Mobile Phone, Broken Screen

I was in a country far far away last month. So far that there was no broadband access (yes, this is possible). Anyway… Generally I use my mobile phone as a clock and as an alarm clock. Unfortunalty I brake it down just before my night flight.

So, to simplify, I was abroad in a hotel, the sun was down since a while, I was tired, and I had to wake up early. No electronic devices to help me, except my laptop… And then came the idea to combine cron and mplayer to automaticcaly play some MP3s at a given time.

Here is how I’ve done it. First, as root, create an empty file in /etc/cron.d/. Let us call it wake-up:

$ touch /etc/cron.d/wake-up

Then edit it to put the following command:

15 6 * * * root mplayer /home/kevin/music/CoolCavemen/AllCoolHits/*.flac > /dev/null 2>&1 /dev/null

This mean that mplayer will be launched at 6:15 and will play all FLAC files from the /home/kevin/music/CoolCavemen/AllCoolHits/ directory. I let you adapt those parameters to fit your needs.

Random Tips:

  • Take care of time zone (system time and local time are very different).

  • Check that your volume is not muted and crank the volume up !

  • Run the mplayer /home/kevin/music/CoolCavemen/AllCoolHits/*.flac > /dev/null 2>&1 /dev/null command alone in another terminal before you go to sleep to be sure it work (i.e. to check that all sound-related sub-systems are loaded).

  • Be sure that cron deamon is up an running (do a /etc/init.d/crond restart if you are not sure).

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