Timer Math

Apr 1, 2012 at 9:47 PM


I just wanted to post a curiosity I had. I noted that if I am working on lets say word, with the inactivity set to 1 minute. Lets then say I stop using my system and the timer keeps going from say 22 minutes. It then reaches 23 minutes and stops.

My question is, since this is a period of inactivaty which is obviously being measured, should it not then reset the time back to the previous last activity time which in the case above is 22 minutes. This would be much more accurate and easy to do as you know how long the inactivity is for given the user sets it.

Just an idea.

Kind Regards


Apr 2, 2012 at 8:51 AM

This might be an issue for many depending on their style of work. I've been thinking about that earlier and I see no 100% proof solution as I have no idea if someone is using the computer (by reading i.e.) or not (left the desk).

Currently program adds that idle time by design.  If this is an issue for you I think I could add a setting to change that behavior. Would you find it good enough for you?




Apr 2, 2012 at 2:19 PM
Edited Apr 2, 2012 at 2:36 PM

When working on a similar program myself I overcame that problem first by giving the option as you suggested (always good). Then I also decided to do one more step as follows:

Instead of just removing the idle time (perhaps because as you suggested, the person is just reading), the program prompts the user that it is going to stop recording time. If the user does not respond in a given timeframe (say 10 or 15 seconds preset by the user), then the program knows the user is away from the system and stops monitoring. If the user responds to the prompt, then the program knows the user is nearby and is perhaps just reading and so continues to add time.

When I implemented that, I just put an option in the program to let the user set the prompt timeout, then that served as a starting point for the countdown on a simple button. So the senario went something like:

  • User sets idle time (lets say 2 minutes)
  • User sets prompt timeout (lets say 15 seconds)
  • After 2 mins of inactivity system prompts user (15 seconds countdown is shown in a button much like the windows restart prompt)
  • If no response received within 15 seconds, system subtracts 2mins (as set in idle time) + 15 seconds (as set in prompt timeout) from the last jobs that were active (assuming the user choose to allow this as an option, otherwise it just stops the timer without subtracting).

The system always knows how much time to subtract because it is set in the options.

Again, just ideas, I am not asking for them to be implemented. Such a feature might not even be relevant to this program as you are monitoring everything the user does, where as I was simply monitoring time spent on a particualr job (which includes the use of several programs but all are related to that customer, i.e. an accountant running accounting software, with payroll, and excel but working on the books for an individual customer, another job would be another customer for which the accountant would open another set of programs).

I just wanted to contribute as I am interested in scheduling and time keeping programs and their design. This caught my attention and I woundered if you taught about it, and if so how you choose to resolve it. This is a nice program, good work, and thanks for the response.

Kind Regards,


Apr 15, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Hm........... I don't like the workflow you've suggested. That is not because it's bad or something its just I'm green of envy that I didn't thought of that myself - many many KUDOS.

As I look over the code it start to look messy as it was more of the test project than the real working app but as more and more people use it and find it useful I'll do the major rewrite of it and will implement your workflow as it looks very neat and will give great results.   As for now I can recommend downloading the latest version as it implements notifying about new versions. Then you'll have a knowledge about the new version ASAP.

again KUDOS and regards,