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Messages - musetips [ switch to compact view ]

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But it occurs to me that you're asking for a feature that will allow you to continue the very behavior that the program is designed to break you of.
-Stoic Joker (May 23, 2011, 11:33 AM)

You got it.

Taking breaks away from the computer is all about habit. The program turns useless when we try to ignore the reminding.

An application with the same purpose I was once using had the following nice feature: the tray icon visually showed how much interval time had passed (or was left, can't remember). Can't remember the resolution either, maybe steps of 10 to 20% interval time (i.e. 5 to 10 different tray images).

Thank you for this info. I'm considering to add this feature.

Try this:

First set a low Max opacity value (say 40) via Options dialog, then click the program icon to invoke the fader. Now do anything as if the fader is not there.
Thanks for the suggestion.

I have been trying with mixed results.  I find that I often don't stop -- will keep trying though.

You'll have to set up a higher value for Max opacity if you want to be forced to stop.

Or, let's just follow the design guideline: develop the habit of taking breaks. When reminded, try to take action asap.

I've found the best choice for Max opacity is: when it doesn't fully dims the screen, while making it hard enough to continue to work.

Alarm before "warning"? Why bother?
I'm not confident I explained very well so I'll make another attempt.

With a notification/warning [1] of some small number of minutes before fading occurs, I think I can prepare to pull away and have an easier time at halting work once fading begins.  If I'm in the midst of something that I'm concentrating on, not really aware of the time, and I suddenly have to stop, I find that can be difficult.  My guess is that this type of thing is not entirely uncommon, but perhaps not...

BTW, thanks for the "Block fader when a full-screen program is running" option  :Thmbsup:

[1] I'm not sure just sound would always work out here due to not having sound on all of the time...

The program is so designed that you never "suddenly have to stop".

Try this:

First set a low Max opacity value (say 40) via Options dialog, then click the program icon to invoke the fader. Now do anything as if the fader is not there.

As to sound alarm: according to my own experience, it can quickly become an annoyance, especially when we're at work. Note that the program is supposed to raise alerts somewhat frequently (for eye resting).

I realize this isn't it's purpose, but I could see something like this being particularly useful to parents and gamers to fade in the middle of  a game or whatever.  The only thing needed to make this work would be to be able to set a specific time for it.  Perhaps a different color so one, the other, or both features could be used together?  Just some other peripheral ideas to throw out there.

The options dialog allows you to set the "auto fade interval" and "overlay color". Maybe that's what you need?

Very nice app  :up:

I can only test the fader (via the tray icon) once - it doesnt work after the first go -  this makes it difficult to test custom colours etc.

My taskbar autohides - you say I can right click the tray icon and choose "Exit" from the shortcut menu to get out of  "fade" mode -
my taskbar menu does not show though while Time Clue is dimming the screen.

Edit/ just in case:   OS is XP SP3

Thank you for the feedback. I'll look into this problem shortly.

Any chance of a x mins before fade warning ...
I'd go for the x seconds before fade warning, 15 seconds should be enough to press Ctrl-S once more 8)

Why should we need those additional seconds? The fader does not interfere with the ongoing work.

We can still do anything when the desktop is fading (before it becomes too illegible, of course).

BTW, you may consider below options:

1) choose a bigger value for fade duration: then you don't have to press Ctrl-S in a haste
2) choose a smaller value for maximum opacity: then you can simply ignore the fader when it's shown

Any chance of a x mins before fade warning (e.g. play a custom sound or some other notification) feature?

Alarm before "warning"? Why bother?

I did consider to support sound.

The program works with PCM Wave format internally.

Does this mean if an MP3 is decoded to WAV, cropped, and then re-encoded to MP3?

If so, surely this means further degradation of the original file?

[Of course I understand that other operations such as fades would necessitate re-encoding since the underlying data is actually changing!]

For some of the editing commands involved, decoding/re-encoding is unavoidable.

This program works in a way that the output quality should be as high as possible while still keeping a reasonably small file size.

After all, most of us are not that picky as professionals, who are unlikely to use a tool like this.

BTW, the latest version lets you save decoded MP3 to the lossless WAV format.

Looks good!

Do you support FLAC or any non-lossey formats?

WAV format now supported (since version

Trying your program out today to see how it works for me.

I have dual screen setup, and only my primary monitor fades... is this something you could rectify in the next version?

Thanks for sharing your work :)

Working  on the problem now.

TimeClue can be configured via a dialog now. Just right click the app icon in system tray and choose "Options..." from the shortcut menu.
 (see attachment in previous post)

You've got my attention.  :D :up:

I know it ain't much, but *clink*

Thank you!  :D

TimeClue can be configured via a dialog now. Just right click the app icon in system tray and choose "Options..." from the shortcut menu.


One thing that I find works very well is to have your monitor slightly angled -- just a few degrees (say 10 or so). It forces your eyes to change focus.

I've not had any eye strain problems since working like that.

I tried and gave it up. Not that comfortable to me.   :o

Warning, this is a thread hijack but I just could not resist  :D


What's the deal with the incremental updates of your Text Filter application? The only things that changed every 3-4 days since November last year are the version number and date. Also, you seem to hide the portable version...  hope it has got nothing to do with the crap that is included in the installer.

Thank you for the interest.

That's not an "incremental updates". All the applications on that site ( share a common library with some other software products (in scores). There's a dedicated server that rebuilds the library nightly.

So if you see the version number changes from 1.0.0.X to 1.0.0.Y, that's a rebuild. See below:


If you see the version number changes from 1.A.0.X to 1.B.0.Y, that's a feature update.

When you see the sponsor's program appears in the installer, just reject it or uninstall it if a mis-click occurs. Admittedly the email support for TF has been overwhelming, too much for a freeware I work with on my spare time only.

Looks good!

Do you support FLAC or any non-lossey formats?

The program works with PCM Wave format internally. Wave file load/save support will be added later.

Am also considering to support FLAC.

Thanks for the concrete steps!

Any chance this info could be made readily available via the application?  Or perhaps it is already and I haven't found it  :-[

That's not included in the app for now.


This Free MP3 Cutter and Editor is a tiny, portable Windows program. Originally I coded it for my own personal use only.

Yes there're loads of free mp3 editors out there already, but more often than not, I found them to be either too powerful or cumbersome for my simple editing needs.

Hopefully someone will also find it useful.

Download link (516KB, for Windows 2000 or later):


TimeClue is designed to help you develop a habit of resting your eyes every 15 minutes (recommended for heavy computer users).

Rest them how? Whenever my dad said he was resting his eyes that meant he was taking a nap.

A nap every 15 minutes seems like a good way to live a stress-free life of unemployment. :P

Eye-resting for computer users normally includes:

1) Close your eyes;
2) Move eyeballs up and down;
3) Move eyeballs from side to side;
4) Move eyeballs in clockwise and counter-clockwise direction.

So the movement is: UP->DOWN->LEFT->RIGHT->CW->CCW. Try this for about 10 times and your eyes become relaxed, more or less.

Resting the neck (by tilting the head) follows similar steps.

Nice idea. I'd love to see this with some configurable options:
  • adjustable color/saturation/
  • adjustable max opaqueness
  • audible chime
  • duration of fade
  • choose your own time periods
  • bonus: configurable settings for specific events/times

Configurable in a textfile or a dialog, it'd be all the same to me.

I'm considering to add more customizable options.

Currently, colors can be set in the settings.xml file (in the same folder as the exe file).

To change these colors, quit TimeClue, open settings.xml with any text editor, then make below changes:

1) set fg_color for time numbers (white as default);
2) set bg_color for the overlaying color (blue as default).

TimeClue is designed to help you develop a habit of resting your eyes every 15 minutes (recommended for heavy computer users).

Alerts are raised at fixed time, as otherwise that habit will never stick, according to my own experience.

All that experience boils down to this: reminder software is useless for eye-resting unless it helps you nurture a good habit.

FadeTop is a free, portable and extremely simple break reminder software that fades your desktop into a bluish color at regular intervals.

At minute 0, 15, 30 and 45 of each hour, the fader gets activated. (Fader won't become active unless the program has been running for at least 15 minutes.)

If you want to know what the fading looks like, just start FadeTop and click the program icon in system tray.

To quit, right click the icon and choose Exit from the shortcut menu.

Updates (May 21, 2011 UTC):

FadeTop v2.5 or later supports below options (configurable via the Options dialog):

1) auto fade interval: interval between alarms (1..60 in minutes)
2) fade duration: interval between alarms (1..300 in seconds)
3) max opacity: the maximum opacity for the overlay color (1..100 in percentage)
3) overlay color: color for fading the desktop
4) text color: color for time digits
5) text size: font size for the time digits (10..900 in pixels)
6) block fader when a full-screen program is running


FadeTop in Action: (animated GIF)

FadeTop in System Tray:


Thanks! I'm considering below features:

1) click or double-click an item to enter editing mode;
2) select one or more lines, then copy/cut/paste/delete/hide;
3) sort lines alphabetically, or by text-length, or else;
4) export matched/unmatched lines to a new file;
5) state/stats/summary info for the status bar.

Any ideas?

Would no. 5) include the number of 'finds' ? - That would be very helpful.

The Fil number (# of lines filtered) in the status bar is for this. See below:


Do you plan any command line options? I tried for example from a command window "TextFilter.exe filename.ext" and it didn't seem to work. If you allow that...

Text Filter now supports this command line option.

Other update info can be found here:

Do you plan any command line options? I tried for example from a command window "TextFilter.exe filename.ext" and it didn't seem to work. If you allow that, people could create shortcuts to TextFilter that opened up a specific file automatically, so you could have shortcuts to multiple files without cluttering up the simple interface.

This is in the TODO list. Also, I plan to allow TF to run in a command line window.

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