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All posts for the month August, 2016

Idle Timeout Killer

Does your employer or organization have a pushed policy that prevents you from changing your computer’s sleep/idle screen lock?  I have developed a solution, read on:

You’re busy throughout the day and you may have answered a 12 minute phone call from a colleague, after which you return to your computer to continue your work and find you have to log in again.  A pain in the arse for sure and if it happens several times a day, you are likely unhappy about it.  Going idle often also gives “Idle Snitches” in the office ammunition against you and you might find yourself the subject of deeper management scrutiny as a result.  Systems administrators, in an effort to improve security within the enterprise typically roll out policies that force this to occur on PCs.  The school of thought is that people forget to lock their computers when they step away and administrators use this as a solution to prevent that by removing the human element.

Installing software on a work computer is often a no-no or enough to get you fired or at least, in trouble with your IT manager.  But what if there was a hardware solution that was discreet and appeared in the Device Manager as an ordinary mouse?  I have seen and read articles on some clever mechanical tricks people use to thwart idle timeouts and some are quite clever, but again rely on some elaborate mechanical means of tricking the mouse in a way to make it think it was being moved.  Not very elegant, and aside from being noticeable, it also is not the best way.

Using arduino microprocessor technology, I have coded a simple device that appears as an HID (Human Interface MouseJigglerDevice) type (keyboard or Mouse) and every few minutes moves the mouse cursor to a position about 5 pixels away, then back to it’s starting position.  This code runs in an endless loop and when the device is left attached to any PC (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc) will prevent the screensaver from locking the computer.  You can now take that phone call and return to your computer without having to log back in.  If you use Lync, Skype for Business, or other IM program at work, you will no longer go idle or away either.  This will shut up the snitches that tattle about too much idle time – unfortunately, there are people in the office who love to do that.  Oh and did I mention that you can use a mouse simultaneously while running the Idle Kill gadget?  Yes you can!   This is perfect because you can discreetly hide it and keep your mouse in plain sight unaltered.   You too can put a stop to this annoyance and experience a blissful computing experience, but please do remember to lock your screen when you leave your desk for Pete’s sake!

All you need are the following: (code appears below)

Code:


#include

//#include

void setup() {
Mouse.begin();
}

void loop() {

// move the mouse:
Mouse.move(5, 5, 0);
delay(3000);
Mouse.move(-5, -5, 0);
delay(120000);
}