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I remember hearing of some software that would take a screen print every 15 minutes and store it in a file. They mentioned it can be used to keep track of the amount of time you spent on a project.

I know of SnagIt.

What are some of the other packages out there?

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closed as off topic by Dave, Dennis, 8088, Dave M, Nifle Feb 7 '13 at 21:12

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Yes, there is a TON of software available to do this kind of activity. – Daisetsu Jun 2 '10 at 19:11
Yea, and a lot of it will install itself, given the opportunity. – Satanicpuppy Jun 2 '10 at 19:17
up vote 13 down vote accepted


The Automatic Screenshot Journal

TimeSnapper runs in the background of your computer, taking screenshots of your desktop every few seconds all week long.

Where did all my time go?TimeSnapper lets you play back your week just like a movie. You can play it at any speed you like, and jump in at any time you like.

When it's time to fill out that dreaded timesheet, TimeSnapper is a savior. No need to tear your hair out trying to remember where all the time went.

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You haven't specified operating system so on linux I'd add this to my crontab:

*/15 * * * * scrot

Assuming scrot was installed.

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Have you tested it? Does it work? I could imagine that the DISPLAY variable won't be correctly set from within a crontab. Changing scrot to DISPLAY=:0 scrot or something similar might be needed. If you have tested it and it works, don't mind me :-) . – Daniel Andersson Feb 7 '13 at 15:55
Instead of crontab, a quick-and-dirty one-liner in a minimized console did the trick for me: while [ 1 ]; do scrot -z -d 900; done. – rymo Apr 9 '13 at 2:10


alt text

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TimeSnapper and Irfanview are nice, but they are missing a key feature: stop capturing when the computer is locked. It's pretty annoying to have thousands of screenshots of "Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to login". Using the free nircmd tool from Task Scheduler can resolve that. You need to create two tasks:

Screen Capture Task

  • Triggers
    • At logon
    • On workstation unlock
  • Actions (assuming a screenshot every 5 minutes)
    • nircmd execmd md C:\Snapshots\~$currdate.yyyy.MM.dd$
    • nircmd loop -1 300000 savescreenshot C:\Snapshots\~$currdate.yyyy.MM.dd$\~$currdate.yyyy.MM.dd$-~$currtime.HH_mm_ss$.png

Screen Capture - Stop on Unlock

  • Trigger: On workstation unlock
  • Action: taskkill /IM nircmd.exe /F

It's not perfect because if you have NirCmd running in the background for other reasons, the "Stop on Unlock" task might kill it instead, but I reckon this won't be the case for the vast majority of users.

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REFOG is one that is free, and it has the ability to record anything else

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