Activity Logger

I've pretty much neglected this blog recently. The usual excuse is lack of time, but this time I also have the exotic excuse of a business trip to Stockholm.

I've decided I should really write more here, especially since our company's internal blog, which is based on Roller just got almost unusable when a new version was installed, and I don't know who is directly in charge of it. So I'll blog here about my work revelation, using names initial to avoid unwanted exposure.

So, here goes:

In our work, we are required to report the time we spend working. Usually, when I come with the transportation, this is not a problem, since then I know I worked for 10 hours. However, sometime I work form home, or the transportation leaves early, and I don't always recall how much exactly I worked. I tried to look for tools to log my activity, but failed to find something useful.

I thought of writing a tool to do it, but didn't know how to detect that the screen is turned off, as a sign of me going home (I don't use screensaver), or how to detect idle time in which the computer is not used. Then it suddenly hit me. I can simply record the last mouse position, and constantly check if it has changed. If it has, it's a sign I'm working. If not, well, I probably left m computer, but to be sure, I check that for 5 minutes, to make sure I'm not just staring at some line of code while debugging.

That looks really promising, though I still need to finalize the best and easiest to use format of the output log file.

Note: after looking at that JoS discussion again, I saw that MarkTAW recommended Allnetic Working Time Tracker, which I never really checked, so I'll give it a try as well.

Another note: Once I'll get a laptop to work with, this will be much less of a problem, since the time the laptop is running will usually be the times I'm working. Also, once we move to global salary, it will be less important how much time I exactly work.

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