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. Enter 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.”
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 maybe your screen was flipped upside down?or
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!
(By) Karl L. Gechlik is a superhero of the IT industry who wears many hats and changes in telephone booths. Karl mostly uses his powers for good and the occasional hysterical prank. Get your geek on & follow his geeky antics at askTheAdmin.com today. Karl is also easily amused by saying “Who’s Your Daddy to his daughter.”