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Author Topic: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.  (Read 12225 times)

prototype_angel

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Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« on: January 04, 2008, 01:38:40 PM »
Hi, I'm a 20 year old developer who's into usability. I go to college and have to wake up using an alarm for a computer.

I want to write a program in visual C++/C#.net to trump all the other alarm clock softwares and release it as open source/donationware. I've tried every alarm clock on the market, but nothing satisfies me. Here's my dream program to do the job:

1. An intuitive interface for setting alarms at any time and for any number of alarms.
2. Several effective default alarm sounds, along with option to play back fading in music.
3. A strong snooze option
4. A "wake up" mode. When this mode is enabled, the screen is blacked out and the time is shown in large legible letters, along with a small message. Pressing space will snooze the alarm by a small amount, but to disable it will require a pin number, password or a special code.
5. Antimute: I've had instances when I sleepily mute the volume whenever I want to sleep in, but this should check the volume levels and automatically undo that.
6. A simple timer option. For example, pressing the winkey and pressing a button will bring up a window, on which you can enter a number and after that many minutes it'll give you an unobtrusive reminder.
7. A grandfather clock mode: this will ring a bell every 15 minutes/1 hour so you know that time's flying by.
8. Syncing with the time server, with support for daylight savings
9. A small taskbar launcher which also shows which alarms are enabled.
10. ability to set alarms based on the day of the week or custom alarms for particular dates.
11. Outlook/calendar integration. Prolly if an appointment is appended by an (A), there will be an alarm for the same.

I've seen alarm clocks with too many crappy useless features. I want the ultimate anti-sleep software of all time. I'm posting on this nice forum to get any suggestions, feature requests, advice, etc. Any good programming resources which you feel might help is also appreciated.

Thanks in advance
prototype_angel

nosh

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2008, 02:17:34 PM »
Just in case you haven't already, check out:
  • Clocktick (now discontinued IIRC) for the interface and
  • Alarm++ for the features.
Good luck merging functionality with simplicity, I've never found a tool that had the best of both.

vegas

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2008, 06:23:46 AM »
I think I like what you are onto.  I have never found the ultimate light weight clock program I would have liked.  Tried many, stuck with none.  It needs to be anti-bloated, very customizable (including playback of custom sound files, wav, mp3, ogg without launching an external player), usb portable would be a plus, remember favorite alarms, etc..  Love the recurring grandfather clock option to remind of passing time.  I've seen a couple that looked like they could be good as well, but had given up looking at that point. If I find their links I will post them, along with some more key features.

tinjaw

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2008, 06:37:54 AM »
Administrative Note: Should this be moved to the coding snacks?

This does sound like an interesting project. I have added it to my list of candidates for future coding snacks I attempt.

jgpaiva

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2008, 07:21:11 AM »
Administrative Note: Should this be moved to the coding snacks?
You read the top post the other way around ;)
prototype_angel wants to do it himself, he's just asking for suggestions on how he should to it :P

tinjaw

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2008, 07:57:27 AM »
You read the top post the other way around ;)
prototype_angel wants to do it himself, he's just asking for suggestions on how he should to it :P

Oh!  :o
In that case...
USE PYTHON  :P

prototype_angel

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2008, 12:16:20 PM »
i wouldn't mind getting some help with it, i've written tons of console apps but very few windows apps. I can try using python but i can't seem to get a good gui engine. Also i'll need some code to make a fullscreen gdi, etc.

tinjaw

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2008, 12:38:09 PM »
I see from your post count that you are new here. So you wouldn't know that I am DonationCoder's resident Pythonista. (See my sig) So my Python comment was somewhat in jest. However, it would be a great way to get started.

Windows GUI apps written in Python... you probably want to use wxPython. For any native Win32 stuff nothing exists that can touch Mark Hammond's Python Extensions for Windows.

Armando

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2008, 02:38:35 AM »
1st Clock is also a pretty good clock to check out.

lanux128

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2008, 03:36:20 AM »
good luck with your alarm clock, i'm looking forward to beta test when it's ready.. :up: btw if you want to find more about user requests and reactions towards existing alarm clock, take a look here.

Renegade

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2008, 03:29:00 PM »
I've been using software alarm clocks since 1997 or so.

Waker 98 - Was very good.
Music Match Jukebox - Was good, but I got sick of their update BS and dumped it. Not user friendly.
Citrus Alarm Clock - Works ok, but could use some work. Not very user friendly. I'm using this one right now.

What I'd like to see is just a plain, ordinary, good, simple user interface that lets me set alarms quickly, easily, and in a highly visual manner.

This is yet again one of those tiny niche areas that doesn't really have a great application in it. I've thought about writing one myself because I need one, but it always gets pushed far down the priority list as I can make do with what I have. If someone were to fill the space here, I'd love it.

My guess is that a scrolling list of set alarms with checkboxes to enable/disable them along with a solid UI to set/edit alarms would be great. For some good specs., have a look at the Windows Task Scheduler. It really does a very good job of allowing a huge amount of flexibility for times. Not a great UI, but it is exhaustive.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

lanux128

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2008, 06:13:23 PM »
Citrus Alarm Clock

yes, Citrus Alarm Clock.. i almost forgot about it.. :up:

prototype_angel

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2008, 12:41:19 PM »
I use citrus alarm clock, but my personal favorite is the banshee screamer alarm. Sadly this is not working on vista and i'll upgrade back to xp soon.

http://www.hanovsolu...ions.com/?prod=alarm

am starting development work soon. Am using source code from launchy and other sourceforge projects

Liquidmantis

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2008, 01:03:28 PM »
Citrus Alarm Clock - Works ok, but could use some work. Not very user friendly. I'm using this one right now.

Which version?  I'm running the 2.0b3 version and it works great, easy to configure, and is visually appealing.

jgpaiva

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2008, 01:11:32 PM »
Am using source code from launchy and other sourceforge projects
Pay attention to the licenses of the code you're using, if they are GPL, for example, you'll have to release your code under GPL too.

MarshallOrtiz

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2009, 01:41:09 PM »
Hi,Are there alarm clocks that do not have annoying or jarring sounds that jolt a person awake?

app103

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2009, 08:31:17 AM »
Hi,Are there alarm clocks that do not have annoying or jarring sounds that jolt a person awake?

There are a great many alarm applications that allow the user to set their own sounds, and as long as you have a file you prefer, you can use it. It usually just has to be in the correct format (some need wav, some mp3, some will use either)

mahesh2k

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2009, 02:10:41 PM »
Quote
Oh!  ohmy
In that case...
USE PYTHON  tongue

tinjaw, I was waiting for this reply  :P  :D

codyBane

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Re: Want to develop the greatest alarm clock software of all time.
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2009, 06:25:00 PM »
I've never stopped to think about how many cool things you could do just with cron and a movie player...that is if you leave your speakers on when you go to sleep or if the computer had a way to turn them on.