Saturday, September 23, 2006

FlexTime

File this under "Good stuff you may not have heard of."

FlexTime is a general-purpose timer for Mac OS X. Who needs a timer? I didn't think I did either until I found this.

I was once given a stretch routine by a chiropractor to help my back and neck. It really does help, but it's hard to stay dedicated and do it with frequency. Also, each stretch calls for 20 seconds, and it can be hard to count out the time on my own.

Enter FlexTime, nearly a year later. I set up a routine that repeats automatically, with 5 seconds to transition between stretches and 20 to hold them. At the beginning of each cue, my computer beeps at me.

It works great as a game timer, too. I once used it to time a game of Rummikub. In that game, everyone is allowed only 2 minutes per turn. I set flextime up to speak text at 30-second intervals, reminding people of how much time they had left. It was great.

But that's not all you can do with FlexTime. You can tie scripts to it, and use it to control other applications. You can bind remote controls to it to control it remotely. You can customize the behavior of cues through scripting. And on and on.

I'm not affiliated with Red Sweater Software (the company that makes it), I just like the program. So go give it a try, eh?

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