Game Countdown Timer FAQ
The Application & Installation:
The gametimer was written to be portable to most small computers. It is actually a web page that you can download and install by just copying the files. They must be un-zipped first as the browsers I've tested won't display a page from inside a zip file. It will run on even old browsers, but the sounds that it plays through the computer speakers rely on html5, and anything from the last 5 years or so will work, with the exception of the dated Internet Explorer 8 which came on windows XP, and is now discontinued by Microsoft. That's the browser part, almost anything from the past five years will work fine.
Can it run a browser? That's all it takes. It runs on windows laptops, Mac laptops, Linux laptops, a Raspbery pi computer. It does NOT require any sort of internet connection except to possibly load the files but that's easily accomplished via a thumb drive. I say laptop simply because they're small and portable and can be locked up with relative ease. A desktop computer works just fine if somebody has a spare that's no longer in use. The gametimer does run on tablets, (I have tested iPad and android tablets) with some effort, although I don't really recommend a tablet. Although not strictly necessary I do recommend a large external monitor as a laptop is difficult to read at 150 feet.
I've never attempted to have a browser ring any sort of electrical or mechanical bell and wouldn't know where to start. It does play sounds through the laptop speakers. It plays one sound when first started, a second when the warning time happens (10 minutes left in most situations), and a third at game over time. There are default sounds built in. They are standard .mp3 files in the "sounds" directory. It will also play .wav files or .ogg files, so you can find any sound bite that you enjoy (or make your own) on the internet. I'm sure there's a ringing bell out there just waiting for you :) The gametimer can play any or all of the three times. A "silent" sound is included so no messing about with the code is required, although that's an alternative. Since laptop speakers tend to be small and quiet I'd recommend external speakers with a power supply for your ice shed. That way you can have a running timer for folks to keep track of the game progress, a visual color change when time's about up, and also retain the bell that you had previously.
Several older versions, with and without sound are still around. Please contact the author and I'll be glad to either email them to you or temporarily put them up on the web site for downloading.
Questions? Comments? Please contact the author, Howard Griffin.