Online Alarm Clock?
July 2, 2004 2:55 AM   Subscribe

My stubborn roommate won't let me use his alarm clock, and I need to get up for work. I generally don't trust alarms - what's the easiest to operate, most reliable, free to download alarm clock program available?
posted by Phatty Lumpkin to Computers & Internet (29 answers total)
If you're talking about a program that runs on a PC, I wouldn't even think of relying on it. Windows is fully compliant with Murphy's Law.

I use the alarm in my mobile phone. I can set it with my eyes closed, and it never lets me down.
posted by fuzz at 3:30 AM on July 2, 2004

Wakeup! is free, easy to use, and reliable.
posted by dydecker at 4:05 AM on July 2, 2004

Sorry, scratch that link. The Wakeup! clock I use is this one.
posted by dydecker at 4:13 AM on July 2, 2004

you could always just add a scheduled task for a set time to open winamp. install this autoplay plug-in to start up a song when winamp starts up, and you're good.
posted by lotsofno at 5:09 AM on July 2, 2004

Another vote for the cell phone (if available).
posted by Hankins at 5:16 AM on July 2, 2004

Get a cat. They're incredibly reliable and will always wake you up earlier than you need to be woken.
posted by briank at 6:13 AM on July 2, 2004

For crying out loud. Go to CVS or Target or Wal-Mart or any number of stores and get a $3 alarm clock. If you are extra-paranoid, get one with battery backup and spend the extra couple bucks on a 9-volt. Really, these things are all equally reliable, and probably much more reliable than your PC.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:31 AM on July 2, 2004

Use the alarm in your cell phone. It works like a charm, is free, and some even have the option to snooze.
posted by BlueTrain at 7:06 AM on July 2, 2004

Yup, cell phone. Mine goes mental when it alarms.
posted by i_cola at 7:10 AM on July 2, 2004

Try a big tumbler of water last thing at night.
posted by the cuban at 7:11 AM on July 2, 2004

Regarding cellphone as an alarm clock:

Let's not go into the "cells are dangerous for your health or not" debate now, but if you have even the slightest doubt that they're not 100% safe (and I believe lots of us are into this group), isn't it stupid to have them next to your head (assuming you leave it on the bedside-table) while you're sleeping?
posted by kchristidis at 7:34 AM on July 2, 2004

I'm not sure how you can ask us not to get into a cell phone=dangerous debate when you use the word "stupid" to describe sleeping next to one.

As far as I know, cell phones are most dangerous when they are actually in phone mode, not standby. Anyway, the phone is loud enough that you can place it anywhere in the room and still here it. I'm not suggesting that you spoon with your phone.
posted by BlueTrain at 7:39 AM on July 2, 2004

Also phones only emit radio waves when they are being used, otherwise they are just absorbing the waves all around em.
posted by zeoslap at 8:04 AM on July 2, 2004

For what it's worth, I can hear that stupid T-Mobile ringtone when it rings anywhere in my apartment. I use it regularly. I've also used voice mail on my Verizon home account; you can record a snarly message to yourself and have it call back once, or daily.
posted by coelecanth at 9:06 AM on July 2, 2004

BlueTrain, I had an if-clause before that one, and also a question mark at the end, that was meant to leave some space of doubt (as in "I may be wrong in this, folks").

And as zeoslap notes, I'm probably wrong in this.
posted by kchristidis at 9:12 AM on July 2, 2004

What a weird question. Buy a $3 alarm clock.
posted by Quartermass at 9:25 AM on July 2, 2004

posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:26 AM on July 2, 2004

And it's not that weird a question. I regularly sleep through most alarm clocks. I'm sure I could find one that would work if I tried enogh, but it's easier and cheaper to set up a cronjob so I can control what the sound is, how loud it is, and (major selling point) set it to go off at different times (mine goes when I'd like to get up, then again a little later when I really absolutely have to get up if I don't want to get fired). I've yet to see a physical alarm clock that can have multiple times with different sounds at different volumes.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:31 AM on July 2, 2004

My cell phone does that. Three alarms, any sound you want with snooze. God bless those crazy kids at LG Electronics.
posted by amandaudoff at 10:02 AM on July 2, 2004

Whenever my girlfriend sleeps over, she uses her cell phone. It can be anywhere in the room, after all, it's a cell phone - it's supposed to be audible.

The bad part has nothing to do with her phone's alarm, it's to do with her getting up at 5:30 AM for work.
posted by linux at 10:23 AM on July 2, 2004

Tell him to wake you up.

That's what I'd do.

Of course, I'm cheap to a fault.
posted by shepd at 10:32 AM on July 2, 2004

Also phones only emit radio waves when they are being used, otherwise they are just absorbing the waves all around em.

Based on my understanding, cell phones are in constant contact with cell towers and periodically contacts towers to tell them that the phone is in range, etc.
posted by gyc at 10:57 AM on July 2, 2004

Did I get this right -- you don't trust alarms, besides your roommates alarm clock.

Maybe you can ask your roommate to go alarm clock shopping with you since he is able to choose trustworthy alarm clocks.
posted by zeikka at 11:36 AM on July 2, 2004

Based on my understanding, cell phones are in constant contact with cell towers and periodically contacts towers to tell them that the phone is in range, etc.

Yes, they do, but in bursts that take only a few milliseconds, once every second or few. This is essentially the same as not emitting any radio waves at all.
posted by kindall at 12:00 PM on July 2, 2004

Ishmael - what is cron?
posted by rorycberger at 1:06 PM on July 2, 2004

a little pricey for regular use, but WakeUpLand will call to wake you up for a small fee. Would make a great backup alarm for super important days (job interview or something) as it is impervious to power outages, computer crashes, etc. (note: I've never used this service, just bookmarked it a while back because it looked handy)

as a side note, my cell phone is about the least reliable alarm ever. i forget why exactly, since i no longer even try to use it, but i think it gets thrown off if i get a text message in the night (which i sometimes do, newsalerts and the like). then again, my phone pretty much sucks all around (motorola c333 i believe), so YMMV.
posted by rorycberger at 1:14 PM on July 2, 2004

Most phones now will allow you to program in a ring tone. On my Nokia 3650, I mashed the circle key-pad a few times to create the most obnoxious ring you've even been fortunate enough not to hear. It also vibrates like crazy and continues to buzz/ring (at increasingly louder volumes) until I hit snooze and become late for class / work. I x the suggestion for a cell phone as an alarm.
posted by Lizc at 1:15 PM on July 2, 2004

Oh, here's my personal favourite alarm clock. Not too loud, but easy as hell to set!

It's great for lazy people too. You don't even have to turn your head to look at it.
posted by shepd at 2:01 PM on July 2, 2004

rorycberger: what is cron?

Have a look here.
posted by kchristidis at 5:41 PM on July 2, 2004

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