Feeds

back to article Alarming tales: What goes on INSIDE Reg hack's hi-tech bedroom

Mrs Dabbsy is threatening to decamp to the spare room. It’s reminiscent of those radioactive weeks just over a year ago when she was a bearer of unstable atoms but the culprit this time is not an overactive thyroid but my choice of alarm clock. Sleeper Sleep sound, Dabbsy’s not around Source: Wiros Like many professional …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge

Bright

Why do the makers of bedside clocks make them bright enough to light the room...even on the dimmest setting?

A cellphone alarm would never work with me, I'd knock it off the table while attempting to silence it, then step on it as I got out of bed.

My alarm's in the bathroom...to force me to get out of bed to silence it.

// The wife gets up when I get out of the shower...

5
0

Re: Bright

Yeah my old clock was actually slightly brighter than the street lamp outside the window, even on the lowest setting! I almost ended up buying an eye mask!

I got one recently made by Pure that actually dims or brightens automatically according to the room's light level. Sweet, blessed relief.

1
0
Gold badge

Re: Bright

My nice Bug DAB alarm thingy is brilliant. Sadly now discontinued. You can separately set the brightness for the clock and display when switched on from off, to barely visible, medium and 'Oh God my retinas!'. It also has 2 alarms, so I can have a buzz then a radio, or 2 radios coming on an hour apart. The screen is also on one of those boingy braided steel moveable things, like some lamps - so you can bring it close to your eyes if they fail to open properly in the morning.

It also theoretically plays (and records) to SD cards. But it's so picky about which ones it'll accept, and changeable in this, that it would be an incredibly unreliable way to wake up.

The teasmade on the other hand has a sensor to change the clock back-light depending on ambient light. It varies from as bright as the midday tropical sun to "ve have vays ov making you talk!" spotlight in the face. I have to rest a book against it at night. And I used to sleep with the curtains open and a streetlamp directly outside - which I can't now living in a ground floor flat.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Bright

What's wrong with a watch that has an option to set the alarm as vibrate only?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Bright

"I got one recently made by Pure that actually dims or brightens automatically according to the room's light level. Sweet, blessed relief."

I also have a Pure clock radio with the auto-brightness function. Unfortunately, even the dimmest level is still brighter than the sun. The alternative is to switch off the display completely, but that somewhat negates the clock's primary purpose of informing you of the time by looking at it.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Bright

Why do the makers of bedside clocks make them bright enough to light the room...even on the dimmest setting?

THIS.

Luckily, for me, I have thick walls, so I stick mine on the windowsill, outside the curtain. I do lothe blue LEDs.

1
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

‘rustling forest’

‘rustling forest’ has the effect of making me think my bedroom is on fire.

Well if that doesn't get you from horizontal slumbers to vertical alertness then nothing will...

5
0
Bronze badge

Got the same problem in reverse

My missus usually gets up before me. Unfortunately I can never sleep properly afterwards, no matter how quiet she is. Added to which I am a miserable bastard in the morning (and to be fair it doesn't get much better through the day).

Anyway I would love to know who decided to start everything in the morning. Why don't we all relax a bit and start kicking arse after lunch?

13
0
Silver badge

Re: Got the same problem in reverse

Ditto.

She is in education, so the tables are reversed in holiday times.

However, if you get cats, it makes no difference anyway because they get to know when the alarm is due and wonder why you are not performing some servile feat for them already and let you know none too subtly.

12
0
Silver badge

Re: Got the same problem in reverse

I find young kids have the same effect, with the added issue that they're less self-sufficient and somewhat noiser too...

4
1

Re: Got the same problem in reverse

The way my boys are growing, yet utterly failing to modify their (admittedly 100% effective) parent-waking procedure, the cracking of ribs will soon provide the soundtrack to my antemeridian stirrings.

So tired, so sore...

;-)

3
0
Bronze badge

Re: Got the same problem in reverse

We had a cat that could open doors by pulling down the handle and pushing is back paw against the wall. Its record was opening the kitchen and bedroom doors, then gently tapping my sleeping form on the face with a paw, at 4:00 in the morning.

1
0
Facepalm

modern life is rubbish

I was using the BBC radio player app alarm feature until recently on my android tablet, which sits in a dock near the bed. Most recently, it woke at 7.00 one morning as usual, started playing radio 4, at which point the availability of the network connection clearly prompted the thing to opportunistically check for updates, which it found - specifically one for the BBC radio player, which was then promptly partially uninstalled before failing to update... all in all leaving me with about 5s of alarm. Which wasn't enough. I woke an hour late with a vague recollection of the events.

6
0
Silver badge

Re: modern life is rubbish

The more technology one throws at the morning alarm the more points of failure there are, alas. Android has a few annoyances, one of which is that they don't tend to be able to turn themselves on for an alarm - strange, cos every dumb- and feature-phone I've had from a 3310i onwards has been able to do so.

And wasn't there a (now corrected) iOS bug from a few years back that stopped the alarm from working? (Albeit on a specific date)

5
0
Silver badge

Re: modern life is rubbish

My Samsung S3 has a highly configurable "blocking" mode which silences alerts and notifications, apart from certain contacts I specify. It means I can leave my phone charging overnight on my bedside table without being woken up by email/linkedin/charging complete beeps, but family can still contact me in an emergency and the alarm still wakes me in the morning.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: modern life is rubbish

iOS struggled with the change between Summer time and Winter time twice a year. I'm not entirely sure they have fixed it yet.

I have had two Android phones now, the original Samsung Galaxy S, and the Galaxy Note 2. I haven't had any problems with the alarm clock on either of them.

1
0
Silver badge

Radio 4

It's amazing how quickly you can go from 'asleep' to '05.43, anything to avoid the godbotherer slot'.

And it's so quiet and yet so irritating, the other half sleeps right through it... I have been known to turn it off simply on the sound of the audio amp going live, before a word of speech.

Of course, when they start Farming Today a little early, it doesn't work half as well.

2
0

Re: Radio 4

The real danger with R4 is that the alarm goes off when they're in the middle of a "here's the latest on the euro-finance bill"-type piece. That sort of thing would have you struggling to maintain consciousness at the best of times; first thing when you're barely awake to start with it's a guaranteed lapse into coma.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Radio 4

That's why they have "thought for the day", even cripples have been known to rise from the bed to turn it off

3
0

Ive got into the loud, abrupt world-is-ending blast of an alarm - it wakes me up instantly and i can turn it off within a few seconds. My gf however, seems to be able to ignore it completely for about 10-20 seconds before she really wakes up.

As long as i hit the STFU button fast enough, all is well.

Good luck :)

2
0
Silver badge

>Gadgets that light up the room are no good either since they are no less likely to disturb the wife.

Aw come on Mr D, you write for a technology website: Surely some sort of facial recognition system and head-tracking narrow-beam spotlight contraption bolted to your bedroom ceiling is the answer?

8
0

why not try

a vibrating pillow alarm clock they are designed primarily for deaf people, since an alarm clock is fairly useless..

5
0
Gold badge

Re: why not try

I was thinking that. Or he could get one of those pillows that has a speaker built in and a headphone cable. Then you just plug into phone or iPod for your own wake-up sound.

As for putting the phone in aeroplane mode, why not just disable the beeps for tweets, linked-ins and emails. Admittedly that doesn't save you from being woken by text, but then I don't tend to get early morning texts.

0
0

Re: why not try

"As for putting the phone in aeroplane mode, why not just disable the beeps for tweets, linked-ins and emails. Admittedly that doesn't save you from being woken by text, but then I don't tend to get early morning texts."

Sony mobiles have an app, called "Smart Connect", that allows You to choose actions to be performed when something happens.

Mine goes to silent mode, if a charger is plugged, between 23:00 and 7:00.

I believe Samsung has something on this lines too...

1
0
Silver badge

Re: why not try

Lama for Android can do a lot of interesting things based on time, location, connections, etc. as well

0
0

Re: why not try

IOS7 has a whole Do Not Disturb settings page, fairly comprehensive and quite welcome. The new alarm sounds are pretty good.

0
0
Silver badge

Automation?

As a thought, if the mobile solution works other than for operator error, why not automate the process with an app like Tasker or AutomateIt? (for Android anyway, I'm sure there must be similar for iOS).

Then you could set things up nice and fancy based on calendar, timer and even perhaps location (GPS or connected wifi) so that it wakes you up using your preferred vibration/noise during weekdays only and only when you're at home.

2
0

This is where the oft-maligned Pebble smartwatch can shine.

First, set your mobile to have a black-out period, simple in Android, you can add people like the missus to an exempt list so emergency calls get through.

Second, set your alarm safe in the knowledge that your wrist will vibrate you awake silently at the given hour.

My wife usually doesn't notice me leave first in the morning.

5
0
Silver badge

Indeed

Or one of the other wrist-band alarm clocks available - such as the Lark.

1
0

Why do you have to sleep in the same bed? Have sex in one bed, sure, but you don't have to sleep in the same one. It can be very good for marriages not to sleep in the same bed.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

It can be very good for marriages not to sleep in the same bed.

Yeah, I tried telling her that too. But it's apparently not OK if said separate bed is in another house.

15
0

It's not the sleeping in another bed that's the problem, it's the sharing of it with another woman!

3
0
Silver badge

@Roby

Yes, but not sleeping in the same bed means that you effectively have to make an appointment for sex. It also removes the opportunity for a quickie when neither of you can sleep, or when you both wake up early.

I certainly don't get nearly as much since my wife decided she could not stand being disturbed by my early starts to get to work. At least that's the reason she gave for wanting to sleep in another room....

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @Roby

There is probably an app for that. At one point, for reasons I am not able to determine, I was even getting adverts on websites that seemed very close to inviting me to make appointments for intimacy with strange ladies, though these seem to have stopped now.

Oh, you meant with your significant other. Sorry.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

te-he

Is it you or her that is sharing the bed with the other woman?

No need to answer that, it is nearly beer O'Clock.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

It's not the sleeping in another bed that's the problem, it's the sharing of it with another woman!

Funny that, she told me that too. Personally, I'm hurt by the assumption.

And I'm dead sure I hid the flowers.

2
0
Bronze badge
Joke

Sex in one bed?

Why use just one (bed, that is...)

Two alarms for me...one next to bed; t'other in the bathroom set to go off 5 minutes later. Wife at other end of house. Sex? What's that?

0
0
Childcatcher

Someone had to say it...

No sex for us please, we're British.

2
0
Bronze badge

It's not the sleeping with another woman that's the problem

It's the staying awake with her beforehand that does the damage

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Vibrating wrist alarms

I'm using a Jawbone Up as an alarm clock, almost silent, 4 alarms (staggered 10 mins apart ).

Have also used the FitBit One as an alarm clock as well. Just strap to wrist (surprisingly comfortable) and sleep.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm using a Jawbone Up as an alarm clock

Up where?

5
0
Anonymous Coward

I accidentally trained myself to wake before the clock..

In my entirely misspent youth, I built an alarm clock by hooking up a buzzer and a battery to one of those "flip for a digit change" bare clock mechanisms you could buy in electronics shops.

The problem was that a buzzer during daytime in a busy city seems to become an air raid horn after your ears have spent a night at country noise levels, so I spent a week with near heart attacks (don't ask me why I didn't subject the thing to lethal levels of violence, I still haven't worked that one out) and being pretty much on time at work - until I started waking up a couple of minutes before the damn thing so I could kill the buzzer. I presume part of that was some brain subroutine keeping track of how many minutes had "flipped".

Eventually, the clock and my need for sleep collided on a weekend, and the clock lost. But that waking up before the alarm has remained.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I accidentally trained myself to wake before the clock..

I built a bodge-tastic alarm clock in my youth. The parts were:

1x Scalextric 12v transformer

1x 6v Piezo buzzer

1x 6v Bulb in series with the piezo

1x cheap plug-in timer

This contraption made a quite annoying sound which woke everyone in the house at stupid AM...

Except me.

4
0
Bronze badge

Re: I accidentally trained myself to wake before the clock..

Had the same experience as a teenager with a mechanical alarm clock on a sloping shelf at the head of the bed. As it rang it 'walked' down the shelf and hit me on the head. I woke up the next morning to avoid the same fate.

Later in life I had a cat who came into the room and walked up my stomach to purr into my face to say that it was time for his breakfast.

1
0

Re: I accidentally trained myself to wake before the clock..

My grandfather could sleep through anything. It was quite some time ago (the hight of geek technology was to have a "cat's whisker" and be able to pick up radio from America in the middle of the night, which he woke the house to hear when he got it working, but I digress)

His solution to waking up was to put an alarm clock (the type with the two bells on top and a hammer running between them) and sit it on an old tin tray. He was the only one that it didn't wake in the whole tenement.

0
0
TRT
Silver badge

If you leave your smart phone plugged in to charge overnight, beware that the floaty and noisy grounding on some chargers can affect the touch screen to the point of making it virtually unusable. Although it does make a fair simulation of life with e.g. Parkinson's disease.

2
1
Bronze badge

Grounding? (I presume you mean Earthing), but either way all modern chargers are double-insulated, which means that they have a plastic earth pin, and even those that have a metal one MUST NOT connect it to anything.

0
1
Silver badge

Newp, grounding, at least on the DC side.

1
1
Silver badge

Leaving aside the technical terms, thanks for that information, TRT! I have been convinced for some time that my phone's screen is less responsive when plugged in, but couldn't think of a reason. I'd decided I was deluded, but apparently not!

1
0
TRT
Silver badge

When you enter the gates of pedant city... :-D

Yes, the earth grounding of the user's finger as opposed to the floating, capacitively coupled and potentially noisy ground that comes from the charger and into the phone.

There are articles on it, if you want to search for them. The practical upshot of it is that you should stick to the charger supplied by the manufacturer as that's been tested with the device; anything else and you take pot luck.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.