Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gecko Monitor Software Review and Giveaway

The Good:
Does the important stuff well and out-of-sight. Simple to install and use.

The Bad:
Keylogger did not always work. Price is fair, but not down to today's expectations.

The Bottom Line:
If you need a stable, discreet monitoring software, this is it.
If you want free and basic, it's not.
If you want to filter internet, that's a different product.

When I was asked to review this product, I was thinking about how clunky my present internet filtering program is and how I would not mind replacing it. When I installed Gecko (which was an absolute breeze), I realized that it was not what I was looking for and doubted that I would have much use for it. Surprise! I did.

It just happened that at this time, a certain tween has been doing computer programming AND, um, uh, “testing” of the games – I mean “programs”. So it has been a little programming and a lot of games. Well, the issues became clearer when Gecko began taking screen shots every so often. Suddenly, I knew what was going on throughout the hours. Yes, there was the online homework and math help sites, but there were also a number of hours where the Gecko screen shot showed no change in the code, just more games. It gave us all a common data set to talk about time management and setting limits. I am sure it will come in handy as the children get older and use the computer(s) more and more often.

The screenshot feature was very helpful, but Gecko also tracks the keystrokes (careful! even your own passwords!) web sites visited, applications used, printing activity, and so on. The “Timeline” feature is handy, just giving the highlights over time so you can quickly zoom in on activities as needed. You can even set it up to send you email reports, although gmail gave me a bit of trouble (not Gecko's fault).

One trouble I had was that the keylogger did not work all that well or that the files were somehow lost. They tracked me as I was testing it, but I could not find the archives over the past couple of weeks.

All in all, it is a handy program that does exactly what it says it does, and discreetly. If it is worth it to you, then spend the money. Less than $40 is cheap compared to the myriad problems that the software may point out before it gets too late.

If you are interested in a monitoring program AND an internet filter, there is nothing that beats the following: place the computer in the middle of the house within easy sight of everyone.

If you would like a free trial of this software, the first 10 people to leave a comment will win a chance to try!
Here's how:
1. Let me know what your biggest kid internet concern is.
2. Leave your email address

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Knight Costumes

Pros: Good service, nice quality costume, good value.

Cons:  The helmet seems to run slightly small compared with costume, but still works.

Summary: If you are looking for nice quality costumes in any size with lots of accessories to choose from, check out Costume Supercenter!

For school, my son K had to give a "history live" presentation in costume as "King Richard the Lionhearted".  After researching what King Richard wore, he chose the "Deluxe Dragon Slayer" knight Costume to do his presentation in. Truthfully, he wasn't really a knight...but he was a medieval warrior and this seemed like a great match for the part.

I am always amazed at how small they are able to package these costumes! It arrived in a small package, but came out looking great without any ironing or effort. The costume seems well made and includes everything pictured except for the black pants. K was impressed at the shiny silver fabric part of the costume that looks like chain mail.  The body of costume seems true to the sizing chart offered on the website.  The helmet however seemed a little snug although workable (your experience may be different due to variations in head sizes! :)

So if you would like to be a dragon slayer, or King Richard...I would recommend this as a great option! :)

Disclosure: We received the Deluxe Dragon Slayer costume mentioned above  for  review. The opinions we have expressed are honest opinions and have not been influenced by the companies providing the product. No other compensation was received.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: Tangbaby Fake Cake Greeting

Pros: Funny, awesome, unique, affordable, handmade gift.  No envelope needed... delivers right to your recipient's mail box as is!
Cons:  This cake card looks so real it might make you hungry when you look at it...but it is NOT edible! :)
Purchase: at the TangBaby on

Summary:Whether you are looking for a great April Fools Day Card, a calorie-free birthday gift, or just something fun for someone special...this is an awesome gift idea!

Review: This is such a fun birthday, celebration, thinking of you, anytime occasion thing to send to your friends and family! Each slice of "cake" is hand crafted and made for the mail carrier to "serve" right in to your loved-one's mail box! Imagine getting your mail and finding this laying on top of all of the bills! :)
 Check out more delicious looking cake cards at TangBaby!
 Rainbow cake card, a nice slice of fake postcard cake.

Disclosure: The opinions we have expressed are honest opinions and have not been influenced by the companies of the product. No other compensation was received.