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  1.    #1  
    I just bought my daughter the Centro so she can have an organizer and phone in one package. Her previous phone has a locking feature where we can restrict what phone numbers she can call as well as who can call her. Is there an application for the Centro or Palm phone that will do this? I'm not finding anything. Best case right now I'm finding that I may have to block the entire phone application which is something I don't really want to do.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. #2  
    Having played with the various applications out there for a while, there is nothing I have come across that restricts numbers called. Also, blocking the entire phone application is not practical and definitely not wise. I personally would do the parent-child talk about responsibility and what happens if...and then be prepared to enforce it. What you can do though is to let her know you are going to watch the detailed phone bill very closely and then followup on that. In addition, do not hesitate to check her phone log when the desire strikes - parental rights - my son has seen me checking his phone and that includes text messages.

    One more thing, install a device based backup application (NVBackup & Resco Backup are good ones) and set it to back up during the sleep time - that way the evidence is there if you desire to look back.

    In short, I do not trust my kids that much - I was a kid bunches of years ago.
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    Having played with the various applications out there for a while, there is nothing I have come across that restricts numbers called.
    This is disappointing. Having the ability to restrict who she calls and who can call her is something I really like about her current phone. Unfortunately her current phone lacks PIM applications and she is an extremely forgetful person. I jumped the gun and got her a nice Centro for $99 instead of buying a not so good Palm for $99(Z22). Now I don't have call lockout abilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    Also, blocking the entire phone application is not practical and definitely not wise.
    I know. Hence my problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    I personally would do the parent-child talk about responsibility and what happens if...and then be prepared to enforce it.
    Well, I am a seasoned veteran when it comes to raising kids. I have a 17 year old boy and a 15 year old girl. The girl is TREMENDOUSLY more difficult to raise. Talking to her has had very little effect over the years and just prompts her to just be sneaky. Lately there has been a turn for the better so I'm trying to reward her. Unfortunately I'm also taking my ability away to control the phone.

    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    What you can do though is to let her know you are going to watch the detailed phone bill very closely and then followup on that. In addition, do not hesitate to check her phone log when the desire strikes - parental rights - my son has seen me checking his phone and that includes text messages.
    Herein lies part of the problem. She does call many of her friends which I don't have a problem with. The issue comes with the boys and how absolutely BOLD they are to sneak her out of the house late at night. Not all their fault considering she tends to lie and tell them she is older than she really is. Checking her phone log doesn't really do much because she deletes the entries. Maybe there is a way to prevent her from doing this which would help. Text messaging I can block with a password application. This will save me some time considering I will no longer have to call Sprint to put a block on the messaging.

    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    One more thing, install a device based backup application (NVBackup & Resco Backup are good ones) and set it to back up during the sleep time - that way the evidence is there if you desire to look back.
    Not a bad idea except when she manipulates the phone by deleting things. She has done this on my Treo MANY times and I caught her in the act. She has no problems looking you dead in the eye and lying to your face so she won't get into trouble. Needless to say it's been a difficult ride. I'm sure I will look back years later and just laugh about this. Yeah right!

    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    In short, I do not trust my kids that much - I was a kid bunches of years ago.
    When I was a kid I was NEVER as devious as my child seems to be. I'm seriously hoping she grows out of this soon. As it stands right now I'm afraid I may have to resort to locking out the phone application at times. Looking back I didn't have a cell phone when I was a kid so why does she need one 100% of the time? Currently when I have the restriction on and she is upset with us she "conveniently" chooses not to answer her phone. So I guess what different does it make if she doesn't have access to it?
  4. #4  
    There may be the time when she is faced with a situation and she really needs help. There are applications such as Obfiscate that let you hide applications. In addition, there is a application called Password Launch - http://mobihand.com/product.asp?id=10849 - it may be of interest to you.

    Ben
  5. #5  
    Here's what you do if you have sneaky kids-

    get them a basic PDA for organization, and a Firefly for communication. See if the little snots get anything past you then.

    I'm just thankful that my own daughter is an unflinching truth-teller. she just doesn't get the concept of lying. She's about to be 5 & she rats out her grandpa for sneaking cigarettes in the backyard, heh. when she starts school she will probably inherit my Centro just cause she's a little geek & I know she'll love it. I think I'm gonna homeschool her actually. public schools are cesspools of debauchery these days. I know how bad it was when I was in high school, my worst crime was being extremely gothic but I went to a party or two, and good god. Yeesh.
    I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by fleeing the scene of the accident!
  6.    #6  
    Thanks everyone for your help. I think I have a solution that will work for me.

    1) Prevent outgoing calls - Lock the unit through the phone application. When locked you can specify up to 3 phone numbers than can be called(including 911). This is perfect because I can put my wife, her brother, any myself in the calling list. It also blocks ALL OTHER outgoing phone activity like sms and internet. It does not block anything INCOMING so I need the next application(#2)

    2) Prevent incoming calls - Get application called "Call Block". This little beauty has the ability to restrict who can call the phone both in voice and sms. In addition you can SCHEDULE when incoming calls are allowed. With these features not only can I restrict WHO can call but I can limit all others any way I want. For instance completely stop incoming calls/sms or only allow these during certain times like 7pm - 7am when it's free. I can set my wife, her brother, and myself as VIP callers who can call and sms at any time. Nice! I only wish I could restrict outgoing calls to this level.

    3) Lock applications - Get application called Password Launch. This program gives you the ability to lock the Call Block application so the settings cannot be changed.

    The only issue I have is that I cannot restrict deleting applications from the application launcher main menu. If the applications are deleted there also goes my security setup. The only good thing is that she would never be able to set up the applications like I have them(password restricted and such) so it should be fairly obvious if any tampering. In any case I can then just punish by taking the phone for a period of time. With any luck this will be enough incentive to keep her from undoing my security settings.

    If anyone knows a way to prevent deleting applications please let me know. I think Palm should have a setting that requires a password to delete an application but unfortunately they do not.

    Again, thanks for your help.
  7. #7  
    The next thing would be to hide the application icons for call block and password launch.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by cavingjan View Post
    The next thing would be to hide the application icons for call block and password launch.
    I do have a freeware application that hides applications. However, since I secured the applications I'm debating if hiding will really do anything for me. If I hide them then it's just a little more work to see if the applications were deleted. If I leave them visible then I can easily view them in the special category I have reserved to store these. If anything is gone then I know something was changed. Kind of a catch-22. I see benefits of hiding and not hiding. I would definitely hide if I could prevent the applications from being deleted.
  9. #9  
    Might also want to investigate using Filez to mess around with the attributes of those programs. Setting the Hidden attribute might be doing the same thing as what Obfuscate does. Setting the Read Only attribute might prevent deleting the program via the Launcher. You can then move Filez to your own memory card that you remove from the device when she has the phone.

    Also realize that some programs store user settings in the system's Saved Preference file (and a few in the system's Unsaved Preferences file), other programs create their own settings file(s), still others use both methods. You can use Filez to see this and to help determine what you might need to do.

    None of the approaches listed so far in this thread are perfect, however. You'll still have to audit from time to time.

    See what kind of monthly info is available from your carrier in order to help keep tabs on her phone's activity...
  10. #10  
    Also play around with the Open attribute (don't know if it sticks though).
  11. #11  
    Home schooling - a lot to be said for it, especially during the formative years. If you do go for it, be on the watch for the school board - some support it, some do not.

    Quote Originally Posted by KabukiAssassin View Post
    Here's what you do if you have sneaky kids-

    get them a basic PDA for organization, and a Firefly for communication. See if the little snots get anything past you then.

    I'm just thankful that my own daughter is an unflinching truth-teller. she just doesn't get the concept of lying. She's about to be 5 & she rats out her grandpa for sneaking cigarettes in the backyard, heh. when she starts school she will probably inherit my Centro just cause she's a little geek & I know she'll love it. I think I'm gonna homeschool her actually. public schools are cesspools of debauchery these days. I know how bad it was when I was in high school, my worst crime was being extremely gothic but I went to a party or two, and good god. Yeesh.
  12.    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by sblanter View Post
    Might also want to investigate using Filez to mess around with the attributes of those programs. Setting the Hidden attribute might be doing the same thing as what Obfuscate does. Setting the Read Only attribute might prevent deleting the program via the Launcher.
    I have Resco Explorer and messed around with all the attributes. Not a single one had any luck. So far I'm at a loss for what to do.
  13. Gerorne's Avatar
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    #13  
    The problem is considering how sneaky she is. If she has a sd card and backup program, she can just hard reset to get around the call blocks, let people call her, then restore everything afterwards back to the settings you set. Maybe she doesn't that much yet.. but she may learn that eventually.
    Vx --> M515 --> T|T3 --> T|T5
    --> Treo 650 --> Centro --> Dinc

    Smart Jones - a smartphone webcomic
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by davejulien View Post
    I have Resco Explorer and messed around with all the attributes. Not a single one had any luck. So far I'm at a loss for what to do.
    Well, I guess you might try hiding Applications (the Palm launcher app). You would have to remap that key. Try/use a program like PetitLaunch (free) or try/buy something like ZLauncher.

    I don't know if the Centro is susceptible to the loss of the Saved Prefs file (like the 650, and maybe others) were, but if it would happen then all bets are off.
  15.    #15  
    Just curious but I seem to remember in the old Palms that you could transfer a file to ROM. Is this possible with the Centro? If I could do this then that would stop the ability to delete the application.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gerorne View Post
    The problem is considering how sneaky she is. If she has a sd card and backup program, she can just hard reset to get around the call blocks, let people call her, then restore everything afterwards back to the settings you set. Maybe she doesn't that much yet.. but she may learn that eventually.
    Yup. Especially with a backup program like NVBackup. It restores the device precisely to where it was at the last backup (as far as I can see), timestamps and all. Then you would have to look at gaps in usage, comparing phone data with carrier history.

    Now that I think about it though, even NVBackup isn't that good. I think it only restores to the hidden PALM_DM directory. At least one other b/u program will restore to the Photos directory. If none of the backup programs restore to elsewhwere in that BUILTIN (hidden) file structure, you might be able to plant a file somewhere else in the BUILTIN file structure. Then you might be able to tell if a hard reset was performed (unless she copied said file somewhere, hard reset, then restored that file - but she'd have to know that file was there to begin with).

    But she probably doesn't even have to do a hard reset to hide stuff from you if she simply uses something like NVBackup. There may be additional files on the device from benign activity, but all files that existed at backup time are restored to that state. I think you would have to go to carrier records to ensure you knew whether or not anything suspicious happened.

    I've never found any reliable, fool proof app that can fully protect the device when it is open for any kind of useful use. I've tried a bunch of security apps, and I've found ways to get around most. I've got mine set so that I can hand it to someone, one that is even fairly experienced, and I'm pretty darn sure they'd have no access to stuff I don't want them to have access to. As far as deleting or adding miscellaneous data/files, with enough time they could do it (specially someone who hangs out here), but I'd know it and could restore it. But, I haven't needed to go as far as what you're trying to do though. Mine's basically just set up to protect against careless operation, not malicious or devious behavior.

    Might want to check out TealLock. It used to be pretty flexible as far as setting it up for limited and/or unrestricted access.

    I really wish you and your kid good luck. Please post back with anything you find to be useful. Pretty sure others here may find it helpful (I will; I've got 4).
  17.    #17  
    Just to let you all know... My daughter is a smart kid but she is not THAT smart. Any kid these days knows the basics of navigating a phone. My kid just happens to know where that DELETE key is so she can remove her phone records and text messages. She does this on auto-pilot after sending each text message along with her phone logs. I tell her to stop and she still does it. Very annoying.

    Just when things start to get better I always find a fly in the ointment. The exact same day of getting her the Centro I discover she got a 8" x 1" high tattoo just under her navel. Turns out it's been there all week! And yes I mean REAL tattoo. Apparently a kid has a tattoo machine and she allowed him to do his work on her. Now I have to do some calling on Monday to the police and lawyers to figure out how to get this boy to pony up to have it removed(possibly thousands). Minimally blood tests and possibly some litigation coming my way. Not fun. Extreme bad judgment is all this thing shows people so she will be embarrassed for a long time. Not to mention the fact that the tattoo looks like an amateur did the work. She is already regretting it. BTW, she is in 9th grade and is 15. Bad judgment started YEARS ago. This time she gets to look at her mistake day after day after day. It will be interesting conversation at the next family get together.

    Many would say that getting rid of the phone all together is the thing to do. Believe it or not we can contact her much easier with her having it. When she is out doing things she shouldn't be doing we can at least get in contact with her to make sure she is ok. Of course she always says she's where she should be but we never believe it. I always try to show her I'm the better person and will give her chances. Generally that's when I relax on the phone restrictions and then several days later I end up putting them back on. It's a never ending cycle. That's why I needed the restriction so the immediate family can call but no-one else can. She can also call us but noone else. BTW, generally speaking there is more punishment than just with her phone. That's just usually where I start and it escalates from there.

    I really do wish there was a Palm OS application where I can just do a few security things that you normally can't do. The DELETE on the menu seems to be a huge one that if I could just hide or remove it that would be great. Confirmation of delete through password would be a bonus. I wonder if there is a Palm developer out there that I could ask if if they could write a small program for me. I got to imagine this can't be too hard. Heck, I'm a programmer by trade so maybe I'll try to learn some Palm programming and take a stab at it. Just not sure what I would write it in. Hmmm....
  18. Gerorne's Avatar
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    #18  
    Perhaps there's a program out there that you could hide, that would keep track of minutes used, and texts recieved and sent. I *think* I've seen one or two out there. If she doesn't know how to access this hidden program, even if you can't see the exact text sent/recieved, you can see that one has been sent/recieved.
    Vx --> M515 --> T|T3 --> T|T5
    --> Treo 650 --> Centro --> Dinc

    Smart Jones - a smartphone webcomic
  19.    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gerorne View Post
    Perhaps there's a program out there that you could hide, that would keep track of minutes used, and texts recieved and sent.
    Hey, that is great idea! I might have to incorporate that into my monitoring. Just need to find out a good program to do it. I'm sure there is one out there.
  20. #20  
    Wow Dave.... that sucks. You are a MUCH more permissive parent than I am. I'm like the one-strike-you're-out mom. 2 things I would've already done in your sitch-

    Repo'ed the Centro, and replaced it with a no-nonsense Firefly.

    Sent her to military/catholic(the kind where they beat you with rulers) school for coming home with a tattoo. No joke.

    The reason I keep pushing the Firefly is that kids these days will eventually figure out how to disable ANY kind of block you put on their phones. Fireflys enable you to still keep tabs on them and completely control ALL cellular activity. Now, with a trustworthy, obedient child, Fireflys are not necessary. I know at this point I can trust my daughter with a normal phone. BUT- if she becomes a bad egg by the time she starts school, she's not getting my Centro. No freakin' way. My parents put up with too much crap from me, and it nearly broke up the family. I never did drugs, drank, or slept around, but I was a total brat. Which is why I watch my kid for 'signs' now, and will come down on her with the wrath of Kali if I see any.

    And I'm not against tats, in fact I'm getting one in a week, but I'm nearly THIRTY. Good grief. I'm not trying to criticize your parenting skills or anything, but it sounds like you need to stop giving her "chances". It's time to crack the whip. No fancy phone, no going out, no nonsense. As a former bad apple, I will tell you that your daughter will THANK you later for it. I just wish like crazy that my parents would've been harder on me.
    I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by fleeing the scene of the accident!
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