MacBreakZ 4: Looking for alpha testers

It has finally happened: We have time to develop version 4 of MacBreakZ , our Personal Ergonomic Assistant.

MacBreakZ is what is commonly known as an "Ergonomic Rest Break Timer".

It is common knowledge that spending long, uninterrupted periods of time in front of your computer is the cause of many of our modern day occupational health disorders:

  • tension in neck, shoulders, upper and lower back
  • headaches
  • tendinitis of the fingers, hands, wrists and elbows
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • writers' cramp
  • and many other cumulative trauma diseases, occupational overuse syndromes and repetitive strain injuries

MacBreakZ combats these problems in a number of ways:

  1. reminds you to take breaks based on your health profile and your actual computer usage
  2. provides ergonomic advice and tips
  3. demonstrates and times stretching exercises that you can do in front of your computer

This type of software requires a high degree of adaptability and a particular sensitivity to the social factor influencing your work.

If you work in a home office and you are already suffering from one or more of the problems mentioned above, you will be looking for something that can help you recover and you won't care about much else. If you are, however, only looking to prevent injury and perhaps want to go home without a headache every day, you may be much more sensitive to what your co-workers think. You will not want to look silly doing strange stretches in an open plan office and you might be afraid that using a rest break timer might make you look less efficient or "injured".

Many of these things depend on your work setting and environment, the presence or absence of injury and your own mind set.

This is why, it is important for me as a product designer to be in touch with you, the end users of the product.

The development of A Better Finder Rename 7 was the first time, I developed a new product version in tight cooperation with a small number of alpha testers. This experience resulted in an end product that was far superior to what I could have achieved without the active help of this dedicated group of people.

This is why I want to attempt to replicate this approach with MacBreakZ 4.

I am looking for people who have time and effort to expend, who are interested in technology and have the desire to contribute to this project. Being accustomed to using MacBreakZ , ergonomix or any other break timer program will be an advantage.

If you feel like you might want to take part in shaping this new product and following it through its various development stages, please drop me a line at

10 thoughts on “MacBreakZ 4: Looking for alpha testers

  1. I have over 10 years experience in beta testing software. I also run one of the largest Call Centers in the United States. I am ALWAYS concerned about lawsuits from employees because of an area we might have missed with regards to ergonomics.

  2. Hi!

    I already have a “Mouse Disease”. Out of the reason that my job is working with computers, its necessery for my now to do some trainings and brakes during work. When I found the link to your Software on “” I directly went to downloaded the demo version which 100% i will buy. If u like to put me as a beta tester for your new release i would be very happy to let u know my thoughts.

    Kind Regards & much respect
    Roman Rabitsch

  3. Recently retired I sit longer at the Mac than ever before.
    Never had considerable health effects from PC work.
    Moving less around may need such a tool to get exercise.
    Contribution to its organization may be helpful.

  4. I’m a graphic designer and web designer, and I’m currently spending upwards of 16-18 hours a day on the computer. If you’re interested in my feedback I’d be happy to help test MacBreakZ.

  5. I’m a college student, but already I have developed some RSI problems in the wrist, neck, and shoulder areas. One improvement I would like to see within MacBreakZ is an automatic switching process back to the program I was last working with instead of having to manually navigate back to the program. I find this distracting at times, especially since I choose to automatically Hide the MacBreakZ window after a break commences. I am running Tiger in conjunction with VirtueDesktops on a Powerbook G4 1.67ghz. Would be happy to beta test; thanks for your time!

  6. many apologies; i should put my money down before i fire off my mouth. the trialware version is just so darned useable—am i really to be blamed?

  7. Dear Will,

    Don’t worry, just fire away. I very much appreciate any form of feedback and especially the kind that helps me improve my sofware.

    The first teaser releases of MB4 already sport the requested behaviour and I’m going to some lengths to make it less intrusive and more fun to use than MB3.

    I will contact you off-line to join the alpha testing group.

    Best regards,


  8. I am willing to try. I spend lots of time at the computer and could probably eveluate your product

  9. Pingback: carpal tunnel

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