Question for users: would it be useful for CacheMyWork to migrate apps to the user's Run key?

Topics: User Forum
Sep 26, 2007 at 6:19 PM
Edited Sep 26, 2007 at 6:44 PM
I've been thinking about how people would use CacheMyWork day to day, and there's one scenario that if it's relevant to many folks, I'd prefer to do the right thing for Windows than to enable a "hack" to become fossilized.

The initial idea for CacheMyWork was to gather a list of whatever random apps happen to be running and let you restore any or all of those apps after a reboot. This happens most often when some installer (patches, software upgrades, new apps/services/drivers) "demands" that you reboot to complete the install. It's most annoying when the reboot is forced immediately or near-immediately, such as an IT-driven hotfix distribution that counts down a five-minute window after which they'll force your system to reboot. We can't change IT behaviour overnight, but we can certainly make it less painful.

However, I've found that I use CacheMyWork more often for "performance reboots" - i.e. when IE or some other app(s) have sucked the life out of my computer (e.g. by leaking Handles, GDI Objects or other "invisible" resources that get exhausted long before Virtual Memory would), I reboot the computer just to get some performance back for my work.

There's a pattern emerging - some apps that I like to cache very often, and a few that I couldn't live without (e.g. email, browser, music player). If I (or any other user) felt like making these start up everytime, I might at first think of trying to "pin" these apps in the CacheMyWork list as "always restart apps" (i.e. that are permanent fixtures of the checklist, and that are always enabled).

However, I've done enough research on RunOnce to realize that it was never intended to replace the Run key, Startup folder or other auto-start features of Windows. It really did start out as a way to run an app/script one time, and it's been bastardized by folks like me ever since.

If I really wanted to have something startup every time, it would be more legitimate to put that Command Line in the user's HKCU\...\Run registry key, or to create a Shortcut to the app and place that in the user's Startup folder.

So, the question to you is this: would it be worthwhile for me to add a feature whereby you could take any app listed in the checkbox, and select it as something that should be "pushed" to the Run/Startup feature so that it runs at every logon? This is non-trivial, but I'm willing to concede this, especially since it's the "right" thing to do for Windows (in case for some reason the RunOnce capability gets changed in future versions of Windows - heck, it's already gotten on the radar of the anti-spyware/anti-malware apps as one of the big "Public Enemies" of security).

I know that this feature would be more useful once I implement the ability for CacheMyWork to not add an app to the checklist if it appears in the Run, Startup or other startup locations (e.g. many of those flagged by AutoRuns). This feature is currently documented here.

Be forewarned: If this becomes a feature on my list of TODOs, it won't likely be addressed before v2.x (i.e. sometime after the smaller, more immediate fit-and-finish features are completed).