Thursday, April 10, 2008

A "workspace setup" tool for Windows?

When I’ve finished a session on my laptop, I always just put it to sleep rather than shutting it down. I only shut it down (or restart it) for a software install or update, or because of performance problems -- basically, when I'm forced to. Closing all the programs down, restarting the system, and then setting everything back up again just takes too long.

For those times when I do have to restart it, I’d like a software tool that could automatically set my workspace back up again, by reloading all the programs / documents I normally use. So far, I haven’t found anything that does this. “Application Launcher” programs are more about being able to quickly access a particluar program or document when you want to load it. I’d like something with these features:

  • Once you’ve defined your set-up, and it’s a simple matter to get the program to open all the programs.
  • What you can define in your set-up
    • what to open
      • programs
      • documents
      • directories (in Windows Explorer)
    • What order to open them in (so they appear in a specific order on the taskbar, which helps me to organise things).
    • Ideally, where to place these windows, and how to size them (when my text editor opens, the window is too wide).
    • Support multiple different set-ups.
      I use three virtual desktops, and I have diff sets of apps open in each, so I’d like to have three different set-ups.
    • Ideally, a way to specify settings for windows.
      For example, I’d like it to be able to set up Winamp to appear on all of the virtual desktops. Manually, you do this by right-clicking the winamp item on the taskbar, choosing the ‘Virtual Dimension’ option (for the virtual desktop I use), and then the ‘All Desktops’ option. I’d like to be able to set up the program to do this for me.
Is anything out there like this (and preferably not full of other features)? (I could try writing something like this myself, though with all the other stuff I'm working on, I don't think I'd get round to it anytime soon).

Really, I think such functionality should just be a basic, standard component of windows.

1 comment:

  1. I just put my documents into my Start -> All Programs -> Startup directory.

    They all open on restart. Not all that other stuff you were after, but good enough for me. :)