Time Out icon Time Out
You deserve a break
Note: David is on vacation until mid-September, so replies to support queries may be delayed.
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Selective time out (internet, etc...)

First, thanks dejal for creating this. It's a great piece of freeware.

One change that would make it even more useful for anyone who, like me, uses this to stop them from wasting time would be a variant that only froze certain programs. If that existed, I could shut down firefox or a game, but keep word or excel open. And that would be great.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Selective time out (internet, etc...)

A few years ago I had a similar idea, of watching what applications you're using and helping you restrict usage of non-productive ones. I wrote up a description of a product I code-named "Discipline". I am thinking about adding such features in a future version of Time Out, though probably not in version 2.0.

As far as Firefox is

As far as Firefox is concerned, you can download an add-on that allows you to selectively block yourself out of certain sites (that you specify). I don't remember the name of the add-on (I don't have it, though I probably should), but it allows for two great features. First, you can specify delayed blocking (it will block you after ten minutes of use; allowing access to quick info but hindering getting lost in distraction). Second, you can specify effective time ranges (it will only block you between 9am-5pm, for example). You can also combine these, such that it only blocks you between 9-5 and after ten minutes of use. A quick search should bring it up.

I would like to make an

I would like to make an additional suggestion similar to this. I would like time out to Stop showing breaks when a certain program is being used.

For example, when I am watching a video is quicktime or vlc, I do not want a break to pop-up and obstruct my view.

I am not really sure how it works, but somehow vlc keeps the screen saver from starting and even keeps the computer from sleeping. perhaps timeout could detect this and also not show any breaks?

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Stop showing breaks when a certain program is being used

Yes, that is a feature I'd like to add in Time Out 2. I'd envision a preference page where you can specify which apps to cause Time Out to pause breaks when they're running. Alternatively, it could detect full-screen, though I'm not sure if that is feasible... and not all such apps use full-screen displays.

The most important way in

The most important way in which Time Out could be selective in my daily use is if it paused time outs while watching video. Is there an easy way to differentiate between the activity generated by someone actively using a computer and that generated by programs such as Quicktime player and VLC when video is playing?

David Sinclair's picture

Re: The most important way

Applications being busy playing video etc are no different than other applications doing things (or nothing) while running. Only user activity counts for idle detection.

I've thought about detecting full-screen state, but different apps do it different ways, so that's not easy, either.