recs for a timer/stopwatch program?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by beethovengirl, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. beethovengirl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    #1
    Hi,

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a free or cheap timer/stopwatch program? I'm running 10.3.9.

    I need to set a timer so I can take my meds on schedule.

    thanks! :)
     
  2. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Well there's one I can think of and it's free.

    Even better, you already have it. It's called iCal. Just set an event with an alarm.
     
  3. beethovengirl thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    #3
    thanks for your reply. I think iCal is a bit too awkward for my purposes. My dosing schedule varies with when I eat, and it seems awkward to have to set up a new event every time, though I'm pretty clueless about using iCal so maybe there is some other feature to which you're referring?

    thanks! :)
     
  4. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Well you don't have to set an event in order to trigger an alarm. You can add a "to do" at any time you wish which can also trigger an alarm at a time you specify. I tend to like iCal as a reminder program because a) the price is right, and b) you have a lot of flexibility with alarms. They can be audible, visual, or both. It's all up to you.

    Too bad you don't have 10.4 (Tiger). There are a number of dashboard alarm and stopwatch widgets that are free. There may be other dedicated alarm programs out there for Panther, searching version tracker or Macupdate should get some results, but I've always used good 'ol reliable iCal.
     
  5. beethovengirl thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    #5
    is there any way to set a default "to do" that will trigger an alarm 2 hours from now? as I said, I'm pretty clueless about iCal.

    I can actually get 10.4 if I want, but my husband has a similar computer [12" PowerBook G4 that's a year older than my iBook G4] and it slowed his computer down, so I thought it would be a bad idea. I don't know if there's anything that can be done to make my iBook as fast with 10.4 as it is with 10.3...

    thanks for your help! :)
     
  6. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    You can set a quasi "default" to-do. A to-do in iCal remains in the to-do list until you check it as completed, then it disappears according a time you set in iCal preferences. But if you leave a to-do unchecked, it stays.

    Setting up a to-do is pretty easy. Here's how:

    1) If the to-do section of iCal isn't already open, press the push-pin icon on the lower right portion of iCal.

    2) Double click anywhere in the white area and a fresh to-do pop up window will appear.

    3) Type a name for the to-do (i.e., "Take Meds") and put in a check mark next to due date. The current date will appear by default.

    4) Click the menu next to alarm and select the type of alarm you want (sound, message, both, email, etc.), then choose "same day" from the pop list and choose the time you want the alarm to go off. That's it. Close the to-do pop window and you're done. Your new to-do will appear in the to-do section (the white area on the right) of iCal.

    As long as you don't check it off as completed, it will remain there forever. So the next time you want to set an alarm, double click your med taking to-do and select a new time. The only caveat worth mentioning is you should pay attention to the due date of the to-do as subsequent days pass. I've never set a single rolling to-do like this, so I don't know if it will automatically update itself to reflect the current date as each day passes - you may have to update the due-date each day when you set a new alarm. Or maybe not. I don't know.

    Regarding Tiger, your husband's experience is definitely not the norm. If anything, moving from Panther to Tiger should result in a slight speed increase, especially in the Finder. Nothing jaw-dropping, but nonetheless noticeable. Generally, the Finder should seem more a little more responsive in Tiger than it was in Panther, and your applications should be no less than a wash speed-wise under Tiger compared with the same in Panther.

    Basically, if you have an unmodified installation of Panther (i.e., no haxies or application enhancers AND all Apple installed applications and files remain in their original locations) AND your current Panther set-up is completely up to date, problem-free and everything "just works" as expected, then you should have zero issues upgrading to Tiger.

    You will need a retail version of Tiger. A Tiger installation disk that shipped with another computer will not work. Insert the disk, click the icon to begin the installation, and after your computer restarts, select basic upgrade from the installation options (forget the mumbo-jumbo you may have seen here and elsewhere - if your Panther installation is as described above, basic upgrade will get the job done just fine).

    A few tips: After the Tiger installation is finished and you restart your computer, Spotlight is going to build a search database for all of your files. Although you can use your computer while this is going on, it will seem slow and not very responsive, as the database building process is fairly CPU-intensive. Give your CPU a break and let Spotlight finish completely before you start using the computer, and Spotlight will finish the job faster. You can monitor Spotlight's progress by clicking the Spotlight icon in the menu bar. A drop down window will tell you how far along Spotlight is and it also provides an estimate on when it will finish. Count on a half-hour to 45 mins depending on how full your hard drive is. When Spotlight finishes, the first thing to do is run software update. Download and install any updates for Tiger (10.4.6 as of now). Recent Tiger updates include changes to Spotlight, so the database will be rebuilt once again. Same drill as before - let it finish before you use the computer

    The other thing is memory - RAM. As with Panther, the more you have, the better. 512 meg with Tiger should be considered the minimum amount, more is better.

    If you do eventually move up to Tiger, you now have dashboard and access to hundreds of freebe widgets, including this one which automatically sets an iCal alarm for you, all you do is tell it when and give it a description; or this alarm which is seperate from iCal, or this rather nifty-looking digital stopwatch/timer.
     
  7. beethovengirl thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    #7
    VanNess, wow, thank you for your helpful, detailed post! :)

    I don't know what haxies and application enhancers are so I'll assume I don't have any. ;)

    do you mean that I'm only running Apple installed applications? because I also run Firefox, Mathematica, MS Office, and HP Image Edit. And, I occasionally use Photoshop in OS 9 mode, but I don't have the original disk for that anymore, so I won't be able to install it again. is that a problem?

    I'm getting it via a site license. thank you for all your tips. I will definitely follow them. If you have any other suggestions for any other links that walk you through the installation process, please let me know. My husband has <512 MB of RAM whereas I have more, so hopefully, Tiger will work fine on my computer.
     
  8. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #8
    No problem, glad to help. Sounds like you're leaning toward upgrading to Tiger and I think that's a good move. You'll probably won't notice a drastic change from Panther initially (beyond headline features such as dashboard and spotlight), but Tiger is loaded with little subtle improvements scattered throughout the OS that you'll discover over time.

    Sounds like a pretty fair assumption then, but just to clarify: haxies and application enhancers are generally third-party programs that you install which alter the function, add additional features, or change the appearance of the OS or Apple applications, particularly being mindful of Apple's applications such as Safari and Mail.

    Apple applications are all programs, including utilities, that are installed with OS X. These should (always) remain in their original install locations, i.e., the applications folder and utilities folder respectively. The reason for this is because when Apple updates the OS, any number of Apple's programs are updated as well, and the installer will expect to find them in their original locations. If they aren't there, in other words moved to different folders, bad things can and will happen. The same holds true for Apple's iLife suite. In this case, an upgrade to Tiger is a major OS upgrade, and just about all existing Panther-vintage Apple apps (and utilities) are going to be revised and updated along with the OS itself. Mail and Safari in particular, will be revised significantly. If you haven't moved anything, there's nothing to worry about at all.

    Now, that rule above doesn't hold true for your third-party apps such as Firefox, Mathematica, and so on. First, the Tiger upgrade won't touch them, and second, third-party apps normally aren't picky about where you install them, especially drag and drop installed apps like Firefox. Third-party apps that use an installer almost always give you the option of installing at a user-specified location, although they will normally default to the logical location, i.e., applications folder or utilities folder. Whenever these apps do update, they don't have the monumental task of updating the large portions of the OS and various other apps like Apple.

    Well, the ultimate conventional wisdom that pertains to preparing for any upgrade such as this is to back all your stuff up before you upgrade. Having now duly dispensed the conventional wisdom, I can tell you that I never have backed anything up. I'm a rather care-free fellow and generally throw caution to the wind when it comes to any Apple updates/upgrades. Then again, I know exactly what's going on with my system, it's complete update history, and Apple has never once let me down from 10.3.0 through 10.4.6. Of course, your milage may vary.

    Next on the list of things to do is to check for any updates for third-party apps that you have for Tiger compatibility. We're at the point now where Tiger has been out long enough where just about every app that needed a Tiger update (if one was needed at all) now has one. Best to get everything up-to-date and ready before installing the beast (updates that require Tiger to be installed before applying the update are an exception of course).

    Although many things are improved in Tiger, one thing that lumbers along pretty much unchanged is classic. So your OS 9 vintage Photoshop should work just as it does now in Panther. The only thing that's troublesome is you no longer have the original install disk for Photoshop. Perhaps an argument for backing everything up, or at least burning a CD with Photoshop and any support files - just in case. But for what it's worth, what few remaining OS 9 programs I still have around collecting dust in classic have made the Panther to Tiger leap completely unscathed.

    Finally, who better than Apple to reference for additional info about a Tiger upgrade.
     
  9. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    VersionTracker is your friend. MacUpdate has your back.
     

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