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Author Topic: Desktop state snapshot & recall software  (Read 9589 times)
justice
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« on: January 18, 2007, 06:32:27 AM »

I was wondering if something like this exists: a desktop state snapshot & recall software. The functionality would be easier to describe with an example:

I am working on Task a: I have browser windows open, dreamweaver, loads of other programs. Now I want to work on Task b and return to task a later.

Can I save the state of all the programs, start afresh, complete task b, and then resume where I left off?

(=In writing this topic I realise I could maybe achieve this with Virtual Desktop software, although some software will not support multiple instances. But are there any other solutions?
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2007, 05:55:26 PM »

I just found this while collecting urls for the newsletter.
I'd be very interested in knowing if this is possible. As far as i know, this can only be acomplished by virtual desktops (which will only last one session), or by making a disk image and then retrieving it. (i guess that option doesn't make much sense)
Anyone has any interesting ideas?
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2007, 02:32:18 AM »

Well, let's separate 2 ideas..
One idea is remembering which programs are open and where there windows are located.
It would be quite easy to write a program to save workspace configurations like this, and the idea has come up before here.  I think it's a good one i'd like to see someone take on.

The other idea would be to remember not only window positions but what files were opened and where you were in each, etc.  That is much harder and it may be that only by using a heavy virtual machine approach could you pull this off.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2007, 06:12:07 AM »

That is much harder and it may be that only by using a heavy virtual machine approach could you pull this off.
Very good point, i hadn't thought of that option.
Although it's impracticle right now, i think that might be the solution in the future. I know i'd like it cheesy
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tsaint
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2007, 06:46:50 AM »

I don't know anything about this, so it might be a silly idea, but would it be possible to exploit the hibernation or standby routines already in windows?
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justice
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2007, 06:56:21 AM »

Thanks for all the replies!
I also was thinking if I had OS-wide tabs, then I could have all task-A related information in tab1, and task-b in tab2. I have seen software for this before, one was from this guy who did one piece of software a day for 30 days (afaik), but the implementation was not 100%.
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kartal
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2008, 01:52:37 PM »

I am looking for something like this. Has anyone found one?


One idea is remembering which programs are open and where there windows are located.
Well, let's separate 2 ideas..
One idea is remembering which programs are open and where there windows are located.
It would be quite easy to write a program to save workspace configurations like this, and the idea has come up before here.  I think it's a good one i'd like to see someone take on.

The other idea would be to remember not only window positions but what files were opened and where you were in each, etc.  That is much harder and it may be that only by using a heavy virtual machine approach could you pull this off.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2008, 01:58:32 PM by kartal » Logged
kartal
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2008, 02:09:20 PM »

I have found one from Microsoft and seems like they did a good job.

http://www.download.com/G...3000-2346_4-10628461.html
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nosh
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2008, 02:12:48 PM »

Other than a hardcore virtualization approach... only simplistic solutions spring to mind

Use a multi-desktop software.

or

Create multiple logins and switch users?

Edit: Just tried Groupbar, it remembers the apps and their positions (I had KMPlayer and Firefox running but it didn't show me those in the list of apps I could add to the snapshot). It doesn't remember the program state.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2008, 02:26:21 PM by nosh » Logged
kartal
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2008, 02:40:59 PM »

Yes it does not remember the open documents, only open programs. It has an option to put document name and path but for some reason it does not capture it automatically.
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kartal
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2008, 03:14:57 PM »

Do you know any multi desktop software that can save open apps and their states?

Other than a hardcore virtualization approach... only simplistic solutions spring to mind

Use a multi-desktop software.

or

Create multiple logins and switch users?

Edit: Just tried Groupbar, it remembers the apps and their positions (I had KMPlayer and Firefox running but it didn't show me those in the list of apps I could add to the snapshot). It doesn't remember the program state.
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steeladept
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2008, 03:00:28 AM »

I would strongly suggest the Virtualization route.  There are many good free desktop virtualization programs out there, including VMWare Player (need a VM already created though), Microsoft VirtualPC, VirtualBox, and XenDesktop (though I never used this last one personally).  My personal suggestion is Microsoft VirtualPC (believe it or not) as it seems to have the most features and is reasonably lightweight (comparatively).  Now if you are willing to spend the money, VMWare Workstation beats them all hands down, but it is ~$200 USD in the U.S. for the Windows version.

Just a note of warning though - While this class of virtualization software is useful, especially for sandboxing and doing state snapshot & recall; as a class, they are very resource hungry.  You are running a complete OS inside your current OS!  You need to have enough disk space and Nemory to run ALL VM's w/ running programs IN ADDITION TO THE UNDERLYING OS.  In my experience using VMWare Workstation, a 2.2GHz Intel processor (single core) w/ 3GB of DDR2 memory and 100GB disk space running on an XP Pro SP2 machine w/ typical business setup (e.g. NortonAV & Intel Landesk running on it), could barely handle running 3 linux virtual machines at the same time (Ubuntu, Kbuntu, & Xbuntu, version 6, were my test machines at the time).  Any more than one machine running in a VM was horribly slow on this system and completely unusable in a business environment (though perfect for my playing around).  Memory was generally the constraint if you are curious.  However, with the knowledge of these caveats, I feel this would be an ideal use of this technology.
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justice
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2008, 03:16:44 AM »

Yes i've come to the conclusion that unless you're willing to make serious sacrifices (virtual pc etc)only the easier half of my question is possible just now until there's better support from software/ hardware vendors. Hibernation per program would be ace but I don't see it happening (yet)
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steeladept
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2008, 03:45:59 AM »

I've never looked into it much, but perhaps that is possible with Application Virtualization?  There are a few supposedly good ones out there, though the only one I know of that is free is Altiris SVS. There may be others. This comparison of three leaders in the field may help.  I didn't read it, but it gives you an idea of their capabilities, I am sure.

Application Virtualization Comparison PDF.

EDIT = I just went looking for Altiris SVS Personal edition and found Symantec owns them and doesn't make it easy to find the link.  I am posting it here for you: http://www.altiris.com/Download/svsPersonal.aspx
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 03:50:36 AM by steeladept » Logged
nosh
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2008, 08:08:09 AM »

Do you know any multi desktop software that can save open apps and their states?

Nope, we're not just talking about ordinary documents like word/excel files here - there could be a media manager or IDE running with ten integrated windows & as many controls, each of them in a different state. The only way out AFAICT is some low level virtualization app.
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kartal
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2008, 10:05:23 AM »

I have been already using virtualbox for certain things. But in this case it is useless to me because I use heavy 3d modelling animation and rendering applications.
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cmpm
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2008, 11:01:55 AM »

I've used this-

http://virtuawin.sourceforge.net/

Seems to work ok, but windows desktops is easier for me.
Someone else may want to look into this program.

------

Trick is and most useful would be to auto save the desktop workspace in case of power failure. I doubt if that's possible.
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kartal
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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2008, 11:16:51 AM »

I started using it but how does it save states of the open programs? I could not find a way to be honest.

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cmpm
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2008, 11:21:43 AM »

Yeah that's why I put it on the table.
It never did what I wanted it to do.
So someone smarter then me may want to check it out.
Maybe it does the job well, but I couldn't figure out how.

It worked as far as operational and easily loaded up.
But it's functions elude me.
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sri
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« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2008, 11:26:31 AM »

Thanks for all the replies!
I also was thinking if I had OS-wide tabs, then I could have all task-A related information in tab1, and task-b in tab2. I have seen software for this before, one was from this guy who did one piece of software a day for 30 days (afaik), but the implementation was not 100%.


Freeware: http://wintabber.com/
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cmpm
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« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2008, 10:27:01 PM »

Has anyone checked this software out?

http://virtuawin.sourceforge.net/

I'd like to know if anyone uses it and how to use it.
As well as how it performs.

I know kartal has and has at least one question.
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steeladept
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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2008, 11:00:10 PM »

No, but I am trying to become a virtualization expert so to speak (like that is even possible from outside the industry  huh), so I will definitely check it out sometime soon.  Thanks for the heads-up.

EDIT - Ack, it is a desktop manager.  I thought it was a virtualization scheme.  Not that I am not interested in it, mind you, just not what I expected.
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cmpm
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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2008, 05:50:25 AM »

Yeah, I thought it might be able to save the workspace, but it doesn't. Nevermind.

From their forums-

Discussion Forums: VirtuaWin questions

Admin

Isit possible to save open apps sessions? (New)
By: kursad (vehakkiSourceForge.net Donor) - 2008-06-02 13:17
I was wondering if it is possible to save open apps as a session so that they could be restored later. But I would like apps to start with last opened documents as well. 
 
thanks



      RE: Isit possible to save open apps sessions? (New)
      By: Steven Phillips (bjasspaProject Admin) - 2008-06-02 23:55
      Not by VirtuaWin - The relaunching of an application is dependent on far too many things (User, Environment, command-line, com & dcom commands etc etc). I suggest you use Windows Hibernate feature which is the only thing I know that can do something like this.
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cmpm
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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2008, 07:00:19 AM »

This may do what is stated in the title of this thread.
But I don't know about it keeping docs or anything open while saved.
All it says is the applications.

http://3d2f.com/programs/...2-pcrecall-download.shtml

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kartal
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« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2008, 11:02:20 AM »

No that does not keep documents.
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