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Computer: Timer
Temporary Computer Crippler   (+11)  [vote for, against]
for when you want to get some work done

If you have a task that needs to be done on the computer, but you are, like me, prone to distraction at even the slightest thing, you can enable this setting. It allows you to select one or two programs to use, as well as a few folders which you can access, and set a time limit for how long you will be working.

It then prevents your operation of any other program or access of any other file. Background tasks initiated by the computer can still function, but you cannot use anything other than what you nominated until the time is up.

This would have been rather helpful in the last week.
-- dbmag9, Oct 25 2009

baked for the Internet http://lifehacker.c...ou-get-back-to-work
several options to choose from [sninctown, Oct 25 2009]

FruitfulTime http://web.archive....ersonal-edition.php
This will tell you how you wasted your time [sninctown, Oct 25 2009]

I've often wanted this but I suspect that some of parental control software is capable of this kind of thing. [+]
-- Aristotle, Oct 25 2009

"Inadequate user. Please install upgraded user and reboot."
-- 8th of 7, Oct 25 2009

Just block this site, and you're half way there.
-- pertinax, Oct 25 2009

[Ian]: I would, because my work pattern tends to come in spurts. I start off with the best of intentions, but after a while gradually drift away to elsewhere. I tried switching off the Internet (my laptop has a little switch by the side; I rule you all) but even the little that's on my computer was distracting.

[pertinax]: Heresy!
-- dbmag9, Oct 25 2009

Instead of actually blocking those other programs, create a program which observes the starting of new programs, starts a 60 second timer, and kills the new program if it's not shutdown in that time.

This way, if you *need* to do something (like run a calculator, or take a screenshot), you can, but you don't get much time to be distracted.
-- goldbb, Oct 25 2009

Bun with [goldbb]'s modification. You often find that you actually need to use the internet for fact checking or reading relevant emails.

Also, have a timer to prevent the app being immediately restarted. Some browsers can simply reopened with the pages they were closed with. Simply closing them periodically would only be a minor annoyance.
-- Bad Jim, Oct 25 2009

I need this for stumbleupon, bad.+
-- blissmiss, Oct 25 2009

Uh, actually this does involve individual choice. You choose to activate it on your computer. If you need to get something done but you know you're the sort of person who gets distracted, locking yourself out of those distractions for a while makes sense.
-- Bad Jim, Oct 25 2009

This is a good idea. It would work well in schools / universities as well, where you don't need to cripple the machines all the time, but during classes and the like it would be beneficial.
-- vincevincevince, Oct 26 2009

I think I would waste more time trying to find a way to beat the system! But +.
-- DIYMatt, Oct 26 2009

random, halfbakery