Monday, July 31, 2006

New Software Release: Instant Boss

I have finally finished the first version. This is based on a request made by JacobB over at the coding snack forum.

This will time your work/break cycles, reminding you when to work and when to take a break.

The defaults are 10 minutes of work, 2 minutes of break, and this is repeated 5 times for a total of 1 hour.

These values can be changed to suit your needs. The program will remember the values you used during your last session.

Start by entering in the values you desire:

  • The first box is for how long you want to work.
  • The second box is for how long you want your breaks.
  • The third box is for how many times you want to repeat this cycle.

    Click Apply to set the new values.

    Click Work to begin.

    In the statusbar you can see where in your work cycle you are, followed by how long you have worked this session, followed by how long you have worked since you started using Instant Boss.

    Instant Boss will tell you when it is time to take a break. You will have the choice to keep working a little longer, take your break now, or skip your break and begin next work period.

  • If you decide to keep working, it will count up and add this to your total work time. You can then decide when to take a break by clicking the take a break button.
  • If you decide to skip your break, it will begin the next word period in the cycle.
  • If you decide to take a break now, it will begin your break period.

    At the end of your break period, you will be told to get back to work and offered a few choices.

  • If you decide to work, the work timer will begin.
  • If you decide to take a longer break, it will extend your break by 50%, and remind you again when your time is up, to get back to work.
  • If you click cancel, you will have to start work manually by clicking the work button again.

    There is a pause button in case you are interrupted by phone calls or other things that need your attention. This can be used during both work or break periods.

    The reset button...use with caution. This will stop all timers and reset everything to default values of 10-2-5 so that you may begin again. It will not reset how long you have worked today, nor the total time you have worked since you started using the Instant Boss program.

    Clicking the X to close the program will result in it being minimized to the system tray. The only way to exit is through the right click menu on the tray icon. All of the button options also appear on that menu.

    For power users, there are command line parameters you can use to preset the values when you run Instant Boss.

    Example:"C:\Program Files\Instant Boss\InstantBoss.exe" 60 15 3
    (there is a space after the last quote and a space between each number)

    You can either use this from the Windows Run dialog or use it as shortcut targets. The numbers correspond with work-break-repeat, in that order. Please use only numbers, no letters.


    Instant Boss

    Visit Instant Boss homepage.

    This is donationware. If you like it and find it useful, please consider making a donation to me to show your appreciation. Your donations is the only money I make for all of my time & effort invested in creating my software.

    Donate to author of Instant Boss

  • Sunday, July 16, 2006

    Calling all C++ programmers

    DonationCoder is holding a big C++ contest with many categories you can enter. Everyone that enters will get something, even if their project doesn't win.

    This contest has some really good sponsors and the prize list is pretty cool.

    Deadline for entry is July 14, 2006 August 14, 2006*, so head on over there and check it out and enter. Not that many have entered yet so right now your chances of winning are pretty good.

    Even beginners have a chance of winning. You can enter the small utility category if you have an idea and feel like learning something. So if you have been putting off learning C/C++ now might be a good time to start hitting the books.

    *deadline has been extended another month, for those that aren't quite ready and to give others a chance to still enter

    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    Are you ready to try Linux?

    You have been running Windows since forever and Windows is all you know. But you are getting fed up with the security holes and instability. You are tired of paying for OS upgrades. You are curious about alternatives to Windows, but are you ready for Linux? What do you really know about Linux? What do you need to know?

    This article attempts to give you the newbie's facts in order to help you make up your mind as to whether you want to try Linux or not. This is not for the experienced Linux user or someone that has already made up their mind. This is more for the 'lin-curious' ones out there seeking some info.

    It will attempt to answer these 6 questions:

    1. How many versions of Linux are there?

    2. What applications are available for Linux? And what the heck is LAMP?

    3. How can I listen to some tunes?

    4. What "desktop" environment should I use with my distro?

    5. Linux on the server, Linux on the desktop -- which is it?

    6. You've given me lots of facts, but not much advice. How do I get started?

    Six Things You Didn't Know About Linux: A Beginners' Guide

    Saturday, July 08, 2006

    Test Your Knowledge of Ubuntu Topics

    Take this quiz to see if you are ready for the real test.

    As reviewed last month, the latest Linux certification to go live is that of Ubuntu Professional. To earn this certification, you must first become LPI certified at Level I (LPIC I), and then pass an additional exam. The following questions are intended to allow you to test your knowledge of the topic and make certain you are ready for this certification before you begin considering it or preparing for it. Answers are at the end of the article. Good luck!"

    Nokia Picked For Mobile Multimedia Wi-Fi In NYC Parks

    Free wifi is coming to Central Park!

    "New Yorkers can enjoy some of their favorite pastimes while in the parks " such as reading the paper, listening to music or accessing the Internet " in an entirely new way,"

    Including getting mugged for their laptops?

    Now combine that with this one:


    "You don't have to necessarily be connected for these device driver flaws to come into play," Ellch said. "Just because your wireless card is on and looking for a network could be enough."

    Am I the only one that thinks this is scary?

    How many script kiddies will be hiding in Central Park when this is in full force?