Addicted to novelty since 2001

LazyWeb Request: I Need to Shut Off My Laptop’s Net Access at a Particular Time

Our Maltese cable provider, Melita, has a fairly Draconian approach to web access and bandwidth. Their best non-business package has a download limit of 10 GB (!) per thirty-day period.

They do, however, have a very reasonable loophole. They offer unlimited downloading between 11:00pm and 7:00am, local time. That provides plenty of time for me to download TV shows (no TV here, and besides, I gather much of it is in Italian and Maltese) and synch my laptop with my large online music archive.

However, I don’t get up until about 8:15am, and want to shut down network access to my G4 PowerBook shortly before 7:00am.

My first, brute force solution–use OS X’s Energy Saver setting to shutdown the laptop at 6:45am–failed because Oboe, MP3Tunes’ synching software, wouldn’t close or stop synching when my Mac asked it to.

Does anybody have any bright ideas about how I might schedule my Mac to turn off internet access at a particular time? I’d prefer that they didn’t include writing code, because, well, I pretty much can’t (besides, you know, 10 PRINT “EAT MY SHORTS”, 20 GOTO 10″). Maybe there’s some kind of cyber-nanny software that will do it?

UPDATE: I believe Travis’s AppleScript solution worked, but I forgot to turn off the automatic shutdown. Still, clearly I managed to close all the apps and then shutdown the computer, so we have success. Thanks again for all the suggestions!

13 Responses to “LazyWeb Request: I Need to Shut Off My Laptop’s Net Access at a Particular Time”

  1. James

    Put a cheap timer on either your router or your dsl/cable modem. Set for 6:45AM, power is cut, access goes with it.

  2. darren

    James: Way to think outside the box. Not a bad option, actually, assuming my cable modem can recovery gracefully a couple of hours later.

  3. Light & Dark

    Darren, if you’re using a router already, (I assume you’re using wireless for out in your pool-side office – oy) you can use the timer settings that are built in to in the router.

    They’ll be in the “parental controls” or “Access restrictions (Linksys)” settings – or something similar. Just specify the times you want the web to be available.

    Then you just go back into the router config to turn the control off when you’re ready to use the web during the day.


  4. Jeff

    Not sure if they make Shareazza for a mac, but it’s a great BT client with a bandwidth scheduler built in. You can set it to stop all traffic (or just slow it down) at set times and set days of the week.

  5. darren

    Light: Good idea, but unfortunately the modem and Wifi router is the domain of the cable company, and I don’t have access to them.

    Jeff: Good idea, though it’s this kooky Oboe client I need to deal with more than my bitorrent stuff.

  6. Chris

    This sounds like something you could get cron to do – have cron take down your interface at a certain time. You should be able to find a cron how-to pretty easily.

  7. darren

    Chris: I don’t know, dude, that sounds a lot like coding.

  8. The Hard Truth

    Maybe you need to take a reality check and start waking up earlier.

  9. darren

    Er, which reality is that, exactly?

  10. Travis

    Yeah, or use iCal.

    Open Script Editor, and make a script something like:

    tell application “bittorrentclient”
    end tell

    Test the script. Save the script.

    In iCal, set an alarm for 7:30. Attach the applescript to the alarm.


  11. darren

    James wins for most idiot-proof, but Travis’s appeals to my innate laziness. I’m trying the latter’s solution tomorrow, and will report back.

  12. The Hard Truth

    About my above comment, I’m just jealous that you get to live in Malta and sleep in.
    I’ve been there before and its a beautiful place.

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