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Control Your Computer With Outlook

Wow its been a long time since I last posted and I am sorry for that. I have several hobbies and one of them happens to be decorative concrete so I have had my hands a little dirty doing that. Some of my work can be seen on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pearidgeconcrete and at the website www.pearidgeconcrete.com

Ok I got something that is not quite new but may be new and useful to some of you out there reading my technology blog.

Do any of you use the mail program that is a part of the Microsoft Office Suite known as Outlook? I use it all the time and it has a lot of uses other than just reading mail.

Today I will show you how to use it to control actions on your computer. First let me tell you two instances where its actually needed.

The first instance, I use a laptop for work and I needed to run by after work hours and retrieve it from my desk. I knew that I would have to go into the office and power it down and wait on it and then bag it up. I am the type that doesnt like to wait for much, the type that is always in a hurry, so I was thinking….it sure would be nice if I could have it powered off and all I had to do was bag it up when I got there. Sure I could use LOG ME IN or TEAMVIEWER or something to remote into it and shut it down, but at the time I was driving. I know its bad to text and drive, but how about remote controlling into a computer why driving all from your cellphone? No thanks, thats an accident just waiting to happen.

It would be much simpler if I could text my computer and tell it to shutdown. I could manage to type that without running off the road.
How can I make this happen? Before I tell you, how about I tell you about a second instance where such an idea is needed.

A co-worker of mine was out of town over the holidays, he was using teamviewer to remote into his laptop at work. Teamviewer had locked him out somehow and there was nothing he knew to do. He called me asking if I could remote into work and force reboot his machine with some tools we have available on our work network. I says sure I can and I do so and then I mentioned this little hack I am about to teach you guys and he says I should have told him sooner as he could have used it that day so here it is, my latest post in a long time.

Lets get to it!

Basically its simple. I email a code to myself and the computer sees it and does what I have scripted it to do upon receiving such code.

Outlook is the key ingredient here and I leave it running all the time on my computer.

Here is what to do.

Make your self a script folder on your computer.
It could be C:\Scripts

In that folder make a couple batch files like reboot.bat and shutdown.bat
Reboot.bat

cd \
shutdown /r /t 05

Shutdown.bat

cd \
shutdown /s /t 05

Ok now moving on to Outlook.
Lets create some rules.

Rules > Manage Rules and Alerts
Create New Rule
Under Start From a Blank Rule Choose the first one, Apply rule on messages I receive.

Click Next
Place a check mark on With Specific Words in the Subject

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Click on the phrase Specific Words in the lower window pane, and choose a secret word or code for the subject.
Then click ADD and OK

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Now scroll all the way to the bottom and choose On this computer only

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Click Next
Place a check mark on Start and Application.

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Click the phrase Application on the lower window pane and choose your script you created earlier.

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Now scroll back up and place a check mark in Delete it.

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This has to be done in this way to place items in the rule in the correct order.
After its read by outlook and processed it will be deleted.
This way you will not accidentally re read the email at the computer and reboot yourself.

Click Next
Click Next and name this rule.

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Click Finish

That’s it.
Now I can email myself and have my computer reboot or shutdown or start winamp or itunes and place a tune, you are only limited by your imagination.

Now armed with this knowledge what else will you command outlook to wait on your word to do?