|Frequently Asked Product Questions|
Q: How difficult is the PC Moderator to install and configure?
A: Installing the PC Moderator is not much more difficult than unplugging and plugging a few cable. The computer case is never opened. Simply unplug the video and keyboard cables, plug in the PC Moderator to the video port and secure the set screws with a small phillips screwdriver. Slide the metal cover over it and lock it with the supplied padlock. Then plug the monitor and keyboard into the PC Moderator. Finally, plug the PC Moderator's keyboard cable into the computer's PS/2 (or USB with upgrade kit) port. Color-coded cables and a full color quick setup guide makes installation quick and easy. Once installed, the PC Moderator is configured using the built-in first time setup program. The user simply powers up the computer, hits a few keystrokes and the first time setup program runs automatically. Answer the questions one by one to setup the time, date and all the individual user settings. Once complete, a tutorial program runs automatically. To manually configure any of the settings later, a built-in setup menu program can be run.
Q: Will the PC Moderator work with computers using USB keyboards or a wireless keyboard/mouse combinations?
A: Yes. If you are using the PCM-1 VGA model and your computer uses a USB wired or wireless keyboard yet has PS/2 ports and you have an available PS/2 keyboard, follow the standard installation instructions and use the PS/2 style keyboard for setup and password entry only. If you have only one user on the computer, setup that user for Automatic Login for User 1 and you will not need the PS/2 keyboard once setup is complete. Use your USB/wireless keyboard as before. If you do not have a PS/2 keyboard or the computer does not have a PS/2 keyboard port, the USB Port Upgrade Kit is required and may be ordered from this site. It includes both a USB adapter and a small PS/2 keypad used only for setup and password entry. The computer must have at least one free USB port. The PC Moderator DVI models can be used with any keyboard type.
Q: Can the PC Moderator be used with a computer with DVI video port(s)?
A: Yes, the PC Moderator DVI model (PCM-DVI) will work with computers/video cards with DVI output. it provides both analog VGA and digital DVI outputs at full resolution. It does not degrade performance or image quality in any way for both DVI and VGA outputs.
Q: Does the PC Moderator monitor chat or restrict the web sites my child goes to?
A: No. The PC Moderator monitors and limits the amount of time and when the computer can be used. It helps parents supervise by restricting use to times where the parent is available to supervise. Other software programs can be installed or parents can subscribe to Internet Service Providers to provide web filtering and monitoring capabilities. While these services can help dramatically, there is no subsitute for parental supervision. The PC Moderator is compatible with all software and Internet based applications. An advantage of using the PC Moderator for setting time limits is that you may also install "stealth" monitoring software that your child is unaware of. Once a tech-savvy child is aware of monitoring software, they may attempt to defeat or work around it.
Q: You say that the product is designed for "parents of teens". Will it work for younger children or even computer addicted adults?
A: Yes. The product was designed with adolescents in mind and incorporates a number of features to help parents of teens, but it can work well with other populations. Children under 10 years of age will not likely attempt to defeat parental control software and so the PC Moderator is not required for children this young. However, by age 12 they may be fully capable of defeating your parental controls and then the increased security of the PC Moderator may be required. The PC Moderator may also be used with adults that are unable to moderate their computer time and are experiencing problems related to excess or secretive computer use. It may be used to get objective reports on the amount of time spent on the computer or a couple may agree to use the PC Moderator to help in situations where trust has been a problem such as excess chat or late night pornography.
Q: Why is the PC Moderator less vulnerable to hacking or disabling than software applications?
A: The PC Moderator operates completely independent of the computer or the software running on it. It contains its own real time clock with battery backup to maintain accurate time. The PC Moderator also has timers built in to shut down access to the PC Moderator for a time if too many failed password attempts are made. This will slow down a child attempts to guess your passwords. Software applications cannot be used to "hack" PC Moderator passwords.
Q: You say that it works with any Operating System (OS). How is that possible?
A: The PC Moderator will work on ANY PC OS including all Windows or Unix systems because it operates independently of the computer. It interfaces directly to the keyboard and it emulates a PC Keyboard when attached to the computer. The only requirement of the computer that is used to setup the device is that it has some form of text editor installed (almost all do). This is not however a requirement of the computer that the device is installed on. In fact, the PC Moderator can even work on devices which are not actual personal computers provided they have compatible video and keyboard ports.
Q: Can I setup the PC Moderator on one computer and then install it on another?
A: Yes. Unlike software solutions, you can lock systems that you have no actual program access. This may be necessary for systems where you have been locked out by a child that has disabled your access or for which you have never had password access. You may even upgrade or change computers without requiring any changes to the PC Moderator's settings - simply remove the device from one computer and install it on another!
Q: Can't my child simply turn up the brightness on the display when the screen dims (PCM-1) at night?
A: No. The colors are not dimmed equally. Blue is dimmed 90% while red and green are dimmed only 40%. This is usually not a problem since the brain will tend to compensate for the color shift witihin about 15 minutes. Some children have even expressed a preference for the dimmed display in the evening once they have used it for a while.
Q: Will the PC Moderator work with my Apple Computer?
Q: What can I do if the computer or video card has a second video display connection or S-video TV port?
A: If the computer has two video ports, most lilkely at least one is a DVI port. You will need to order the PCM- DVI Model rather than the PCM-1 VGA model. The PCM-DVI includes the necessary hardware to allow the PC Moderator to be secured to a DVI port and will block the second video port and S-video output. There are two models PCM-DVI-L and PCM-DVI-R depending on the orientation of the DVI port. Refer to the information page on these models.
Q: What will stop my child from installing another video card or using heavy duty metal cutting tools to remove the PC Moderator?
A: You and the cost of defiance. Talk to your child up front about the consequences of removing the PC Moderator or adding any computer hardware to defeat it. If you find out your child has installed an extra video card or has tampered with or removed the PC Moderator, simply remove the new device (or have them remove it as a condition of them using the computer) and discard appropriately (not in your trash can where they can recover it). Restrict access (computer grounding or remove the computer from the home) for a period of 2-3 weeks. Be sure to remove any extra video cards they may already have (from upgrades) to avoid temptation and make them pay for any damage to the computer or PC Moderator (very important!). The PC Moderator levels the playing field technically such that teens are less likely to believe they wont get caught. The vast majority of kids that attempt to defeat the PC Moderator will do so only once. If they continue to defy you, we suggest you seek professional counseling.
Q: Will the PC Moderator work with Notebook computers?
A: No. The PC Moderator requires the use of an external display. If you have a Notebook computer with a locked docking station and an external display and keyboard then it might be possible. The computer must be configured such that only external display is active and that this cannot be changed by anyone but the system administrator. This is risky with tech-savvy teens.
Q: Will I need a PC Moderator for all the computers in my home?
A: Not necessarily. You will need a PC Moderator for every computer that your children will be operating. If you have a computer with secure password protection and your children do not have access to the password and they will not be operating the computer, then you will most likely not need a PC Moderator for that computer. We suggest that you make all notebook computers in the home inaccessible to your children.