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Author Topic: IDEA: CPU monitor that plays sound according to activity  (Read 3774 times)
Ralf Maximus
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« on: July 04, 2007, 03:03:55 PM »

This oughta be a fun one. :-)

I have a couple of long tasks I kick off and walk away from -- one is a compiler that takes about 7 minutes to complete and pegs the CPU at 100% (50% on a dual core) the while.  It would be great to be able to HEAR how the thing is doing while I'm in another part of the room.  Thus...

- Need a small utility that sits in the tray and monitors cpu activity
- Should handle multiple cores/cpu's and report on the TOTAL cpu usage
- Should play a small "blip" or hum or something that rises in tone/frequency for every percentage increment
- Should be entirely silent if average activity falls below a threshold (10%?)
- XP compatibility only; Vista not needed.  In fact, screw Vista.  Vista sucks.

Nice to have:

- Customizable sound (maybe select a .wav file?)
- Ability to select wanted/ignore unwanted processes by .exe name
- Upon falloff to 0% (or below threshold) for x seconds, play a "completed" sound.

Whatcha think?
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2007, 03:05:21 PM »

this is a fun idea.. might be something worth adding to my process tamer tool.
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steeladept
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2007, 05:25:22 PM »

Yes, put it to music that we can blast if we want, and we will immediately know when the process is done (unless it jumps up and down like most I use).  That way we can use the PC to play musical chairs  tongue

Seriously, though, I can imagine several uses of this.
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f0dder
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[Well, THAT escalated quickly!]

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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2007, 06:10:48 PM »

Quote from: Ralf Maximus
one is a compiler that takes about 7 minutes to complete and pegs the CPU at 100% (50% on a dual core) the while.
Get a build system that supports parallelization... it's really great putting your dualcore system to work cheesy
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- carpe noctem
Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2007, 11:52:50 PM »

Quote from: Ralf Maximus
one is a compiler that takes about 7 minutes to complete and pegs the CPU at 100% (50% on a dual core) the while.
Get a build system that supports parallelization... it's really great putting your dualcore system to work cheesy


Bah.  T'weren't for the extra core, my system would be locked up while the compile compiles.  :-)
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f0dder
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[Well, THAT escalated quickly!]

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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2007, 04:06:11 AM »

Quote from: Ralf Maximus
one is a compiler that takes about 7 minutes to complete and pegs the CPU at 100% (50% on a dual core) the while.
Get a build system that supports parallelization... it's really great putting your dualcore system to work cheesy


Bah.  T'weren't for the extra core, my system would be locked up while the compile compiles.  :-)
Nah, you just need to make sure the compiler and linker are invoked with "below normal" priority, then you still take advantage of both your cores for compiling, but the system still runs pretty smoothly. Trust me, it works wonders smiley
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- carpe noctem
Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2007, 10:47:57 AM »

FOUND IT!

It turns out there is a program out there that does exactly what I wanted, and it's free:
http://taskmonifier.ideasasylum.com/

TaskMonifier monitors the cpu and plays a sound of your choosing when activity drops below a set threshold for x number of seconds.  It works with multi-core systems.

The irony is, I found it completely by accident when I was looking for pages about how best to shave a llama or something.  Isn't that how it always is?

UPDATE: Upon re-reading my original request, it turns out TaskMonifier doesn't do *exactly* what I requested, but what it does is good enough:

- TM does not load into the tray;
- TM does not play a humming/throbbing/farting noise in tune to CPU load;
- TM is not aware of specific apps, as it monitors total CPU busyness;
- TM is not optimized for performance, but who cares if the PC is loaded down anyway?

But like I said, it's perfect for what I need: walking away from a budy PC and hearing when it's done.


* taskmonifier.png (20.76 KB, 468x315 - viewed 238 times.)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 12:49:56 PM by Ralf Maximus » Logged
hopeless
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2007, 10:49:52 AM »

[I'm the TaskMonifier author]

Wow!  I just happened to be reading the DonationCoder blog and saw a link to my own software.  It's nice to know that someone has found it useful!

I'll be quite honest here and now: I wrote the software to handle a bunch of long-running experiments at the start of the year but since then I haven't needed it.  I haven't updated the software since and I know there's some flakiness with the network/disk usage detection.  However, if anyone finds the software generally useful but lacking in some areas, please please email taskmonifier@ideasasylum.com and I'll try to fix/implement whatever's missing.  Despite my initial intentions, I've resisted making this open source because there's already too much open-source software lying abandoned in sourceforge -- it really only works for apps with a strong user community and until now I didn't think anyone had even found TaskMonifier!

Regarding the comments above:
It works with multi-core systems.
Cool.  I don't have one so that's nice to know.

- TM does not load into the tray;
It might be easy to add (and change the icon based on state) but equally well there are plenty of programs that will minimise any application to the task tray. 

- TM does not play a humming/throbbing/farting noise in tune to CPU load;
Interesting idea, not quite sure how you'd implement it and what the use case would be.  Would it get quieter when the CPU was busy (letting you know it was working away) or when the usage was lower (letting you know it was less loaded).  Not sure about this.

- TM is not aware of specific apps, as it monitors total CPU busyness;
I believe that this is technically possible but it would complicate the UI considerably. 

- TM is not optimized for performance, but who cares if the PC is loaded down anyway?
Agreed.  I'm not sure if the slowness is down to TaskMonifier itself or just the startup costs involved with C#/.Net applications

Thanks for your feedback!  If there's any more, please email taskmonifier@ideasasylum.com or reply to this thread which I'll monitor.

  Jamie
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mouser
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2007, 10:59:10 AM »

Welcome to the site Jamie  thumbs up thumbs up
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Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2007, 11:33:37 AM »

Whoa.  If I'd known the actual author would see this I'd be more liberal with my praise. 

THANKS for making TaskMonifier.  It really is perfect the way it is; no need to implement any changes on my account.  My tray is already smack full of crap as it is, and the throbbing/humming thing would be fun for maybe the first 15 minutes.

Upon further reflection (and actually using the utility for awhile) the individual task awareness is unnecessary and I suspect would be complicated to use and even harder to implement.  I'm having a hard time coming up with a scenario where I'd actually use the durn thing.

And performance isn't an issue since I'm walking away from the PC shortly after I boot TM.

If only you could make it stream video, TM would be perfect!  :-)

Thanks again, Jamie.

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