Ghost Control

Ghost Control

Average User Rating:
4.2
out of 16 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    3.0.6
  • Total Downloads:
    119,784
  • Date Added:
    October 27, 2010
  • File Size:
    3.22MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    160
  • Operating Systems:
    Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7

Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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Results 1–2 of 2

4 stars

"Plenty of features along with a few glitches"

January 21, 2011  |  By Cyber_Multi_Lingual

 |  Version: Ghost Control 3.0.6

Pros

Create separate, complex macros (jobs); Edits job details with a built-in editor - dissect jobs, splice jobs, continue recording at end of job, and more; Adjust replay speed of individual events; Recorded everything I could throw at it.

Cons

Will intermittently miss an edit box or button in a job. This isn't a big deal for my work, but could be a problem for some folks. Errors could be from my hyper-sensitive mouse - it will occasionally send a Mickey when I'm not even touching it.

Summary

When I'm able, I help out with a website that has tens of thousands of products. To get a new website product online, I start out with one manufacturer-supplied image and need to produce three website-sized image files like this:

Detail SKU 100192 - XXX.jpg (600 x 600 pixels)
Medium SKU 100192 - XXX.jpg (300 x 300 pixels)
Thumbnail SKU 100192 - XXX.jpg (150 x 150 pixels)

Where the XXX is whatever the original name of the image was from the manufacturer. That means a LOT of image manipulation in short bursts.

The work consists of gathering 100 or so images and their associated SKUs, then running them each through a small image resizing program. To complete processing of one product set of three images takes about 30 keystrokes, 10 mouse clicks, 7 edit box selections with the mouse, and 6 switches between mouse and keyboard for the right (or left I suppose) hand. With de-cramping breaks, it takes roughly 2 hours to do a set of 100 products if things go well.

I have used macro recorders before when developing large programs and I have even written one of my own for some custom tasks. I realized I could really cut down the website image processing task if I could find the right macro recording utility.

I tried a few and then downloaded the demo version of Ghost Control. I immediately ran into the 30 second macro length limitation in the demo version. Manually, I was doing an individual product in about 45-50 seconds. I practiced a bit and wrote a short script to read and follow, but it still took 10 or more tries before I was able to beat the 30 second clock. Even then, I was going at warp 10 switching from keyboard to mouse and back while trying to think 3 steps ahead. The developers probably should revisit this issue in the demo version. I would have been happier if they had limited me to recording 5 or 10 macros total with the demo, but left the individual macro length unlimited.

Once I succeeded in recording a macro to do the job though, it was all worth the effort. As I mentioned, it took me about 45-50 seconds per product doing it by hand on a good day while the Ghost Control macro runs in less than 5 seconds and is far less prone to typing and other errors than the manual work.

Ghost Control has pretty much everything you'd want in a low-cost but effective macro recorder. It records all keystrokes and mouse movements/button clicks (both the up and down key and button messages are recorded). It also allows you to create macros (called Jobs in the software) of surprising complexity after you get up the learning curve with the editor. You can get other packages with a slicker interface and some additional functionality - but you won't find much that competes with Ghost Control for only $35.

The job editor is especially useful. You can adjust individual event durations and delays between events. This is critical if you have a program whose interface does not play well if it gets keyboard and mouse messages from Ghost Control at superhuman speed. In the image processing package I use, there is one particular operation that needs to complete before ANY additional keyboard or mouse input is sent to the window. No problem - I opened up the job in Ghost Control's editor and inserted a short delay. I then gradually increased the delay until I got consistent results. Finally, I added a little extra to the delay just to be on the safe side.

I have found one annoying issue with Ghost Control. It will intermittently miss an edit box selection or button press. I haven't yet had a chance to track down the cause, but it could very well be my hyper-sensitive mouse. My mouse sometimes sends a Mickey or two - even when I'm not touching it. Operator keyboard or mouse input while Ghost Control is trying to run a macro is a recipe for failure.

For my purposes, an occasional error is not a big problem since Ghost Control has reduced our overall error rate by at least a factor of 10. I can see where this could, however, be an issue for some users. Again, don't dismiss Ghost Control based on my complaint as I don't know if the problem lies in the code or my hardware.

If you find yourself doing repetitive typing or mousing (and especially combinations of the two) and you don't have a corporate budget, Ghost Control should be on your computer.

Cheers,


MLC

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3 stars

"Trial version limited to 30 seconds-not enough to test"

November 16, 2010  |  By elliots3

 |  Version: Ghost Control 3.0.6

Pros

Specs look good, but need a real trial.

Cons

I need macro software to deal with some complicated sequences. I'd be glad to pay for it, but need a good test -- I've been burned before. The trial version times out after 30 seconds which is not enough time if you are doing mouse clicks etc.

Summary

My 3* rating is meaningless -- I'm unable to rate for my possible uses.

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Results 1–2 of 2

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 3.0.6
Version 3.0.6 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes.
General
Publisher N.R.S.
Publisher web site http://www.ghost-control.com
Release Date October 27, 2010
Date Added October 27, 2010
Version 3.0.6
Category
Category Utilities & Operating Systems
Subcategory Automation Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows 98, Windows, Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows Me, Windows 7, Windows NT, Windows Server 2008, Windows 2003, Windows XP, Windows Vista
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 3.22MB
File Name ghostcontrol3.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 119,784
Downloads Last Week 160
Pricing
License Model Free to try
Limitations Limited recording length
Price $34.9

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