an app a day…

I came across a new site –

I plan on writing an application everyday for 30 days straight. May the world benefit from the purposeful destruction of my personal life.

He’s been going for a while – I think he’s only got a week or so left now – so there’s a decent collection of apps there now. And some of them are clever ideas. A good example is the Mouse Heat Map.

Compared with most of the development that I do at work – where everything is carefully considered and designed and planned, there’s something appealing about this sort of approach. I wonder what sorta stuff we could come up with if we had 30 days to try as many ideas as we could.

I fancied giving it a go – writing an app from start to finish in a single evening – so tried writing a small app for work. Based on an original idea that I admittedly had a little while ago, the app is a screensaver for my desktop PC which lets the people that I work with know where I am when I’m away from my desk.

Screenshot of the screensaver in action

It collects together information from my Outlook diary, my instant-messaging client, and operating-system idle-time. The idea is that when I’m away from my desk, the people who sit near me will know where I am and when I’m likely to be back. Or if someone comes round to see me when I’m away, my computer can let them know where I am.

I’ve written screensavers in Java before, so decided to write this one in C# instead. It was interesting to figure out how to get a Windows screensaver working, and write the different interfaces for my PIM and instant messager.

Could I come up with something different tomorrow night?

One Response to “an app a day…”

  1. […] I tried writing another Outlook extension tonight. This time, a desktop widget to display a dashboard-style at-a-glance view of how busy I am (based on my Microsoft Outlook task list). […]