Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Software It's funny.  Laugh.

Software For Slackers: Lockout 217

Matijs van Zuijlen writes "Having trouble getting work done? Reading Slashdot too much? Lockout will enforce some dicipline. It will lock you out of your internet connection, and then lock you out of your root account so you can't unlock it. For a limited time of course. Use at your own peril."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Software For Slackers: Lockout

Comments Filter:
  • Workaround (Score:5, Interesting)

    by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:18PM (#10062126)
    Hello Knoppix boot CD....
  • by mcpkaaos ( 449561 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:18PM (#10062128)
    Apparently it locks you out of this thread, too.
  • use the internet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twistedfuck ( 166668 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:18PM (#10062134)
    But I use the internet to _get_ work done! This would only help me slack and smoke more.
  • by DarkElf109 ( 799937 ) <DarkElf109@iCOMMAbendit.com minus punct> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:19PM (#10062144)
    Sure, I'll get my work done MUCH faster, now that I can't use the internet...or the computer...
  • by UnidentifiedCoward ( 606296 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:19PM (#10062145)
    production servers for sure. I personally think this is a rather stupid idea. Why on earth you would allow this to run is beyond me. You have bigger issues than time management if you run this that is for sure.
    • by nucal ( 561664 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:45PM (#10062358)
      He procrastinates by web surfing. This makes him upset, since his work does not get done. He must stop surfing. So he uses the procrastinator's method to deal with this, that is, is to further procrastinate by spending time developing a script to prevent access to the web. This way, he feels like he has accomplished something, yet still has not done any work.

      Not that I would ever do that ...

  • Easy! (Score:3, Funny)

    by phraktyl ( 92649 ) * <wyatt@dra g g o o .com> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:20PM (#10062156) Homepage Journal
    The obvious answer is to always log in as root, so you'll never have to worry about getting locked out!

    Now, I haven't RTFA (I wouldn't feel good keeping my Slashdot ID if I did), but what if your job depends on your access to the internet? As in, a problem comes up at work, and you have to search google, or groups.google to find a quick answer?
    • even without RTFA'ing why would you run LOCKOUT if your job depended on getting on the internet?

      the whole point is that you prevent yourself from reading slashdot for example when you should be churning code or arranging some files.

  • Masochism (Score:5, Funny)

    by otisg ( 92803 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:20PM (#10062157) Homepage Journal
    This is software for masochists. There is a less painful solution, which can also come with some nice 'features', if you choose wisely: get married.
    • by FlopEJoe ( 784551 )
      And anyone who shows this to my GF and/or PHB is a dead man! Dead, I tells ya!!

    • Emphasis on "choose wisely", but I couldn't agree with you more.

      Lets face it, diversity is great. It is great in ecological systems, art, engineering, you name it. Having someone in the house so different that I have to learn to get along with (or I'm very miserable) has helped me achieve a lot of balance I wouldn't have had otherwise.
    • by javaxman ( 705658 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:57PM (#10062458) Journal
      There is a less painful solution, which can also come with some nice 'features', if you choose wisely: get married.

      You call that *less* painful !?!

      I call shenanigans ! You're not married !

    • Abend (Score:3, Funny)

      by lgbarker ( 698397 )
      Maybe. But marriage can abnormally ternminate too. It might not be your PC that you get locked out of.
    • by bergeron76 ( 176351 ) * on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @09:20PM (#10063180)
      Actually, a much better solutions exists. I call it Aluwishusdeverdanderabercombie, but most people simply call it "discipline".

      You should try it sometime.

      Heck, since you're married you can probably even try it on your wife. ;)

  • by Mr Bubble ( 14652 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:20PM (#10062160)
    there is still the small matter of the porn that's ALREADY been downloaded.
  • by thewldisntenuff ( 778302 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:20PM (#10062161) Homepage
    Slashdot reports a 68.9% drop in server traffic in the hours of 9-5.....

  • Gnome (2.6) has an 'typing break' program built in. Find it in the Keyboard control panel applet.

    It only locks you out of the current X session, though, so it's easy to work around... still, it works well as a reminder to leave the computer for a while.

    Get some self control, dammit..
    • I do love that program. It forces me to get up and stretch because I can't do anything else. Very very well done. Anyone know of an OS X version that's as well done? (I really like how if I am idle for the break period, the countdown 'till break resets. Good idea!)
  • by prostoalex ( 308614 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:21PM (#10062163) Homepage Journal
    This is not really comparable to the utility described and is not supposed to teach you discipline, but here's some prank software for Windows [rjlsoftware.com]. Advanced Clippy [rjlsoftware.com] is the best-sounding one.
    • I like Flasher - http://www.rjlsoftware.com/software/entertainment/ flasher/

      It flashes a picture on your screen every so many seconds - I think goatse.jpg is in order here...
  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by number ( 309649 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:21PM (#10062164)
    I think it'd be a better idea to build some discipline, than intentionally crippling your PC. What if you need access to some internet-bound information during your work?

    Just pick an activity (jogging, gym, studying, whatever) and involve a friend in it - if two people , however slack, are depending on each other at a set time to show up, they'll have much better luck sticking to it than if they were alone. Not wanting to let a friend down and all that.
    • For this guy, running this program is him enforcing discipline. If you need web access, there are ways to do that too. Sometimes the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Better that he lock himself down then his employer forced to use heavy handed techniques instead.
    • Re:Wow (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tod_miller ( 792541 )
      I actually YESTERDAY thought about this, because subconsciously I keep checking emails, IM's, I have a veritable cornucopia of Internet fed distractions that clutter my day.

      For any brain job, you need a good 3 hour stint to warm up and cool off a thought process. I like a 3 hour morning slot of work, so I can have a nice long break, and try for a 2-3 hour slot in the afternoon.

      5 hours of concentration is it in a 8 hour day, that would be fun if I worked 8 hours, but 10-12 is the norm, because you can;t le
  • by flossie ( 135232 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:22PM (#10062170) Homepage
    Just disconnect your network cable and give it to your boss telling him that you can't work with the internet distracting you. Problem solved. Unfortunately(!), I don't have the discipline to do even this.
  • by eclectro ( 227083 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:22PM (#10062174)

    is called -- "Getting Fired!!!"
    • is called -- "Getting Fired!!!"

      Mod parent up!
      That lockout tool is something parents install to get little kids to do their chores, not something for responsible adults. Egads...
      • EGAD! I hope you aren't a parent. All using this on your kid is going to do is teach him/her that:

        - You don't respect them (won't even give them 2 minutes to finish that email?!)
        - You have no backbone (can't enforce anything with out a program that makes it very difficult for you to go back on your word)
        - You spend way to much time on /.
  • Silly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by toxic666 ( 529648 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:23PM (#10062179)
    Learn a little bit of self-discipline if you are a work time web junkie. Do you really need this on your machine? Sure, lots of safeguards to prevent it from irretrievably changing your root password (yeah, I RTFA'd), but how about this for two last sentences:

    "Worst case scenario is that you have to reboot your computer. Well, that's not really true: worst case scenario is that things fail badly and you end up not knowing your root password. "

    Well, you won't be browsing the web for quite some time while you restore from backup. Ooops, I forgot, you don't have enough self-discipline to keep from browsing the web and need a script to lock you out. Guess backing up would be asking way too much.
    • You call for self discipline but isn't running this self discipline? Second of all, you've never heard of booting into single-user mode to fix your passwd file?
    • > Well, you won't be browsing the web for quite some
      > time while you restore from backup.

      Because tossing in a tomsrtbt and clearing out the root password is not possible, right? /sarcasm
    • Well, you won't be browsing the web for quite some time while you restore from backup. Ooops, I forgot, you don't have enough self-discipline to keep from browsing the web and need a script to lock you out. Guess backing up would be asking way too much.

      Bah. Just boot from CD or floppy, chroot to your old environment, and reset the root password. Unless, of course, you also forgot your BIOS password. Then you're really screwed.

      • > Unless, of course, you also forgot your BIOS password. Then you're really screwed.

        Bah, just clear the CMOS. Unless you're on a serious, non-toy computer like a Sun where prom passwords
        really can be the end of a machine. =)
    • init=/bin/sh (Score:5, Informative)

      by DarkMan ( 32280 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:59PM (#10062468) Journal
      ... and whatever the equivelent is in other bootloaders.

      I.e. with physical acess to the box (which, in the case of this software, you will), you can always recover a lost root password, by booting single user, and then changing it.

      In the event that you've locked up your bootloader with a password, this util doesn't change that.

      If you've really locked it up the wazoo with crypto all over the place, I think it's recoverable with a boot disc (as you'll have the bios password, or be able to wipe it, to re-enable booting from CD). Mind you, if you've done that then you're not likely to be the sort of person who needs this util.

      Frankly, I'd agree with you about self-discipline - there are very few cases where an externally imposed discipline is useful as anything other than a tempory measure. This is not one of those cases, in my opinion.

      It is, however, always worth knowing how to recover from any problem, where it is possible. Backups not needed in this case.
    • Learn a little bit of self-discipline if you are a work time web junkie.

      This program sounds like an ideal place to start.

      Seriously. What alternative learning method do you suggest? Or is "Just learn it" the best you can do?

      I suppose you also do not like the concept of drug rehabilitation centers. After all, eliminating the temptation of drugs is a cop-out, right? They should just learn some self-discipline!

    • Re:Silly (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Leebert ( 1694 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @10:43PM (#10063799)
      Learn a little bit of self-discipline if you are a work time web junkie.

      As a non-diagnosed ADHD guy (self-diagnosed?) I've found that if I schedule my time in tiny increments with tiny breaks inbetween, it helps me to focus.

      I tell myself that I will focus exclusively on a particular task for 15 minutes, then allow myself 5 minutes to do something else before returning for another 15 minutes, etc. It works great most of the time. Once my thoughts start to wander, I can remind myself that I only have to think about this for another 8 minutes.
  • by adolfojp ( 730818 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:23PM (#10062186)
    This will decrease my productivity even further!

    Now I will not only waste my time reading and trolling in slashdot, but also by trying to hack this application.

    And if I succeed, I will waste even more time bragging about it!

    You see, I haven't even downloaded it, and I am already posting on slashdot!

    • You forgot to mention all the back-company-time that your company is going to owe you. They'll have to give you company time to catch up on the internet reading that you missed while you were hacking the application!

      This is a pure tragedy waiting to happen...!

  • by mr_don't ( 311416 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:24PM (#10062191)
    But i was running Lockout, and I couldn't access port 80

  • by Everleet ( 785889 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:24PM (#10062195)
    I need the internet AND my root account (and several others) to do work. It sounds like it would only get people hard-rebooting to recover, perhaps doing more harm than good...
  • by fishbert42 ( 588754 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:25PM (#10062200)
    So, has Slashdot recently been forced to comply to some kinda of legal settlement terms similar to that of big tobacco?
    You know: "Our product ruins your life; here's how to stop yourself from using us."
  • Having trouble getting work done? Reading Slashdot too much?

    Are you in need for Slashdot when you're forced offline? Download this [humorix.org] first and you'll always have your fix.

    Then again, you could just not use Lockout...
  • by Entropy248 ( 588290 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:28PM (#10062234) Journal
    This sounds like fanastic fun at my old school...

    This could also be great for some computer labs, as long as you could still access network resources like printers. Type the paper at home, print it in the lab (or dorm shared computer, or whatever).

    Something like this is terrific for secure environments too. Guaranteed no internet connection or root powers, even with physical access. It's only a printer, calculator, or data entry computer for practical purposes.

    I bet that in the days of free AOL minutes this could've saved me hundreds of dollars...
  • by leathered ( 780018 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:29PM (#10062246)
    Let's face it, it'll only give them time to develop new ways to terrorize their users. If they're not web browsing they'll only be reading people's email or planting porn in home directories.

    For gods sake keep them occupied.

  • Um (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kc0re ( 739168 )
    If you are distracted that much that you must have a program that not only locks you out of the internet, but also locks you out of root, then you seriously need some sort of procrastinators anonymous.
    • Re:Um (Score:3, Funny)

      by pclminion ( 145572 )
      If you are distracted that much that you must have a program that not only locks you out of the internet, but also locks you out of root, then you seriously need some sort of procrastinators anonymous.

      And on the first day of Procrastinators Anonymous, they will probably give you a program exactly like this to aid you in developing self-discipline.

      Seriously, what exactly do you think goes on at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting? Do you think they all sit around and criticize each other for lacking self di

  • by scoser ( 780371 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:31PM (#10062261) Journal
    I was gonna do something like this a while ago, but then I found a really cool site I just had to read...
  • by Tom7 ( 102298 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:38PM (#10062312) Homepage Journal
    LILO: linux single
  • Pshaw... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:38PM (#10062314) Journal
    How about this in /etc/hosts? localhost slashdot.org www.slashdot.org

    Soooo much easier...
    • That's not the point. If you're undisiplined, you won't last five minutes before you su and change /etc/hosts back. However, with Lockout you can't do that, since it changes your root password for a period of time before changing it back. I've actually thought something like that may have been usable. For instance, to help me study for an exam and not play Nethack all day, I had a friend disable the account on our Nethack server for a few days, and not change it back no matter how I begged. And it worked fi
      • I'm exactly the same. I would usually hand in my Internet cable to a neighbour, with instructions to only give it back to me after the exam.

        After about two hours of irritating myself by continuing to reload three websites continuously, I'd also give him my spare cable.

        But now I have a job, and the old habit is still there... but I constantly need the web too. I might even start using this, to block access to a few specific sites.

    • Another approach with a little more smarts is to use a proxy script:


      function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
      if (dnsDomainIs(host, "slashdot.org") && weekdayRange("MON", "FRI") && timeRange(9, 17))
      return "PROXY";
      return "DIRECT";
      Yeah you can change it, but it's just enough pain to keep you focused and off the /. timesink.
  • Slashdot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by t_allardyce ( 48447 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:44PM (#10062355) Journal
    All i need is for this on slashdot, can this go in the slash-code? In my settings i could set daily quotas/limits and my account would just be locked out from posting or my IP banned for x hours. Locking out root and taking your internet connection away isnt going to help most people since their work needs the internet and maybe root. I got through most addiction problems by just getting rid of all my games, after 2 days you don't even miss them although damn soldat, those assholes have to make it only 10mb! i just download it when ever i want it and then delete it. Of course there were afew times when i got weak and tried to recover things from my HD but i got wise to that and overwrote. Now slashdot is pretty much my only distraction from work, damn i hate slashdot you are ruining my life you hear!?! must stop using slashdot! the reason this would work best in slash code is that there's pretty much no way to by-pass it. Of-course it will never happen, the page-views for adverts would just go down the drain.. maybe a subscription only option? really you guys would have that happy feeling of knowing that you had increased productivity in the entire world geek community!
  • To read about a utility that does not allow you to read Slashdot on Slashdot or To work ?

    Life is full about little dilemmas. :).

  • by huskerdoo ( 186982 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:50PM (#10062399) Homepage
    When I was biking around Australia in 2002-2003, I was having to shell out $5-12 AUD per hour for net access ($24 AUD an hour at the WA/SA border on the Nullabor!). I found myself to be insanely productive when it came to programming, answering email, etc when it was costing me by the minute. No Slashdot, random looks at IMDB.com for a movie I saw 15 years ago, etc.

    So I've half joked with billing myself for time on the internet, with the money going into a jar or some thing like that...now that I'm back and messing around on the net when I should be working. I would be more productive, and be quite rich at the end of the year!
  • by AppHack ( 622902 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:56PM (#10062450)
    I already offer this service. Just send me your root password and I'll make sure you're locked out of your root account as well. That way you don't have to worry that a bug in this program will keep you locked out. You'll be able to rest easily knowing that your system is in my capable hands. Just trying to do my part.
  • Thomer Gil is a stuttering Dutch vi user, which means that even with a speech impediment, he speaks better English than most Americans and has better taste in editors that most Slashdotters.
  • First Post! (Score:3, Funny)

    by codewritinfool ( 546655 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:59PM (#10062469)
    This was going to be the first post... Damned Lockout!
  • I found AIM to be the biggest waste of time I've ever seen. I can easily cast aside TV, Slashdot, and the like, and work on a paper or whatever needs to be done. But after a while, I'll get bored and want to talk to a friend. It's no problem. I'm just going to talk to a friend, and I'll tell him I'm working, so I can't talk much.

    But then you'll sign on, and five people will IM you all at the same time, and they'll all turn into full-blown conversations. Next thing you know, it's way later than you ever int
  • by FleaPlus ( 6935 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @08:28PM (#10062722) Journal
    I remember I'd sometimes end up doing a "apt-get remove mozilla" in order to get more work done. Then I'd find myself using lynx to procrastinate, so I'd have to "apt-get remove lynx". Then I started ssh'ing into the University servers and running mozilla off those machines...


    Incidentally, I also gave up Slashdot for Lent last year. I actually managed to hold out for a few weeks, but eventually my will collapsed.
  • Yep. I never really understood the point of that either. I mean, you can only do so much to basically trick yourself into being more diciplined before you realize how good you're becoming at lying to yourself.
    If I really wanted to do that, I should install a speed (rev I guess) limiter into my car, a power limiter on my computer's outlet, and a bill dispenser on my wallet. Look at all the fun I'd have then.
  • I see this as a way to get out of work.

    "I can't restart NFS because I'm locked out of root." or

    "I would get those new user accounts created.... but I can't log in right now."

    How about excercising some fucking self countrol you dumbass dipshit!

    Curses and colorful metaphores courtesy of the site.
  • While this is a good idea, you should be able to control what exactly is locked out. Some (most?) of us, after all, can't get any work done w/o root and/or w/o Internet.

    Woah, that's a lot of /s for /..

  • What's the matter, the corporate workplace moving too slowly in taking away your privacy? Miss that feeling of being treated like a 3 year old?
  • it's called Discipline [drphil.com]. Try it. Or you can try Getting Off Your Fat Ass [muscle-fitness.com] which is also free for non-commercial useage.
    • by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @10:30PM (#10063690)
      Get off your goddamn pedestal.

      Discipline is a learned skill. I'd say that a person who is willing to install a piece of software like this one to improve their self-discipline is already showing a great degree of it.

      If discipline could simply be called up from the depths of your being at will, like a fart for example, we'd have no need for military boot camps.

  • Help (Score:3, Funny)

    by ponds ( 728911 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @09:48PM (#10063366)
    I can't figure out how to turn on this pro
  • i just add whatever site is taking up too much time to my killfile and i get over the addiction in a couple of weeks :)
  • ... if it's possible to lockout the Lockout feature?

  • I hope my boss doesn't read Slashdot!
  • (while you have root access, edit this script)


    exec $1


    chown root:mygroup foo.sh
    chmod 4750 foo.sh

    problem solved.
  • What do I need?

    Linux, of course, you dumbass dipshit.

    Wise words if ever I heard 'em! Now I can live a more prosperous life! Thank you! :-)
  • <old_fart_o_the_net>
    Back in the late 80's when I was still in school, it was sail, nethack, IRC, e-mail and Usenet. Access for most students meant one of several rooms which seated twelve or twenty at black-and-white ASCII terminals.
    Even when the most alluring distraction was the reams and reams of junk on talk.bizarre it was still a "distraction" from schoolwork. I wrote a lockout script to be run by my ".login" script. Of course, one never gets things quite right and I had to find a way to ge

System restarting, wait...