At times, my father (but I guess most parents do the same) comes in my room while I'm doing something on the computer. Most times he says what he has to say, maybe has a look at the screen, then goes away. Sometimes he'll lay down on my bed, which really irks me (I hate having other people who aren't my friends in my room at the same time I am), but doesn't make me want to scream in anguish. Some times, however, he'll get a surge of curiosity, and ask me what this and that does on the computer. I should mention that he's almost completely computer illiterate. And when he uses (or at least tries to use) a computer, he does it with windows, while I use Linux. So he has absolutely no idea what happens when you click on "xkill" and then, not noticing the fundamental change in the shape of the cursor, on a running window. He's screwed up some important work of mine by doing this.

Anyway, the reason why I'm writing this node is to prevent what happened to me today from happening to other people.

He came in, started tinkering and asking me the same questions he asks me every time. He opened the home directory on the X desktop, and I had a surge of horror when I recalled that I didn't hide my "images" directory. As you can guess, I don't only have clean images in there... And it wouldn't do for my father to see them, then quite possibly engaging in a long speech about issues I don't want to think of. So I started talking in computer jargon about how konqueror doesn't work right on my machine, how I needed to do something before being able to use it, all in an attempt to distract him from clicking on "images", which he was about to do.

It ended with me chmodding -rwx the entire /home directory in a (successful) attempt to make it give errors when accessed. He desisted in his attempts and went away.

Let this be a lesson to you: if you have nosy parents, and even if you don't (too much security is never quite enough), hide your pr0n directories (chmod them, . them, something), or if you have windows, use Magic Folders or some such program to make them invisible, lest your parents find those "Sylvia Saint" pictures...

Reply to Rancid_Pickle

Reek of big-brotherism, no. Feel like you're intruding in their lives more than is necessary, yes. I am 19, and I have no experience in fathering, but should my father (we're talking hypothetically; he'd never know how to do it) give me the choice "broadband monitored by me, or 56k", I wouldn't think twice and choose 56k. Or I'd settle for surfing somewhere else until I found some way to elude the surveillance. This comes from my absolute hatred of any form of censorship or control. I realize some is necessary for children, but I would never willingly allow anybody to read my emails, and/or know which websites I've been to. What say you talk to your children preemptively, explaining them what they can walk into if they, metaphorically, "accept candies from strangers"? It's what my dad has done with me. Not about the net, of course; but I've been smart enough to figure out personal details are best left unsaid both on the net and in real life. How long are you planning to keep spying on them? What will you do when they tell you, "I'm mature enough to not have you babysit my internet sessions"?

I also know my father probably understood that I was trying to hide something from him, but the important thing is that he can't say it for sure. He can't say "You hid porn from me", which is the point, because I don't want to argue with him. I could have let him see the pics, then had a big fight over them (he isn't anti-masturbation, thank heavens; he does have very peculiar views on porn and such "vulgar" stuff, however), which would have ended with nothing accomplished on both parts and more bitterness. And there's enough of that already.