Monday, February 13, 2012


For readers not from the Netherlands, let me just quickly introduce the concept of "Zaagmans". You could translate him as "Mr. Saw", and he's a fictional construct mentioned by the characters of a dreary office satire called "Debiteuren Crediteuren" in the comedy program Jiskefet on Dutch televison. Zaagmans of course comes along each wednesday at noon, to "saw the week in half".

In the second week of Januari Zaagmans came up at work (must have been wednesday the 11th) and I had the idea that it would be easy to either set an alarm for noon every wednesday with the sound of a saw or write a small silly app to do that for me and optionally show me a countdown. I kept things to myself and at home that evening I wrote just such an app. I wanted to dogfood it myself for a week, and after I knew for sure it worked on wednesday I published it. It turned up in the Marketplace on december the 22nd, just over three weeks ago.

I would never have believed what I started. Download numbers are trailing a couple of days, as you probably know, but in the first 2.5 weeks the app has been downloaded 123 times! And it is only published to a couple of markets: just NL originally, but as quite a number of Windows Phone users over here still have not switched from their "fake" US/UK/DE/BE Live ID they started using when NL support was still far away, I enlarged this a bit.

What I find astonishing is the fact that I have 9 reviews already, almost all of them five star except for one four star one. And this morning I noticed that Zaagmans is in the 3/48 position of the "New & Impressive" section in AppFlow! Wow, that's still just for the Dutch marketplace, but this little app really seems to be touching a nerve. It my own little Rubber Duck! ;-)

So far, there has been one update where you are now able to choose the sound you want to hear (first version made random choice of the original three sounds) and a second is current going through Marketplace submission right. After that at least one more version will be submitted that has Flurry statistics built in; I really want to see what people do with this app.

If you have ideas for it, please let me know.


  1. Create an app that playes some random geek sound (like Star Wars Tie Fighters passing by) when it's exactly 13:37 :)

  2. And that every day, probably? Nice one. Could be problematic with the licencing of the sounds. Strictly legally speaking, of course...