OS X parental controls on a netbook

My kids want to use my Hackintosh netbook – a Lenovo Ideapad S10-2 running Snow Leopard. One of the great things about OS X is its excellent built-in parental controls, but on a netbook with a small 600 pixel-high screen, the buttons for setting them up are off the screen.

I tried using an external monitor – with amusingly mad and useless results… then I found this trick. Open up a Terminal window and type
defaults write -g AppleDisplayScaleFactor 0.8

This makes the next window you open small enough to see the required buttons. Set up the parental controls, type
defaults write -g AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1
in the Terminal command line.


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5 Responses to OS X parental controls on a netbook

  1. James says:

    Do you need to be an admin to do this? We have some low res data projectors at work, which are infuriating when you’re trying to demo a program that needs a higher resolution display. Windows fall off the edge all the time.

    This sounds like it would help solve that problem.

  2. blogmywiki says:

    I suspect you do need to be an admin – I was logged in as one at the time. Will have a test.

  3. blogmywiki says:

    Just tried it on Henry’s (non-admin) login and it seems to work. I now have a small clock and system icons on the top-right when I logged back in, though, even after restaring the Finder. Proceed with caution!

  4. James says:

    OK, thanks. Might be best not to try on works Macs then.

  5. blogmywiki says:

    It was fine when I rebooted

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