I had a neighbour who was having some issues with the kids accessing the computer at all hours.  Day and Night.  Sites, downloading.

Nothing particularly ridiculous for content but they couldn’t even access their own computer.

Time restrictions, content restrictions, logging.   All built into a certain operating system STOCK.


Now I had a few copies floating about my house.  Between Technet and RC1 downloads of Windows 7, I felt I could spare one and decided to introduce our neighbour to Windows Vista Ultimate.    The machine was brought over this afternoon while the kids disappeared for a bit. 

Time for a little “NPR: Nuke Pave Re-install”

The machine was a solid Vista candidate.  Pentium 4, 3 gigahertz a little low on ram (512 meg) and 40 gig drive. 

But I glanced on my desk and noted a pair of 1gb DDR2 modules (Kingston) that came out my Hyper-V box a year ago going to waste.  None of my systems could use them outside the one.

“Time to help out a friend.” and *BAM* now a 2.5gb ram monster box.

Barely 20 minutes later and the O/S was in. 

Created a stock account for the Parents with a standard basic password of 197 characters.

Enabled the Parental Controls.

Turned on the site Monitoring

Setup Time Restrictions for the kids.

Preinstalled all necessary Web Content (including Silverlight naturally!)

Show Mom and Dad how to add sites to the restricted (Blocked list) *OR* switch it to a pure “White list” most where only “Allowed Sites” are accessible by the kids.

I had just finished setting up the computer when the kids returned home.  Prettier colours, faster system, the best Operating system presently on the market.

Three words.

“Oh no!  Blockage!”

Yes.   Vista is fantastic for Parents for keeping the system and the kids under control. *STOCK*.  I believe even in Vista Basic.

Mind you we have a few additional options for free to add in later if needed.

Family Safety Tools from Live.Com and using the basic DNS Monitoring features on Opendns.ORG

There are some 3rd party solutions we can look into as well.   One is Cyber Patrol from Mattel .  However it appears that the control features within Vista will more than adequately meet the needs.  They also don’t require a major change to the operating system.  On/Off.  Adjust as needed.

I like it.  And so does our neighbour.