-approved sites. Occasionally you can click on a link which tries to take you out of Zoodles land, and the browser just kicks you back in.

The downside is that the kid just needs to be able to read well enough to click an x, type leave and they can leave the site.

Update – After we used it a bit, there are sites the kids can play on easily, and others that don’t work within the system.

It seems like a perfect place to start for kids in the 4 to 7 age group. It has customization for different age levels.

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