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Terrance

Need tips/advice/ideas on automating a family member's PC

8 posts in this topic

#1 ·  Posted (edited)

Background Info

My brother' family are your typical "computer illiterate" family. When it comes to disk defragmentation, installing and using anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewalls, etc. most of them don't have a clue on what to do. My brother's family lives over 3 hours driving distance from me, so, fixing their PC when it becomes infected is not a viable option and I don't believe using remote control software is either (they use AOL to access the WWW).

What I Have Done So Far

I took their PC home with me, restored it to it's factory settings, and installed all the administrative software that I believe they will need (AVG, Spybot S&D, Lavasoft, etc.).

My Thoughts On How To Go About Automating The Administrative Software

If their PC was turned on 24/7 I could simply schedule everything to run on its own late at night. Since this isn't the situation, the steps listed below are simply what I have come up with. Feel free to offer an alternative to what I have come up with.

Using the software to detect problems and defrag the hard disk

Step 1) Create desktop shortcuts to the various administrative software products. Note: I don't want these programs running upon startup because they take up too much memory, etc.

Step 2 Create video tutorials which will show them which buttons to press to run the software and what to do when the software reports that a virus, trojan, etc. has been detected.

Step 3) Schedule a reminder message to pop-up once every week to remind them to run the various software programs by double clicking on the desktop shortcuts.

Updating the administrative software products

Step 1) Use AutoIT to create executable scripts for each software product. The scripts would automate the task of updating the software.

Step 2) Test the scripts.

Step 3) Create desktop shortcuts that when clicked on will execute the scripts.

Step 4) Create video tutorials explaining that they need to logon to the web using AOL and then show them which desktop shortcuts to press to execute the scripts I have created for them.

Step 5) Schedule a reminder message to pop-up once every two weeks to remind them that they need to check for software updates.

Edited by Terrance

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Wow, it really seems you are going all out. It would probably just be easier to write one script that did it all and have it run in the background.

You could create an INI settings file that would have the information on each program. For example

[AVG]
Main exe="C:\Program Files\AVG\avg.exe"
Updater="C:\Program Files\AVG\updater.exe"

[Spybot]
Main exe="C:\Program Files\Spybot\spybot.exe"
Updater="C:\Program Files\Spybot\updater.exe"

Or something like that. You could also check to see if there are command lines for those programs that allow you to send them commands such as updating without even having to automate the use of the GUI.

You could schedule this script to do it at night, when the computer is idle, or even once a week.

The posiblities are endless if you are willing to put the time in to write such a script. I personally think that writing a script for each one will get too cluttersome. You could simply have one and have it read information from some sort of data file on how exactly to go about processing each task.

I hope that helped somewhat.


"So man has sown the wind and reaped the world. Perhaps in the next few hours there will no remembrance of the past and no hope for the future that might have been." & _"All the works of man will be consumed in the great fire after which he was created." & _"And if there is a future for man, insensitive as he is, proud and defiant in his pursuit of power, let him resolve to live it lovingly, for he knows well how to do so." & _"Then he may say once more, 'Truly the light is sweet, and what a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to see the sun.'" - The Day the Earth Caught Fire

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#3 ·  Posted (edited)

Hi Kandie Man.

It would probably just be easier to write one script that did it all and have it run in the background.

Well, I thought of doing this but I couldn't picture in my mind how to accomplish this. I suppose I could completely automate disk defragmentation, however, I doubt that it would be a good idea to completely automate most of the administrative software programs. For example, What do they do if one of the programs encounters a virus or a trojan? Sometimes programs get reported as being evil when they aren't. One of the things I planned to say in my tutorial videos is that if they encounter a trojan or virus when running (insert program name here) that they should call or email me first before telling the software to delete it from their hard disk.

You could also check to see if there are command lines for those programs that allow you to send them commands such as updating without even having to automate the use of the GUI.

That is something I plan on trying to do for the software update tasks.

Here is how I picture using the video tutorials. Note: After a couple of viewings, I am hoping that they will never be viewed by them again. My hope is that after a couple of weeks anytime a reminder message gets displayed on the screen they will instinctually press the appropriate desktop shortcuts. The only downside is they may ignore my reminder message once in a while. Even so, I don't think it will be that big of a deal if they don't run the software each and every week.

First video -- Simply explains the overall process. Show picture of the reminder message and what desktop icons that need to be clicked each week (probably will be about 5).

Five videos -- Each one would go into detail on how to use the various software products (just the basics). For example, click on the desktop icon labeled "AVG Free" and then click on the button for "scan computer".

Update video -- Show picture of the reminder message and what desktop icons that need to be clicked each week (probably will be about 4).

Edited by Terrance

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Here are some command lines for spybot:

http://www.safer-networking.org/en/faq/30.html

I also found this:

190: Does AVG7 include the command-line scanner?

You can use the AVGSCAN.EXE file for these purposes. It has to be run with parameters, so if you want to scan your C:\ drive, you have to run this command-line scan in the following format: AVGSCAN.EXE C: /parameters.

If you want to scan a specific file/directory, you have to replace the C: path by specific path. The list of possible parameter you can get by the AVGSCAN.EXE /? command.

I hope that is a start.


"So man has sown the wind and reaped the world. Perhaps in the next few hours there will no remembrance of the past and no hope for the future that might have been." & _"All the works of man will be consumed in the great fire after which he was created." & _"And if there is a future for man, insensitive as he is, proud and defiant in his pursuit of power, let him resolve to live it lovingly, for he knows well how to do so." & _"Then he may say once more, 'Truly the light is sweet, and what a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to see the sun.'" - The Day the Earth Caught Fire

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Thanks for the replies Kandie Man!

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#6 ·  Posted (edited)

In my signature... Click "All My Programs" ( below )

take a look at

"XPClean Menu" and "XPClean One Click"

8)

Edited by Valuater

NEWHeader1.png

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There was a topic some time ago about a program that automaticly cleans your pc, but if forgot the name of it.

But i don't think it scans for virusses, i suggest you try Valuater solution.

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#8 ·  Posted (edited)

Background Info

My brother' family are your typical "computer illiterate" family. When it comes to disk defragmentation, installing and using anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewalls, etc. most of them don't have a clue on what to do. My brother's family lives over 3 hours driving distance from me, so, fixing their PC when it becomes infected is not a viable option and I don't believe using remote control software is either (they use AOL to access the WWW).

My advice:

Try to use free opensource UltraVNC it can be used also through NAT/firewalls by loopback connection or repeater or NAT2NAT helpers (see addons section)

there is also UltraVNC SC (SingleClick)

It works fine also on modem speed connection.

With this you needn't any complicated scripts and can make all directly by your hands over internet :)

Edited by Zedna

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