BOB is ruining my life

BOB is limiting TV time that I never cared about limiting before. Why is it that we chafe at restrictions that might actually liberate us?

Hopscotch Technology

BOB is destroying my life. I never invited BOB to my home - my wife brought him in and set him up next to our TV. Now I can't get away from him.

Who (or what) is BOB? BOB is a little device that limits the amount of time that you can use electronics, be it a TV, computer, etc. For example, my wife has set BOB to limit me to six hours of TV each week, and my kids each get three hours.

In my case, the only TV I ever watch is soccer (and The Office most of the time). I don't get anywhere near six hours of TV time each week, because Arsenal only plays once or twice each week. For my kids, our general policy is to answer "No" to any request from our kids to watch TV. So, I wasn't really sure why my wife got BOB. If anything, it provided more TV time than we currently use, not less.

Being who we are, my nine-year old son and I now spend inordinate amounts of time trying to crack BOB, finding ways around it. My son has figured out his sisters' codes for BOB so that he can borrow their time. When my wife found out, he got penalized. Big time.

I'm sure our rebellion will fade as the novelty wears off. It is nice to not have to answer my kids at all on the "Can I watch TV?" question. BOB always knows.

I just need BOB to boot me off this computer....

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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