PocketTimer is the timing component
of our Palm-based race-timing solution, which can be used by itself or
in conjunction with the other components of PocketTimer
Pro for a more complete solution. Here are the features of PocketTimer:
Logging of times is done on the main screen, shown at right. The person
doing race timing simply taps on the large on-screen number buttons with
a stylus to record the bib# (optional) of each racer, then taps the "Record"
button to automatically record the current elapsed time. The screen features:
- Continuous display of elapsed time
- Continuous display of pace (if a distance has been entered for the
- Display of the place of the upcoming racer.
- A large "Start" button to start the timing, which then changes
to "Record" to record each racer.
- Large number buttons to enter the Bib# of the approaching racer prior
to pressing Recordeasily used by inexperienced users, without
the need for "Graffiti" (Palm's handwriting recognition)
- A way to indicate that the entered number is uncertain (if it can't
be read clearly). Or, the user can just tap the Record button without
entering a bib# beforehand, and PocketTimer will record the time
and a "?" for the bib#.
- Simple deletion of the last entry if the Record button is hit in error,
or if the user quickly realizes the racer was a bandit.
- Quick swap of the last two bib#'s if a sprint to the finish changes
the order after the user had keyed in the bib #'s.
- Captured times can be reviewed, even while the event is in progress,
by tapping on the "Show" button.
With all these features, even an inexperienced operator can achieve >99%
accuracy when capturing just times alone (without bib #'s), and 90-100%
accuracy when recording bib #'s along with the times. The ability to capture
every bib# obviously degrades as the event gets larger and clumps of racers
finish together, but when numbers are missed, post-race editing of the
results using the tear-off tags as a refereence easily turns this into
100% accuracy with just a few minutes effort. PocketTimer has been
field tested on races with as many as 1000 entrants.
Some things are not obvious by just looking at the main screen. These
- There is not an easy way to stop the timer. Timing is
stopped by using a menu, so that an inexperienced operator cannot inadvertantly
stop the time while the event is running.
- The Palm has "hard buttons" which allow the user to switch
to the other (standard) Palm applications - Datebook, Address Book,
To-Do List, and MemoPad. A user who presses one of these buttons (intentionally
or accidentally) receives a warning that they must know how to get back
to where they are. Tapping on "Don't Exit" leaves PocketTimer
- An experienced user can leave the application while the timer
is running, for example before the first finisher is in sight, and then
return to PocketTimer. PocketTimer maintains the correct time
even when the program is not running!
- The power to the Palm can be turned off while the race is in progress
(before finishers appear), and then turned on. PocketTimer maintains
the correct time even when the Palm itself is not running! [Note
- this applies to timing in 1.0 sec resolution mode only - see below]
Once the bib #'s and times are recorded, they can be reviewed,
as shown in the screen at left. This can even be done while the event
is in progress; a continuous display of elapsed time in the event is shown
in the upper right of the screen. Features of the recorded times screen
- Display of finishing (or intermediate) place, bib#, time, and pace
(if a distance has been entered).
- Sorting of displayed results by place, bib#, or time. Sorting by bib#
makes it easy to see who has finished and who hasn't.
- Quick Find - After the race, just enter the bib# of any finisher
and the "tape" scrolls so you can see that finisher's place,
time, and pace. Great for satisfying those curious racers after the
event before the results are posted!
- Editing of recorded information. After the race (or even during),
review the bib#'s against the tear-off tags collected at the end of
the finishing chute. The few numbers that were entered incorrectly or
missed by the user can be easily corrected or entered. In some cases
you will find an "extra" tear-off tag for which neither a
number nor a time was recorded. In this case, you can insert a new finisher
in its proper location.
Again, some features are not obvious by just looking at the screen. These
- Times can be offset (up or down). If you start the timer at the wrong
time (as might happen if the finish and start are at different places),
you can adjust the time based on some independent information (e.g.,
another stopwatch) so that all times are adjusted.
- Time Trial Mode - PocketTimer can record time trial events
in which participants start at separate times; the time differential
can then be automatically subtracted from all recorded times so that
the true times (and finishing order) are displayed.
- Last lap display - if you record multiple laps for participants, tapping
the Lap button displays just the last lap (and the real finishing places).
- You can transfer times from one Palm to another; you can then use
the sorting feature mentioned above to sort them into proper time order.
This allows you to time with multiple units, but have the results collected
and displayed on a single unit.
- Results can be transferred as a table of numbers (in the format shown
in the figure above) to the MemoPad, and from there "HotSync'ed"
into a desktop Windows or Macintosh computer. The results can then be
easily merged into other software being used for results (not provided
with PocketTimer). Or, you can use our RaceBase software
directly on the Pilot to score your race!
- Alternatively, the results can be printed directly from PocketTimer,
using our PalmPrint software. Or,
you can use PalmPrint to transfer the results directly to another computer,
which allows you to transfer the results to a computer which is not
running HotSync (and doesn't even have Pilot desktop software installed
on it); all you need is some sort of terminal emulation software running
on the other computer.
- A "b" or a "t" quickly scrolls to the bottom or
top of the list of finishers so you don't have to tap on the scroll
arrow fifty times!
- Each finisher uses only 16 bytes of storage on the device, which means
that even on the original Pilot, you can record thousands of finishing
times with no problem at all. The software itself? It takes up only
The software is configured using the screen shown at right.
- Time resolution for the timer can be either 0.01 seconds (fast mode)
or 1.0 seconds (slow mode). In fast mode, the Palm cannot be turned
off, because it "loses" the time; in slow mode, the Palm can
be turned off. In the event that you are running in fast mode and the
unit is turned off, PocketTimer readjusts the timer based on
the 1-second time. In this case the fractions of a second are not absolutely
correct (compared to the start of the event), but, as long as the unit
is left on, the relative times of subsequent recorded times will
- Distance of the event (or of the intermediate point in the event which
is being timed, e.g., a certain mile marker or aid station) can be entered
in miles, kilometers, yards, meters, or feet. If this feature doesn't
apply, just clear the distance field and the pace will not be displayed.
- Pace can be displayed in min/mile, min/km, miles/hr, kilometers/hr,
min/100 yards, or min/100 meters.
- The "starting place" is a powerful feature which allows
you to use two (or more) Palms to time an event. After the first, say,
100 finishers have crossed the finish line, start recording with the
second Pilot, while the first is taken to the announcer's stand to announce
results, or to a computer to HotSync in the data. [You will need a "multi-user"
license to make use of this feature so that you are authorized to use
the software on multiple Palms]
- Max. digits lets you set the maximum number of digits on any bib#,
which prevents errors if you try to enter too many digits before pressing
the Record button (a warning is sounded if you try).
- "AutoRecord" is a feature which automatically records the
time when the maximum number of digit are entered. This allows you to
record splits faster (for example, recording runners in eight lanes
requires only one tap on the screen to record the time instead of two).
It can be confusing (for example, if maximum digits is three, a 2-digit
number requires pressing "Record" while a 3-digit number doesn't),
so it is an optional feature that can be disabled.
- When you export (via the MemoPad or serial port) or print the information,
you can select exactly what to export or print - place, bib#, time,
- When the information is exported, the different numbers can be separated
by tabs or commas ("tab-delimited" or "comma-separated"),
depending on which is more easily utilized by your desktop software.
Special note for yacht racers:
The standard verison of PocketTimer allows #'s from 1-32767.
A special version of the software is available which records numbers
from 1 to 999999 and is thus fully compliant with yacht racing requirements
(recording sail #'s). At this time, the special version of PocketTimer
is not compatible with our RaceBase race scoring software
(which probably isn't appropriate for most yacht races anyway),
or with our Race Announcer software.
Want to learn more about PocketTimer?
We've tried to keep this page simple, but the complete manual for PocketTimer
is part of the download when you download the software (see
below). Even if you don't have a Palm, there are plenty of screen shots,
so you can see everything the software can do, and how easy it is to use.
Want to try PocketTimer yourself?
You can download PocketTimer and
put it through its paces without a Serial Number (password). The handheld
software is fully functional without a serial number, but when you HotSync
the data, only the first five items in any data you collect will be transferred
to the desktop, and in addition, the software will expire in 14 days.
This should allow you to fully evaluate what PocketTimer
can do for you and your business. Download
Want to learn more about the PalmOS handhelds?
PocketTimer runs on the Palm Computing
platform. If you want to learn more, visit
the Palm Computing, Symbol
Technologies, PSC, or IBM
Want to learn more about barcode scanning options
for the Palm?
Many people aren't clear on what is necessary to do barcode scanning
on a Palm. Read all about it.
Who we are...
PocketTimer is brought to you by
Stevens Creek Software. We have
been developing and marketing software for Macintosh, Windows, DOS, and
the Palm Computing platform since 1988. Stevens Creek Software is a leading
developer of software for the Palm Computing platform.
Ready to order?
You can license a single copy of PocketTimer
for $49.95. Site licenses are available; please email
firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing.
Most users download the software from our Web site and pay for the software online; for a small charge we can send
you the software on a disk via regular mail instead. You can order online or by mail.
||Stevens Creek Software
P.O. Box 2126
Cupertino, CA 95015
|We accept most
credit cards (online ordering only). If you wish to order by mail, contact us via email so that we can calculate the total cost of the software plus shipping charges. Let us know if you also wish to receive the software on a mailed CD. Payment is by check or money order drawn from a U.S. affiliated bank in U.S. funds. Mail orders will take a considerably longer time than payment and delivery online.
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