best choice for kids?

deepdrop

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 23, 2013
9
0
Hi, I have two children, in 5th and 7th grades. They both seem to need access to a computer for school and I've let them use a laptop, but I've found they tend to wander off and spend hours playing games. Various attempts at rules of use, parental controls, etc. have pretty much failed.

I'm thinking that maybe a desktop in a central location, might be a better choice. I will be better able to see what they're doing. I have an iPad they can use when they want to play games.

I haven't had a desktop in years. I'm hoping for some feedback on whether this is a good idea or if there are considerations I've not thought of. I'm also hoping for some recommendations on what models or specs to look for. Thanks for any help on this.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Hi, I have two children, in 5th and 7th grades. They both seem to need access to a computer for school and I've let them use a laptop, but I've found they tend to wander off and spend hours playing games. Various attempts at rules of use, parental controls, etc. have pretty much failed.

I'm thinking that maybe a desktop in a central location, might be a better choice. I will be better able to see what they're doing. I have an iPad they can use when they want to play games.

I haven't had a desktop in years. I'm hoping for some feedback on whether this is a good idea or if there are considerations I've not thought of. I'm also hoping for some recommendations on what models or specs to look for. Thanks for any help on this.
Any second hand iMac of the last 4-5 years really whatever pops up as a good deal.

Or any mac mini since 2011 with a 23 inch monitor.
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,415
932
Kids and computers? Bah. Humbug. I used a pen/pencil and paper and ended up with 6 college degrees, including 3 engineering degrees! Although we were required to use an Apple II for Engineering Physics Lab... (Typed on my fancy Mac laptop!). :p

Agreed with Samuelsan, and I'd offer that some of my friends bought a refurb iMac for their kids - a good deal, a warranty, and a 3-4 year old iMac looks just like a brand new iMac so there won't be any "shaming". When - not if - there's a spilled drink or dropped sandwich, it's the iMac's mouse or keyboard getting replaced and not the entire laptop!

As for restrictions, all of my friends with kids use Self Control - https://selfcontrolapp.com - it's been around for several years. There's no hacking around that app.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2010
1,994
539
Kids and computers? Bah. Humbug. I used a pen/pencil and paper and ended up with 6 college degrees, including 3 engineering degrees! Although we were required to use an Apple II for Engineering Physics Lab... (Typed on my fancy Mac laptop!). :p

Agreed with Samuelsan, and I'd offer that some of my friends bought a refurb iMac for their kids - a good deal, a warranty, and a 3-4 year old iMac looks just like a brand new iMac so there won't be any "shaming". When - not if - there's a spilled drink or dropped sandwich, it's the iMac's mouse or keyboard getting replaced and not the entire laptop!

As for restrictions, all of my friends with kids use Self Control - https://selfcontrolapp.com - it's been around for several years. There's no hacking around that app.
A key, at least with our kids, is keeping the computer near a fairly public place -- like off the kitchen. Kids are curious, and they will go to various sites. An older iMac won't play games well, which I think is what you're trying to achieve. Another tip -- an old router we had was able to log destinations. It was easy to see what the top sites were in terms of traffic from our house network. You may not have to monitor too closely - just have some questions, and talk about it from time to time.
 
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campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,415
932
A key, at least with our kids, is keeping the computer near a fairly public place -- like off the kitchen. Kids are curious, and they will go to various sites. An older iMac won't play games well, which I think is what you're trying to achieve. Another tip -- an old router we had was able to log destinations. It was easy to see what the top sites were in terms of traffic from our house network. You may not have to monitor too closely - just have some questions, and talk about it from time to time.
Sub out the word "employees" for "kids" in your post, and I'll agree. I have many of the former, none of the latter - my advice was for the OP, using chatter from friends-with-kids over drinks during the weekends although I'll admit to using Self Control for a few of my employees when they're on the road as we often tether on our iOS devices and I don't want any surprises when the bill comes in... Cheers!