Let the Little Ones Enjoy your Computer. BabySmash Time!

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screenshot1 3b   Let the Little Ones Enjoy your Computer. BabySmash Time!For those of you that follow my Ask The Admin you’ll already know that the wife and I had a baby about 7 months ago. I love it when my daughter tries to use the computer. It doesn’t matter if she is loving the touch pad, hitting the keyboard, eating the mouse, staring at the screen in delight, or just ecstatic to see a reaction to what she just did.

Now between me, you and the millions of readers out there, in Internet Land, I don’t think there is anything I enjoy as much as my daughter smiling, laughing or squealing in delight!

I found an application that allows me to let Kayla mash away at my laptop and get a direct reaction for each key press. Enterhulksmash   Let the Little Ones Enjoy your Computer. BabySmash Time! BabySmash!

No this is not a new campaign against children by The Hulk! Nor is it something that is meant to smash babies. This Windows application is meant to let babies smash at your machine.

Some people look at me like I’m crazy and say:

“She is going to break that you know!”

And I respond…

“Sort of like when you spilled your soda on your keyboard or how about when you accidentally cracked your keyboard into two pieces.”

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Computers today are meant to take a little abuse and if you think someone that weighs 14 pounds can break a computer think about that the next time you throw your heavy purse on the keyboard and call me because your machine is beeping. But as usual I digress. Back to our application.

You load up BabySmash which runs off of the .Net framework (and seems to HAVE to download and install it from good old Microsoft even if it is already loaded). After that the lightweight application locks down almost all keys on the keyboard. This prevents the little ones from exiting BabySmash and oh say, deleting files or saving over important documents with creative doodles! Have you ever returned to your computer and found some strange mode enabled or maybe your screen was flipped upside down?

I did learn that the soft-keys on my HP 2710p that control the volume or the switch that turns off the wifi still works. But that is no big deal to me. You have to press Control-Shift-Alt-O to get to the options screen. Once there you can select what the program does when a key is pressed. The program can speak the character pressed ala the Microsoft Speech Synthesizer or it can emit random laughs and sounds of glee. You can also configure how many characters you want to leave on the screen before it gets cleared.

Before I found this app I still let Kayla play with the tablet. I would open up paint and let her have at it either with the stylus or the mouse. She would be easily distracted away from getting her computer on. With BabySmash she sits there mashing away for 20 minutes in a clip. Don’t get me wrong she still glances up at her Backyardigans here and there but to me she is learning to appreciate the computer!

The Author describes the basic features of his program in 5 easy bullet points:

  • Smash on any keys
  • Draws letters, shapes, numbers
  • Keeps babies happy
  • Won’t harm your computer
  • New features added often

Check out this YouTube video of BabySmash in Action:

Baby smash is a full port of the Mac program AlphaBaby. Yet another FREE download! Give back to the geek community and put your children on to technology early!babysmashasktheadmin   Let the Little Ones Enjoy your Computer. BabySmash Time!

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13 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Dacker

Back in the DOS & QuickBASIC days, I wrote a simple program for my 1-2 year-old daughter in which pressing any key would generate a random-colored circle, rectangle, or polygon and also produce a random tone out the PC speaker (pre-sound cards days.) She had a ball!

To put things in perspective, she graduated last week from high school. I’m proud of her; she had a 3.7GPA, is a member of the Nat’l Honor Society, and won two scholarships, all despite D’s in Algebra I & II.

Alas, she will not be a geek…. ;-)

Aibek

Congrats mate, you did a good job as a father.

Karl L. Gechlik

Thanks Aibek, she is the best thing that ever happened to me!

A funny thing happened last night with Kayla and Baby Smash!

I turned my head for a second with her on my lap mashing away at the computer to turn back to see her with an open command prompt cycling through my previous commands by holding down the up arrow.

How she did I think I will never know! Does anyone out there have any other good Baby Computer Apps?

Reply

Scott Hanselman

Hi, I’m the author of BabySmash. If you can ever figure out ways/keys/whatever that babies are able to get OUT of BabySmash, DO let me know and I’ll try to lock them out.

Karl L. Gechlik

Thanks for stopping by Scott. I wish I knew how she did it! The hardware volume keys/wifi seem to be the only things that were working but sure enough she got out of it. But it only happened once and I will be sure to let you know if I figure out how she did it.

I noticed the new update which is also very cool. But sometimes it tends to take a little while to respond to a key press after she has just hit 15 of them in a few seconds. Any quick fix for this?

Thanks again for a wonderful product. It’s great to see people giving back to the community.

Reply

Bill Mullins

Hey Karl,

I recently read an article on the technical competency of today’s young people. You are definitely leading edge in that respect. It was really kinda neat to read your article, and to see the philosophy that “you’re never to young to learn”, played out.

You’ve got a beautiful child, and I’m sure that like her dad, she’ll turn out to be a techno wizard.

Thanks for a great read.

Bill

Karl L. Gechlik | AskTheAdmin.com

Thank you for the kind words Bill. And I say it time and time again MakeUseOf has built up such a wonderful community of people that it is a pleasure to write for!

Reply

joe

my baby is going to love this!

AskTheAdmin | Karl Gechlik

Thanks Joe, and there seems to be new features coming out weekly!

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