Back at work… gradually

Hurrah – after a two and a half weeks being stuck at home, the doc tells me that my back is well enough for me to go back to work tomorrow.

I’m not fully recovered – the estimate for that is still 6 – 8 weeks, so I’m been warned to take it easy for a few weeks. In particular, he made it very clear that I must get up and stretch my legs regularly, as prolonged periods sitting could set my recovery back.

screenshotUnfortunately, I know I have a habit of being a bit single-minded (some might say “obsessive” 😉 ) while I’m working, and often lose track of time. So I’ve thrown together a 35-line program to help make sure I don’t overdo it.

It will automatically lock my ThinkPad after 40 minutes, resetting the timer each time I unlock the ThinkPad again.

It’s an interesting, if trivial app. The code is below. Hopefully it’ll help! 🙂

private int countdownmins = MINS_TO_WORK; 
private const string MSG_PREFIX = "You need to get up and stretch your legs in "; 

public Form1() 

  timer1.Interval = ONE_MINUTE; 

  WTSRegisterSessionNotification(Handle, NOTIFY_FOR_THIS_SESSION); 

private void SetDisplay() 
  label1.Text = MSG_PREFIX + countdownmins + " minutes"; 

private void timer1_Tick(object sender, EventArgs e) 
  countdownmins -= 1; 

  if (countdownmins == 0) 

protected override void WndProc(ref Message m) 
  if ((m.Msg == WM_WTSSESSION_CHANGE) && 
      (m.WParam.ToInt32() == WTS_SESSION_UNLOCK)) 
    countdownmins = MINS_TO_WORK; 
  base.WndProc(ref m); 

private const int MINS_TO_WORK = 40; 
private const int ONE_MINUTE   = 60000; 
private const int NOTIFY_FOR_THIS_SESSION = 0; 
private const int WM_WTSSESSION_CHANGE = 0x2b1; 
private const int WTS_SESSION_LOCK = 0x7; 
private const int WTS_SESSION_UNLOCK = 0x8; 

internal static extern bool LockWorkStation(); 
[DllImport("WtsApi32.dll", SetLastError = true)] 
internal static extern bool WTSRegisterSessionNotification 
            (IntPtr hWnd,  
             int dwFlags);

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4 Responses to “Back at work… gradually”

  1. You should really learn IronPython! It makes no sense to use C# for all those little script/apps!

  2. dale says:

    I’ve not heard of IronPython before – will have to take a look.

    Scripting it is a good point though – in hindsight, I could have easily written it in Powershell, and that would probably have been better. Ah well, next time 🙂

  3. dale says:

    @Alcides – I had a quick look at IronPython – it looks very interesting. Do you know how I could have made the timer start when the ThinkPad is unlocked? (e.g. the equivalent of calling WTSRegisterSessionNotification)

  4. I suppose this is Managed Code (although I’m not sure).

    If it is, then you just add to the clr the Assemblies you need. ( clr.AddReference ) and then just call the same function.

    If this is unmanaged code, take a look at:

    Hope I helped.