StopWatch Application (VB)

Sample Image - stopwatchapp_image.jpg 



The code for this Windows application is so compact, it is presented here inline. Belying its small size, however, the app actually solves a real-world problem, namely the need to measure events of a few minutes' duration to about a half-second granularity. How long does Photoshop take to launch? How long have I been on the phone? "I'll bring your stapler back in five minutes." Yeah, right. The Radio Shack Deluxe Sports Stopwatch (63-5017) costs $19.99.


This is my entry in the imaginary "smallest useful app" contest--the entire app requires just 16 lines of user code. Thanks to .NET, the exe file is just 12.5k.

The Source Code

As they do in Microsoft Knowledgebase How-To articles, here are the step-by-step instructions:
  1. Start Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
  2. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Project
  3. Under Project Types, click Visual Basic Projects
  4. Under Templates, click Windows ApplicationForm1 is created.
  5. Change Form1's Properties: .Text="Click to Start".FormBorderStyle="FixedToolWindow",.Size="192,64"
  6. Place a new Label control anywhere on the form. Label1 is created.
  7. Change Label1's Properties: .Text="StopWatch".Dock="Fill".Font="Georgia, 24pt",.TextAlign="MiddleCenter". Select foreground and background colors to taste (the example is.BackColor=Hot Track.ForeColor=Menu).
  8. Place a new Timer control on the form. Timer1 is created.
  9. Right-click Form1, and then click View Code
  10. Add the following code to the Form1 class:
    Dim startTime As DateTime

    Private Sub Timer1_Tick(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
     ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Timer1.Tick
        Dim span As TimeSpan = DateTime.Now.Subtract(startTime)
        Label1.Text = span.Minutes.ToString & ":" & _
        span.Seconds.ToString & "." & span.Milliseconds
    End Sub

    Private Sub Label1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
     ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Label1.Click
        If (Timer1.Enabled) Then
            Me.Text = "Click to Re-start"
            startTime = DateTime.Now()
            Me.Text = "Click to Stop"
        End If
    End Sub
To use the stopwatch, click inside its window. To stop it, click again. Clicking again will reset the stopwatch to 0Blush | :O .0 and start it counting again. For fancy effects like lap timing, just launch several copies of the StopWatchapp at once.

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