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Mindfulness at the Computer: Alpha 4 Release

Mindfulness at the Computer: Alpha 4 Release

Mindfulness at the Computer is a mindfulness and self-care application for people spending many hours in front of the computer

The application reminds you to take breaks from the computer, helps you remember to stay in touch with and be mindful of your breathing and body while sitting at the computer, and helps you concentrate on your inhaling and exhaling when you need a breathing pause

Direct Download

GNU/Linux - click to download

Requires a 64-bit Linux-based OS that is less than two years old, for example Ubuntu 16.04 or later (because of a dependency on glibc)

MacOS - click to download

Works on MacOS Sierra (10.12) or later. (May work on earlier versions as well)

Windows - click to download

Tested on Windows 7 and Windows 10 (both 64-bit)

Help Us

We are grateful for feedback, for example please contact us if you

  • find a bug
  • have a suggestion for a new feature
  • have ideas for how to improve the interface
  • have feedback about what you like about the application and how it helps you when using the computer

You can reach us by joining our gitter chat. Also here is our github project page

matc-logo

9 Likes

This sounds like a great application. Has anybody tried it and can let us know how it works?

I used to have an old windows-based application that would give you a quote from the Dhammapada every hour. It helped to just give a moment to check in with your feelings and see what you are doing; just to be mindful of the present moment.

I know there are a few apps around for Android that do this kind of stuff. Does anybody have any experience with that?

6 Likes

Just installed it. I find self-regulation in this respect extremely difficult and in recent times I have been feeling that something really ought to change so welcome anything that might help. As such much gratitude!

I will get back to you via one means or another re the ‘help us’ call, once I’ve played with it for a while.

3 Likes

Thank you for trying it out!

We are happy to receive any and all feedback, i know we all have a tendency to be positive when asked for feedback and this is of course nice to get :slight_smile: (as well as important because it helps us understand what to keep).

At the stage of development though we are we are also interested in improving the application so anything that you find problematic, can be improved, or an idea for a new feature is warmly received!

Kind Regards, Tord

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I’m not the most computer savy person here- but had a difficult time finding the .exe file after the download and then Norton antivirus got rid of it and told me it was an unsafe file and then proceeded to delete it without offering me an option to keep it. I think some further modifications may be needed! :slight_smile:

with metta

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Windows 10 itself also posts a warning about “unidentified publisher” when you open the exe. You can override it, but it might be alarming to some users.

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Thank you Mat and aconlan for your feedback! I will bring this back to the team
Kind Regards, Tord

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Okay, we have looked at this warning now and unfortunately to solve it we need to buy a license which costs 100 euro or so each year (or more). Other free/libre (“open source”) software applications are having the same problem on Windows. Can you try the application anyway? I’d be grateful for your feedback on what is valuable and what can be improved
Kind Regards, Tord

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That is most unfortunate but hardly unexpected from Microsoft. I will certainly try it out over the next few days and let you know what I think.

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I don’t know if this will help you or not:

This is the published requirement to develop apps for the Microsoft Store. I don’t know how it applies to Windows Defender warnings, but I think it would remove the problem. There is a one-time fee of $19 per individual or $99 per company, but at least that’s a little cheaper than 100 euro per year.

Don’t know if this helps or not, but thought I would post it.

1 Like

Hello @sunyata_zero. I think the description on the setup screens should be a little more detailed. It’s not clear to me what each feature does. For instance, what does the breathing screen do vs. what does the rest screen do.

In my current user situation, I am trying to set the breathing screen to show once every hour, give me 3 notifications 1 minute apart and then start the breathing exercise. I then want to take a break every half hour just to stretch my legs. For example, at 12:00 remind me to do a breathing exercise then at 12:30 remind me to take a 5-minute break. Then repeat every hour. How would I set this up? It doesn’t seem clear.

2 Likes

How does this compare with apps on smartphones which does a similar thing?

with metta

@Mat Hi, one of the contributors to our project wrote this text a couple of days explaining the difference from other applications:

How is mindfulness at the computer different?

MATC is different in that it will help you to really focus on your breathing, which is a core component of being mindful. With our interactive and intuitive design, it will help you to focus on inhalation and exhalation, helping you to become mindful. We also give you rest reminders with suggestions on what you can do in that break time. Not only that, but our interface allows for a level of customizing to make the experience perfect for you!

In my experience applications that help with breathing are always about controlling the breathing, for example there might be a 4 second inhalation and 6 second exhalitation. Even if the user can set the time herself this is not in line with my understanding of mindfulness of breathing, where we let the breath be the way it is without forcing it

Btw have you been able to start the application? We’re grateful for any more feedback you can give us!

Unfortunately the Norton problem i think is connected to the other problem discussed here and i’m not sure what we can do about it. I will write a bug/issue report for it though in case there is someone who knows of a solution

About the exe file being difficult to find i agree and we will try to fix this in a future release, grateful for your feedback on this!

Kind Regards, Tord

This is one of the best features of the program to me. Being able to create one’s own breathing exercise wording and customizing the suggestions in the break reminder are a huge plus!

And I agree that being able to “follow” the breath with mouse cursor is nice compared to a set breath time!

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@aconlan Hi and thank you for this feedback, very valuable for us! (I’ve shared this with the team)

The application is designed so that the breathing breaks occur more often than the rest, so unfortunately your setup isn’t possible. I’ve brought everything you said up with the collaborators on the project though so maybe we will redesign this to allow your ideal setup

Kind Regards, Tord

PS: Thank you for the link to the Microsoft page!

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You’re very welcome @sunyata_zero. I don’t know if my ideal setup would be anyone else’s ideal setup and I know you can’t design it to do everything :grinning:

I was thinking maybe the first time the program is run, you could provide more “steps” or screens walking the new user through each feature. For example, “How would you like to be reminded for your breathing exercises? Visual, Audio, or Both?” “How many notificatons would you like to receive before the breathing exercise starts automatically?”

I think walking the user through the settings in this way would give them a much better idea of what the program is capable of. Just a possible suggestion to consider. :anjal:

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@aconlan I like the idea to give more info, we could expand our guide/“wizard” that we have now, i’ve brought this up with the team, thank you for the feedback!

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@Aminah Hi! Have you had a chance to try it more? We are grateful for any feedback you can give us, we are closing in on BETA now so any thoughts on what we can do to improve the application is welcome!

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@Vimala Hi! If you like you can download it and there will be a sort of intro guide launched automatically at first startup (you can launch it again by using the help menu). Basically the application reminds the user to take breaks away from the computer and breathing breaks at the computer. The breathing breaks are interactive making it easier to follow the breath

We’re very grateful for any feedback you can give us!

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Hello, sorry for a) not getting back to you sooner, and b) the slightly disjointed, super quick-fire notes that follow. I think it’s a very lovely application, but because of the nature of your Q I’m here only focusing on possible improvements:

  • Installation: could get it up and running very easily, but to add it to my list of ‘recognised’ applications (ie. in my start menu) I had to do some hunting around (my eventual answer).

  • Once launched and in the system tray: it might be good if a single left click on the system tray icon would open the main settings window (as with other applications).

  • Right clicking on the system tray icon: immediately below the first option (Enable Rest Reminder) there are a line of little boxes, I could take a guess at what this is / what it indicates, but I don’t really know, and as such what ever use it’s meant to have is lost on me.

  • The edit a dialogue thing seems to have a bug. If, eg. I edit “Make a cup of tea” under the resting column on the right, it stays the the same under that column, but (I think last selected item) under the breathing column to the left will be changed.

  • Now, this is totally a bug in my human code and not the application, but openness encourages me to tell I stopped using the app. Why? Because it just highlighted that the balance of my life is really out of whack and I mostly felt a bit hopeless and guilty. Where this might feed into the app is with the possibility of building in an auto-launch (/ start on boot up) option.

I’m running on Linux Mint 18.3.

Hope something in some of this helps.

Thanks for all your hard work. :pray:

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