How can I easily create a profile of how Windows user is using their computer?

Joe Videtto May 16, 2012
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Hi,

Joe here again, elementary school tech person. In our school, we’re trying to promote increased use of technology in terms of utilization of our Windows computers. First step is to get them up and running (thanks for all of you who’ve been answering my questions about this – they’ve really helped).

To figure out if our computer maintenance and training program is working, I’m looking for an automated way – the cheaper the better ; ) to measure the positive impact that speeding up the computers and training our users has had.

Is there any tool that will help profile how a particular Windows machine has been utilized over the previous month – i.e.
a.) how many hours spent on which internet sites
b.) how many hours spent inside each locally installed (or network invoked) application

Thanks in advance,
Joe

  1. Bruce Epper
    May 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    As far as the internet usage, you can extrapolate some of that information from your proxy server/firewall logs.

    For an all-in-one monitoring package, you can check out http://www.nestersoft.com/worktime/articles/pc_usage_tracking.shtml. This covers even more than what you are looking for, but it does cover support for a year as well. The cost for a corporate network is about $50/seat. As an educational institution, you should contact them directly to see if they offer discounts. (This should be standard practice for all schools.)

    There is also http://track4win.com/. This site doesn't indicate what the differences are between the Professional ($30/seat) and Enterprise ($42/seat) versions.

    For some full-fledged spyware you can try http://www.softactivity.com/track_l.asp. This would run about $800 for 30 educational seats.

    • Joe Videtto
      May 17, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Thanks Bruce - they sound like exactly what I'm looking for, but pretty hard to justify given other higher priority technology needs of the school. Still, thanks for suggesting the tools that will do exactly what I want; I never would have found them.