Category Archives: Alarm 4

Alarm Development News

Hi all,

I’ve been working a bit on Alarm 4 and Alarm 3.5.18, both of which are coming along nicely. I’m not quite ready for a v4.0 alpha release yet but I will be in the coming months.

It’s been really hard to work on Alarm in the past year or so as I’ve been working full time and juggling other facets of my life. I promise, however, that Alarm 4 will be released this year. I’ve been working on it in one form or another for almost three years and it’s time to give you guys a completely updated version instead of these incremental updates. So, I pledge that I will work at least 5 hours a week on Alarm and I will get it out the door as soon as possible. This means that Alarm 3.5.18 will be the last version of the v3.5 revision. I’ve said this a lot about other revisions, but I can’t keep spending development time adding features to a product that will be made obsolete soon.

Also, once Alarm 4 has been released, I will be making smaller, but complete updates more frequently. That is, v4.5 will come 1-3 months after v4.0, v5.0 will come soon after that, and so forth. The updates will not be as large as in the past, but they will be worth the update.

Finally, starting with Alarm 4.5, I will be operating exclusively on the .NET 4 platform. Also, Alarm 4 might even have two versions: one for .NET 2 and one for .NET 4, in order to make auto updating to v4.5 easier. That is just an idea, but v4.5 will require .NET 4.

As mentioned above, I am working on Alarm 3.5.18 which will be the final version of the 3.5.x versions, barring major issues. Currently, the features to be added or changed in this version are:
-Saving alarm time to a file (and associating a file extension with it)
-Option to confirm reset
-Fix for bug where tray icon flashes on startup
-Moving color scheme options into Options menu

This is a minor release, but it is the final v3.5.x version. I’m going to release it on June 9th.

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day!

Nighthawk Update

I’ve been making steady progress on Alarm 4, although I kinda got sidetracked by the huge bug in v3.5, so I’m currently shooting for an alpha by mid to late January. I should be able to at least button everything up enough to get it out to testers.

That’s all for now. Please join the Facebook fan group.

Nighthawk Update

Just thought I’d say a little bit about the ongoing Alarm 4 work that I’m doing.

Although it was put on the back burner there for a while, I’ve recently started working on Alarm 4 once again. I’m about 90% finished on the event system and I’ve completed the revamped playlist system. There is still a lot of UI work to be done but I’m going to start attacking that here in the next few days. I’ve also ported the new media stuff that I wrote and updated the core to the latest (3.5.15) version.

I will hopefully be putting out an alpha before the end of the month, as long as I can continue working on it.

Alarm 4 Still Coming, Alarm 3.5.12 Next Month

Yeah, so I kinda failed on the April 2 release date, but I have been actively developing Alarm 4 and it is coming along nicely. It’s just a huge project and I’ve been ridiculously busy with other aspects of my life. I have 2 out of the 3 main pieces pretty much wrapped up so the first test versions will be headed out soon (looking like May/June at this point).

I’m planning on releasing another patch to v3.5 soon that will include a few changes.

This is what I’m planning as of now for v3.5.12:
-Beeping media file (brings beep support to computers without system speakers)
-24 hour clock option
-New WMP-based media playing functionality (maybe)
-Some other minor enhancements/code cleanup

Anyways, that’s where it stands as of now.

Alarm 4 Roadmap

Today I put together an aggressive roadmap to get Alarm 4 out the door by April 2. While the dates aren’t set in stone, I will be working diligently on meeting the dates that I have planned. Here’s a summary of my release goals:

Alpha 1: February 15, 2010 – Main design goals completed (Scheduler)
Alpha 2: February 22, 2010 – Secondary goals completed (Startup, Wake from Sleep)
Alpha 3: March 1, 2010 – Other goals completed (New update system, Theming, Media Search)
Beta 1: March 8, 2010 – Bug Fixes, code cleanup
Beta 2: March 15, 2010 – Bug Fixes, code cleanup
RC 1: March 19, 2010 – Bug Fixes and Finalization
RC 2: March 26, 2010 – Final Fixes and Changes
4.0.0: April 2, 2010

As I have done in the past, the first patch version (4.0.1) will be released about a week later with following updates about every month or so. The alpha versions will go out only to testers. If you would like to become a tester, please send an email to and I will add you to my list.

EDITED ON JANUARY 31, 2010: Pushed back a couple dates due to unforeseen issues.

Support, Download Links, Old Alarm Updates

I’ve changed the main Alarm support email address.

You can now receive support by sending a message to:

I’ve decided that in order to have a more consistent experience for those who would like to add a link to the Alarm installer on their website, I will have a permanent location for the latest version of Alarm. This location will always be available as long as this site is online so that download links will not be broken and people are guaranteed to get the absolute latest version of Alarm when they download it.

The address is:

Please use this address whenever you link to the installer.

The update process for 3.1.7-3.5.7 has been changed slightly so that I no longer have to support the older update service. Basically, users of those versions will be told that there is a new version available without actually saying what that version is. Once they download the installer, they will be able to see what they are installing before they actually agree to installing it. This makes it easier to make sure those with older versions of Alarm are presented with the absolute latest updates.

That’s about it. Thanks for your continued support.

Work, Akron, and Other Stuff

So I’m working about 40 hours a week trying to get permissions done for one of SAY’s projects. In my spare time, I’m trying to play some halo and work on Alarm 4. My last day of work before I make the move to Akron is July 31 which means I only have 10 days left. Yes.

I’m moving to Akron on August 8th. I start my research on network protocols on August 10th. I visited Akron a week or so ago and I really enjoyed it so I think living in the area will be pretty awesome. Plus, I’ll be close to Tree(Fairview Park), Megan(Wooster), and Tim(Canfield) (for at least a little while).

Also, I’m addicted to Rescue Me now. It is so good. I’m also rewatching Arrested Development and also watching Dead Like Me.

I live such an exciting life.

Alarm 4.0 Development News, Alarm 3.5.9

I’m now hard at work on Alarm 4.0. This version includes many new enhancements, the most noticeable of which is the new scheduling system.

The system allows for the user to set multiple alarms with various means of notification. These include the classic system beep from Alarm 2.0-2.9, the single song functionality from Alarm 3.0/3.1, the playlist functionality from Alarm 3.5, and a new type of alert done by using the Windows system sounds. These scheduled events will be able to be set to go off on specific days of the week too.

Also coming in Alarm 4 is an overhaul of the theming system. As of right now, it is planned that the UI will be capable of being completely skinned. This means that there will probably be a theme site up for the software where these new and improved skins can be downloaded.

The final thing that I want to talk about is the way that users will be interacting with the alarm. I am not sure as of yet, but I think that this may be the first version of Alarm without a main window. This means that all of the configuration, etc. will be done by using the tray icon. I am just having trouble coming up with a compelling enough reason to continue having the main window when all the alarm setting, etc. will be available in other dialogs. I might also just make it an option or something.

Well, that’s about it for Alarm 4. Look for it later this summer.

As for the next version of Alarm 3.5, I will be releasing version 3.5.9 within the next week or so. This version will contain a single new feature, volume management, which was originally intended for Alarm 4. It will also include an enhancement to the update service which will support updating to Alarm 4. This will also be the final version of Alarm 3.5 as development efforts will seriously be focused on Alarm 4.

Thanks for reading.

Alarm 3.5.4 Released, Future Plans

Ok, Alarm 3.5.4 is code-complete and I’m planning on releasing it on Friday (or sooner) depending on any regressions or other bugs I find during the next few days. This version contains more bug fixes than I’d like to admit to, but here are the major ones:

-Random playlist was not properly reordered after adding or removing items.
-Vista UAC and Limited Accounts. Should work now…finally!
-Prevent Windows Update Restart shown on limited accounts even though it can’t be set on them.
-Cannot load/save playlist on Vista with UAC enabled.
-Custom theme edits sometimes still applied on Cancel.

As you can see, Vista and its limited accounts are my enemies. Anyways, that’ll be released on Friday through the update service, probably the same day or possibly Thursday on my website, and then it’ll show up on probably sometime next week. If you want it now, as always you can send me a message and I’ll give you a link.

As for the future of Alarm, I’m planning on doing about 1 more minor revision on 3.5, then halting development for a while, as I have a lot of stuff to work on in the other areas of my life (senior design, etc). I would really, really like to get Alarm 4.0 out before graduation, but because of the nature of it (a near-complete rewrite) I probably wont be able to. Also, the maintenance on that version would be time consuming, which is not really what I would need when getting ready to go to grad school.

That’s all for now.