The Philips USA AJL308 Clock Radio. Capsule review: Fatally Flawed. Pro: You can play mp3 or MPEG-4 .avi (!) files off an SD card. Con: For some stupid reason, you can’t trigger either one as your alarm. Also, the sound quality and the screen quality are awful. It went back to Target.
I’m a total idiot for alarm clocks. I seriously have drawers and drawers of them lying dormant, the battery powered ones still ticking the hours away to themselves. In my search for the perfect awakening, I have bought probably 15 alarm clocks in my life, and each is flawed in some fairly intrinsic way.
After 33 years of near-constant iteration, I’ve decided The Perfect Alarm Clock must:
- It must allow me to wake up to an mp3 of my choosing — without extra background noise.
- It must allow me to set a wake up schedule that takes into account weekends where I don’t have to wake up at a set time.
- It must have a display that is big and bright enough for me to see it without my glasses.
- …but not be *so* bright that it’s like I’m sleeping with a shard of kryptonite next to my bed. Ideally it’s completely dark or super super dim until I touch a button or something.
Right now, we’re using a $50 Memorex CD alarm. Its problems are:
- It’s a CD player, so we don’t really wake up to the sound of music. I wake up to the pppppttttooooooeeeeeee sound of the crappy CD drive spinning up.
- It’s SO BRIGHT that I have an index card over the display, because even on the dimmest setting it’s bright like the noontime sun.
So my friend Jon suggested that I have this nifty little linux eee laptop, and maybe I could use that for an alarm clock. And: maybe I can. I found an GNOME app descriptively named “Alarm Clock” which lets me set an mp3 for us to wake up to and set a fairly elaborate schedule that excludes weekends. There’s no snooze button, but I think I could work around that — what I’m finding inexplicable is that I can’t seem to find a full-screen linux digital clock app or screensaver. Seriously, that’s all I want, and I can’t seem to locate it. I tried setting up an xwindows screensaver thingy for gltext, and that works, but it’s *so small*.
Anyhow, any thoughts? I can’t believe I’m the first person to try and use linux as their alarm clock. Also much appreciated would be alternatives that satisfy alarm clock conditions #1-4.
SIDENOTE: This looks promising, but I can’t bring myself to spend that much for an alarm clock. Yet.