Rules & Status

The chapter contains the following four sections:

Accessing the Rules & Status page in your browser

Most TimeBreak settings are performed in a page in your browser. To access this page, you can either click the Rules & Status button in the TimeBreak Control Panel, or manually enter the Rules & Status address in your browser. To find the Rules & Status address, you use the name of your computer combined with the port number of the TimeBreak system (defaults to 8888, se here for more information), like this:

http://<computer-name>:<port-number>

So, for instance, if your computer's name is my-computer, and you are using the default port number 8888, you would need to go to

http://my-computer:8888

If you have a local network, you should be able to reach this page from any device connected to your network (e.g. other computers, tablets or smartphones). An exception to this might be if you have installed a custom firewall application to your computer, in which case you will need to open the required port number (TimeBreak will automatically open the required port number on the standard Windows firewall).

When connecting to the local computer (that is, the computer you are currently sitting at), you can also use the standard alias 127.0.0.1, which means "this computer" on any computer. That is, you can go to

http://127.0.0.1:8888

If you have set a different port number, replace 8888 with your selected port number.

On most browsers, the prefix "http://" will not be needed, and you can simply type

127.0.0.1:8888

Setting up your time usage rules

Adding users

After installing TimeBreak and setting your password, the first thing you need to do is set up your time usage rules. After logging in for the first time, you will arrive at this page:

The only possible action at this point is to add a user. To do this, you can either select one of the users from the drop down menu, or enter a username manually. In some cases (e.g., due to technical difficulties communicating with the internal username database), you may not find your kid's username in the drop down menu. If this happens, you may simply enter the username manually in the text box. Note that the username must match the Windows username on the computer exactly - you will not get an error message if you misspell the username, but TimeBreak will not be able to monitor time usage etc. if the username is not correct.

Note: There's nothing stopping you from adding you own username to the TimeBreak system, set up time usage rules etc. You could even set up the rules in such a way that you would not be allowed to use your computer(s) at any time! Of course, this would be a silly thing to do, since it would lock yourself out of your own computer, thus making it difficult for you to edit the rules in order to gain access again. In the event that you have actually accidentally done this, there are a few ways to fix it:

Setting time usage rules

You can now edit the rules for your new user(s). The edit rules page looks like this:

The page consists of three parts:

Time limits

The time limits are defined by a table. By default, new users are given a time limit of one hour per day on each day of the week. To change the time limit, simply enter a new value in the relevant field (you can enter new values directly using the keyboard, or increasing/decreasing the values using the arrow keys or your mouse wheel).

You can also set allowed time ranges. By default, new users can use the computer at any time every day. To change this, click the "Edit" button on any day. The allowed time range is defined by any number of intervals, you can add or remove intervals by clicking "Add interval" or "X", respectively. You can also edit the time values on any intervals. If you delete all the intervals on a day, the user will not be allowed to use the computer at all that day.

Note: Whenever you edit one or more text fields on the Rules & Status pages, you need to click the "Save changes" button in order to change your changes. Alternatively, you can hit the "enter" key on your keyboard.

Below the time limits table, there are a couple of other options you may adjust. The first one, "Allow use of bonus time...", determines whether or not the user is restricted to his/her allowed time ranges when using bonus time (acquired by fulfilling bonus rules, see Bonus rules).

Finally, the "On timeout" option allows you to decide what action the system should take when the user runs out of time, or when the user is logged into or tries to log into the computer outside of his/her allowed time range. The options are

Warnings

In the "Warnings" area you can define any number of warnings that will be displayed to your kid when the time limit is approaching. The given warning(s) will be displayed when the kid has the given amount of time left (daily time quota + any available bonus time combined), or when approaching the end of the allowed time range.

The warning(s) will also be displayed if the user locks/logs out of the computer and logs in again with less time remaining than the given amount. In some cases this may be a bit confusing. For instance, with the default "Five minutes remaining"-warning in place, if your kid has three minutes computer time left, locks the computer and logs in again, he/she will get the "Five minutes remining" warning again (even though at this time only three minutes actually remain).

Bonus rules

To add a bonus rule, click the button "Add bonus rule". This will give you the following default bonus rule:

A bonus rule consists of one or more requirements, and an amount of bonus time to be awarded if the requirements are fulfilled. You can edit the amount of bonus time awarded, add new requirements by clicking "Add new", rename the point categories by entering a name in the provided text fields, and delete requirements by clicking "Delete". If you delete all requirements from a bonus rule, the entire bonus rule will be deleted.

You can add as many bonus rules as you like, as in this example:

In the above example, three point categories have been defined: Dishes (for doing the dishes), Violin and Piano (for practicing the violin and the piano, respectively). Whenever the kid ("John" in the example) does the dishes, you award him with one "Dishes" point (how to do this is explained here), when he practices the violin or piano (for a certain amount of time, say), you award him with one "Violin" or "Piano" point. When he reaches 4 "Dishes" points, he is automatically awarded with 30 minutes bonus time, and when he reaches 3 "Violin" and 3 "Piano" points, he is awarded with 45 minutes bonus time.

Note: The bonus time is only used after all regular time for a given day has been spent. The user does not need to spend all his/her bonus time on one day, as opposed to regular time (which is not transferrable to subsequent days), any bonus time not spent is kept until it is spent.

Also note that bonus points are not "cashed in" until needed. That is, if your kid has run out of regular time, has no available bonus time, but has enough bonus points to be awarded with bonus time, the required bonus points are cashed in and the resulting bonus time is awarded.

You may use the same point category in more than on bonus rule. If you do this, the order of the bonus rules is important: The first applicable rules is the one that will be applied whenever bonus points are cashed in. For instance, if you would like to give your kid 30 minutes additional time for doing the dishes 4 times, but 60 minutes additional time for doing the dishes 6 times, the 6 dishes rule should be entered as the first rule (since otherwise the 4 dishes rule would be applied first, deducting 4 "Dishes" points and awarding 30 minutes bonus time, even if your kid had earned 6 "Dishes" points).

Copying user rules

If you have added more than one user to your TimeBreak system, you can copy all rules settings from one user to another. To do this, enter the rules setup page of the user you wish to copy into, select the name of the user you want to copy from in the "Copy all user settings from" dropdown menu, and click the "Copy" button. Note that this will overwrite any rules you have already entered for the user you copy into.

Deleting users

To delete a user, simply click "Delete user" on the user's rules page. Note that this does not delete the user's Windows account, it only remove the user from the TimeBreak system, resulting in the user no longer being monitored for time usage, logged of when time has been spent etc.

Also note that the user rules are kept as a backup internally, so if you later add a user with the exact same username, the old user rules will reappear.

Viewing and modifying the users' time usage status

To view and/or modify the current time usage status of your kids, click the "Status" link on the top bar (the link will only be available if at least on user has been added to the TimeBreak system). This will bring you to the following page:

The status page consists of two parts:

The current status displays and allows you to edit the remaining available time for today and available bonus time. Additionally, you can select the status of the user to be either of the following:

If you have added any bonus rules, this page also allows you to view and award (or subtract) points in the different categories.

As in the rules setup page, note that any changes made on this page are not saved until you click the "Save changes" button (or hit the "enter" button on your keyboard).

Making future adjustments

Clicking the "Adjustments" link on the top bar allows you to add adjustments to your kids' regular time today or on any future date.

To add or subtract an amount of time, simply select either "Add" or "Subtract" on the dropdown menu, set the amount and date and click "Ok".

In the list of future adjustments, you can delete entries by clicking the "X" button.

Note that if you make any changes to a user's remaining time on the Status page, the change will be represented by an adjustment on the Adjustments page. For instance, if a user has 30 minutes remaining, and you change the remaining time to 15 minutes, an adjustment of -00:15 with the current date will appear on the Adjustments page. Of course the same holds the other way too: If you add an adjustment for the current date on the Adjustments page, the remaining time on the Status page will immediately be adjusted by the given amount.