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How to launch a computer program or application remotely using DropBox and AutoHotKey



Sometimes you need to launch a computer application from a remote location using another computer. Although there are many standalone applications that help you remotely control and maintain a PC, with the help of DropBox and AutoHotkey you can perform a simple task as starting your torrent program or computer-supported answering machine, or even your music player to freak out your family members by simply writing an AutoHotkey script, storing it in your DropBox folder and then running it from there.

If you’re wondering what’s DropBox, you can read this tutorial on how to use DropBox from your Ubuntu desktop (although the current tutorial is just Windows based). AutoHotkey is an open source utility for Windows and you can use it to automate many Windows tasks and create keyboard shortcut keys.

In order to run a computer program remotely, you need to create a small AutoHotkey script containing the following lines:

Loop
{
Sleep, 300000
Reload
}

Save this script in your DropBox folder and add it to the list of your startup programs so that it starts running each time you switch on your computer. If you don’t want to restart your computer right now, you can simply double-click and start it — remember that AutoHotkey must already be running in order to run the script as an executable file. All it does is, it executes itself (not the killing sort of execution) after every 5 minutes. You can reduce the time according to your convenience. Wondering what’s the big deal here?

When you’re on a remote computer, you simply need to log into your DropBox account or go the folder where you keep your DropBox files and open this file in a text editor. Suppose you want to launch the VLC player with a file “ghostsounds.mp3” you add this line before the Loop command.

Run, “C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe” “C:\Shady Files\ghostsounds.mp3”
Loop
{
Sleep, 300000
Reload
}

Since the AutoHotkey file is executing every 5 minutes, the VLC media player will be launched and it will start playing the file ghostsounds.mp3. Just make sure you either remove this new line or comment it out using “;” after 5 minutes so that it doesn’t launch the program again.

Similarly, you can use this combination of DropBox and AutoHotkey to launch any number of applications in your absence (and claim innocence at the same time).

This tip was taken from this link.