PC AutoWaker

Problem solving doesn’t have to be technical. Sometimes the problem might be non-technical but the solution might be a technical one, or at least requires the use of technology in some shape or form. This post is about one of those times. 

I don’t have any space in home so my computer lab is in my bedroom, which consists of four computers (a technician computer, a reference computer and a target computer for exploring my interests in Windows 7 deployment along with an Ubuntu box running my FOG server). No, my wife’s not exactly happy about that. And no that’s not the problem I’m on about here :)

The problem is my twin daughters keep playing with the power button on my computers – all three of them. Sometimes I’ll be working and one of them will sneak up and start playing with the power button, which of course means I have to wait for it to shut down and then power it back up again. I know, I know. I shouldn’t be working when the twins are around but I don’t have to be for this to be a problem – they play with the power button all the time. Also it’s not like I work with them around all the time. But even so it’s a problem that needed addressing.

I tried switching off the computers from the mains but that only stopped the computers from being turned on and off – it didn’t stop them from playing with the power buttons. Also the problem still remains when I’m working on a computer and they sneak up on me.

My solution, and don’t laugh here, is to tape each of the power buttons with clear sellotape and use PC AutoWaker, a Wake-on-LAN app on my Android phone to turn them on. Laugh all you like but it’s worked like a charm – once they found the power buttons don’t depress with no flashing green lights they decided there’s no fun in it anymore. What’s more they don’t disturb me nearly as much as they used to.

PC AutoWaker: what I like:

  • It’s free
  • Minimal interface
  • Does not require any special permissions

PC AutoWaker: what I don’t like:

  • Ads

There are other WOL client apps available on Android but I liked PC AutoWaker since it only requires permission for Full Network Access, which is understandably essential for the app to work as its intended.

PS. Ok, I admit this might not be a ‘technical’ solution, but I’m sure you get my drift :) I wanted to expand on how I believe non-technical problem solving can require the same analytical thought processes as a technical one but I guess I’m going to have to leave that for another day.


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