OT: timer

Gene Collins collins at gene3.ait.iastate.edu
Mon Feb 7 15:50:04 EST 2005

Hi cheryl.  I'm a bit behind on my email, but it seems no one has
responded to you so I'll have a go at it.

I don't know of any thing that will both set a duration and display
elapsed time as well, but there may be a couple of programs you can use
together that will fill your needs.

The sleep command, which you are probably familiar with, does just that.
 It sleeps for a specified number of hours, minutes and seconds.  You
can even tell it to sleep for a fraction of a second, for example 0.750
for a three quarter of a second delay.  Combining this program into a
script will let you start a program in the background for example, then
sleep for a certain duration before killing off the background process.

There is a nifty program called vcstime (vertual console system time)
which will display a text clock in the top right hand corner of the
screen on all consoles defined in /etc/inittab.  You run it in the
background as root, or as a part of some boot script, and all your
consoles have a clock in the top right corner.  The neat thing is that
it doesn't constantly repeat with speakup.  In fact, speakup ignores it,
unless you read the top line of the screen.  The disadvantage to this is
that the last eight characters of whatever would have been on the top
line get over written by the clock.  But it does display the time to the
nearest second, and is really neat to use with a Braille display.

So, perhaps you can use sleep and vcstime in combination with a little
judicious script writing to get what you want to happen.  Hope this


>Does anybody know of a program I can use or something I can implement as a 
>timer. I've sort of asked this question before but in slightly different 
>It seems that this would be possible. For instance, I notice that arecord 
>has a way to set duration and also set sleep--well, actually I know how to 
>do sleep independently anyway. also, ossrecord, which is a part of the 
>commercial program from opensound.com, actually shows the number of 
>seconds as it records if you use the verbose option though, oddly enough, 
>I don't think you can set duration on it. What I want is a program that 
>doesn't have anything to do with recording, but that allows you to set a 
>duration, sleep intervals if wanted, and also displays the time elapsed in 
>seconds as it runs. Anybody know of a program that already does this or 
>know  where I can look for ideas as to how to set something like 
>this up?
>"Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
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