Macs are interesting. After using one for over 20 years I can still find myself in a situation where I don’t have the right utility to do something I want to do.
For example, our Macs have a digital clock, right? It’s on the Menu Bar and tells time, even counting off the seconds. Today I needed a timer. Alas, the poor Mac clock wasn’t good enough.
It was a simple enough request. “Help me out with a video Podcast,” my friend said. “Sure,” I said. “What do you want to talk about?” The topic was to be Apple and Macs and iPhones.
My only requirement was to not talk too long. We fired up our Macs, connected via iChat, began the session and started our online video conference call, dutifully recorded as video in 320×240 pixels.
All went well until the end when I realized we had no idea how long the video conference conversation was taking during the conversation.
Neither of us bothered to check the time, or time the iChat call.
Uh oh. We need a timer unless we want to time our Podcast with a calendar. Time has that funny way of going by much faster than expected. Especially as you get older.
What I found on MacUpdate was a plentiful supply of timers for every occasion.
If timing something on your Mac is a requirement, then your Mac aims to please. Menubar Countdown is what you think it is. A time in the Menu Bar. Set it to a time and it counts down.
freeAlarmClock is what you think it is, too. It looks like an alarm clock, circa Groundhog Day.
It’s not pretty, but simple, and works well, complete with alarm settings. The Pro version also does log out, restart, shut down, sleep, and quit and start specific Mac applications.
EddyTimer is a reminder utility that works like an alarm clock without looking like an alarm clock. You can stack as many different alarms as you need and assign a task to each. I think Eddy is a pet frog.
Timer II is an oven timer. You know, for Mac users who keep their Macs in the kitchen. It’s simple. And free. There’s no shortage of timers for Mac users.
One of my favorites is ClockWork. It manages multiple timers, has a full screen mode (not good if you’re doing a video call in iChat), even wakes from sleep.
Apparently, there’s no shortage of timers for iPhone users, either. I settled on DownTime for my iPhone instead of anything fancy and expensive.
I set the timer on my iPhone, propped it next to the Mac’s screen and got a visual countdown to the allotted time for the video iChat session.