First of all, congratulations to all who entered last month's challenge.
I've slept all through April, what's a coding challenge?
It's not a contest, just a way to exercise your coding skills and show us what you can do. Feel free to work individually, in pairs, teams, whatever. Take the initial guidelines and stretch them as far as you like: beginners can accomplish it with a very basic interface, while experts can add all the bells and whistles they like. The only limit is time.
So what's the challenge this month?
An alarm clock. Your app should, at the minimum, show the current time and allow the user to set a date and time at which he's warned by way of a message box or any other visual effect or sound. If that is too easy for you, you can increase the number and types of alarms that can be set, make a flashy analog clock (with the hands either 'ticking' or moving smoothly) or let the user adjust the time (we advise not to mess with the system time though).
You should stick to standard VB controls and API calls -- please avoid using third-party controls or DLLs that those wanting to try out your code may not have access to.
What do I get?
This isn't a contest, and there are no prizes. What you get is experience in coding, satisfaction in helping your peers, and the enjoyment of seeing your work produce a fun and tangible product. If any of the entries particularly stands out in terms of solid functionality, good design, and clear comments, it will be recognized by inclusion in our Code Library.
Sounds cool. So how does this work?
You have until the end of May to work on your alarm clock apps using VB 4, 5, or 6. Do take care that your code is error proof and well commented, a solid basic app is worth more than a buggy one with a lot of extras. A good first question to yourself would be: "How do I make a very basic alarm clock in such a way that I can later add features easily?" When you're satisfied with your app, post a zip file containing all the code and related files for your app (no binaries, please) in the thread located in the Random Thoughts forum.
What if I need help?
Feel free to ask questions on the forum or in our IRC channel, although of course we will expect to see that you're making an effort on your own first (otherwise it defeats the whole point of the challenge, right? ). Or look for partners with whom you can learn. If you want to incorporate code snippets from other sources, such as the Code Library, just be sure to credit the source in your comments.
Good luck and happy coding!