.NET and related technologies

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sleep# v3

Sleep# receives several downloads a day (over a hundred a month) from all over the world and I have had plenty of positive feedback – there are obviously lots of people who like watching videos/films before falling asleep!

Whether you use it as a “sleep after” VLC/Windows Media Player or for fading out music after a countdown or as simply a countdown timer, it has been a success far beyond the niche I anticipated.

Since the last version was released, the BBC have changed the way iPlayer works, and now it no longer comes out of fullscreen Flash after playback has finished. This has required the development of a new (universal) Flash detection method…

I have released a beta version of Sleep# v3 with experimental Adobe Flash detection – allowing you to send your computer to sleep/hibernate/screen off after watching a fullscreen Flash video, e.g. YouTube, BBC iPlayer and countless other streaming catch-up TV services.

There is also a log/history dialog allowing you to review Sleep#’s previous actions.


As the (end of fullscreen) Flash detection is experimental I would welcome any feedback. Try watching a video (10 mins+) on YouTube (using Flash, not HTML5 video), make it fullscreen and leave it playing idly for at least 5 minutes. At the end of the video, Sleep# should trigger the grace period – fading the screen to black by default before triggering the sleep/hibernate/turn off display command. Alternatively you can turn the Flash Detection off if it is not required 😛

You can download v3 beta from the Beta folder at https://sourceforge.net/projects/sleepsharp/files/.

Sleep# v2

Gayan at Heckic Geek has reviewed Sleep# (review version 2.2.1) favourably.


Sleep# saves electricity (and fan noise!) by putting your computer into standby/sleep mode after full screen media playback. It is fully customisable and includes a grace period during which the screen slowly fades and you have the chance to abort the sleep process.

I’ve just released v2.3.0 which adds support for multi-monitor setups and Windows 8 (as long as you use a compatible media player – Windows Media Player or VLC). If you are running an earlier version I recommend that you make the upgrade Smile.

Sleep# can be downloaded from http://sourceforge.net/projects/sleepsharp/.

Systematic Phonics Literacy Activity Tutor

For the past couple of years I have worked with an educational psychologist on a literacy tutor, dubbed SPLAT, to create a solution for children with special educational needs and dyslexia.

The package consists of a handheld device and Teacher Control Panel software, shown below. Teacher Control Panel

SPLAT utilises the systematic/synthetic phonics method in various games for the student, records the results and generates reports (see below for an example) for each student. Each game can be individually tailored to the student’s specific needs. The most basic game, ‘Systematic Phonics Blend’, sounds out the three or more phonemes of a word, which the student blends in their head before selecting the corresponding image.

Spell Report 1Spell Report 2

The games are played on a refurbished hand-held device, with a touchscreen, stylus (like the Nintendo DS that many children are familiar with) and headphone jack.

The solution has been developed entirely in .NET, utilising technologies such as Entity Framework 4, Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Presentation Foundation.

When set up in a school, the Teacher Control Panel will recognise the teacher through their login and display the students in the class. It’s really simple to use when set up and should save time as the students can get on with the practice – little and often, on their own.

If this sounds like something you that would be of benefit to you, either as a teacher/SENCO or as an organisation, then please contact me.