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Does anyone know of a program, utility, web-app etc, that can be used as a stopwatch to track/display the amount of time that has passed since the user clicked the start button?

The utility must additionally track/display the same amount of time on the other observing computers; i.e. when I click the start button on the first/master computer, the other two computers will receive a packet telling them to start their stopwatches as well; and the same will happen when I click the stop button on the first/master computer the other two computers will receive a packet telling them to stop their timers.

I have seen a similar functionality in Work Rave however it cannot be started/stopped.

My intention is to use the functionality to record a screencast that spans multiple computers, and to use the syncro-timer so that I can tell later in video editing when each scene occurred.

Update I found a link to a program which seems to fit the bill (although it doesn't sync between the two computers, it does sync between an atomic clock and the local machine).

enter image description here

It's not entirely accurate, after a little while the clocks get out of sync, but it's good enough for what I'm trying to pull off here. It also provides the seconds, which was also a requirement for me.

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Hmm I think this might do the trick: pianosoft-freeware.com/atomic-time-sync.htm I'll get back to you on if it worked or not. –  leeand00 Dec 13 '09 at 17:00

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You haven't specified the operating system.

I don't know of any prepackaged solution. I'm thinking about two possibilities:

Solution 1

VNC protocol using single-window mode: On the master computer set up and start a VNC server supporting single-window mode and launch any stopwatch application. To display the time on other computers use a VNC client and connect it to the VNC server/remote window.

Solution 2

If you can work on a terminal it can be done with a stopwatch/counter and netcat to pass the result (e.g. elapsed time) to other computers.

Example:

Stopwatch example using a command-line stopwatch from here and a netcat for windows binary from here:

Batch file on the master computer (it should be on the same directory as stopwatch.exe and nc.exe).

@echo off
stopwatch start > timestamp.txt
pause > null
stopwatch stop < timestamp.txt > elapsed.txt
nc -d -w 1 remote-pc-1 4444 < elapsed.txt
nc -d -w 1 remote-pc-2 4444 < elapsed.txt
...
type elapsed.txt

(replace remote-pc-N appropriately, press any key to stop counting)

On the remote computers:

nc -L -p 4444

Also replace port 4444 if used.

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That netcat is a pretty cool idea...I'm using Windows...in this instance anyway, but I figured I'd ask the question more general like just incase I had to add Linux to the screencast. –  leeand00 Dec 13 '09 at 5:28
    
You can get netcat for windows on the web. –  alfplayer Dec 13 '09 at 15:43
    
@alfplayer No I'm aware that you can get nc for windows. But my spyware program gets all angry if I install that. I guess I could make an exception some how... Additionally I would need the use of some sort of cmd-line tool for displaying the time. I tried DOS's "time /T" but "time /T" doesn't display seconds, only hours and minutes. –  leeand00 Dec 13 '09 at 16:41
    
I've just added a working example for windows using netcat. –  alfplayer Dec 14 '09 at 4:55
    
@alfplayer Sweet idea! I think I might use it just because it's geekier! ;) –  leeand00 Dec 14 '09 at 17:39

It seems you could simply make sure that the clocks on all the participating computers were in sync, and then just use the clock time instead of a stopwatch to identify scenes. You could easily convert this into elapsed time.

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This would work great if...the clock would show seconds... –  leeand00 Dec 13 '09 at 5:31
    
I haven't seen a clock that wasn't capable of showing seconds. –  larsks Dec 14 '09 at 0:53

You might try this program (haven't tested it myself though): http://download.cnet.com/MultiTrack-Stopwatch/3000-2350%5F4-10122220.html

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No network functionality, like most stopwatch applications. –  alfplayer Dec 12 '09 at 18:40
    
Right. That's not what I meant, It needs to connect through the network. –  leeand00 Dec 13 '09 at 5:32
    
Oh, sorry :( I would go with the netcat thing that alfplayer suggested, or possibly VNC. –  marcusw Dec 13 '09 at 20:55

I found a link to a program which seems to fit the bill (although it doesn't sync between the two computers, it does sync between an atomic clock and the local machine).

Picture of it running on both laptops

It's not entirely accurate, after a little while the clocks get out of sync, but it's good enough for what I'm trying to pull off here. It also provides the seconds, which was also a requirement for me.

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