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Drop #350 (2023-10-11): Do You Know The Times?
ttimer; clock-tui; termdown
Despite being well-baked into the Apple ecosystem, it's far from a panacea of productivity and usability. While Apple finally gave Siri the “superpower” of managing multiple timers, Siri is still pretty horrible, and Apple does get your Siri command data in some way, shape, or form. Even if you aren't in my tin-foil wearing club, Apple — at the very least — does know when you use it and what apps were used with it.
One of the few things I need from any “assistant” is a timer. Sure, I could just use a meatspace one, but I paid for these glowing rectangles, and by gosh I am going to get as much value from them as I can.
We covered TimeWarrior a while ago, and it can do basic timers along with the gazillion other features it has. However, it is overkill for basic needs.
So, today, we look at three compact clock-y things you can use from the CLI on any operating system.
This is an AI-generated summary of today's Drop.
Something is going on at Perplexity.
The default response quality has gone down significantly over the past few weeks, forcing me to re-think many prompts for daily research tasks. That re-thinking has worked, but it is super annoying.
Today, I had to change-up the prompt that generates these summaries. This is the new one:
"The attached file contains a blog post in Markdown format with three main sections of content. I would like a very concise three bullet summary of it. Each bullet should succinctly describe a section and include the link to the primary resource being covered. Please try to recreate the URLs as exactly as possible. Tune down your temperature if necessary. Only evaluate sections starting with ###".
ttimer: This section discusses a basic, cross-platform timer called ttimer. It counts down time left in your terminal window and sends silent system notifications at 90% and 100% completion. It is cross-platform thanks to the notificator module, which provides support for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
clock-tui: This section introduces clock-tui, a lightweight terminal user interface for managing countdown timers, stopwatches, and regular timers. It can also function as a terminal clock. After installation, users get access to
tclockin their terminal, which has several sub-commands for different modes.
termdown: The final section covers termdown, a Python module that provides similar functionality to
clock-tuibut with more precise command line options for controlling what happens after the timer is done, and what is displayed while you're waiting. It uses pyfiglet for text rendering, but users have control over this feature, as well as more fine-tuned control over how the time is displayed.
ttimer is the most basic of the three resources covered today. It is just a cross-platform, simple timer that counts down time left in your terminal window. When done, it will send silent system notifications at 90% and 100% completion.
You can start using it immediately following a:
go install github.com/drgrib/ttimer@latest.
It is cross-platform thanks to the notificator module which provides this support with the help of:
Windows with growlnotify;
Mac OS X with
terminal-notifier(if installed) or
osascript(native, 10.9 Mavericks or Up.);
notify-sendfor Gnome and
Unfortunately, it's not the most modern notification module, and
growlnotify is on life support.
However, the Golang project is very small, and the notification code is very self-contained, making this super-hackable (WPE major hint, right there).
Humbly self-described as “a clock app in terminal”, clock-tui is a super lightweight and handy TUI for managing countdown timers, stopwatches, and regular timers. It can also “just” function as a terminal clock.
cargo install clock-tui you get access to
tclock in your terminal, which has the following sub-commands:
clockclock mode displays the current time, the default mode
countdowntimer mode shows the duration to a specific time
stopwatchmode displays the elapsed time since it was started
timermode displays the remaining time until the timer is finished
It is very self-explanatory, so I will treat you like the handsome and intelligent human you are and shunt ye to the terminal to experiment.
Well, I'll do that right after showing what's up with the section header.
This is what I used to make the
timer in the image:
$ tclock --color DarkGray --size 2 timer --duration 60m --execute "say dough proofing timer done"
When it's done, my macOS box will also let me know it's time to work with the dough.
Not wanting the Python folks to be left out (it's hard enough maintaining self-esteem after working in the Python mines all day), termdown does the core bits of what
clock-tui does, with scads more precise command line options for controlling what happens after the timer is done, and what is displayed while you're waiting.
Surprisingly (I mean, it is a Python module, after all) it drops in well sans
venv madness via:
$ python3 -m pip install termdown
Termdown defaults to using pyfiglet for text rendering, but you have control over that feature, as well as more fine-tuned control over how the time is displayed.
The section header shows my dough proofing 60-minute timer in figlet numbers.
What are your fav ways to manage timers? ☮️
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