KAlarm and Kronometer | Time Applications for KDE Plasma

Time Applications

I am not a big fan of smart Phones and tablets but I do like some of the convenient, appliance-like features of a few applications. I do find that I go for my phone for the stopwatch and timer features but sometimes, I just don’t have my phone on me and need that darn stopwatch or countdown timer. I had forgotten that I used to use such things back in my Mandrake / Mandriva Linux days, before, I had a smart phone.

The two applications, Kronometer and KAlarm are in the main repository of openSUSE Leap (v15) and Tumbleweed. I also appreciate that these applications have stuck with the traditional KDE naming convention and begin with a “K”. It makes my Komputer happy.

Installation

Search in the YaST Tool or on software.opensuse.org for these bits of software to click-install or you can use my favorite method, the terminal!

sudo zypper install kalarm kronometer

They are small applications so installation won’t take long.

Kronometer

This is a stopwatch application with lap feature similar as you may have used on other devices but adds the feature to enter notes next to each line, sort by lap times, or even by the Notes column.

Kronometer-01You can save this data and “name” the current session for use or review later. To do so select Save As… and you are given a prompt to name the Session.

Kronometer-03

This will store your data as a JSON file in your home directory:

~/.local/share/kronometer/sessions.json

File > Open… will give you a list of all your previously saved sessions.

Kronometer-06

Double click on the number of one of the lines and you can bring up a previous session and continue using it. I don’t know how useful that would be but it’s nice to know it’s available.

What is pretty dang cool is that it can export into CSV format. CSV in an open format readable by LibreOffice or any other spreadsheet application where you can make pretty graphs or pie charts and so forth. In order to export the data, to CSV you have to Select File > Export Laps As… and put it someplace you will remember.

To test it out, I opened the File in LibreOffice and the title you used for Save As… doesn’t exist in the exported data. Something else to note, if you put a comma in the “Notes” field, the CSV import will put whatever was placed after that comma into another cell… hence the name, Comma Separated Values.

Kronometer-02

Over all, this is a great, basic application and very useful when needing to time something, many somethings or to collect data on a study you are conducting.

KAlarm

KAlarm is a personal alarm message, command and email scheduler built for the KDE Plasma environment. This can be useful in many ways and can also be integrated into the calendaring application, Korganizer. It has more features than you will probably need so I will just outline what I currently use.

KAlarm-01

KAlarm-02

For just a simple alarm that displays a pop up on the screen with a message and optional sound, select New > New Display Alarm and just follow down the dialog box to set your alarm with whatever constraints you wish. There are a couple neat options. One being you can add an entry in KOrganizer if you want, set Recurrences and so forth.

I like that you can make this as simple or as “exciting” as you would like to make the alarm.

There is also an option to create an alarm that will execute a command or script and log to a file. You can even have the alarm send an email at a specific time as well. The options are literally limited by your imagination.

One particular use for this application is in the kitchen. Just off the cuff, I see where I can backward plan to start different parts of dinner so that everything is done at the desired time.

Final Thoughts

These are smaller, simple applications that won’t ever see any big fanfare but, in my opinion, are extremely important and can be used to help you manage your time, track your time and so forth. I know that when I am eyeballs-deep into a task, I can lose track of time and I need to have an audible reminder to take care of some other task that is time sensitive. I am so glad that there are developers out there that take care of the small and truly needed, useful and less “exciting” applications.

External Links

KDE Plasma

Kronometer for openSUSE

KAlarm for openSUSE

 

 

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