"Must Read"

Return to Introduction  Previous page  Next page  


It is essential that you read this section before proceeding with the PC TimeWatch Management Utility.


PC TimeWatch is about restricting users. It is able to prevent a monitored user from running a Windows session or a program outside of pre-defined time slots or for a longer period of time than specified by the time allowance associated with that program. When the user has consumed all the time allowance for a given program, the program is terminated. When a user has consumed all the time allowance for Windows, the user is logged off. Attempting to open a Windows session, run a program or access the Internet when not permitted causes either Windows to logoff or the program (or Internet connection) to terminate.


In order to avoid a "locked down" situation where nobody could use the computer, certain users have special rights. The user specified as the PC TimeWatch Manager (usually the partent) can always run a Windows session and is never restricted in any way. Users belonging to the Administrators group are also always authorized to run a Windows session in emergency mode.


So before using PC TimeWatch you must make sure that the system users that you want to restrict are clearly identified and that they do not belong to a security group that would prevent PC TimeWatch from monitoring their activity (monitoring doesn't mean "spying on" but merely looking at which programs the user is running, when and for how long).


See in Windows 98 and Windows Millennium users or in Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 users how you can setup the system to get PC TimeWatch work optimally for you. Please do that now and come back to this topic afterwards.


Management Utility


The PC TimeWatch Management Utility is just a configuration program. You don't have to keep this program running. On the contrary, once you have setup the scheduling rules for the users you want to restrict, just save your settings and close the utility. This will tell the PC TimeWatch it is ready to monitor programs execution.


Auto logoff


For security reasons, if the PC TimeWatch Management Utility is idle for 10 minutes, the current changes are saved and the application terminates itself. In that case, the settings that were active before the current PC TimeWatch session will be saved in a file named autobackup_n.ptw, n being 1, 2, 3,... (the higher the number, the more recent the backup file). You'll find this file in the PC TimeWatch data folder. The current changes will be saved as if you had clicked on the Save settings button.


The PC TimeWatch Manager


The PC TimeWatch Management Utility is owned by a Manager who can launch it from any user session, provided the correct password is entered. The Manager (usually the parent) defines the time allowances and the permitted time slots as well as the "authorized users" list. A user not belonging to this list cannot run a Windows session. On the other hand, a program not monitored by PC TimeWatch is always permitted to run.


So it is very important that you chose the PC TimeWatch Manager carefully. See Setting up the PC TimeWatch Manager.


To learn more about PC TimeWatch please read the Must read advanced section.