Covington, LA (PressExposure) July 31, 2012 -- Cool Timer is essentially a computer software version of a countdown timer or oven-like timer, but also can be used in other modes such as an alarm clock or stopwatch. The program has become widely used by teachers and parents to set time limits for kids to perform different tasks or activities and sound an alarm when their allotted time has expired.
The new version of the program has been entirely rewritten in the Visual Basic .NET programming language after the original source code (written in Visual Basic 6) was lost due to a hardware malfunction.
The most notable new feature included in the update is its "visualization" feature. This feature was suggested by a friend of the author who at the time was homeschooling young children. The kids could not yet comprehend time passage being represented by digits and needed a visual illustration of how much time was left on the timer. So, the author implemented the ability to display an image on the program interface and have it either gradually "wiped away" or revealed in a radial sweep pattern in sync with the time as it counts down when the program is used in countdown mode. The program has many built-in high resolution images from which to choose for this feature and also allows users to choose any image file on their computers.
The program has always featured the ability to operate in three different modes: countdown, alarm clock, or stopwatch. Another notable new feature in this version is the ability to specify the mode in which the program starts. For example, if a users uses the program primarily as a stopwatch to track how much time he or she spends on projects, the program can be configured to always start in stopwatch mode or remember the last-used mode and start in that mode.
Also new in this version, many more built-in sounds have been added to use as the alarm that sounds when time expires in countdown mode or when the set time is reached in alarm clock mode. Users can also use any sound file or MP3 on their computer.
Another added feature is the ability to run several instances of the program and label each instance in its title bar so that users know what is being timed by each instance.
As with most other offerings from this author, Cool Timer was originally written to fulfill a specific need he had in everyday life. He needed a convenient way to fairly apportion and regulate time spent on the computer between his 3 children. Since offering the program to the public, feedback has suggested that many teachers and parents have found it useful for similar purposes.
More information about the program can be found at the author's website at http://www.harmonyhollow.net/cool_timer.shtml.