CacheMyWork could still be even more useful in a school network environment if a little bit adapted. Here is the context : teachers in school with networked computers in each classroom moving quickly from one classroom to another have to reopen all applications
and documents they need at the beginning of each lesson... It's really to much time consumming. That means precious minutes that could use for teaching and not manipulating computer. So here are suggestions :
- could the application save the "restore settings" not in registry but in a simple file ? We have teachers moving from computer to computer in our school so those restore settings should ideally follow a user and not be attached to one computer. Of course
it works already well if the user has a roaming profile. But at school we have one single shared mandatory roaming profile for all users (that simplify profile managing)... So if the user could save the "restore settings" into his personal folder on server,
the problem would be solved if this same user, at his next session, could ask CacheMyWork to reoppen the previous applications on its own (that means without using the "Run once" registry key).
- could CacheMyWork reopen previous opened documents of "classical" Office application such as Microsoft Office and OpenOffice ? The same with previous opened pages into classical browser (especially Internet Explorer) ? The same with the previous opened folder
into the Windows Explorer ? It would be great and save so much time for teachers moving from one class to another !
I also personnaly devlopped small and middle applications for our school in Vb.net. If I could help improving your project in the sugested ways, it would be with pleasure.
Feb 24, 2008 at 1:10 AM
Hi Laurent, I really appreciate the interest and ideas you show here. I'm intrigued, and I'd like to hear more thoughts from you on this.
First off, I have to ask whether you are aware of the
"Windows SteadyState" toolkit. It doesn't exactly cover the scenarios you're describing, but it's an awesome way to try to limit the amount of monkey business that students (who have
a lot more time on their hands than the IT folks have) naturally get up to. It's probably not a replacement for mandatory profiles, but it's entirely possible that it would reduce the need for some of the current controls you have in place, and improve your
ability to meet your other needs (including some that are implied here).
Now, assuming that SteadyState doesn't obviate the basic requirement you're describing, I could imagine a separate assembly that implemented this alternate approach. The RunOnce approach was my clever way of making this as low-impact on the user as possible,
but this doesn't seem like a bad approach either.
As to opening Office documents, I've pondered this on and off, and while I haven't come up with a perfect solution to that for every version of Office, there's probably some basic behaviours of Office + the Windows shell that we could use to cover most cases.
As to Internet Explorer, I've had very little personal incentive to look into that once I found that
Avant/Maxthon/IE7/Firefox all had
ways to automatically save and re-open all tabs that were open when the browser was shut down or crashed. Are any of these a possibility?
As to Windows Explorer instances, the setting I'd implemented in the Tools, Options menu should have already taken care of that, but it's dependent on access to the HKCU (using a Windows Explorer registry setting). Perhaps your IT colleagues would be inclined
to simply add this setting to the mandatory profile? Otherwise, I'm fresh out of ideas on how to dig up the "currently-open directory" for multiple windows (but not always multiple separate processes for) Windows Explorer.