F R E E
A DAN HOWELL lacks self control, but at least he’s responsible about it. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Web designer was trying to startup a new online business but he couldn’t stop himself from wasting time at other sites (free Flash games at original.com were particularly distracting) So, he commissioned a friend to design a program that would help him get back to work. The resulting product was Temptation Blocker, Windows software that allowed him to list the programs he wanted to block, set a timer for how long he’d like to block them and activate it by hitting GET WORK DONE! button. The only way to turn the blocker off (it disables CTRL-ALT-DELETE) is to enter in a random 32-character string—a sufficient strong deterrent for this loafer.
Howell thought the program was so good—”I use it every day,” he says—that he wanted others to have it, too. But, slacker that he is, he didn’t want to bother with tech support and upkeep, so he popped it online free of charge. It immediately circulated wildly on blogs; 4,000 people downloaded it during the first week. You can get it from his newly launched e-business webjillion.com if you can pry yourself away from solitaire.
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