Dad creates program to limit internet use

Posted by admin on Feb 11, 2011

Taken from Guelph etcetera, February 10, 2011 edition

Software developer James Alexander is no longer public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of his kids.  A groundhog is now in their crosshairs.  Tired of trying to coax, coerce and kick his kids off the internet, Alexander developed a program that boots them off on his behalf.  It took Alexander nearly a year to perfect the program Groundhog, an application that limits internet use.

The application allows parents to limit a child’s internet access to a specified amount of time.  Once the child has used their alloted time, the application cuts the connection to the internet.  The program also has an optional “blank screen” effect, which renders not just the internet but the entire computer useless.

The program has a “parent mode” which allows the parent to override the program with their own login.  Each child receives their own user name and password, allowing each to have their own allotted time of use.  Alexander said he’s noticed his two teenage kids using the computer for more practical reasons, such as homework, rather than games and chatting. “Up until now, it was used as an entertainment box. Can you blame a kid for spending time on the computer? They’re fabulous and wonderful boxes,” Alexander said. “All of a sudden it changed.”

Groundhog is a free application, available at  The program is only available to PC users.