Track programs' progress with Tell When Done

When you’ve set up your PC to carry out some lengthy task -- transcode a host of videos, say -- it can be useful to know when it’s finished. But unfortunately not every program bothers to make this obvious, which means you might regularly find yourself manually monitoring progress windows in an effort to keep an eye on what’s going on.

Sounds familiar? Then you may like to try Tell When Done, a tiny portable tool which aims to provide the progress alert which some programs are missing.

To use the program, first set it running in the background (it only consumes around 5MB RAM, not bad at all). Next, set up the application you’d like to monitor: the video conversion tool, say. Once it’s running, press the Tell When Done hotkey (Windows key + T, although this can be changed). The program will now track the CPU usage of your application. And as soon as it seems to have finished, Tell When Done will display an audio alert and a pop-up dialog to let you know.

This worked just fine in our tests of simple applications. We set them working; they stopped; the pop-up alert appeared right away. This really could be very useful for programs which don’t have obvious “Finished!” alerts of their own.

We didn’t have the same success all the time, though, unfortunately. If the process you’re monitoring actually launches another helper process to do the real work, say, Tell Well Done doesn’t appear to be smart enough to detect this. It’ll not realise that it needs to watch the helper process as well, and display its “finished” dialog right away, even if the program has barely started.

Still, Tell When Done remains an interesting idea which can be effective sometimes. Just expect some trial and error before you find out precisely what the program can do for you.

Photo Credit: Sukharevskyy Dmytro (nevodka)/Shutterstock

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