Start it up, shut it down, but on a schedule
January 27, 2011 8:28 AM   Subscribe

What's the best and most reasonably priced software (or free method), on both the Mac and PC platforms, for scheduling computer startup and shutdown, along with application startup and shutdown. Different software for each platform is fine. Being able to control this from an iPhone would be great too.

I usually bounce between several computers throughout the day, either Mac or PC, mostly using the same software, Adobe's Creative Suite. I'd like to be able to schedule or remotely do application and computer launches and shutdowns, so what's the reasonably priced software (or free built in method) for doing that on both a Mac and PC?

Yes, I could leave the software open, but the Creative Suite tends to bog down if I leave the various applications open for too long, and restarting them seems to help that. I'm fine with leaving the computers on, but hopefully the schedule or remote signal would be able to wake a computer from sleep or hibernation.

Would love to be do this all from the iPhone, so if you know of an App, scream and shout, tell me what it's all about.
posted by Brandon Blatcher to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
On OS X, the "Schedule" button in the Energy Saver control panel lets you schedule shutdowns/startups. Just add CS to your Login Items (in the Accounts control panel).
posted by mkultra at 8:51 AM on January 27, 2011

Mac OS X has the shutdown command built into the operating system. You can use this both for shutting down and starting up (at a preset time, using the -r option). You can also put the computer to sleep. Read the man pages for more information. Network access can be set to wake the computer from sleep, configured from the Energy Saver system preference.

To control this with your iPhone, you could use any one of several SSH clients to remotely log in to your Mac, get a command line, and issue the commands you need. There are also remote VNC clients that give you remote access to a GUI.

There's the iBoot for Windows. I don't know much about it. It might have a client that you can write a script for.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:52 AM on January 27, 2011

As for specific apps, how comfortable are you with shell scripts? "killall [APPNAME]" will do the equivalent of a Force Quit (as opposed to a graceful quit), but is damn reliable. There's a way to script app launching as well, but I don't recall the command. Set it up as a cron job.
posted by mkultra at 8:53 AM on January 27, 2011

I'm no sysadmin but the real way to do this in windows is to use WMI.

Windows also has a shutdown command you could schedule a batch script to run this, this requires Admin rights.

There is also the ultimate hack of running something like cmd.exe or powershell.exe with netcat or possibly SrvAny. Then just telnet in and use shutdown -r. This is a security nightmare.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:21 AM on January 27, 2011

Oh, there is also VNC for windows and IPhone as well as RDP for iphone (server isn't supported)
posted by Ad hominem at 9:42 AM on January 27, 2011

You can open applications from the OS X command line:
open -a AppName
And rather than killall, you can quit them nicely with an AppleScript:
tell application "AppName"
end tell
or, direct from the command line
osascript -e 'tell application "AppName" to quit'

posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 12:28 PM on January 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

« Older What building is that?   |   Laptop recommendation request n+1 Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.