Schedule Your Computer

excellent
key review info
application features
  • Wake-on-lan
  • (5 more, see all...)

How many times did you wish there was some sort of program that performed actions on your computer like shutting it down, putting it into stand-by, hibernation, locking it, etc.? I wished for that one time too many so I began searching for it on the web. I stumbled over PowerOff.

Besides the fact that the software is absolutely free, it will help you get your sleep at night by scheduling your machine's shutdown at a certain day and time. The minimalist interface is easy to use and the software offers lots of options.

The application was created by Jorgen Bosman and takes only 168 KB of your disk space. It does not need complicated installing actions, a simple double-click being enough to open it. If you want it removed from your computer, just delete the .exe file and it is gone.

If you also want to delete the registry key, select "Remove Settings" from the File menu or use "regedit.exe" and delete the HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREPoweroff key.

It can power off, shutdown or reboot your PC, log you off, lock your workstation, go to standby or hibernation mode and even wake up another PC. The software is designed to work on Windows 95/98/Me/NT4.0/2000/XP, although I made the testing only on Windows XP Home Edition, and the author warns that he did not perform the testing on all the operating systems.

The actions PowerOff supports are: logoff, reboot, shutdown, poweroff (physically power off the machine), standby, hibernate, lock, wake-on-lan, turn off/on monitor and no action. The last feature is useful for displaying warning messages or running a program.

The actions can be performed on the local computer (save "wake-on-lan") or a remote computer. For the action to be performed on the remote computer, you must first check the necessary boxes and provide a computer name or its IP address, a password (if the remote computer has one) and a port number.

The author warns that if you select the NT protocol you can only shutdown and reboot the remote computer.

When using wake-on-lan action, besides specifying remote computer's IP address you also have to introduce the subnet mask and MAC address (type ipconfig/all in command prompt).

The actions performed by PowerOff can be "Scheduled", "Immediate" or "After a process stops". In the scheduling options you can specify the time and a certain day of the week or month. You can schedule the software to perform the same action every day at a certain hour.

If you check "Immediate" the action will be performed instantly. The "Scheduled" option allows you to choose the time and day for the action to be performed. Here you can specify a number of seconds to pass before the action is actually performed.

If you choose "After a process stops" then you have to specify a certain process from those running on your machine. PowerOff will execute the action immediately after the desired process stops.

In the Options menu the user can edit a warning message (and set the display duration in seconds) that will appear before the action is executed. In the warning message box you can also browse for an audio file to play while the message is displayed.

The user also has the option of choosing a program to start at a user defined time and date. If you want this activity to take place, be sure to check the No action box (right-bottom part of the application window).

The Good

The software is free and has lots of useful options. The "force applications to close" option is very useful when you have programs that refuse to obey and close. You can open more PowerOff applications at the same time and make multiple scheduling of the programs to run or stop.

The Bad

Unfortunately, I ran into a little problem with the network and couldn't test the options for the remote computer. The "Turn off/on monitor" actions did not work in my case.

The software does not have a Help menu.

The Truth

The software is a must on every computer. It is really helpful especially in those long lasting jobs that extend late into the night.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:


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user interface 5
features 5
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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