Bridge round timers

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Bud H

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Jun 22, 2015, 9:41:45 AM6/22/15
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My local bridge club is looking for a software Windows 7 compatible program for timing bridge games with the following features:

1. able to program at least one warning at an adjustable time (such as a "no new boards" at about 4:00, and being able to at 6:00 to have a brief sound occur as a "pre-warning" would be a plus)

2. able to have an adjustable time between rounds (in our case, a 1:00 minute break between rounds)

3. able to set an announcement for a skip in a Skip Mitchell after a particular round

4. able to announce an Arrow Switch (not necessary, but highly preferred)

5. If the program was compatible with split screen (two monitors), that would be nice, but not as important as the above features.

Does anyone know of a program (for purchase) that would do the above?


Bud H

Peter Smulders

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Jun 22, 2015, 12:40:19 PM6/22/15
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My program "bridge timer" could be adapted to do all of 1 - 4 above. You
would have to prepare the sound files for 3 and 4 yourself.
http://www.pjms.nl/bridge.html

Lorne

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Jun 22, 2015, 1:33:00 PM6/22/15
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My program will do 4 out of 5 (no arrow switch announcement) - 20 day
trial available:
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/lorne.anderson/bridgemovementtimer.htm


Bud H

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Jun 24, 2015, 9:50:32 AM6/24/15
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It does not appear your program cannot program a time interval BETWEEN rounds (such as 30 seconds or 1 minute). Also, the skip in a skip Mitchell is not announced, only that it flashes on the top of the display in the last few minutes of that round.

Another issue I see with your program is I cannot change the size. It is FULL SCREEN or nothing. There appears to be no way to change the size of the window or even to be able to minimize it and keep it running.

Bud H

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Jun 24, 2015, 9:58:10 AM6/24/15
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Thanks - I might be able to struggle through the Dutch, but I know the other non-computer literate game directors at my club would not be able to use it, unfortunately.

Michael Angelo Ravera

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Jun 24, 2015, 2:32:06 PM6/24/15
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I use Pete's timer sometimes. About the only things that I would really like to have that he doesn't provide are a method to go to a larger size typeface without reconfiguring my screen resolution and the ability to hide the number of seconds (at least until under 10 [or two] minutes) so that the number of minutes could be larger.
Yes, I would like a "No New Boards" (or other recorded) announcements and the ability to program in a set of random crawl messages in that either alternate or change at specified times, but it does everything that a regular $500 Stand Alone Bridge Clock would do and much more.
One feature that isn't available and would be difficult to provide would be to slave a bunch of timers to a single source (so that they could all just show the same thing and an adjustment to one would adjust the others), but that is asking a lot (and would require some kind of access to networking).
Our District is even contemplating buying a few cheap computers to use as Bridge Clocks.
My other complaint is that some of the directors at our club don't like sound on the club computer and have turned off or had the ability for sound removed. It makes a crawl line for the announcements more useful.

Lorne

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Jun 24, 2015, 5:53:04 PM6/24/15
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You are correct that the skip move is a visual notice rather than
audible and it is full screen only. It is designed for multi screen
operation with a scoring program and/or display of the running score
being shown on the other display(s).

However I am not sure why you want to treat an interval between rounds
differently - if you want 14 minute playtime rounds and to allow 30
seconds to move why not just set the round as 14min30secs ?

Anyway it is as it is so sorry if it does not fit. I could however look
at adding an audible skip announcement if that did it for you. Putting
it in a sizeable window or adding an extra variable for move time is a
fair bit of work however and the latter makes it more complex to use
which may put others off.

Peter Smulders

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Jun 26, 2015, 6:07:38 AM6/26/15
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Thanks for this review and constructive criticism. I wrote this program
in the first place for my own use. Before, I used Rich Waugh's round
timer, which is quite versatile, but I got dissatisfied with the fact
that it has only one, rather small, window size. It is also a bit buggy
and does not seem to be maintained.

I spend quite some effort to adjust the window size to the chosen font
but I can see this is not always what you want. I'll put in an option to
run with a maximized window. Hiding the seconds I don't find such a good
idea. It would allow a somewhat larger font size but already now the
numbers are clearly legible at a distance of 20 meters or more from a
10" screen. Besides, the seconds display tells you immediately (or at
least within one second :-)) whether the clock is still running.

My experience is that the players pay attention to the sounds and not so
much to the visible display. If I leave the sound turned off by accident
they will wait indefinitely before moving to the next round.

If I have enough spare time I will make an English version. Already now
there is an English help file, and the very simple scripting language
uses English keywords.


Peter Smulders

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Jul 6, 2015, 5:56:57 AM7/6/15
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On 24-6-2015 20:32, Michael Angelo Ravera wrote:
I have now added control of the window size with 3 options:
maximalized, user controlled, and automatic (= adjust to chosen font).
http://www.pjms.nl/BRIDGEKLOK/
The option to increase or decrease the font size without changing the
screen resolution was there already (keyword "Font").

By the way, if you prefer a hardware timer you don't have to spend $500.
There are decent timers for less then 200, such as
http://www.distribridge.com/bridge-clock.html
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