Push all your activities to RescueTime!

1 April, 2008

I recently discovered RescueTime.com. It’s a cool service that tracks all your activities on your computer be it browsing or running applications and allows you to review and analyze the time you spend. I tend to spend an incredible amount of time procrastinating on the web (damn you reddit!) and need some way to control myself. RescueTime seems to be exactly what I need!

One problem with this service is that is only logs what you do on your computer. A chap named carlo created a script to log your phone calls and meetings (OS X only). I have decided to implement the same thing on windows.

To make things interesting i decided to venture in the scripting world. Had I know how long it would take me to fine a suitable solution I might not have bothered :). In the end I used an HTML Application (HTA) which is basically a webpage which can access stuff on the machine (e.g write a file). It’s a kind of primitive offline web application (like prism or Gears) that’s been existing ever since windows 95 but nobody ever bothered using.

Here is the result :
RescueTime app

It’s use is pretty simple. Enter the minutes spent on the activity and click on the relevant activity type button. Note that you can create your own type of activity by filling the “custom activity” field and pressing the “Custom Activity” button.
It will appear in your stats as manual_whateverActivityYouChose.

It works by putting a new log file in the Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\RescueTime.com\logs\pending directory. The rescueRime data collector will pick it up and upload it as any other activity.
I have no idea if it’ll work on machines other that mine, on an account without admin privilege or on Vista.

Here is the download :

rescuetime.hta

Disclaimer : I take no responsibility for the loss of RescueTime data or other troubles.

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