Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wizmo is a neat little utility written by Steve Gibson, the guy who wrote Spinrite and Shields Up!. He's doing a podcast called Security Now! on the TWit network and while sometimes it's a bit dry, I'm usually able to listen to the whole thing through.

I'd heard about Wizmo before, read what it does and then moved along. It's a Swiss Army Knife for Windows. You run wizmo.exe either from the command line or as part of a desktop shortcut. After Wizmo.exe you put what they refer to in the notes as "action verbs". There are a bunch of action verbs available, and I believe that it's extensible, so you can write your own action verbs if you want. There's Wizmo Blackout which blacks out your screen (it doesn't turn it off, just blacks it out like a screensaver), wizmo blank starts your currently selected screen saver, wizmo standby to send your computer into standby mode (if it doesn't have a suspend button or it's not a laptop). Other commands are hibernate, logoff, exit, reboot, shutdown which are all self-explanatory, monoff which shuts your screen OFF into standby mode and gravitron, the GRC screensaver with all it's own settings.

The reason I was looking at it again was because my new monitor, my Acer AL2216WB 22" widescreen didn't always shut itself off. I don't know if it's something in the system tray, or maybe one of the Yahoo Desktop Widgets preventing it, but if I was laying in bed watching TV (either from my AverMedia Ultra300 USB tuner or uhh, recorded shows) I'd have to get up and push the button to shut off the monitor and go back to bed. How 1980...

I started searching Google for some way to programatically send a "standby" command to the monitor and two or three links down was Wizmo. WTF? Cool! I went back to GRC.com and downloaded it and configured a shortcut on my desktop to shut off the monitor. Now when I'm done, I fire up VNC, double click the Shutoff Monitor shortcut and close VNC and it's nice and dark and off I go to sleep.

Saturday, November 11, 2006 11:47:35 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Tech | Gadgets | Microsoft#
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