Seeing as itâ€™s a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK Iâ€™d thought Iâ€™d steer away from industry analysis or heavy duty rants and go with something on the lighter side of things. The other day, our Gordon, in one of the brief moments when heâ€™s not beavering away writing news stories, sent the team a link to a handy application he'd stumbled upon called Temptation Blocker, available from here.
Itâ€™s a completely free, open-source utility that lets you block applications on your PC for a set period of time. During that period, you also canâ€™t access Temptation Blocker itself during that time without entering a random 32 digit code. The time limit can be as little as one minute and as much as 99 hours and 59 minutes, should you really, really, need to avoid a certain application, though by this point youâ€™d probably be better off just uninstalling whatever it is you're trying to avoid.
I was quite relieved to find this program, not just because it's useful but because it indicated that thereâ€™s someone out there who suffers even worse than I do from that debilitating disease known as â€˜Distractitusâ€™. This is where you sit down in front of your computer to do one task but almost inevitably find yourself doing something else entirely. I believe that I was first diagnosed with Distractitus when I was in primary school, but Iâ€™m not sure, as I was paying attention to something else at the time. It usually occurs when the task you should be doing is important, but mundane, while the â€œsomething else entirelyâ€ isnâ€™t, and invariably involves virtually running around like a madman shooting things or sometimes sneaking around carefully and delicately (again virtually), before madly shooting things. Iâ€™m talking about gaming, in case Iâ€™ve been too abstract with that description.
In my experience I have found that the severity of Distractitus is often in proportion to the importance of the task that you should be engaged in. If itâ€™s doing the shopping or researching something dull, youâ€™ll find yourself browsing the web reading about other things that you suddenly need to know about. If itâ€™s a very important looming deadline that needs concentration and care, youâ€™ll problem find yourself in a fierce five-hour Counter-Strike: Source battle quicker than you can say â€˜must buckle downâ€™.