CronTab S80 Review
CronTab S80 by OPL maestro Edo is a combination of the in-built Clock and CronTab for EPOC, on steroids. It is an incredibly flexible task scheduling program which can:
- sound a variety of alarms
- run programs and macros
- open documents or files
- send an SMS
- open the telephone application with a number to call
On the screen shot above, the time and date settings are obvious.* The green bell on the left indicates upcoming active events, with the vibrating bell showing the next item to occur.* A red bell indicates an event which has been disabled.* The letters following the date indicate the type of scheduled event: A = Alarm, C = Telephone Call, D = open a Document, M = start a Macro, P = start a Program and S = send an SMS message.
Not only that, but it can detect your location via the phone's GSM signal and only carry out the scheduled action if your phone is in the proper location - no more work related alarms whilst relaxing at home or in the pub with your friends!* The © symbol to the left of the event description above indicates that this scheduled event is conditional upon the device arriving at or departing a specified GSM cell
CronTab S80 works in conjunction with the FileNote Macro library and users can use existing or create new macros for unattended backups, compression of files, defragmentation of disks and memory or any other job at regular intervals (e.g. during the night).* Displaying a thought for the day on your device first thing in the morning using a macro is easy or if you prefer to enter the rat race running in the mornings you can display your ToDo list automatically at 7:00am.* CronTab S80 is also capable of merely sounding an alarm once or at set intervals, but unlike the built-in alarms, the alarm sound and duration can be set individually.* CronTab allows for a maximum of 7 scheduled events.* When the machine is off, CronTab wakes it up, runs the scheduled job and switches it off.
CronTab S80 is based upon the concept of CronTab for EPOC by Pascal Nicholas, but has been written from the ground up by Edo.
When you first start CronTab S80 you will get a blank screen with 7 blue bullet points on the left hand side of the window as shown in Screen Shot 01.
After selecting a slot, set a scheduled time to execute an alarm, a program or a macro, to open a document, send an SMS or place a phone call.
Simple Alarm Example
We will set a repeating alarm to ring every workday morning at 7:00am
1) Press Edit to pop up the New Task Dialog
2) Set time to 7:00:00
3) Set occurrence to Working Days
4) Type to Alarm
5) Type a description, such as "Get Up" into the caption
Screen Shot 02 shows the completed dialog
This then proceeds to another dialog asking us to select an alarm ring tone. Select a tone and press OK
The next dialog entitled Task #1 (if the cursor is on the first bullet) is then shown as Screen Shot 03 below
If you are slow getting up in the mornings you may need to repeat the alarm 3 times at 20 second intervals as shown on Screen Shot 03 above. The volume can also be set at any level between 1 and 10 as well as silent. If set to silent, the alarm will pop up without any sound.
The alarm details are now shown on the screen as Screen Shot 04 below:
The occurrence of alarms include Once Only and a number of standard and non-standard repeating alarms:
- Once only
- Working Days
- Set by Macro
All of these are simple to use.
Non-Standard Repeating Alarms
The use of Other....... allows the use of non-standard repeating alarms e.g. in Screen Shot 05 we have set the alarm to repeat every 45 minutes.
Be careful if selecting seconds as the repeat interval as you may set up a loop in CronTab S80 which you cannot break without killing CronTab S80.
Starting a Macro or Program or opening a Document are very similar to setting an alarm except for the new dialog shown on Screen Shot 06 below.* If Start in background is set to off then the program selected will be run and will come to the foreground - e.g. useful to see your agenda for the day when you open your device in the morning.
Press Tab to see a list of installed programs.* Select the program you want to run as shown in Screen Shot 07.
Starting a Macro brings up a new dialog shown on Screen Shot 08 below.* Be careful in the choice of Macro as macros often depend upon interaction with another program rather than running on their own.
Any type of document or file that can be opened from File Manager can be opened in this manner.
Selecting time event as SMS will open a dialog box into which you type a message and the phone number of the recipient.
This type of alarm allows CronTab S80 not only to remind you by means of an alarm but also sends the name and number to the telephone application and asks permission to make the call. The name of the person to call as shown in Screen Shot 11 below must be exactly the same as in the Telephone application. A ringing sound can be assigned to this task in the same way as an alarm.
At the scheduled time the phone starts ringing and brings a dialog asking for permission to call as shown in Screen Shot 12 below. If confirmed, the call name is pasted into the Telephone application and the call is executed.* If the device is closed, the telephone will ring.* When the device is opened the ringing stops and a dialog to confirm the call is foregrounded.
Network Cell ID Tracker.
Network Cell ID Tracker can be set as additional condition for the each CronTab job i.e. the alarm will only sound or the CronTab S80 job will only be carried out if the device is located in or is leaving a particular GSM cell.* This is handy where you only want alarms or particular tasks carried out when the devise is located in a particular location e.g. work related alarms will only sound when at work or check email only when at home.* Screen Shot 13 below shows that alarm can only sound when in cell ID 16001
In order for Network Cell ID Tracker to operate S80MobInfo.sis must be installed.
A special prefix sign will be added to every job name with enabled Cell ID Tracker (from menu and via Ctrl+L).
Points to remember:
Cell ID Tracker can be enabled/disabled for each CronTab job.
The job will not be executed if a wanted Cell ID condition is not met.
There is an option to disable the job after the action has been completed. This prevents the same job being executed again at the next repeat interval.
There is an option to execute job either on Cell ID arrival or Cell ID departure.
The network is monitored and Cell is being detected in a frequency of repeat interval settings. Therefore a lot of possible combinations can be achieved by job's different repeat interval settings and "Next" time settings.
Users can call CronTab S80 via a user configurable hot-key and most menu options have associated short-cuts.
CronTab S80 has implemented dynamic CBA buttons which means that if you press Ctrl or Chr(Alt) then additional actions are available from the CBA buttons.
Network Info / Phone Info
Network Info or Phone Info are available from the menu under Extras or by short-cut keys
Network Info is useful for finding the information required to work with the Network Cell ID Tracker option and displays net name, net Id, LAC, CID, signal level.
Phone Info will display your device IMEI number and your International Mobile Subscriber Identifier.
It is easy to have an undisturbed night's sleep by activating CronTab S80 Inactivity Period using the menu "Extras".* In Screen Shot 14 above the CronTab S80 will not sound any alarms or carry out any scheduled activities between 23:00 and 06:00 hours.
CronTab S80 is an incredibly flexible scheduling system for the Nokia 9300i / 9500.* Whilst it takes some time to master some of the more advanced settings of CronTab S80, the more basic functions can be implemented by most users immediately.
This would be a great programme if sold for $20 but is a fantastic programme when presented as Freeware.* Edo, please take a bow.
Review by Martin O'Neill 13-Jan-2008