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Old 01-21-2013, 06:19 PM   #1
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looking to password protect laptop with time limit on login

We want to password protect the MacBook Pro our kids use so they have to come to us (the parents) to be able to use it (OSX 10.6). I know that much is trivial.

But when we enter the password for them to log in, we *also* want to enter a time limit that displays somewhere, counts down, and automatically logs them out when it gets to zero.

We dreamt this up at the public library where their network software creates user sessions that log them out when the session expires. Then they can add their id to the end of the list, but the computer becomes available for the next person in line.

We don't want 99% of that, no network to manage, just the login plus timeout combination.

Thank you for any suggestions, especially free ones, and especially any step-by-step tutorials.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:50 AM   #2
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I don't remember what time limit options are available for managed accounts in 10.6; in 10.7 and 10.8, you can limit them pretty well, but not well enough to schedule separate sessions per child. My kids are still young enough that simple steps like disabling auto-login, creating a managed account with a login password they don't know, setting the screensaver to start after a specified period, requiring a password from sleep or screensaver, and keeping the preference panes locked, work well enough. The screensaver prevents them from using the computer without losing whatever they were working on.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:44 AM   #3
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Just a clarification, the screensaver obviously isn't invoked during activity, but set for a short period of inactivity, it can help.

Also, Time Out is free and may work for you. You can specify a work period up to two hours, and a break period up to one hour. Be sure to disable the buttons to postpone or skip breaks. Of course, it's not much of a hurdle, but works well enough for younger kids. But I use a very simple method. I turn on the computer, log the kids in, set a timer on my phone, then I go back and log them out.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:07 AM   #4
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This article discusses how to create an unambiguous logout that can't be stopped and shows a dialog with a timer, although it requires a $49.95 app: http://www.dssw.co.uk/blog/2010/10/2...h-applescript/
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