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501 Software / Finished Programs / Re: Modified AltEdge on: November 24, 2010, 10:36:26 PM
I never used the original, and probably won't use yours. But thanks for sharing; I am sure someone will find a use for it! smiley
502  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011 Pledge: <name redacted> on: November 24, 2010, 10:19:56 PM
Okay, I'm a happy hat right now. After tons of 'wtf' and 'what were they smoking', I am starting to see a tiny little bit of progress on this project. (Word to the wise: learning a new programming language and a new framework at the same time is pretty much asking for trouble.)

I am happy enough to make the biggest divulgion this ultra-secretive project has seen to date... a sneak-preview, if you wish. Thmbsup
It's gonna be a whole mind-blowing, brain-eating, insanely popular preview, I tell you. It's going to be a letter!

And since I don't like to do things just a little, I'm going to reveal the last letter, since hell, who cares about the first letter anyway?


Consider everything about that letter a hint of what is to come. cheesy

I need to lie down now; all of this excitement isn't good for me...
503  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Wi-Fi Makes Trees Sick! on: November 23, 2010, 03:31:35 PM
I'll see if I can get us a more scientific source tomorrow. smiley

I have a family member who works at said university (and a good part of our family happens to have their roots in the city mentioned in the article) so there's a chance I might be able to get my hands on some more scientific stuff for you guys. Said family member did not know anything about this research till I mentioned it just now though, so we'll have to see.

All in all, I must say I am pretty curious myself towards details on this subject.
504  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / NANY 2011 Release: JottiQ on: November 22, 2010, 09:42:25 AM
NANY 2011 Entry Information

Application NameJottiQ

As JottiQ has been picked up by more websites and sources than originally anticipated, v1.0.2 and later are basically let-us-be-nice-to-Jotti releases. Hopefully Jotti will not need to cut service completely any longer, but the unfortunate side-effect is that previous versions have been banned permanently.

Jotti's malware scan is undergoing changes... changes that JottiQ versions before v1.2.0 are not compatible with. Sad Please update your JottiQ!
Short DescriptionJotti's malware scan provides a great service. Yet, it is so cumbersome to use. This program changes that.
Supported OSesWindows XP+, 32 and 64-bit
Web PageWebsite
Download Link
(open directory of released versions)
System Requirements
Version History
  • 2010-12-19 JottiQ v0.9.2
  • 2010-12-20 JottiQ v0.9.3
  • 2010-12-25 JottiQ v0.9.5
  • 2010-12-31 JottiQ v1.0.0
  • 2011-01-01 JottiQ v1.0.1
  • 2011-01-06 JottiQ v1.0.2
  • 2011-01-29 JottiQ v1.0.3
  • 2011-06-28 JottiQ v1.0.9 (beta, never publicly released)
  • 2011-07-01 JottiQ v1.1.0
  • 2011-07-12 JottiQ v1.1.1
  • 2015-03-24 JottiQ v1.2.0
Author worstje

Jotti's malware scan provides a wonderful service for those among us who are conscious of the crap that tends to accompany the files they download or otherwise obtain. Sadly enough, it tends to quickly become a bother to use: you can only check a single file at a time and can't queue a number of files ahead of time. Not only that, but you also have to select the file inside of your browser which tends to open a dozen clicks away from the file you want to scan. And when you finally have the file uploaded, it will kindly tell you the file has been scanned before. Argh! Did you wait for it to upload just to hear THAT?

Last night, I got an idea: maybe I can improve this situation. I also emailed the author. And now it seems I received an email today that I have permission for this NANY app, and even some support from the author as I am the first one to start on such a project. And slowly, JottiQ was born. And it has grown to far more polished than I originally envisioned.

  • the last letter of the name is a Q. Earth-shattering stuff right there; hold the presses!
  • pretty much everything Jotti's malware scan itself offers
  • allows you to build a queue (duh) of files needing scanning
  • uses Jotti's internal cache to speed up scans by avoiding the uploading of files that have already been scanned in the past
  • lists scanners with detections at the top of their list in red
  • if a file has only a few detections, a green bug (rather than a red one) shows you at a glance that it isn't a file one can immediately claim to be good or bad.
  • allows you to open scan results in your browser
  • rightclick files and click Scan with JottiQ
  • upto three files can be scanned (processed) simultaneously.
  • items that have been scanned and are deemed safe can automatically be removed from the queue.
  • the scanning of executables of running processes this feature was removed in v1.1.0
  • an About dialog thanking everything and anything
  • support for forks, a.k.a. Alternate Data Streams
  • proxy servers
  • connectivity tester for connection troubleshooting purposes

v1.2.0 (2015-03-24)


JottiQ is a tool that makes it more convenient to use Jotti's malware scan,
which is an online service optimized for one-by-one scanning of files you do
not trust.

Its purpose is that of an investigative tool, for when you do not trust a file
you came across but your current security software seems to think it is as
harmless a file as they come. It is not meant to replace your virus scanner,
nor is it meant to scan the heaps and heaps of nasty things that float around
on your computer because you are too cheap/lazy/picky to get software that is
meant for that purpose.

JottiQ is meant for a _low number of files_ that you do not trust more-so than
the rest of your computer. And I, the author of JottiQ, feel you should never
trust your own computer to begin with. But that is a story for another day. :-)

For more information, see the official JottiQ (NANY 2011) topic:


That's awesome. Glad you enjoy it. Now, if you are one of those rare few who
insists on showing gratitude for a freeware application like this, I'd like you
to remember a few things before you go nuts with that wallet of yours.

 - JottiQ would not exist without Jotti's malware scan. It is that simple.

 - Jotti (the author of the malware scan) does not accept donations, and only
     has a few minor ads up on his site. He wishes for the service to remain
     free. At present, the service is basically kept afloat by several parties
     who pay for some other services, and the free Jotti's malware scan service
     basically survives as a consequence of those other sources of income.
   Are you in a position to order any sort of extended services from Jotti?
     If so, please consider what he may do for you(r company), and in the
     process help out an awesome free service to continue its existence.

So you tell me - who do you really love? No lying!

If you insist on supporting JottiQ (this application, not the online malware
scanner) then I will begrudgingly accept any donations made through the system has in place for such acts of gratitude. While you are there,
you might even find another application of your liking, or worse, thank their
creators in a similar way! :-)

(And if you mean you love the lady bug ICON, well... there is a Credits section
at the bottom of this document with a link to the author who created it.)


Like so many applications nowadays, JottiQ does not stand merely on its own two
legs. In that way, it is much like a person, who stands by virtue of the local
cobbler to make the shoes, the tailor who makes the clothes, the supermarket
that allows us ignorance in the ways of the hunt. No, JottiQ is a sorry beast,
demanding the following of its environment in order for it to be a productive
member of the binary society that makes up a computer.

 [ ] Windows XP or newer. Both 32-bit and 64-bit varieties are supported.

 [X] Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile
       This needs to be installed for JottiQ to work at all. If you already
       have the far bigger all-in package of the .NET v4 Framework installed,
       you should already have this.

 [X] Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86)
       This needs to be installed on both 32-bit AND 64-bit systems for the
       file context menu to work as one would expect.

 [X] 64-bit: Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x64)
       This needs to be installed ONLY on 64-bit systems for the file context
       menu to work as one would expect.

(The installer will make sure that items marked with a [X] are met, and where
  possible offer to install them for you as a part of the ride. In case you get
  JottiQ through an archive only, it is your responsibility to make sure these
  requirements are met.)

Do you have all those things, and JottiQ still lies around on your couch,
unwilling to go to work and rather act like a dead corpse? Leave a message at
the official JottiQ topic on and we may just find the magic
words to breathe life into this cutesy lady bug. :-)


v1.2.0 (2015-03-24)

    Compatibility release. Jotti is undergoing some changes so we must too. smiley
    Upgrading is highly recommended; previous versions of JottiQ may break or
    otherwise show reduced functionality as Jotti improves his service.

v1.1.1 (2011-07-12)

    Any new version released suffers from a few hiccups, and v1.1.0 was no
    different. Thankfully, all this release does is pat the proverbial belly.
      Added: A setting that, if enabled, lessens the scrutiny given to the
          remote server of Jotti's malware scan to determine its authenticity.
          'Ignore certain SSL certificate errors' is only useful on a few
          specific configurations, and should not be enabled unless you get an
          error like the following in the Connectivity Test:
              'The underlying connection was closed: Could not establish trust
                relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel.'
      Changed: dcuhelper.exe was updated to v1.10.01 released on July 12, 2011.

v1.1.0 (2011-07-01)

    Six months after the official release, it is time for a well-deserved
    update. Sadly, there isn't much one can improve in a tool with a simple
    purpose. However, I hope this new version will entertain.
      Added: Forks support. Also known as 'Alternative Data Streams', these
          are a well-hidden feature of the NTFS filesystem which provide for
          equally well-hidden pseudo-files attached to existing files. Most
          programs are unable to read them, no less act on them - which makes
          this a feature that truly improves Jotti's malware scan.
      Added: Proxy server support.
      Added: Connectivity test for troubleshooting issues. Some beta-testers
          for this version had problems with proxy server support, but it will
          hopefully prove useful for all parties.
      Added: A builtin 'whitelist' for forks. The feature is sometimes used
          for legitimate reasons, and one of those affects nearly every file
          downloaded. The whitelist exists for speeding up processing only;
          security-minded (distrusting?) individuals are free to enable the
          option that forces these whitelisted forks to appear in the queue.
      Added: A 'whitelist fork by name' option. If the precise comparisons on
          a possibly whitelisted fork prove troublesome, this enables one to
          consider the fork safe by proxy of its name. This feature as a work-
          around for 'Zone.Identifier' forks encoded in different formats than
          I have been able to test with - so if one finds a 'Zone.Identifier'
          fork that is not whitelisted, I request that this forks is saved to a
          file and sent to me at: jottiq-whitelist (at)
          so I may inspect it and if is found safe, add it to the whitelist in
          the next version. TL;DR? Don't enable unless you know you need it.
      Added: The queue context menu now offers an Actions sub-menu. These
          contain actions that affect the selected objects (files and/or forks)
          in the queue physically. There are currently two items in this menu:
           - Delete Object(s): This either deletes the selected file(s)
               permanently, or it removes the selected fork(s) from the file.
               Do note that deleting a file also deletes its forks, but that
               deleting a fork on a file leaves the latter intact. I remain of
               the opinion that JottiQ is an investigative tool rather than a
               cleaner, but... the peoples wishes are clear and forks are hard
               to delete, so deleting files is a logical consequence.
           - Save Fork As: This saves the contents of a fork to a file. This
               does not work for ordinary files as it would be a mere 'Copy'
               operation that may or may not bring expectations along with it;
               instead it is to be used as an inspection utility for a resource
               otherwise difficult to examine.
      Added: An 'Add file(s)' feature is now available in the toolbar. It
          completely slipped my attention in the 1.0.x versions, for which
          my apologies. Rather late than never. smiley
      Removed: The 'Add Running Processes' functionality is no longer present.
          It was determined to be an inappropriate feature that only delivered
          half work, and to boot the reason why Jotti's malware scan suffers
          such ungodly waiting times during the waking hours of the western
          world ever since JottiQ's release.
      Fixed: No more crash when down-sizing the amount of worker-threads.
      Fixed: Legibility of items on right pane could suffer in certain colour
          configurations; now it uses proper system colours where applicable.
      Fixed: Zero-byte items were not being removed by the manual nor automatic
          'Remove safe items' features.
      Fixed: Deleting items from the queue while it was being processed no
          longer makes the worker-thread go M.I.A. until it finishes its work
          off the screen; it now terminates and moves on to the next item in
          the list as soon as possible.
      Changed: Uploading should be a little bit more efficient now.
      Changed: Fancy progress bars that show upload progress are now in place
          as opposed a boring textual description.
      Changed: Redesigned the Settings window with clearly named sections and
          recognizable icons in order to make JottiQ configuration more
      Changed: The instruction text in the main screen no longer suggests
          one to 'start processing' when processing is already enabled.


1) The installer can only delete settings for the current user. This is not
     something that I have any feasible way of changing, and in general all
     programs suffer this issue at uninstallation time. Although I do welcome
     any and all suggestions on the topic, I doubt this will change. (This
     includes the shell context menu option, if it was installed per-user.)

2) The installer component 'Explorer Integration affects All Users' determines
     the creation of the 'MachineInstallation' file. By default it is off,
     allowing every user to determine the presence of a file context menu for
     themselves (and also avoiding nasty UAC dialogs in the process.) Once
     this file is present, one needs Administrator rights in order to turn the
     file context menu on or off.
   Given point 1), if you install to make JottiQ available to multiple users,
     it is recommended to install with this setting turned on so that any
     registry pollution stays at a minimum. (Unless of course you are willing
     to manually turn off the file context menu for every single user
     beforehand. Of course, the best option is to never uninstall JottiQ!)

4) You may be instructed to reboot by the uninstaller. Or by the installer
     if/when you are upgrading JottiQ to a new version. This is most likely
     because explorer still has the shell extension loaded, and killing
     explorer the hard way and restarting it is a very user-unfriendly task.
     As such postponing the deletion or replacement operation till reboot-time
     is the user-friendliest alternative. This is unlikely to change in future
     versions as it is a long-standing Windows issue for not having a feasible
     method to tell Explorer to unload its shell extensions.


JottiQ is the brainchild and creation of Jan Wester. Now with the formalities
out of the way, let's carry on to the credits that actually count.

The list below is a rough and partial listing of the various credits that are
given in the 'About JottiQ' dialog. For the full list, with all links in all
their ease and glory, have a look there.

Thanks to...

* Jotti for Jotti's malware scan and going out of his way to support this
  application after I contacted him with the idea I had @

* Vladi for the awesome lady bug icon @

* Ath for his work on the official JottiQ installer @

* Raymond Chen for his awesome blog  @

* Lukas von Hohnhorst who gave me permission to use his magnifying glass @

* as a whole @

* Mark James for his excellent Silk Icon Set @

* Fat Cow Webhosting for their wonderful Farm-Fresh Web Icons @

* Smaller Animals Software for their CtxMenu example that saved me oodles of
  time rather than having to spend time to figure out all details on my own @

* for solving those issues I have before I have them @

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Either download the installer and do as it says, or get the .7z archive and extract that to some place of your liking. In the latter case, make sure you meet the Requirements as lined out in the Readme.txt.

Using the Application
Start the application. Make sure you agree with the privacy agreement. From then on forth, just drag and drop files onto JottiQ to have them scanned. (Make sure processing is turned on - the lightbulb must be on!) Additionally, some settings are hidden away in the Settings window (wrench icon, or press F6). Among them is a way to have JottiQ appear in the file context menu so you don't have to drag and drop stuff unnecessarily.

In case you used the installer, go where all uninstallers hide (Control Panel, then Program Features/Add and Remove Programs/whatever name your OS gives to it) and select JottiQ in there. Or, if you extracted the archive, you can simply delete the files. Make sure you deselect the file context menu option first so no junk stays behind in your registry. See the Known Issues section in the readme for some additional gotchas for you neat&clean freaks.


505  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: Preparing for a new master DonationCoder server on: November 19, 2010, 08:07:58 PM
It's always good to see movement in the serverpark to know stuff is not left to bitrot simply because it works. smiley

However, I feel it warrants saying - you put a lot of focus on the 'what if something breaks' department. Whereas before you had a pair of servers on two different locations (if I understand it properly), now you intend to scale it all into a single physical machine. Suppose some mechanical doodah goes down the crapper, how easily can you move one of those VMs to another physical machine? (That is supposed to be one of the strengths in a VM, after all, right?)
506  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Best way to get user count? on: November 19, 2010, 05:16:51 PM
I can think of two different approaches.

One is to boobytrap the installation return to send information on whether or not you are upgrading, a single time only.
Two is to have your updater get the update from a different source (or pass extra data in a cookie orwhatnot) that signifies it as an update.

Current usage can ever only be tracked through regular 'phone-home' ability, and if number one above is already considered intrusive to ones privacy, that would definitely put stuff way out there in the suicide department. smiley
507  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Still holding out, won't join Facebook on: November 18, 2010, 04:00:03 PM
I'm totally with you.

I hate Facebook.
I hate Twitter.
I hate Myspace.
I hate LiveJournal.
I hate my phone.
I hate email, too.
I kinda hate Skype also.

Just give me my beloved Miranda IM, and I'm set. It does all I want communication-wise.

World, this is a message to you. Don't waste my time with trivial crap please. Thank you.
508  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Ideas for a website...I need help. on: November 18, 2010, 03:57:35 PM
Personally, I'd say a single link to this place would suffice. What more could you want?
509  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Process Explorer 14 on: November 17, 2010, 09:52:56 AM
It's never been selected for me. Just tried reinstalling v14, checked the menu, and surely, it's also turned off when trying the new version.
510  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Process Explorer 14 on: November 17, 2010, 06:25:47 AM
I just tried it and went back to the old version. When I close the window of v14, the process keeps running on the background and I need to manually kill it using the regular windows explorer. (Using 64-bit Windows 7 here.) My older version doesn't have that problem.

Once they fix that issue, I'll look into getting it again, since it's my favorite tool of them all. smiley
511  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 16, 2010, 10:35:20 AM
Hopefully, something. Probably nothing. Does that sound as confusing as it is?

I'll paste the documentation and let you decide for yourself... and ironically, while trying to answer your question, I just found two different documents that give rather different descriptions.


Wait for the DDE conversation to terminate before returning.


Windows Vista and later. The implementation of IContextMenu::InvokeCommand should be synchronous, not returning before it is complete. Since this is recommended, calling applications that specify this flag cannot guarantee that this request will be honored if they are not familiar with the implementation of the verb that they are invoking.


The implementation of IContextMenu::InvokeCommand can spin off a new thread or process to handle the call and does not need to block on completion of the function being invoked. For example, if the verb is "delete" the IContextMenu::InvokeCommand call may return before all of the items have been deleted. Since this is advisory, calling applications that specify this flag cannot guarantee that this request will be honored if they are not familiar with the implementation of the verb that they are invoking.


Windows Vista and later. The implementation of IContextMenu::InvokeCommand should be synchronous, not returning before it is complete. Since this is recommended, calling applications that specify this flag cannot guarantee that this request will be honored if they are not familiar with the implementation of the verb that they are invoking.

I was using the latter as my reference while developing. So not only does Microsofts own documentation seem unclear and confused on what it means, to add insult to injury the 'wait' variety is Vista+ only and FULLY OPTIONAL. The latter is most likely the reason you see no difference - Winzip probably sees no difference between the two.

Re-reading this, I am half of a mind to include what is atm known as the /i:a option and remove that one completely, leaving just the /i:w variety. The mention of DDE I see now makes me suggest it is ancient history and not so important (DDE pretty much became legacy back in w95).

And in case /i:w does not work as hoped, I intend to add a couple of 'bandaids' to handle specific waiting scenarios. smiley
512  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 16, 2010, 08:41:17 AM
For the quintessentially lazy, it'd be neat to have an option for XXX,YYY that positions the pop-up relative to the console window.  Grin

Well, it's a pretty useless feature outside of testing and to boot difficult feature to implement (or so I think). After all, unlike other windows, console windows aren't technically created by me but are provided by Windows because it is a console app, so interacting with them is a pain. You can always leave positioning out and let it position at your mouse cursor - it is what I tend to do.

(Be happy that there's a hat nowadays, and the option to hide said hat - in my pre-v0.8.1 testing days, it'd always pop up this gigantic window that always blocked the console from view. cheesy)

Either way, thank you both for testing. I look forward to hearing thoughts, complaints and experiences. smiley
513  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 16, 2010, 01:34:25 AM
And now v0.8.3 is out!

Request for testers

Please give the /i:a, /i:w, and /i:u suboptions special attention. In any combination with any of the other commands. If stuff works as you expect it to, great. If it doesn't, less great, but either way, I want to hear to what extent those options work with non-standard menu items. Especially /i:w gives me cause to worry where Windows XP is concerned!

v0.8.3 (2010-11-16)

    New functionality! The tip of an iceberg yet to crash into your boat...
      Added: invocation now honours whether you press Ctrl and/or Shift.
      Added: popup (/p) suboptions, of the format /p:...
          @         Do not show off our trademark hat.
          XXX,YYY   Display at these screencoordinates (has to go last).
        Example: cautomaton.exe /p:@-300,500 myfile.jpg
      Added: invocation (/i) suboptions. The /i on its own is pretty much
        useless as invocation is the default (which /n cancels). A list:
          a     _try_ to do invocation asynchronously.
          w     _try_ to wait till the invocation is done (=synchronous).
          r     if possible, try to count this as a 'recent document'
          u     allow windows ui to popup where needed. This is often used for
                  errors and thus disabled by default, but also needed for
                  the 'delete' verb to popup a window asking for confirmation.
          z     no zone checks (UAC: This file comes from the internet, ok?)
          S/s   Force the Shift key into a pressed (S) or unpressed (s) state.
          C/c   Force the Ctrl key into a pressed (S) or unpressed (s) state.
      Fixed: modal dialogs running in the same thread work now. The 'delete'
        verb uses this, but for example 'properties' does not, so the holy
        grail of UI interaction has not been discovered yet.
      Fixed: the debug (/d) shows a bit more now, and less at the same time.
      Known issue: canceling 'delete' operation gives Cautomaton an unknown
        error code, which it treats as a standard failure that can only be
        recognised when running in debug (/d) mode. Can add a special exit
        code meaning 'delete canceled' if requested. Opinions please?
      Known issue: documentation still sucks.
514  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 15, 2010, 12:47:45 PM
Ah, that looks pretty sweet. smiley

Glad to see the difference in the visual style isn't because I forgot to include a manifest. Doublechecked as I saw your image, and it seems I popup menus always look right even if there's no manifest. And that explorer looks exactly the same minus the Rename option also makes me happy. smiley

Also, I have no clue why you would be a moron. Because you use DOpus? I doubt that is a proper reason. smiley
515  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 15, 2010, 11:14:53 AM
That screenshot is mighty interesting. What application is it that you compare Cautomaton's popup against? The custom theming makes me assume it isn't explorer. I'm pretty curious why some of those items (Run sandboxed, Kedit this) are in different spots.

As for the rename option... it is an oddball. I can definitely get the option to go in, but Windows itself doesn't handle it. I'd need to handle the command within Cautomaton, and then the question becomes - how? Popup a dialog and let someone type something there? Return an exit code that tells the calling application rename was selected so they can handle it? A new flag to let one pick between those two choices?

Don't get me wrong - it is very possible. But the nature of the command wreaks a bit of havoc since you can basically select an option in two different ways, and then the output would also be pretty drastically different for both.

There is a lot of paths the code can take, and it would be pretty easy to have an addition break some other usecase as a side-effect. So before I throw myself onto that particular problem, can you give a usecase where you would use said rename option?
516  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 15, 2010, 09:16:06 AM
Hairy does not describe it nearly well enough. smiley
517  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 15, 2010, 08:21:56 AM
I'd like to see a few more real world examples because I think it might be an interesting program for many (and me) if they could see in what situations it would be useful.  Thmbsup

How to pin/unpin documents to the Start Menu using Cautomaton.
518  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: pin a document to start menu on: November 15, 2010, 08:20:47 AM
I happened to see this topic and could not _not_ make a post on this. smiley

This method is technically the same as in the Technet article posted above, but I like to think my way is a bit more userfriendly and less confusing to work with. And by 'this method', I am referring to my NANY 2011: Cautomaton application.

How to get started with it... open a cmd.exe box so you have a commandline to work with, and go find the Cautomaton executable. Make sure to use the proper one for your architecture, although in the specific case of pinning to the start menu, it won't make a difference.

Run this: cautomaton.exe /a /p myfile.jpg

This will tell Cautomaton to popup (/p) the popup menu belonging to myfile.jpg and to analyze (/a) after making your selection. So let's do that: choose the "pin to start menu" option, and you'll get something like this:
C:\Projects\dev\cautomaton\build\x64\Release>Cautomaton.exe /a /p myfile.jpg
Verb related information:

Verb (Unicode): startpin
Help text (Unicode): Adds this item to the Start Menu

Trail information:

Caption: Pin to Start Men&u
ID: #80
Position: 7
Neg. Position: -14

Recommended Cautomaton parameters: /v startpin

Do note that if you look in your start menu now, myfile.jpg has been pinned there.
Cautomaton has analyzed everything you did, and offers you example parameters to use to repeat this action programmatically. (It offers a bit more information than that even, but in 99% of the cases, the recommended parameters are going to work just fine.)
Now, before we continue, let's repeat the exact same action, yet this time unpin our image.
C:\Projects\dev\cautomaton\build\x64\Release>Cautomaton.exe /a /p myfile.jpg
Verb related information:

Verb (Unicode): startunpin
Help text (Unicode): Removes this item from the Start Menu

Trail information:

Caption: Unpin from Start Men&u
ID: #81
Position: 7
Neg. Position: -14

Recommended Cautomaton parameters: /v startunpin

So, at this point we know we can add (pin) something to the startmenu using /v startpin, and remove (unpin) it again later using /v startunpin Let's try it:
C:\Projects\dev\cautomaton\build\x64\Release>Cautomaton.exe /v startpin myfile.jpg

What is that? Nothing? That's right. If the action is successful, you'll see nothing and nothing at all. Were you to check the exit code of the process, you'd find it to be 0, which means it was successful. And just to give another example... Repeat the exact same command however with the file already pinned, and...
C:\Projects\dev\cautomaton\build\x64\Release>Cautomaton.exe /v startpin myfile.jpg
Error: invocation of the action failed. Bad verb?

There's a nice error message. If error messages aren't upto your liking, you can use /q to tell Cautomaton to be silent.

Note that I am running Windows 7, and that one has this functionality in the popup menu. I am not sure to what extent other Windows versions have such an option, so test for yourself. Also, something I did notice while testing is that folders lack the pin/unpin options.
519 Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: This is probably somewhat outside of the scope of a coding snack -- though it wo on: November 14, 2010, 11:48:27 PM
You just had to ask... so I deliver.

Just posting here to make sure someone else isn't going to reinvent the Wheel.
520  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 14, 2010, 10:43:49 PM
And version 0.8.2 is up.

v0.8.2 (2010-11-15)

    Bugfix release. Oh my, the bugs.
      Added: error messages when failing to compete.
      Fixed: Windows XP ownerdraw-glitch fest, which also caused crashes.
      Fixed: debug messages would print wrong data.
      Fixed: Windows XP now gets _the_ hat. And Vista+ get a smaller hat.
      Changed: added some new exit codes and restructured them.
      Fixed: Pointless /v /n combination is pointless.

Current state of affairs of stuff I've got in my head...

  • Feature request : better readme.txt file, including examples and a list of parameters and such
  • Feature request: when using /a, give an example for /match even when a /verb is available.
  • Feature request: document those exit codes I've been adding
521  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 14, 2010, 08:55:31 PM
Good news!

I can reproduce it on my old laptop. Bad news.. I can't debug it on there. :-(

Edit: mystery bug goes squash!  Thmbsup

A totally harmless flag ment for Vista and higher remained somewhere after fooling around with the options in said menu. Windows 7 ignored it, XP shouldn't even know of its existence according to the docs, but it is enough to make it go nuts thinking it needs to go ownerdraw and stuff.

Will be fixed in my next release. smiley
522  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 14, 2010, 08:22:54 PM
Ok, so that officially makes it a Cautomaton bug. *scratches head*
Unless somehow you two have the same software installed that messes stuff up in Cautomatons specific case, but with 100% of the XP users having this problem I'll have to dive into finding an actual cause and solution. smiley
523  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 14, 2010, 08:07:19 PM
List of problems in v0.8.1 / feature requests thus far pointed out to me by mouser:

  • Bug: There's no visible error message if it can't find the action. Total oversight on my part. Error code should be > 0 though.
  • Bug: XP is no gentleman, and refuses to wear the hat. (At least the window it is supposed to adorn is completely invisible without loss of functionality...)
  • Feature request: when using /a, give an example for /match even when a /verb is available.
  • Feature request tongue: better readme.txt file, including examples and a list of parameters and such
  • Bug? On mouser's XP Cautomaton totally messes up all the icons, also garbling the Send to submenu into blocks and other semi-geometrical shapes. Any XP users around here who can test with the /p option on a random file, and tell me how their menu compares to rightclicking said file?
  • Bug: debug messages are worth crap if you print the wrong stuff at the wrong places.
524  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / Re: NANY 2011: Cautomaton on: November 14, 2010, 07:18:06 PM
I am glad Cautomaton is of such good use to you. Definitely makes the time I put into it so far worth it. smiley
525  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2011 / NANY 2011 Release: Cautomaton on: November 14, 2010, 06:34:06 PM
NANY 2011 Entry Information

Application NameCautomaton
Short DescriptionAutomating actions that are hidden away in the context menu of a file.
Supported OSesWindows XP+, 32 and 64-bit
Web PageWebsite
Download Link(open directory of released versions)
System Requirements
Version History
  • 2010-11-15 Cautomaton v0.8.1
  • 2010-11-15 Cautomaton v0.8.2
  • 2010-11-16 Cautomaton v0.8.3
  • 2012-02-23 Cautomaton v0.9.0
  • 2014-12-23 Cautomaton v0.9.5
  • 2015-01-03 Cautomaton v1.0.0
  • 2015-01-21 Cautomaton v1.0.1
Author worstje

There are many applications that stick themselves into that little corner in a files context menu, yet offer no way to automate their otherwise wonderful functions. Cautomaton is the answer that allows you to automate context menu actions using a simple commandline syntax that nevertheless tries to aim to support every possible action one might want to make. Through the means of crumb matching, where Cautomaton follows the crumbs of information you lay out, nothing is beyond your reach! smiley

Or you can simply abuse it to call up a popup menu of your liking. I wouldn't know why, but the possibilities are endless!

  • three different action sources:
    • Popup (/p) a menu - pick your option like you would in explorer!
    • Verb (/v) - Select a verb, the Windows way of picking a menu item.
    • Match (/m) - Throw down some 'crumbs', and let Cautomaton match them to the menu.
  • a builtin analyzer (/a) advices you on (the best?) parameters to use for this file and action
  • a noop modifier (/n) makes it possible to test matching without stuff happening
  • quiet mode (/q) - sometimes it is nice not to spam your errors and other messages around
  • debug mode (/d) - for when you think the bugs are nibbling your crumbs, your crumbs have grown feet or stuff simply isn't happening. (Mostly meant for me, the author, to try and help people with bugs they might come across.)
  • expansive help screen (/?) mentioning all the options briefly.
  • stylish like a gentleman should be - hat included! removed in v1.0.1, sorry!

v1.0.1 (2015-01-21)

Cautomaton is a tool meant for the automation of actions that have ended up
being difficult to automate because the functionality in question is accessed
through the so-called context menu by right-clicking on a file.

Thus, Cautomaton allows for easy ways to scan particular files for viruses,
check the integrity of archives, set images as your wallpaper or whatever
other functionality is stashed away in the context menu.

It is not a tool for all occasions, however. If you can just as easily call
upon your anti-virus program directly, that may be more reliable. I consider
Cautomaton itself to be very dependable, but the ecosystem it is used in
determines its practical worth. Programs (ab)use the context menu in many
silly ways, and due to Cautomaton's invasive (automating) nature, those
programs may stumble even if you are not even attempting to interact with them!

That said, I consider such programs a challenge, as it means Cautomaton could
probably do an even better job than it already does. So if Cautomaton does not
seem to get the work done despite indicating that it should in fact work, feel
free to let me know and I'll do my best to find a solution for you.

-Jan Wester


Make sure to use the proper build for your system. While the 32-bit executable
works on a 64-bit machine, you likely do not have the proper context menu
extensions installed for the 32-bit (WOWSYS64) subsystem. End result is that
items will be missing where you might expect to see them.

(All 32-bit applications suffer this - try a 32-bit explorer some time.)

Cautomaton relies on the 'Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package'.
You will need to install the version matching the build of Cautomaton you use.

To download the 32-bit (x86) version, visit:
To download the 64-bit (x64) version, visit:


Getting started with Cautomaton is easy. There are two basic steps involved:
identification and invocation. In order to perform (invoke) an action on a file
for you, Cautomaton needs to be able to identify it.

To help with this, Cautomaton can analyze an action you perform. For example,
run the following in a commandprompt:

  cautomaton.exe /p /a ReadMe.txt

This will tell Cautomaton to popup ('/P') a context menu, and analyze ('/A')
the choice afterwards. Choose one of the menu items. For example, open it.
The file 'ReadMe.txt' will now be opened in your program of preference.

(If you do not want this to happen, you can add an extra '/N' parameter to
have Cautomaton do nothing with the chosen item.)

At the end of the technical analysis Cautomaton performed is a recommendation
on how to use Cautomaton. Whatever it recommends is almost always the best way
to go about repeating your actions. For example, it will say:

  Recommended Cautomaton parameters: /v open

The recommended parameters would instruct Cautomaton to use the 'open' verb on
the file(s) in question. Now, try out the recommendation to see if it works:

  cautomaton.exe /v open ReadMe.txt

You should now see 'ReadMe.txt' be opened in your program of choice. At its
essence, that is all there is to using Cautomaton.

With these basics in mind, simply opening up a command-line and experimenting
with the different options should help you on your way. For a list of all the
things Cautomaton can do, try:

  cautomaton.exe /?

There are a lot of options to fine-tune Cautomaton's behaviour, but most of
the time, you will not need them. But if you do... well, they exist!

One final word of caution regarding '/M': this option is very flexible, but is
also unreliable at its core. For example, menu text might be translated to
German for someone who uses the German language on their computer, so matching
against English text won't work. In a similar vein, the positioning of items
can vary depending on a multitude of factors, and the internal IDs are even
more fleeting. Please be aware of the assumptions you make when using '/M'!


1) Using '/A /P', and choosing an item in the 'Open With' menu will cause the
     analysis to throw out an incorrect first crumb ('&Choose de' as opposed
     to the correct 'Open wit&h'). Other action sources work fine.

2) Canceling a 'delete' verb operation gives Cautomaton an error code it
     cannot recognise, which it then treats as a standard failure that can
     only be recognised when running in debug (/d) mode.

3) On Windows versions that pre-date Windows Vista, a context menu that applies
     to multiple files may be different than one Windows Explorer conjures up.
     Items may be missing, doubled and/or mispositioned. For most invocations
     (/P, /V or /M using text-matching) this should not be a problem, however.


REQUEST TO TESTERS (#1): Please try out the multiple files support! If there
  are differences between a context menu for the same files in one directory,
  and a context menu for these same files being in separate directories, make
  sure to let me know! If it is at all in my power to make these two cases
  consistent with one another, I will do so!

REQUEST TO TESTERS (#2): Windows versions pre-Vista may have a weird / glitchy
  context menu when applied to multiple files. I can't really test on such
  systems anymore, but I am very interested in hearing about the state of
  Cautomaton's new functionality on those systems. Let me know!


As Cautomaton's version history was getting rather lengthy, it has been put
into its own file. Please see 'Changelog.txt' for more information.


Copyright (c) 2015 Jan Wester

This software is provided 'as-is', without any express or implied
warranty. In no event will the authors be held liable for any damages
arising from the use of this software.

Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for personal use, and to
redistribute it freely, subject to the following restrictions:

1. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented; you must not
   claim that you wrote the original software.
2. All original parts must be intact and unmodified.
3. This notice may not be removed or altered from any source distribution.

If you wish to obtain a license for commercial use, please contact the author.


Thanks to...

* JoTo for mentioning a certain very buggy shell extension @

* mouser for his request @

* Raymond Chen for his awesome blog & series on context menus @

* Nikos Bozinis for encouraging my masochistic tendencies @

* as a whole @

* Rui Lopes for his sample project on per-pixel alpha-blending @

* for solving those issues I have before I have them @

* the Oxygen Project for having nicely licensed icons @

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Extract the zip archive anywhere you'd like. Or just the one file you need for your Windows to shine. (See the Readme above why this is important.)

Using the Application
Open cmd.exe, powershell or whatnot. Go to the directory where you extracted the proper file for your architecture. Run it with the universal /? help parameter, and get started on automating the actions you need automated. smiley

Just delete the files you extracted. That's all, folks! smiley

See attachment.
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