I need a PC alarm clock

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Maskeeper, Nov 6, 2002.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Yes, I know it can be done with task scheduler (schedule a task to play a cd, or play a wav file at a specific time)...

    However i have a unique situation. I recently snagged a second hand P4 Dell for a sweet price from a friend. I plan to throw a I/O tuner card in it and use it as a bedside TV, DVD, Audio machine and would like to eliminate everything on my nightstand. The last thing on the nightstand that the PC can't replace is the alarm clock.

    The problem with using the stock "task scheduler" method is that I run into the "volume problem". Like on many bedside alarm clocks- the master volume controls the volume of the radio when you go to sleep as well as the volume it uses for the alarm.

    Because I want to use the machine to Watch TV and play CDs- it is likely that the master volume will be quite low. when the buzzer goes off on the alarm, I'd need it to be significantly louder.

    Does anyone know of a PC based alarm clock that either uses the internal PC speaker for the alarm or better yet can take control of the master volume when the alarm goes off?

    -vince
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Go to www.download.com and do a search for "alarm clock"
    If you find one you like relay the info back to us. [​IMG]
     
  3. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    Vince, one of my daily-checked sites should have a good list of apps you might want to check out:
    http://www.betanews.com and just search for "alarm" in the upper right.
    Let me know how it goes for you. [​IMG]
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Well, so far I have downloaded 36 alarm clock programs-- and only one has any internal volume control. I found 1 or 2 that had volume controls for the alarm, but only that firecharts one will override the windows master volume setting temporarily...
    Unfortunately, this program is also decorated with a giant banner ad (and no option to just pay for the damn thing)- and the installer contained virus infected tmp files. UGH.
    If anyone knows of one, please fill me in...
    -Vince
     
  5. Daren Welsh

    Daren Welsh Supporting Actor

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    I know winamp has an alarm plugin (well, probably more than one). You could check that out to see if it has a volume control.
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I think I hit the jackpot... found an app called AlarMe on Cnet-- seems to do the trick (after trying no less than 50 apps).

    -Vince
     
  7. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    Hey Vince, give us a run down on what your setup is. I have a retired Dell Dimension XPS T500, it's by no means to be the latest and greatest, but it's a solid and competent piece of machinery.
    I was going to sell it to a friend of mine for dirt cheap, and then I decided to keep it around..may be to run a little multimedia center in the bedroom [​IMG] .... I haven't had time to really looked into it yet, but would be interested in what you come up with.
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Well, this is a P4 Dell at like 1.8gig- I took it off his hands with DVD and 80gig drive for $425 (I think he paid like $600 new a year ago).

    I'm just using an I/O magic input card with Dscaler, the same config I use on my HTPC. For DVD playback I went with Powerdvd XP (although I have theatertek)-- I just wanted a more PC oriented player (non full screen, more mouse use, etc).

    That's basically it- Powerdvd XP, Winamp, IO Tuner Card and Dscaler.

    Simple, but does everything I need (esp now that I found an alarm clock!).

    -V
     
  9. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    >>I just wanted a more PC oriented player (non full screen, more mouse use, etc).>IO Tuner Card
     
  10. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    Vince, if you cant find one that you like, I can write one for you in CC++. Alarm clock applications are among the easiest applications to write (these are often given out as assignments in 100-level programming classes).
     
  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Steve,

    Yeah, I'm using a monitor- not a TV set (I've never understood the desire to hook a PC to a TV set).

    I don't have remote ability, in this case the PC is literally 4 inches from me, so it seemed moot.

    The IO magic card is a TV tuner/video input card based on the Conexant chip- which makes it usable with Dscaler. I picked it up for like $30 at Compusa. It came bundled with Power VCR, which I've never bothered to try...

    -Vince
     
  12. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Steven,

    Have any students ever written one that allows you to use the PC speaker (instead of the soundcard), or better yet use both?

    That's the one feature missing from the ones I've found. I'd like one that could control window's volume, and could also send a buzzing/beeping to PC speaker in addition to playing a wave file.

    I'd gladly pay $25 for a decent application that could do this (and had a few other basic features)...

    -Vince
     
  13. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    Vince,

    I'm actually not a teacher, just remember that I had to write 2 or 3 of these applications over the course of my edu-macation.

    Playing sounds through the PC speaker shouldnt be too difficult but I must admit that I've never accomplished them that way before (always done it through the sound card, usually through Direct X or Windows MultiMedia API)

    Usually, the way that it works is that the user specifies a wave file, then the applications enters an infinite (or finite) loop. Every time the applications performs code in the loop, it checks the current system time and compares it to the "wake up" time given. You can specify the "precision" of the loop (ie, how long it waits before it re-loops) by putting the current thread to sleep for XXX amount of milliseconds. If the wake up time matches or exceeds the current time, play the wave file.

    here is very simple Pseudo-code for an app

    1. Enter wake up time
    2. Select WAV file
    3. Enter loop
    while(current time is < wake up time)
    sleep(XXX milliseconds)
    end while
    play wave file

    Again, this is pretty basic.
     

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