Internet-Defense-League

2012-06-05

AUM -- a Sensor to Track Your Computer Usage

A few days ago, I released a first beta version of the Application Usage Monitor AUM. It is a simple sensor for the windows operating system that logs the window names you are actively using. Thus the program enables you to analyse: how much time do you spend surfing (and where?), how much time do you work productively?

So the sensor is somewhat similar to RescueTime or TimeDoctor (I did not try these programs however). The difference is that AUM is really small program written in C that does nothing more than collect the data. It leaves the analysis of the data up to you. Another difference is that AUM is free (as in GPL).

Installing the program is simple. Just download and run the installation program from sourceforge. You may choose to automatically start the sensor at login, which is recommended. Once the program is started, the program logs the time, process name, process id, window title to a semicolon separated text file. You will also see a little blue butterfly in the system tray. Click on the icon to stop monitoring.

The default location for the log file is %APPDATA%\AUM\AUM.csv. You may provide a different file path at the command line. You can open the file with any text editor. There is also a Visual Basic Script that tries to import the data into Excel. This requires a working Excel installation at your PC. In future, I plan to support analysis of the data from within R.

Please give it a try! But be warned that the program is beta and not so well tested yet. Please leave feedback in the comment box below.

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