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Free Idea: Outlook Calendar Screensaver

Posted in Free Ideas, Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on January 23, 2008

Free Ideas

People often guard their ideas thinking that if they let the word get out people will steal their golden shot at success. What they don’t realize is that idea are worth nothing. Implementation is the only thing that matters. Here’s an idea I had for something I’m not planning on building. Like it? Take it. Does it already exist? Let me know.

Microsoft Outlook is still the de facto email and scheduling application in most businesses. Smart managers know to make their calender public so that people can see when they are available at a glance — unfortunately its only the die-hard meeting goers who use that feature. Your average Joe Engineer still would rather drop buy every thirty minutes to try and catch him. One of my co-workers has a bad case of meetingitis and I see an average of 5 to 8 people drop buy his desk in the vain hope of finding him every day. One poor fool even tries to camp out at his desk like it’s a Star Wars movie.

The solution is simple enough: he needs a screensaver that displays his Outlook calendar for today so all the poor sods walking by can realize that he won’t be around for hours.

I haven’t found a full solution to this, but I know I’m not the first person to think how great of a screensaver your Outlook calendar would make.

  1. Almost but not quite: old screensaver that shows your Outlook tasks
  2. Hackers do it better: A trick to run DeskTask free software as an Outlook screensaver
  3. Great minds think alike: source code to a C# .NET version of the screensaver for Outlook 2000 and a how-to tutorial of how he did it.
Microsoft Outlook Screensaver

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8 Responses

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  1. Lord Byron said, on January 23, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    I had just checked the Blog Awards status before visiting here to see if you had mentioned it. Congrats on making it to finals and Bonne Chance.

  2. Sam Switzer said, on January 24, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Why outlook? Some small businesses don’t want to spend money on a crap program that doesn’t get the job done, it should also have the ability to download schedules from gcal, remember the milk, time & chaos, not just one program, normal programmers make extensions for one program, extraordinary programmers make multi-platform award winning extensions.

  3. engtech said, on January 24, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    @ Sam Switzer:

    Yup, but Outlook is what I have to use day-to-day… so Outlook is what I’d be happy with. :)

  4. [...] Free Idea: Outlook Calendar Screensaver [...]

  5. Dustin H said, on March 22, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Sam,
    A lot of companies run Outlook due to it’s integration with other products, broad support, and highly compatible with other companies. Besides, Microsoft site-licenses make it a very attractive option; further… not much else (if anything) fully integrates with Exchange.

    Need to take emotion out of the equation and make objective decisions. To get back to the point of this post – a screensaver like this would be great for nearly any business environment.

  6. R ouellet said, on June 11, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Same comment I’ve been tasked by my boss to find a way to get the office schedule displayed on our whiteboard keep it interactive so when people update the office callendar it would update and be displayed, without leaving a computer on and accessable by all. to be able to display the outlook today page as a screen saver would accomplish all of these issues.

  7. Brad Johnson said, on August 26, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    I posted on the DeskTask to tell Andre how I made his app work as a screensaver. Apparently he wasn’t interested. The C# code didn’t work for me. I am surprised that for the last 3 or 4 years that I have been looking, still nobody has created that “killer app”. Must be because there is no money in screensavers? Or maybe we all assume that someone else is “just about” to release one, so why bother? (I’ve been thinking that for 4 years now…)

    Do you have a recent build of the C# code that will run on XP Pro? Download link?

    Thanks for posting about this!!

  8. LDV said, on September 10, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I have been thinking about making a simple yet useful screensaver and came to a similar idea. I however considered using Google Calendar instead of Outlook. Anyway, I am not a big calendar user myself, so if anyone would be willing to help me write a high level spec for v1.0, please drop me a line at ldv (at-sign) mail (dot) com. Thank you.


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