Mikhail Ramendik mr at
Thu Mar 25 17:23:32 EET 2004

Elijah Newren said:

> I have a 3-year-old nephew that wants to play chromium and
> tuxracer all the time.  I hate logging out (same reasons as others
> listed), but he always manages to get out of the game I launch for him,
> close several of the windows I had up (which basically provides me with
> some of the bad side-effects of logging out anyway), and then launches a
> different game from the panel menu.  He's gotten really good at this,
> and I don't know how to teach him to not close windows.  Sure, I can
> just tell him he can't use the computer, but I would rather not be
> restricted from occasionally allowing him to do so (nor do I want to be
> restricted in what I have to do in order to allow him to safely play for
> a few minutes).

Here's a "hack-up" solution for you, which you can get running NOW,
without waiting for anything to be implemented:

- Use a window manager that allows you to forbid closing of certain
windows. Like IceWM. I'm not sure if KDE or Gnome can do this.

- Make a script that runs a game like tux racer, and when it exits, runs
it again, unless it finds a certain flag file. It should then delete the
file and exit. The game's window should not be closeable, via window

- When the kid's done, switch virtual consoles, log on with your password,
create that file. Then and only then you'll be able to exit the game. If
your kid does not know your password, he will not be able to exit the game
at all - even if he finds out how to switch virtual consoles!

- The next step is making a menu in this script. If the kid exits the
game, the script (running in an xterm window expanded to the entire
screen, in-closeable) should ask him which game he wants now. It should
not react to Control-C. Therefore the kid will be able to change games
without hurting your environment! I'm not sure if bash will suffice for
this task, though.

Yours, Mikhail Ramendik

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