Yesterday lunchtime I finished writing a program that suddenly makes our working day that little bit more exciting – SmartRacer.

SmartRacer in the system traySmartRacer runs quietly in the system tray of as many users want to run it – currently Matt, Haagen, Gareth and me… but I’m trying to get Alex involved, too.

When you click on the system tray icon, the race begins! A couple of quick UDP broadcast packets are passed around the network, and everybody on the subnet who’s running the program is presented with racing-style “start lights”… 3… 2… 1… GO!

SmartRacer says 'Go!'

At this point, all participants will race – on their wheely-chairs – around the central ‘island’ of tables, in a clockwise direction, and attempt to be first to return to their own place and click the “Finish” button. Overtaking is rare – but permitted – and usually quite agressive. As each player returns to their desk a “score” table is presented to everybody, with all participants times appearing in ‘minutes’ (heh), ‘seconds’, and ‘hundredths’.

Map of the race in progress

Of course, players can choose not to participate in any particular race by clicking the “I’m Not Playing” button. The wimps.

You can download SmartRacer here, to play at your own workplace – SmartRacer.exe (64kb). It runs on Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/2003, and requires the Microsoft .NET Framework.

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