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New program: Ethervane StopWatch (freeware)

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So here's another one... a simple stopwatch/timer with a few handy features. Yes, there are plenty available, and no, I didn't quite like any of them, so I wrote my own :) Download links at the very bottom of this message (be sure to pick the latest version).

New (February 2012): StopWatch is now hosted on my site at This thread is still good for support and new version info, I'm not going anywhere :-)

A standard installer and a portable version are now available. Latest version direct download:

* standard installer
* portable version (zip file)

Please note: Windows 2000, XP and up only. Will not work on Windows 95, 98 or ME (won't even open - see this post for an explanation). Tested only on WinXP 32-bit, that's all I have :)

Freeware, of course. The included readme file has all the details on usage (or see the post below).

Main screen when running:

A few options:

Setting initial value with presets (new in 1.4):

Ethervane StopWatch (Up and Down edition)
Version: 1.4 BETA
Release date: 2009-05-09
First released on: 2009-05-05
Author: [email protected]
Requirements: Windows 2000 / XP / Vista or later (No Windows 95, 98 or ME)
License: Freeware. Copyright (c) Marek Jedlinski 2009

--- description ---

Ethervane Stopwatch is a simple timer for Windows 2000 or later. It can be used for example to track the time spent working or performing other activities on the computer. The timer can be paused and resumed at any time. If you close the program while the timer is running, it will continue counting from where you left off when the program is restarted. You can also count from a specified value down to zero.

NOTE: Beta release, with several new features added in this version. Please tread softly!

See "History" below to find out what's new in this version.

--- installation ---

No need to install. Just unpack the executable (estopwatch.exe) to any directory. You can create a Start menu shortcut for the program manually.

The program does not store any data in the registry. Configuration is saved in the following folder (Windows XP):
c:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Ethervane\eStopWatch\

--- features ---

- Display elapsed time in days, hours, minutes and seconds.

- Count time up or down (to zero)

- The timer can be started from a user-specified initial value

- Global keyboard shortcut to pause/resume the timer

- The tray icon indicates the current state (idle, running, paused or suspended).

- Option to suspend counting when there is no input from the mouse or keyboard.

- When the program is paused or suspended, the display can optionally be faded or blink slowly to indicate the paused state.

- The program window can be semi-transparent when it does not have focus. Click the window to restore the normal (opaque) display.

- eStopWatch can be controlled programmatically from other applications by sending messages. It is also possible to query the current state, time value and mode of eStopWatch in the same way. For details about the message values and meanings, see the example AutoHotkey script included with the program (controleStopWatch.ahk).

Settings are saved between sessions.

--- usage ---

1. Start the program. Click the Start button (or press F9) to start the timer.

2. Pressing F9 again will pause the timer. To resume, again press F9.

3. To stop the timer, click the Stop button or press Shift+F9.

Before you start the stopwatch, you can change the timer mode (counting direction). To do so, press Ctrl+Up arrow or Ctrl+Down arrow. By default, the stopwatch counts up from zero. Press Ctrl+Down to switch to countdown mode. In that mode, when you press the Start button, eStopWatch will display a dialog box to let you specify the initial value (number of days, hours, minutes and seconds to count down from). Note that you can also switch modes by right-clicking the time display area and picking appropriate options from the menu,

You can start the stopwatch from a specific value. Press F8, set the initial time value, and click the Count Up button (or Count Down, depending on the current mode).

The dialog box used to specify initial value for counting up or down supports presets. To create a new preset, set a desired time value, then type a name for the preset in the Presets box and click "Save preset". To load an existing preset, select it from the drop-down list, then click "Load preset". The "Delete preset" button will erase the preset currently selected in the drop-down box.

Another way of starting the stopwatch is to start counting from the last value, i.e. the value displayed in the timer area. Press Shift+F8 to use that function. If the currently displayed value is other than zero, the stopwatch will start counting up or down from that value, depending on the current mode setting.

Pressing Shift-Esc will minimize the program. Click the StopWatch icon in the system tray to restore.

You can also restore the program window and bring it to front by pressing the global keyboard shortcut: Win+F9.

When the timer is running, you can pause and resume it by pressing the global keyboard shortcut: Shift+Win+F9.

(These shortcuts can only be changed by editing the configuration file, eStopWatch-config.ini, in a text editor such as Notepad. You can also disable the shortcuts entirely.)

Click the Options button to display a menu of configuration settings. See "Configuration settings" below for details.

Right-click the timer display area for a menu of available commands.

--- configuration settings ---

Click the Options button to display a menu with the following options:

Stay on top
- When enabled, Ethervane Stopwatch will always be displayed on top of other windows.

Show time in window title
- When enabled, elapsed time will be displayed in the titlebar, as well as on the taskbar button. When disabled, the titlebar and taskbar button display the current state (idle, running, paused or suspended).

Transparent when deactivated
- When enabled, the program window will be made semi-transparent when it does not have focus. Click the window to restore normal (opaque) display.

Display when paused
- Opens a submenu with the following two settings:
a) Blink time display: the display will blink slowly when the timer is paused.
b) Dim time display: the display will be dimmed when the timer is paused.
You can enable either of the two options, or disable both.

Suspend on no input
- When enabled, the timer will be suspended after there has been no mouse or keyboard input for more than a minute. Timer will automatically resume when you press a key or start using the mouse. This lets you walk away from the computer without manually pausing the timer.

Minimize on start
- When enabled, the program will automatically minimize when the timer starts (when you click the Start button or press F9).

On restart resume from last count
- When enabled, Ethervane Stopwatch will remember the current value if you close the program while the timer is running. When you start the program again later, it will automatically resume the timer from the saved value. (If the program was paused while you closed it, it will resume in the paused state).

Fonts and colors
- Opens a submenu with self-explanatory options for setting the fonts and colors of various elements of the display. Click "Reset font and color" in this submenu to restore default color and font settings.

- Displays program name, version number and license information.

--- limitations ---

eStopWatch will NOT work with Windows 95, 98 or ME.

Timer resolution is 1 second. This program is not designed for measuring time with higher precisions.

While it is possible to run several instances of sStopWatch at the same time, the built-in global hotkeys will only apply to the first instance started, and note that there is only one configuration file (and one resume file!) for all instances.

Several configuration settings are not available in the main interface, and can only be changed by manually editing the configuration file, eStopWatch-config.ini. The file is stored in the following folder:
c:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Ethervane\eStopWatch\
You can edit the file using a text editor, such as Notepad. Remember to close the program before editing the configuration file.

--- download ---

Currently the program is only available via DonationCoder website:

--- support ---

Email the author at [email protected] if you encounter a problem.

--- distribution ---

The program is free to download and use. Written permission from the author is required to bundle, repackage or redistribute the program.

--- command line parameters ---

The program recognizes the following command line parameters:

The timer will start automatically when the program is launched. (If an autoresume file exists, it will be used instead, as before).

The timer will not automatically resume even if a resume file is found, regardless of the setting in the configuration file. This parameter can be used together with /start. In that case, resuming will not occur, and StopWatch will start the timer from zero.

Forces the program to read and write all its configuration files in the local directory, i.e. the folder where the program is installed (rather than under c:\Application Data).

Disables writing any configuration files, including the resume file. The program will still read any existing config files, but will not update them on exit.

/id:"custom titlebar text". The text "custom titlebar text" will be displayed on the eStopWatch title bar instead of application name ("Ethervane Stopwatch"). Text must be enclosed in quotation marks if it contains spaces. This is useful if you want to control multiple instances of the stopwatch via system messages - simply execute each instance with a different value of the /id: parameter, which will let you select a unique running instance of the stopwatch.

--- history ---

Version 1.4: 2009-05-09

1. Added the ability to count from a specified initial value DOWN to zero.

2. Added the feature to start counting UP from a specified initial value.

3. Added the feature to start counting (up or down, depending on current mode) from the last displayed value.

4. Added support for time value presets, so that when specifying the initial value, you can pick one of the user-defined presets rather than always specify the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds manually.

5. Added the ability to control eStopWatch and query its current state via Windows messages (see the example controleStopWatch.ahk script included with the program).

6. Added the "/id:" command-line parameter to allow distinguishing between multiple instances of eStopWatch running.

7. Added a small progress bar that indicates remaining time when counting down to zero.

8. Added a configuration option to prompt before stopping the timer. The timer is paused while the prompt is displayed. By default prompting is OFF. (The setting can be changed by editing the configuration file).

9. Changed a few keyboard shortcuts and improved the stopping notification (although it still needs a more pronounced UI)

10. Minor cosmetic fixes.

Version 1.3: 2009-05-06

1. Added a few command-line parameters to allow StopWatch to be used in batch files and scripts. See "Command line parameters" for details.

Hi marek,

thanks for sharing.
For my use i have a few question.

Will there be an option to
- store the config files in the same folder as the exe?
- start the exe  and let it start counting immediately too? To use in batch to start it with an another app and count the start time)

Will there be an option to
- store the config files in the same folder as the exe?
-AbteriX (May 05, 2009, 12:48 PM)
--- End quote ---

I'd rather not do this, since most people will install the program under c:\Program Files, and in that case the program will not be able to write the config file. (Unless you run as administrator, programs you launch are prohibited from writing any data under Program Files folder).

What I do need to add is the ability to read/write config from the exe directory if the program was launched from a removable drive, like a CD or a pendrive - so as not to pollute the host computer. Perhaps I can add a command line option to force that behavior even if running from a fixed drive.

- start the exe  and let it start counting immediately too? To use in batch to start it with an another app and count the start time)
-AbteriX (May 05, 2009, 12:48 PM)
--- End quote ---

No problem, I'll add this.

Awesome!  Recently, I spent a very long time searching for a simple stopwatch/timer and could find none.  Most of them were way too bloated and weird looking.  Very cool, thanks.

Feature requests:
Countdown timer:  Could you also include a countdown timer mode on it?

Show hundredths of seconds:  Can you show the hundredths of seconds...for precision timing.


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