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Free utility Shutdown Timer impressed me right from the get-go. Even before I downloaded it, I couldn't help but marvel at the name--it's a wonder of search engine optimization. Two simple words that describe what this application does, and are no doubt searched countless times every month.
Actually, Shutdown Timer's name belies its versatility. The application waits for any of a number of trigger conditions, and will execute an operation once it occurs. It can indeed shut down your computer, but it can also lock it, run a script or program you choose, or even wake it from sleep. That's right--you can shut down your computer at the end of the day, and not have to wait for it to boot in the morning. Simply have Shutdown Timer wake it up a few moments before you come into the office. If you use a password to log in to Windows, Shutdown Timer won't log in for you, but you will still save a few moments of sitting there and staring at the screen while your computer boots.
Apart from being able to wake the computer, Shutdown Timer's other functions are remarkably similar to TimeComX Basic. Both programs let you set a trigger condition (a time, CPU/network threshold, etc.) and execute an operation once it occurs. But that is not to say they're clones: Their interfaces are completely different; it's a striking example of how two coders can solve the same problem in different ways.
Shutdown Timer feels more native on Windows, while TimeComX uses controls that look like they came straight from Linux desktop environment Gnome. With its large and simple buttons, Shutdown Timer's interface also feels slightly more streamlined to me, but that's subjective. If you choose to evaluate both Shutdown Timer and TimeComX to find which one is a better fit for you, make sure you don't use both at the same time as their settings may conflict.
Shutdown Timer has a native 64-bit version, as well as a portable version which doesn't require any installation. This is one utility you may realize you need only once you start using it.
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