Active Timer 1.3.3

I’m currently busy working on the next version of Active Timer — including features such as:

  • Being able to block certain applications
  • Attribute last idle time to a task (after coming back from idle, you can assign the previous idle interval to a specific item)
  • And more!

New in this sub-update:

  • Fixed problem with negative times (the main reason I am releasing this interim update)
  • Start/Pause is now assigned to enter key, just hit enter and go.
  • An easier way to deselect all items (just click on the label, “Sum of times:” — before you had to command click to deselect a selected item)

15 Responses to “Active Timer 1.3.3”

  1. Johan says:

    Great, development has started again?

    I am so tired of stupid timing programs, active timer is the best of them.

  2. Robert Chin says:

    Yes, although the next version will now be delayed a few days, as my laptop’s hard drive just died and I need to replace it… I have been working on Active Timer during my morning commute on the train.

  3. Johan says:

    Ouch, too bad about the hard drive.

    Could you please email me, I would love to talk to you about Active Timer in a more efficient way than this response wall.

    Sincerely Johan

  4. Hello Robert,

    Have seen your Active Timer app and I must say is a very good piece of software. Wanted to ask you somethings about it, because I want to implement something similar. The questions starts with, which programming language did you use to develop the application, did you use some kind of api to check for the process status? or you did all that just via ps command?

    Want to know where did you start, I’m starting with Objective-C, have developed in C/C++, Java, Ruby and Python, so I’m kinda lost with it because I have never used Smalltalk.

    Hope there is no problem if you could guide me to the right direction.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Atul says:

    Hi Robert,

    One of my friends asked the following. Is there a program that can lockout my kids after using a certain program for a set amount of time. Active Timers comes close to that. Are you planing on such a feature.


  6. So, I saw the write-up in Mac|Life and downloaded the program. It looked like something I always wanted to develop (but I am not a techy at all).

    It got here all right, but doesn’t seem to open.

    When I checked the Crash Log, here is what I got:


    Host Name: Phillip-Parkes-Computer.local
    Date/Time: 2007-11-28 16:23:22 -0700
    OS Version: 10.3.5 (Build 7M34)
    Report Version: 2

    Command: Active Timer
    Path: /Users/phillipparke/Desktop/Active Timer
    Version: ??? (???)
    PID: 472
    Thread: Unknown

    Link (dyld) error:

    dyld: /Users/phillipparke/Desktop/Active Timer can’t open library: /usr/lib/libgcc_s.1.dylib (No such file or directory, errno = 2)

    Did I do something wrong? I am running OS X 10.3.5 on an older G4 tower.



  7. Michael Johnston says:

    Great little app.

    What would make it worth paying for for me is:
    – options to show date & times
    – option to show icons (like in the ibiz document tracker
    – I don’t really understand the saving/documents setup. Is there a help somewhere? Maybe an option to automatically save dated files at intervals, or is that how it works?

  8. Michael Johnston says:

    Hmm, I’m really quite confused about the documents…

    ActiveTimer is single document? So if I open a past saved document to look at it, it starts adding the time to that document? Then if I have ActiveTimer set up to save every day at a certain time, I can’t use activetimer to look at those files, or everything will get messed up.

    Can it be made multi document? so that I can look at yesterdays file while today’s is running?

    I am notoriously bad for forgetting to track my time, so I’m looking at using activetimer as a fail-safe mechanism to look back and see what how much time I spend doing stuff.

  9. Robert Chin says:

    Phillip: the app requires at least 10.4 to run, and the next version will require 10.5. Unfortunately as a freeware developer I simply don’t have the time nor resources to test the app on a lot of older configurations.

    Michael: yes, Active Timer is single document. I could make it multiple document, but I think this would make things a lot weirder for the user when they quit and relaunch Active Timer and such, since the basic use case is not having the times saved every day. If you want to look at the old times, you can just save the current data, open up the old data, look at it, and then reopen the old data again when you are done and start timing again. Alternatively you can have Active Timer save out the data in CSV format, in which case you can use a program like Excel to look at the old timer data.

  10. Lennart Borregaard says:

    Here’s a feature request. No matter what idle time you’ve set in preferences, a dimmed or screen should always mean idle state – as well as of course when the screen is completely shut off.

  11. kevin says:

    I’ve just discovered Active Timer, and it’s great. But here a couple things that would make it 1000 times better:

    1. Better data export formatting. I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to get the data to work right, as I export it to use in another program. I can see why the drilldown is useful within the Active Timer interface, but I think the way this causes the data to be formatted upon export is basically causing me to lose the duration time associated with the individual documents (I only end up seeing totals for each appliaction.) I’m not sure why a total time spent in each application is useful, as most people who would be concerned about tracking their time would do so on a project by project basis, so the crucial thing is to have the data associated with documents, not applications.

    2. Having fields for start time and end time, including the date (that part is really important).

    3. Settings for incremental data saving/clearing. Ideally, I would love for it to automatically keep running on the same data set for each week, then automatically save it and clear it, so each week starts anew.

    I notice you haven’t made an update in a while, so I’m hoping that continued development on this is still something you’re planning. Any plans to make this shareware? I imagine you’d have a lot of takers.

  12. Matthew Green says:

    Hi Robert

    I just have to say great app, it’s 99% what I’m looking for. Would it be possible to have an option to run as background daemon (ie no interface) maybe with some admin authorization thrown in for good measure somewhere.

    feel free to email me if you like



  13. Robert Chin says:

    I am considering starting up development of this project again, potentially as shareware. If you are interested in participating in the development (meaning giving suggestions for features, data formatting suggestions, beta testing, etc.), please post a comment here along with your e-mail address. Thanks!

  14. Mark Steiner says:

    Very keen to see this project start moving again! I would be happy to help out with suggestion, testing etc…

  15. Paolo says:

    Hi Robert,

    Thank you for the very useful Active Timer! I discovered a couple small mistakes in the numbering of version 1.3.3: the Info box shows version 1.4, and the Finder show 1.3.2.

    Since one of my Mac will stay with Tiger forever, I hope there will be a last fix for Tiger, sooner or later.


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