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Setting to reset breaks is being ignored

I'm running the above version of Time Out on my MacBook Pro. I recently upgraded the OS from Mountain Lion (10.8) to Mavericks (10.9). I've gradually realised that my setting to "reset if idle for at least such-and-such a period" (5 minutes for micro breaks, 10 minutes for normal breaks) is being ignored: I can come back from an idle period of at least 10 minutes and a normal break will continue to be scheduled as it was before, and indeed sometimes I'll return to my computer, disable the screen saver and find that it's in the middle of a normal break.

Is there something I could try in order to fix this, like trash the Time Out Free preferences and start over? Or will I need to upgrade my version?

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Setting to reset breaks is being ignored

Hi,

You could try installing the standard edition of Time Out, instead of the Free edition — I'm unable to update the App Store edition until version 2 is out due to Apple's sandboxing rules.

Or you could turn on the schedule logging to see what it thinks is going on.

Enter the following command in Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities):

defaults write com.dejal.timeout.free DebugScheduler YES

(Omit the ".free" if using the standard edition.)

Then you can see the logging in Console (also in the Utilities folder). If that doesn't make sense to you, paste in the log entries after manually starting a break for me to analyze.

Valtandor's picture

Re: Setting to reset breaks is being ignored

Hi David,

Thanks for your prompt response. I've turned on logging as you suggest, and saw the following results in Console:

3/02/14 9:26:52.445 am Time Out Free[369]: Idle 62.1 secs; normal due 3/02/14 10:14 am, micro due 3/02/14 9:34 am
3/02/14 9:26:52.446 am Time Out Free[369]: ...now officially idle, since 3/02/14 9:26 am
3/02/14 9:27:07.445 am Time Out Free[369]: Idle 12.8 secs; normal due 3/02/14 10:14 am, micro due 3/02/14 9:34 am
3/02/14 9:27:07.445 am Time Out Free[369]: ...not yet idle for at least a minute
3/02/14 9:27:22.444 am Time Out Free[369]: Idle 27.8 secs; normal due 3/02/14 10:14 am, micro due 3/02/14 9:34 am
3/02/14 9:27:22.445 am Time Out Free[369]: ...not yet idle for at least a minute
3/02/14 9:27:37.444 am Time Out Free[369]: Idle 42.8 secs; normal due 3/02/14 10:14 am, micro due 3/02/14 9:34 am
3/02/14 9:27:37.445 am Time Out Free[369]: ...not yet idle for at least a minute
3/02/14 9:27:52.444 am Time Out Free[369]: Idle 8.0 secs; normal due 3/02/14 10:14 am, micro due 3/02/14 9:34 am
3/02/14 9:27:52.444 am Time Out Free[369]: ...not yet idle for at least a minute

Thus, during that period of inactivity, you can see that the idle time counter reset twice, about once a minute during that particular period of inactivity.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Setting to reset breaks is being ignored

Hi,

Thanks for trying that. The log indicates that Time Out thought that the computer was only briefly idle, not long enough to reset the breaks. If you weren't using the computer, then some other app must be causing it to have some activity. Some apps like Caffeine do this intentionally, others like Logitech Alert Commander do it unintentionally (as far as I know).

In Time Out 2, I want to switch to a different way of detecting idle, based on actual keyboard usage. I haven't done that yet, though. (Version 2 is currently in alpha testing by select licensed users.)

Valtandor's picture

Re: Setting to reset breaks is being ignored

OK. It seems to be a bit unsystematic: for instance, I was idle for 5 minutes just now, and it did reset the micro breaks.

I'll keep an eye on it and see if I can figure out what the rogue application is.

Valtandor's picture

Re: Setting to reset breaks is being ignored

Well, I've had a look and I can't identify what process(es) are interfering with the idle-time counter. Could even be extensions or system daemons of some description.

Which, I guess, means that I'm putting up with breaks that don't reset until Time Out 2 comes out.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Setting to reset breaks is being ignored

If you've donated for a Time Out license, and are using Mavericks, you could join the alpha group, and try version 2. It currently still uses the same idle detector, but I will be changing that soon. Contact me if you want to join.

Re: Setting to reset breaks is being ignored - similar story

Hi,

I've been using TimeOut on my MacBook Pro for years, currently with (Mavericks + Timeout 1.7.1), but earlier with previous operating systems (Lion, Leopard) and older versions of TimeOut. During this whole period, I have experienced the same problem reported by Scintimandrion, namely that the "reset if idle" option is often ignored, and I frequently find TimeOut starting a break just as I return to work after lunch.

I've never figured out what is causing this, so if it can be cured in TimeOut 2, that would be great.

There are two related issues that it would be good if you could look at:

1) If I switch on the Console logging as you request, TimeOut writes messages to the log once every 15 seconds during the working period, which is fine. But during the TimeOut breaks, it writes about a dozen messages to the log every single second. Having this many messages in the Console log makes it very hard to read.

2) If TimeOut has scheduled a 10 minutes break from 10:35 - 10:45, but it detects that between 10:30 - 10:35 I have not touched my laptop, then I would like it to have the intelligence to figure out that by 10:40 I will have spent 10 minutes away from my laptop, and so it can end its break 5 minutes early, at 10:40. This option is not currently available.

Thanks,
Ian

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Setting to reset breaks is being ignored

Hi Ian,

Yes, the logging is rather verbose... but you can find or filter in the Console to see the bits you're interested in.

I do want to make the scheduler smarter in version 2, so it recognizes "informal" breaks as you suggest.