OSX user session timer software?
July 12, 2011 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Looking for OSX software that will produce a timer on the screen during each user session so that session times can be monitored.

I know about the parent controls in Snow Leopard that allow me to set limits on daily computer use by user. But what I need is different. I need software that simply times user sessions. Ideally a timer would pop up on the screen somewhere and start counting up as soon as a user logged in. It would reset when they logged out.

Anyone know of anything that can do something close to this?
posted by crapples to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Geektool plus a shell command to display the time since the user logged in (maybe someone else can help with that).
posted by caek at 9:56 AM on July 12, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks caek - I would definitely need help with that tool, but from the description it looks like it might be able to do the job. Hopefully someone else will be able to help me with the shell command.
posted by crapples at 10:11 AM on July 12, 2011

Response by poster: odinsdream - that works perfectly. I have a couple of follow ups if you have time for them:

1 - every time i log in it asks me if I want to run the script. Is there any way I can make it just run the script without asking?

2 - as it is i put the little "glet" file in my startup items, which seems to be working. However, I can't get it to run automatically on the non-admin accounts on my system because they don't have start up items in their account profiles. Is there a way that I can make it run (without the dialogue box, see question 1) on all of the non-admin accounts?

Thanks - this is looking great so far.
posted by crapples at 10:59 AM on July 12, 2011

The OS already tracks session times. The "last" command in a terminal window will show the last however many sessions for a username by doing this:

> last -n 3 posvr
posvr pts/46 Jul 12 12:04 still logged in.
posvr pts/23 Jul 12 10:47 - 12:41 (01:54)
posvr pts/23 Jul 12 10:31 - 10:46 (00:14)
posted by cmdnc0 at 1:46 PM on July 12, 2011

Response by poster: odinsdream - i don't know if anyone is still reading this BUT: I copied your syntax into the command part of geektool (after dragging a "shell" to the desktop), then i exported it to my applications folder (so that it would be available to all users). Then I opened the Accounts preferences and added the exported file to everyone's login items.

Was there a better way to do it?
posted by crapples at 4:57 PM on July 12, 2011

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