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May 30th, 2006

A Simple Alarm Clock Design Improvement

By far, the thing that is the most annoying about 99% of alarm clocks is setting the time – be it the alarm or the actual time. In most cases it involves holding down one button while tapping another… and if you overshoot it, too darn bad.

So here’s how you improve it: first, have a button or slider that sets the mode (“Set Clock”, “Set Alarm”, “Neither”). Then, have – ready? – a rotary dial. It could even be a slick touch-sensitive thing like on the face of the iPod.

The dial could let you go forwards or backwards. That way, getting to 7:01 doesn’t mean you have to press “MIN” 59 more times.

Problem solved!

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Greg
DATE: Tuesday May 30, 2006 -- 10:19:08 am

Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? HA!

FROM: jk
DATE: Tuesday May 30, 2006 -- 10:55:16 am
I suspect there was a power interruption last night--severe storms, yes?

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday May 30, 2006 -- 12:53:46 pm
What? Just press "min" 59 more times? That's great!! All these years I've been unplugging the darned thing and starting all over!

Ryan, you're a genius.

Maybe you can help me with this one: I need a bigger mouse pad. When I move my mouse all way to the right, the little arrow is only about 2/3 of the way to the right of the screen. To make matters worse, the right side of my desk is right against the wall, so, I can't even try a bigger mouse pad without moving my desk away from the wall and then increasing the length of the desk top to accomodate the increased mouse pad size. I'd do it, no problem. I only get about half of my work down without being able to access my full screen. But I can't find a bigger mouse pad to begin with.

Any ideas?

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday May 30, 2006 -- 12:54:43 pm
Ryan, you're a genius.

I meant Paul. Sorry, I got so excited about not having to unplug my clock anymore to reset the time when I overshoot.

FROM: Steve A
DATE: Tuesday May 30, 2006 -- 6:22:21 pm
Pssst... did you ever notice if you depressed the hour and minute buttons together you'll reset to 12:00am??


FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday May 30, 2006 -- 6:46:06 pm
I've never tried that, Steve - I'll give it a shot!

FROM: ryan
DATE: Wednesday May 31, 2006 -- 3:59:49 am
this improved alarm clock you call for. i own one. i have had it for fifteen years now, perhaps more. it has a slider to select time, alarm 1, or alarm 2. another slider selects set mode, or normal mode. and there is a textured rotary selector to change the time. a small cylinder on its side.

granted, i have never seen one for purchase anywhere, but it does exist.

FROM: Merle [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday May 31, 2006 -- 9:58:13 am
Ooh, a dial like the mouse scroll wheel, with discrete intervals. I like it.

I've noticed that clocks also get worse as time goes on. My current one was great when we first got it, with no overshooting problems. Today, just tapping on it can cause a thirty minute shift in time. My oven timer is even worse. One crank around, it gets up to 0:10. Another, maybe 0:25. A third, and it jumps to 17:40. Niiice.

Even better: why not have a numeric keypad? It's an easy interface for people to learn.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Thursday June 1, 2006 -- 10:31:03 am
I have a Sony Soundcube or whatever, from the eighties. It has the usual features, but what's bad about it is that it takes enormous finger pressure to push the buttons down. So, when you're setting the minutes by holding the button down, you have to curl your finger and use the face of your nail. If you use your fingertip, it's too painful as the buttons are rounded and concentrate pressure, and you get a huge blue dent. It sucks. I use a battery powered analog alarm clock that has a snooze that I bought at Target for $10. Works great.

Anyone want to buy a twenty-year-old Sony Soundcube?

FROM: Endo Kabinnal
DATE: Friday June 2, 2006 -- 4:22:19 pm
Go to a Korean variety store. The one thing that they all sell is alarm clocks. They are esy to set and make a noise that works. The clocks are huge and look like oriental cartoon characters. As the Japanese will paint Hellow Kitty on a jumbo jet so do they make a Hello Kitty alarm clock. I am a bachelor and my clock screams "Get Up!" in the voice of a girl. They also make ones that sound like a slot machine paying off.

Enuf January 15, 2009, 11:35 pm

I used to hate waking up and could never fall asleep, sleeping sucked, being awake sucked. Always tired. Nowadays I have a thing that wakes me after the neareast dream closest to 7am. Took a bit of coding, but darnthe-f-damnit, it has changed my life! Hardware I use is a webcam, pc and a speaker.

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