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Last post Author Topic: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter  (Read 7808 times)

mouser

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NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« on: December 21, 2015, 11:44:40 PM »
WEB PAGE: http://www.donationc...enshotter/index.html

I will be submitting a utility intended to run in the background grabbing screenshots of desktop or active window at predefined intervals, and keeping the last N copies, with some hopefully smart options to avoid duplicates, add exceptions, etc.

The intention is to be a fairly lightweight primitive "backup" tool, like an airplane black box, so that in a case of last resort (app or system crash) you can go back and see what was on your screen at a certain time in the past.

Future versions may expand to perform more general purpose automatic-screenshotting for folks who want to keep a complete history of what they were doing over time, etc.

Suggestions are welcome.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 10:53:02 PM by mouser »

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2015, 01:20:18 PM »
Some screenshots of options:
Screenshot - 12_23_2015 , 1_19_40 PM.png Screenshot - 12_23_2015 , 1_19_42 PM.png Screenshot - 12_23_2015 , 1_19_43 PM.png Screenshot - 12_23_2015 , 1_19_44 PM.png Screenshot - 12_23_2015 , 1_19_46 PM.png

c.gingerich

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2015, 03:26:27 PM »
That's cool. looking forward to trying this   :Thmbsup:
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mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2015, 05:25:21 PM »
Screenshot showing summary stats in main window while running:
Screenshot - 12_24_2015 , 11_40_31 PM.png
« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 11:40:11 PM by mouser »

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2015, 08:14:39 PM »
For BRAVE experienced folks who know what they are doing and like testing buggy things (others should wait for official release!):

« Last Edit: December 25, 2015, 08:17:25 AM by mouser »

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2015, 09:40:27 PM »
A little more exposition on the nature of this tool:

  • It's made to run in the background, taking screenshots of either the currently active foreground window, or the entire desktop.
  • You can configure how often the screenshots are taken, and how they are named.  The naming can include putting them into subdirectories and can be based on the data,time, and application name.
  • It will automatically prune older screenshots based on limits you set regarding screenshot age, # screenshots to keep, and total file space you want to use.
  • It will also try to be smart about avoiding saving multiple screenshots when the window (desktop) contents don't actually change, with some configurable tolerances, to minimize disk space used.
  • It can also be told about certain applications to never capture, or alternatively a small list of applications that it should only ever capture.
  • It can be configured to ignore capture when your pc has been idle for a certain amount of time, or when screensaver is running, or when full-screen games are running.
  • You can also manually trigger a capture with a hotkey.
  • You can also toggle capturing on-and-off easily from system tray menu.
  • Screenshots are saved as standard png files.

In summary, the focus is on an automated system of recording recent activity on the screen, and trying to be well behaved regarding disk space usage.  You should be able to set it and forget it, until you need to go back and see what was on the screen at a certain time in the near past.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 11:59:37 PM by mouser »

mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2015, 11:58:08 PM »
It's pretty much full functional as of now -- the one big thing missing is a built-in image browser, which is not needed but would be useful, especially for folks who don't have a good 3rd party image browser (like xnview).

TaoPhoenix

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2015, 02:47:45 AM »
A little more exposition on the nature of this tool:
...
  • You can also manually trigger a capture with a hotkey.
[...

By now I've learned (and practiced some language for!) that I often do a lot of "fast and dirty" computing chaining multiple small programs together and get easily overwhelmed by the "bigger brothers" that do the sophisticated features for the experts.

So for various reasons on my now slightly infamous setup, I never really tapped into Mouser's Top-of-the-Line ScreenShot Captor.

But then my eye caught this little thing emerging, and now I'm on my way both making screenshots of data that used to live in my browsers for weeks, and capturing the "1 second flash" of something interesting in an otherwise random video.

:Thmbsup:

Now if I can just manage to unload the 42* browsers/windows that emerged since I was actually able to resume research ... I might be able to reboot for the first time since the woolly mammoths walked the earth!

:D

ewemoa

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2015, 06:01:20 PM »
Is there a way to invoke it to display the config window on start-up or some key sequence to get the config window to show?  Trying it out under Wine here and I see the balloon at start-up, but the task tray icon portion doesn't work and consequently haven't been able to test much :)

Will investigate regarding the task tray icon, but thought I'd ask anyway in the mean time.

Looks like it might be this:

  http://sourceforge.n...p/fluxbox/bugs/1034/

Hmm...wonder if Gothi[c] might be able to help...

« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 06:10:25 PM by ewemoa »

mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2015, 09:41:23 PM »
You can bring up options from the main window.
Maybe you are asking how to get the MAIN window to show on startup?
I could add a commandline for that, or you could edit the ini file to have it not start minimized.

c.gingerich

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2015, 08:04:29 AM »
Works well so far in my testing. Question: I do tech support for my company, can you make a quicker way of changing the time interval for the capture? Maybe a sub menu on the context menu of the tray icon? Allow, the user to make their own custom time intervals for the menu?

This way I can make the captures closer together while I am working with a customer and farther apart when in down time.
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mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2015, 11:25:23 AM »
good idea.

AbteriX

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2015, 04:32:09 PM »
"Capture Rules" looks very promising. Can't wait to test it out at real work (next week).

Question: I see no "Include mouse cursor" option? But it is there, right? I need this to keep track which button was clicked (Mouse was over "Yes" or "No" button).


Ideas:
1.) Capture every X seconds, BUT only if YYY- key is hold down.
You know, I don't need to capture all time, but the right moments, ...then I will press a hotkey and every x secs a shot is taken.
Of course, that hotkey should be swallowed by 'ASS' and not forwarded to WindowsTM.

Or maybe better: a hotkey to toggle "Capture every X seconds" (CEXS) on and off on the fly.

I think my work flow (to document installations steps) is as follows:
- take some shot manually by pressing Print key.
- press hotkey to switch CEXS on
- take some shot manually by pressing Print key in between, just to be sure to capture the right moment.
- press hotkey to switch CEXS off if nothing important happens.
- ....
- press hotkey to switch CEXS on again for next steps.


2.) Capture on mouse click.
As independent option, or in combination with CEXS.
Only take a shot if a mouse button is pressed.
Or, take an shot every x secs, and additionally shot at mouse click.

But than again,  that what I wanted to capture is gone already after the mouse click was recognized, right?
But I think on the "Wink" application, which does exactly that (IIRC).


As always, just some ideas.

mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2015, 05:56:59 PM »
Quote
Question: I see no "Include mouse cursor" option? But it is there, right? I need this to keep track which button was clicked (Mouse was over "Yes" or "No" button).
I can add capture cursor option -- but note that it's not going to be capturing often enough to accurately capture whenever you get a click.
I could add a lower level mouse hook in the future and an option to capture on EVERY mouse click..

Quote
Or maybe better: a hotkey to toggle "Capture every X seconds" (CEXS) on and off on the fly.
yeah, this is similar to the request for tray menu to quickly change frequency of capturing.


ewemoa

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2015, 06:23:47 PM »
you could edit the ini file to have it not start minimized.

I took a look at the two .ini files that I found but it wasn't obvious to me what change ought to be made.  Any hints?  (FWIW, this was for the portable version.)

mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2015, 06:32:27 PM »
changing:
CheckBoxStartMinimized.Checked="false"

should do it.

ewemoa

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2015, 12:47:49 AM »
changing:
CheckBoxStartMinimized.Checked="false"

should do it.

Thanks!  To confirm, I see the following .ini files:

ConfigDir_Default.ini
ConfigDir_Sample.ini

Is there a different file to edit or perhaps it's in ConfigDir_Default.ini that changes should be made?



I tried creating a file named AutomaticScreenshotter.ini and placed the suggested line in it, but subsequently invoking AutomaticScreenshotter.exe didn't lead to the desired result...
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 12:54:55 AM by ewemoa »

mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2015, 04:57:44 AM »
no, you don't want those files, those are just for setting the directory to be used for the real settings file.
you want AutomaticScreenshotter.ini

if you're not seeing that file, perhaps i've done something wrong and am not saving that in the portable location?

mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2015, 10:05:17 AM »
Updated.

mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2015, 06:42:59 PM »
New version uploaded -- now includes MousersMediaBrowser for viewing captured screens.

AbteriX

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2015, 02:04:25 AM »
Hi Jesse,

"File Saving > Override screenshot directory" is empty

and I have a empty file "ConfigDir.ini"

but the shots are still stored to my AppData folder.?!?!


I expected to have the shots stored in a sub folder of the app-folder, since I said "be portable".

OK, I can just type some folder name (like "shots") into that field too (and it works as expected) , but I think I don't have to do that additionally?

. . .

I like how it's creating folder structure and having app name in file name with "%Y/%m/%d/%exe_%H%M%S"  :-*  :Thmbsup:


- - -

"Ignore Changes" works for me.
1000 and 4000 pixels was to less for me with opened folder of screenshots (new added file was enough to be
more change than 4000px), but 9000px works for me to take no new shots over a 20 minutes time frame.


-

 
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 02:45:25 AM by AbteriX »

mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2015, 09:40:59 AM »
Quote
and I have a empty file "ConfigDir.ini"
but the shots are still stored to my AppData folder.?!?!

your ConfigDir.ini is empty? that could be the problem -- that does not make the app portable.
why is it empty? by default the portable zip file should contain a ConfigDir_Default.ini which says the app is portable.

AbteriX

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2015, 10:53:33 AM »
Quote
and I have a empty file "ConfigDir.ini"
but the shots are still stored to my AppData folder.?!?!

your ConfigDir.ini is empty? that could be the problem -- that does not make the app portable.
why is it empty? by default the portable zip file should contain a ConfigDir_Default.ini which says the app is portable.


Because "Note_For_PortableUse.txt" says:
// When the program starts, it will check for the existence of the file "ConfigDir.ini",
//  if that file exists, IT will be used.

So I saved the "Note_For_PortableUse.txt" as "ConfigDir.ini" and though I run portable.

The "Note_For_PortableUse.txt" says nothing that that ini don't have to be empty.

Quote from: Perhaps better explanation?
// When the program starts, it will check for the existence of the file "ConfigDir.ini",
//  if that file exists and have valid settings (see "ConfigDir_Default.ini" for examples), IT will be used. 
// You can edit this file with a normal text editor.
// If this file does not exist, the program will fall back to "ConfigDir_Default.ini".


Normally it is enough to have such portable ini present and the app knows what to do (write default setting to that ini if not already exist)
Quote from: ConfigDir.ini
PORTABLE=TRUE
CONFIGDIR = .

- - -

Sure enough, testing again a fresh unzipped ASS 1.2.1.0 works portable out off the box now  :Thmbsup:

Don't know what takes me on the wrong track, sorry.
 

 

mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2015, 11:00:00 AM »
Quote
So I saved the "Note_For_PortableUse.txt" as "ConfigDir.ini" and though I run portable.


that was the mistake -- i can see why you did that -- perhaps because my Note_For_PortableUse.txt LOOKS like its in the ConfigDir.ini format..

mouser

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Re: NANY 2016 Pledge/Alpha: Automatic Screenshotter
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2015, 11:00:27 AM »
Quote
Sure enough, testing again a fresh unzipped ASS 1.2.1.0 works portable out off the box now 

glad to hear it  :up: