DonationCoder is one of my favorite sites to keep in-touch on the latest software related news and ideas. They have a dedicated section for some small but very useful windows utilities based on the Auto Hot Key(AHK) scripts called 1 HOUR SOFTWARE by Skrommel (based on name of the author). Some of the listed utilities are really very helpful , so I decided to pick some of the most useful from these and present them to my readers with their intended use and some usual comments. Note that you can download all of these as either .ahk scripts and compile them using the Auto Hot Key scripting software or you can avoid the hassle by downloading the pre-compiled executable files. I will recommend the later option for the most users unless you want to play around with the code and make some of your own customizations.
This utility allows to close/kill multiple process in one go. Just select all the processes in the list-box that you want to close and press the Close or the Kill button. A user can also restart a process if desired. Process related controls are available in the first tab. You can also control the system services installed in the Windows system from the second tab. All usual windows services related options are available(start, stop, restart, auto, manual, Demand). Advantage is the same that you can select multiple services and perform the desired operation rather than to select each service one by one and enable/disable it(as you do in the services applet in the Windows Control Panel).
Allows to recover the closed programs when running in the background. To recover right-click the tray icon and choose an application to recover that, double-click the tray icon to recover all the closed applications. Very useful if you unintentionally closed a running application.
Run a program or show a message when the CPU is in idle-state. You can set the Idle Duration and CPU Threshold. This utility may be useful if you want to run some housekeeping tasks but they are processor intensive for example to run a virus scanner to scan the local hard-drives, system de-fragmentation software, content indexing or some other computation intensive tasks when there is no CPU activity.
Give the desktop it’s own taskbar button! You can Click it, Alt-Tab to it, or drag files to it to show or hide the desktop. I am sure it will be useful if we get used to it.
This is a special screensaver that will run a command when run. If you can figure-out its use?
It makes auto-updating collection of shortcuts of chosen file types from a folder. It is very configurable and you have to define some rules before it properly works. Rules can be defined in the Rules tab of the interface. In each rule you define you will specify the following:
- Source – Where files are located for which you want to create shortcuts to
- Target – Where auto-updating shortcuts will be placed
- Files – Which files types you want to create shortcuts for (wild-cards supported)
- Ignore – What sub-strings (parts of the filename) to ignore
- Recurse – If it should recurse subdirectories?
From the Rules tab each defined rule can be enabled or disabled. A timer option is also available to specify the amount of time after it will check for new eligible files in the source folder to have a shortcuts in the target folder. ShortCutter can be globally enabled/disabled from the traybar menu as well.
MoveOut can be used to move files from one folder on your hard-drive to another automatically based on the rules you define as in the case of ShortCutter. You can define new rules in the Rules tab of the Settings. For each rule defined you will specify the following:
- Source – Source where the files are located now
- Target – Destination folder where files will be moved
- Files – Which files types you want to move(wild-cards supported)
- Ignore – What sub-strings (parts of the filename) to ignore
- Replace – What to do if a file already exists at the destination?
All the created rules can be disabled/enabled on individual basis. An interval can be specified in the settings which governs that how often the files will checked to be moved from the source to the destination. Moving feature can also be enabled/disabled on global basis from the traybar menu.
This utility can be useful in couple of scenarios I think for example, consider you are downloading some files from the Internet on to your desktop. By using this utility you can define rules to copy all video files to your video collection and all the software to the software collection directory.
BlockInput will block all the input devices (keyboard, mouse etc.) when you press a defined hotkey(default is Ctr+Q) for a specified amount of time. Time interval can be specified in the settings and after that time-period has elapsed, all the input devices will be unlocked.
Watches the clipboard for web addresses and saves them with a comment(optional). Whenever a URL will be copied to the clipboard a dialog box will appear that will allow to enter a comment for the current URL to be saved with it. These URLs along with the comments are saved in the ‘URLHistory.htm’ file. You can also access the URL’s copied so far from the traybar menu. A URL can also be manually entered from the traybar menu.
This one may come handy when you need to copy a lot of URL addresses but from different websites that are not at one place and as a bonus will you will be able to enter descriptive comments.
Allows to run a startup program that is not running now. This is very useful in some situations where you have a lot of programs specified in the windows startup but you want to play a resource/memory intensive game. Then you can simply close those heavy-duty programs from the traybar(to free up system resources) and play your game. After you are finished simply execute the ReRun to restart all the startup programs that you had closed. I personally use it sometimes for a similar purpose.
Automatically control how to display a window. Can control the following attributes of a window:
- Move, maximize, minimize, restore, enable, disable, hide, show, ontop, bottom, alwaysontop, clip, transparent, transparent color, move relative to another window, stick to the edge of the screen, center, run a program.
- Double-click trayicon to center the active window.
Prevents the moving of desktop icons. Double-Click the tray icon to Disable/Enable. Also has an option to disable left drag and right mouse button.
Disable the Close button (X) of selected windows. Maybe useful to prevent an important application from an accidental close.
Well this one is a screensaver of screensavers! I mean it allows to automatically change the current screensaver after every X minutes of time. Installation is simple as any other screensaver, select Install from the Windows explorer context-menu and configure it like any other screensaver using Start – Settings – Control Panel – Screen – ScreenSaver.
In the options you can set the change interval, Running order (random, alphabetical) etc. All the currently installed screensavers are enumerated in the Screensavers tab and you can checkmark the screensavers incase you want to ignore some of these from inclusion. This one will really save you from getting bored to watch the same screensaver run again and again or manually change it each time you want to.
Automatically moves files from Internet Explorer’s cache into folders based on a file’s extension. It is very handy for extracting movies, songs(mp3), flash and other files from the Internet Explorer cache. Features include:
- Can be used to watch other folders.
- Only move files bigger than a given value.
- Run a program when a new file is found.
- Move or copy files.
By default it extracts multimedia and graphics files from the Internet Explorer cache and copies them in to sub-folders created in a folder named CacheSort in the root of C drive.
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