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I’ve accepted a ReviewMe offer to check out Say The Time, a Windows application that claims to help us get organised – the fun and easy way. Features of Say The Time include:

  • Audio reading of the current time
  • Customizable reminders
  • Definable taskbar display modes
  • Synchronization with time servers
  • Built-in calendar
  • Stopwatch and countdown timers
  • International time viewer

On the surface, Say The Time looks like a pretty simple application. The objective of my review is to see whether it lives up to its claim of helping users get organized in a fun and easy way.

Installation

The installation file is 3.73MB and would download within seconds for those with broadband internet connection. The download speed is decent and after a quick virus scan, I was installing Say The Time.

The installation process is pretty straight-forward and basically, you just need to confirm whatever step is prompted by the installation software and Say The Time would be installed on your computer.

A funny incident I encountered in the installation process was the need to restart my computer after the installation is complete. I haven’t needed to do that since I installed Visual Studio .NET, a programming IDE by Microsoft.

I doubt that Say The Time is such a complex application that it warrants a reboot. Perhaps the next version should address this issue. Rebooting is not fun, especially after an installation of such a simple application.

Using Say The Time

Say The Time clock

After my PC rebooted, I saw that Say The Time launches at startup. Its presence is obvious. Where the standard Windows clock used to be is now replaced by Say The Time.

The default look is not really suited to my tastes. However, it’s easily customizable and within seconds I’ve manage to change it to exactly how I wanted it to be.

Say The Time: Clock display settings

I proceed to test the Reminders function of Say The Time. The first thing I noticed was that the window has two tabs namely Reminders and Notes. I switched between the two tabs and the title for the window changed according to which tab was selected. I find this to be a useful time-saving function whenever I wanted to switch between the two.

However, the right-click menu of Say The Time shows two separate functions called Reminders and Notes that bring up the same window although the selected tab is different depending on what you’ve selected. Personally, I think it’s better to just have one menu item called Reminders and Notes instead.

Say The Time: Reminders and Notes

I added a new reminder and was very excited to see the variety of options available. You have the following options when setting a reminder:

  • Naming and categorizing your reminder
  • Optionally setting an audible message
  • Setting the reminder date and time
  • Choosing an action to perform, namely:
    1. Displaying a message
    2. Displaying a message along with an Internet shortcut
    3. Playing a sound file
    4. Executing a program
Say The Time: Reminders Options

Basically, I’m spoiled for choices on how I choose to be reminded! Almost all of the options work as expected. The only minor disappointment I have is that the sound playing reminder only accepts WAV files. It would be much better if it can also at least support MP3s.

I then experimented with the Notes feature. If the Reminders function has a wealth of features, the Notes function is almost a total opposite. Basically, you have a small Post-It like window appear where you can type in some text.

You can also change the background colour of a note, as well as setting a transparency level. Additionally, you can even make a note stay on top of other windows.

Say The Time: Notes Options

I’m disappointed that the font control is pretty weak. You can only change the font settings for the entire note content. It would have been nice to be able to mix underlined, bolded and italicized content in a note. It would also be nice if I can embed pictures in them.

The next function of Say The Time I tested next was the Stopwatch. It’s a straightforward function to use. You simply need to start and end the stopwatch according to what you’re timing.

Say The Time: Stopwatch

I did notice one bug in this function; namely the millisecond counter is essentially useless. It doesn’t really measure milliseconds properly. Nevertheless, you can omit the milisecond reading. If you really need to measure time up to the millisecond, then Say The Time‘s stopwatch just won’t cut it.

The countdown timer has more features though. Upon completion of the countdown, it can:

  • Say the time
  • Play a sound (again, WAV files only)
  • Run a program
Say The Time: Countdown Options

The Run a program function is pretty nifty if you want to schedule a program to run after a certain period of time.

Next, I tried the World Time Clock function and immediately fell in love with the interface! Within this one window you’ll find the following:

  • Global map, showing parts of the world having daytime as well as night
  • Upon hovering your mouse on the map, you’ll get the current time of the country under the mouse cursor
  • A search function to look up the time in a particular city
  • A favourites list of cities; once saved, they will appear when you hover over the Say The Time taskbar clock
  • A time convertor showing the time in major cities around the world
Say The Time: Day/Night global view

This by itself will easily be a useful function for an internationally traveling businessman. Although I’m not one, I love this feature too because I maintain and access a couple of servers around the world. With this function, I can know easily what the time is where they’re located.

With Say The Time, you’ll always be able to synchronize your PC clock with time servers around the world and ensure that your PC clock is always accurate. Why? Not only is Say The Time a productivity tool, it is also an atomic clock software download.

At US$24.95, Say The Time is a bargain if you’re looking for a better way to get things done within deadlines. This is a great deal because not only do you get a useful time management tool, you’ll also get free updates for a year in addition to free customer service and technical support.

I’m hoping to clinch a deal with Provenio, the makers of Say The Time, to get a special deal for HTNet readers. I’ll update this post if we manage to work something out. I’ve managed to get a good deal for you, check out the update below.

In the meantime, why not just download Say The Time and give it a whirl? The download is a 30 day trial and it should give you enough time to play around with it before making your purchase decision.

Update: Save US$5.00 off the purchase price of Say The Time by using the following coupon code: HTNETSAVE5. That’s more than 20% savings!

One of the reasons I resigned from an earlier job I had in Singapore was because of the unbearable queuing time I had to endure after the September 11 and SARS outbreak double-whammy.

In fact on a couple of occasions, the infrared thermoscanners that they point to everyone’s forehead as a precaution was the culprit. It often showed my temperature to be much higher than it really is. Of course, this is no suprise because I had to walk across the causeway every day. Why? Traffic was almost unmoving then; again, due to the post-9/11 paranoia coupled with the SARS outbreak precautionary moves.

Imagine my surprise to read that the forehead-scanning thermometers may not be as accurate as originally thought.

Well, at least ASEAN mostly survived the SARS outbreak pretty well. As they say, better be safe than sorry.

The image that decorates my header is the Malaysian flag, also known as Jalur Gemilang(which translates to Glorious Stripes in English).

This month, Malaysia will be celebrating it’s 50th year as an independent country. August is also the month of independence for Singapore (in fact, Singapore’s birthday is today; Happy Birthday Singapore!), Indonesia and India.

So, to commemorate Hari Merdeka, I will keep this header until 7 September 2007.

It was not my choice to be born in Malaysia, but it’s my choice to stay in Malaysia and remain a Malaysian. For all the good and bad, Malaysia is where my heart is and I love her so much.

KUALA LUMPUR, 31 July 2007 â€“ Today, Malaysia comes a step closer to realising the world’s first commercial deployment of High Altitude Platforms (HAPS) as a supporting infrastructure for the successful provisioning of broadband communications services.

This is marked by the formation of the HAPS Working Group by the Malaysian Technical Standards Forum Bhd (MTSFB) to develop technical codes, standards, service parameters, and guidelines on HAPS Technology and Services.

To date, the HAPS Working Group comprises of some 20 members who represent parties within the communication, broadcast and academic sectors, as well as relevant government bodies. The number of members is expected to increase as developments by the HAPS Working Group gets underway.

Rizal Datuk Haji Abdul Malek, senior manager at MTSFB, said that the formation of the HAPS Working Group represents a continual effort by the regulators to review optimal technologies that national carriers can adopt; to best roll out services that meets the country’s vision for broadband connectivity.

“In a way, the HAPS Working Group embody the efforts of regulators such as MCMC and MTSFB to realise the Government’s targets under the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the Malaysian Information, Communications and Multimedia Services (MyICMS 886) blueprint,” he says.

Abdul Majid Abdullah, chairman of the HAPS Working Group, explains that HAPS refers to the use of aircraft hovering at stratospheric levels (ie. 20 kilometers from the ground) to provide immediate, nationwide access to broadband connectivity at cost levels that are significantly lower than anything commercially available today.

National Broadband Plan (NBP) is achievable with HAPS’ support

Recently, the Malaysian government upped its nationwide target for broadband penetration to 50 per cent among households by 2010, from the current 12 per cent or 5.5 million.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that broadband penetration would be limited to 50 per cent because the Government currently could not afford the cost for 100 per cent deployment – estimated at some RM56 Billion via existing methods and technologies.

To this end, HAPS technology is proposed as one of the most viable means to date to help achieve the country’s NBP at full nationwide coverage, at a cost that is significantly lower than stated.

Abdul Majid says, “Research has provided strong indication that HAPS could be the fastest (to deploy), most reliable and cost-effective way to meet the government’s goal for immediate and pervasive broadband connectivity of 512 kilobit per second (kbps) to every corner of the country.”

“HAPS has been extensively researched and developed for numerous projects around the world for the past 15 years. I am confident that with the commitment and sincerity of this HAPS Working Group, Malaysia will pioneer the first commercial HAPS deployment in the world with immense succcess.”

He adds that the set up of the HAPS Working Group means more than the industry’s advocation for a specific technology, but as a conscientious effort to achieve a greater social economic impact via the NBP’s vision.

MTSFB, which plays a crucial role to the development and eventual adoption of new technologies in the local communications industry, is a technical standards set up of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). It is responsible for the managing and handling of issues relating to technical standards and codes in Malaysia. Up to 10 Working Groups have been formed by MTSFB so far, amongst others being the 3rd Generation (3G) Working Group, Wireless Broadband (WiMax) Working Group and Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Working Group.

About Malaysian Technical Standards Forums Bhd (MTFS Bhd)

MTFS Bhd was officially designated by MCMC in October 2004. It is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the standards, technical codes, network interoperability and operation issues; as well as to develop, recommend, modify, update and seek the registration of technical codes from the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

At present MTSFB has formed 10 active Working Groups focusing on Digital Terrestrial Television, Digital Sound Broadcasting, Quality of Services for Public Cellular, Powerline Communication, Next Generation Network (NGN), Broadband, IPv6 and others. Recently MTSFB has submitted 10 codes to MCMC for adoption and be registered.

MTSFB is widening its function when the National Standards body, SIRIM Berhad and Department of Standards Malaysia (DSM) appointed MTSFB as the Standards Writing Organization (SWO) in 2005 in developing Malaysian Standards on telecommunications technology. For more information, visit www.mtsfb.org.my

About QucomHaps

QucomHaps Holdings Limited

QucomHaps Holdings Limited is a telecommunication infrastructure company based in Dublin, Ireland. QucomHaps delivers stratospheric communication infrastructure service – High Altitude Platforms (HAPS) using piloted M55 high altitude aircrafts carrying communication equipment that is connected to existing and standardized local and international ground gateway equipment. QucomHaps offers the ONLY commercial HAPS service available in the world today.

QucomHaps Malaysia Sdn Bhd

QucomHaps Malaysia Sdn Bhd (QHM) is a subsidiary of QucomHaps. QHM will deliver the HAPS service nationwide in Malaysia to the key network players within the following mediums: mobile telecommunications companies, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and broadcasting companies.

For more information, visit www.qucomhaps.com