Good Morning, Mr. Phelps

Your mission, Jim, should you choose to accept it.

I need an alarm clock. To remind me to go to bed.

No, seriously.

Midnight creeps up on me, sneaks past and drags 1am with it all too often. It must stop.

However, being a … geek/nerd/dork/saddo … I would like a nice solution to this problem. Namely a little software based (Windows) alarm clock that:

  1. Minimises to the system tray – yes I know there are applications that will do this but that means running ANOTHER application just to run an alarm clock!
  2. Displays a custom popup message – if it happens to support different messages per day then fine, but no biggie if it doesn’t.
  3. Does not require a sound file to be played – if I’m working late at night I don’t have speakers or headphones on.
  4. Supports daily alarms, discarding days that have passed – I don’t want multiple alarms popping up because I didn’t turn on the PC for a few days (like Outlook does).
  5. Is free (or

So far I’ve found and discarded:

  • 1Time which fits most of the criteria, except you can’t minimise it to the system tray, and it doesn’t popup a message just re-opens the timer window. Handy for countdowns though, as it displays the remaining time in the system tray.
  • Citrus which minimises to the system tray but doesn’t popup a message (sound only)
  • TClock – which I already use to display the date in the system tray, but which doesn’t popup a message.
  • Windows own Task Scheduler – purely because it’s clunky, and takes too long to get at to change.

I’ve Googled (for “windows ‘silent alarm’ software message popup” and variations thereof), searched LifeHacker, Ask MeFi, and NoNags, yet still cannot find a decent application.

I have found some clunky old Windows 95 era stuff but.. ewwww ughlee…

So, you have your mission, do you choose to accept it?

As always, should you or any of your IM force be caught or killed,, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck…

Written By

Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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It’s easy. All you need is a Spouse-based application – when Louise says “turn the bloody thing off and come to bed”, it’s time to turn off the computer and go to bed. I have a similar system set up here and it works fine and barely uses any system resources.

hans stolte says:

use Windows>Accessories>system tools> scheduled tasks, and set it to do whatever you want on whatever basis you like.

Looking for a tool to do this, and call yourself a techie, i despair !

(Note the lack of grammar, and proper punctuation)

Has your mum got a coloured name yet, with all that time you spend up late looking for pron?

Yes, it’s to AVOID that particular application you see… that’s an expensive one to maintain!

We have an alarm dog. Doesn’t need Windows® to run, or any other form of task manager. Wants to go to bed at 10.30pm every night, and nags and barks until we follow suit.

Cheap, effective, and very, very fucking annoying. Free to a good home, if she’s not careful.


Still sorting things out.

Lost two comments!!

B-Rad says:

i like a program called banshee screamer. i’ve had it for years.

B-Rad – despite being fugly, it’s spot on. Drops to system tray, allows daily alarm, starts with Windows, and launches a program or URL of my choice (currently a local web page that says “GO TO BED” in big red letters).

We have a winner!!


Do you run any IM programs? It’s not too difficult to get a UNIX box to send you a reminder IM at a certain time, using a small perl script, and then you do not have to install additional software.

enrictheslayer says:

My roommate has the Banshee Screamer! I despise that thing. He insists on using it every day and I can’t get him to turn it off! I would not suggest the screamer for people who find beeping alarm clock annoying!

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