Exploring the TypingBuddy Application (Part 12)

This week’s programming series post is going to be a bit short. Last week (Exploring the TypingBuddy Application (Part 11)) you put the finishing touches on the basic TypingBuddy application. There are a number of useful additions that you could pursue, but many of them are straightforward enough that I’ll leave them in your capable hands.


  • Notification Area context menu updates for returning the timer to its starting point.
  • The option to display the remaining time in hours, minutes, and seconds, rather than in seconds.
  • The option to play sounds other than the default sounds included with the application.
  • Adding custom icons or pictures to the message box display.
  • Custom typing times based on the time of day.
  • Scheduled break times that override the standard typing time as needed.
  • An option to lock the system automatically when typing time is up (rather than simply display a message).

As with the GrabAPicture series, a number of you have asked me to put this entire series in an easier to use format. As with GrabAPicture, I’ll eventually put together an e-book for this series that includes:


  • All 12 posts for the series.
  • My personal series notes.
  • Some useful additions for the TypingBuddy application.
  • A URL for a downloadable copy of the application.


If there are any special additions you’d like to see in the e-book, let me know about them at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com. I’m always looking for interesting topics to cover in my books. Of course, letting me know what interests you will result in a better book.

Next week we’ll start another new application series. This application, TimeCheck, helps you track the use of your time during the day. You log into and out of projects in order to keep better track of how you’re using your time. This particular application has helped me improve my efficiency because I was able to use it to see where I waste time. In addition, I use the information obtained to do things like making buying decisions for new equipment and software based on how much I’ll actually use the new items.

The TimeCheck program has been with me for a long time—almost 25 years. The first version was written in assembler, but quickly proved hard to update. I wrote another version in C, but that version wasn’t quite what I wanted, so I reverted to the assembler version, until I rewrote the application yet again in Java. As my network grew and I saw the advantage of using automation with this application, I decided to rewrite it in its current form in C#. This version allows you to choose a storage location for the log files (including a network drive) and provides some interesting statistics. More importantly, it hides in the Notification Area to make it easier to keep track of how things are configured without cluttering the Taskbar.