I hope I can read the popup reminder...
September 29, 2010 2:08 PM   Subscribe

How can I tell Windows XP to make a beep, chirp or show a popup reminder every 10 minutes as long as I am logged on to my computer (and the screen is not locked)? I would like to save my eyes before I go blind.

I want to make an effort to reduce the strain on my eyes by taking a short 30 second break from my computer monitor every 10 minutes or so. I run Win XP at work (Internet Explorer 7), but do not have administrative priveledges to install applications. If the app can run standalone, I can make it work. Does windows have any kind of functionality built in? Is there a program or webapp that will grab focus or issue a popup every 10 minutes? Can I write a quick web page with a timer, save it to my desktop, put it in my startup folder and have it do this? (I don't know how to create said web page, I would have to copy/paste the code or find one that exists already). Any other ideas?

I thought about setting Outlook reminders, but don't want to deal with a slew of them building up overnight or when I am not at my desk. Ideally the reminder would only show when I am logged on, but I can handle if one pops up while the screen is locked and I have to hit OK or whatever when I get back to my desk.

I saw this, but it won't grab focus/pop on top of all windows, and I would have to reset it manually each time.
posted by kenbennedy to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What about Workrave?
posted by micawber at 2:14 PM on September 29, 2010

why not search for the innumerable apps that are dedicated just to this? a quick search came up with:



posted by johnchristopher at 2:22 PM on September 29, 2010

FWIW, you proably do not need to do this every *ten* minutes. My son's optician recommends that every 20 minutes, you stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to reduce eye strain.

Apparently this is standard advice. It's called the 20-20-20 Rule.
posted by misha at 3:21 PM on September 29, 2010

Seconding workrave.
posted by reddot at 4:34 PM on September 29, 2010

Response by poster: I will have to check all these out tomorrow when I am back at my work computer, thanks.

micawber: I had not heard of Workrave, and will give it a try.

johnchristopher: I did search, but had trouble narrowing it down with any meaningful search terms, I really didn't know what keywords would make for a good search. Thanks for the help.
posted by kenbennedy at 5:17 PM on September 29, 2010

You can do this with a combination of Scheduled Tasks and a small Visual Basic script. You shouldn't need admin priviledges to do so.

Follow the instructions here. I use this to record what I'm doing every hour for my timesheets at work, but you could easily set it to different time intervals, change the filename to 'takeabreak.vbs' or whatever and just hit return to close the log box when it appears. Or even just write 'Okay, taking a break!'
posted by Happy Dave at 3:55 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

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