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My school's Windows computer labs get imaged every night, and all personal application settings get erased. I'd like to develop a script or method to quickly configure these settings, as they produce quite a click burden to configure every day.

For example, when I load Outlook on a lab computer, it takes 13 clicks before I can read email. Firefox takes 5. Adobe Reader needs me to accept the license agreement, and Stata wants to know if I want it to auto check for updates.

I was thinking I could carry a flash drive with a quick script or similar to set up all these preferences that I run when I log in to each computer.

Is there a tool to help accomplish this? Or do you have a better idea?

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3 Answers 3

You can write AutoHotkey script to automate keyboard and mouse actions. There is an option to compile AutoHotkey script to exectutable file. One-click magic!

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+1: AutoHotKey is always the answer. Settings, disabling keys, even infertility! –  surfasb Sep 30 '11 at 23:06
  1. Do your computers at school allow you to boot from a USB Drive? If so then you can make a Linux Persistent Live USB Drive. This will allow you to boot the computer (any computer) into your Linux OS from your thumb drive. The persistent part is retaining your information upon each boot.

  2. ThumbDrives have 'portable applications' now a days. You can find a bunch of portable applications that will allow you to install on the ThumbDrive and carry around and use on any compatible computer without messing with the school's OS or rebooting.

  3. VMWare Thin Apps - This is similar to the second option. You can scan your entire computer and then install the application you wish to make into a portable application. The VMWare Thin App will scan (on demand) the changes from the initial install and your configurations. This will allow you to copy the files over to the thumb drive and then fire up the application whenever you want on any computer without making changes or having to reconfigure your system.

As far as mail applications go, you may want to look into Option 2 and Thunderbird portable app. If you need something proprietary and uncommon then you should look into Option 3 for that. If you're looking for a bunch of specialty items and your schools computers to allow to boot from a USB drive then you can always look into option 1.

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A simple Mouse and Key Macro recorder. Start the recording, do all the moves, end the recording, save the recording for tomorrow. next day start the playback sit on hands, next day speed up playback 10 times. next day set to load and run from tiny batch. There is minimal knowlege needed to do that, but sometimes alignment and slowing down at the right times. Eventually as you and the OS complicates things you need AutoHotKey anyway, so you can go way beyond that. but it is a simple start.

I Use GhostMouse (old) to do anything I am going to have to repeat to often, then have the computer do it many times faster. but it is only for mouse moves.

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