Proceed with caution with Jumbo Timer

Functional problems plague this otherwise outstanding program.

Timers and alarms can help you keep track of all kinds of things, whether they're reminding you of your 2:00 meeting or that it's time to take the cake out of the oven. Jumbo Timer is a flexible program that combines timer, alarm clock, and stopwatch features and allows users to create as many of them as they need. Unfortunately, functional problems limited the usefulness of this otherwise promising program.

Jumbo Timer has a simple interface. The numbers of the clock or timer are displayed in an easy-to-read typeface in black on a white background, with an attractive blue border. You can configure the program by clicking on a small Settings button that appears when you mouse over the interface. This opens a large but well-organized configuration panel. You can select whether you want to use the Stop Watch, Count Down, or Alarm Clock, enable seconds or tenths of seconds, change the display colors, set hot keys, and more. Each alarm has space for recording a title and any relevant notes; these will show when the alarm goes off. Notification options include a sound file -- the program comes with 10 of them -- or having the program speak the alarm's title.

This is where we first ran into problems with Jumbo Timer; although users have the option of selecting their own sound file to use for the alarm, when we tried this, the program crashed repeatedly. The real deal breaker, however, came when we attempted to create multiple alarms, which is one of Jumbo Timer's most touted features. This is done by right-clicking on an existing clock and selecting the Clone option from the context menu. In theory, this is supposed to create a new clock that can be configured as desired. In practice, though, it just caused the program to crash every time we tried it. This is unfortunate, because Jumbo Timer is otherwise a very useful program with a lot of attractive qualities.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of Jumbo Timer 2.21. The trial version is limited to 15 days.

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