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Shutdown Timer lets you shut down or log off based on system events

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At first, the idea of a program that would let me shut down my PC at a specific time seemed silly to me. I mean, I can already do it with Scheduled Tasks or a 4-line AutoHotkey script. Once I took the time to poke around Shutdown Timer, though, I came away impressed.

The name is catchy, but you shouldn't take it too literally; Shutdown Timer lets you do other operations besides just shutting down your computer (such as log off, lock the screen, etc), and it's not just timer-based but accepts several triggers.

I'm no Mac user, but the program feels pretty Mac-like. The interface is polished and sensible, and it's logically laid out. Since it's such a compact piece of software, I figured I'd just show you all of what it offers so that you can decide if it's useful at a glance. To see the gallery, just keep reading after the jump.

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First, here's an uncropped view of the window itself. It's super-simple, as you can see. The time options are right under "Options," while other options have their own categories (CPU, Memory, and Network). You can have your computer shut down at a specific time or on a specific date, but I don't think that you can set anything up on a repetitive cycle ("every day at midnight").

As for what you can do with the program, as you can see below, it's quite a bit more than just shutting your computer down. You can restart your computer, log off the current user, lock the computer, set it to hibernate or standby, or just switch off the screen. That last bit is very useful; Windows power management has a 20-minute default, but sometimes I want the screen to shut off in five or ten minutes (when I go to sleep, for example). That's a neat option.

Now let's look at the CPU options. You can perform any operation based on CPU usage thresholds, and it's smart enough to let you specify that the CPU percentage must stay above (or below) that level for X minutes. For example, if you're rendering something and want your system to go to sleep as soon as it's done, it's very easy to set. You can also run the program in tandem with CoreTemp, so it would execute events based on CPU temperature.

The Memory options are kind of an odd choice; I tried to think of a scenario where you would need something like this, but nothing comes to mind. You can basically execute any event based on memory usage, and the program even goes so far as to let you specify exactly what you mean when you say "GB." I wonder if anyone actually uses that.

The Network options make a lot more sense. If you're copying a huge file over LAN and want your computer to go to sleep once it's done (for example, a backup job or a 40GB Blu-ray rip), it's easy to tell it to do so. One interesting thing is that you can select a "Network Computer." I only had one option (because I ran it within a virtual machine), but I suspect that it might let you perform operations based on another computer's network performance. I find that interesting.

Bottom line: It's an impressive piece of software. I love the UI.

Tags: elegant, freeware, logoff, shutdown, sinvise, utility

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