An AutoHotkey Tale

I recently received the following e-mail from Will Guest. Sharing it might inspire others to take a closer look at AutoHotkey. While Will implemented a serious solution to an expensive problem, you don’t need to work at his level to get tremendous benefit from AutoHotkey. Its simplicity makes it the choice for dealing with many Windows headaches—even for experienced programmers:

Hi, Jack,

I actually have another recent use for AHK, the technique(s) of which I’d gotten from one of your very helpful books. It’s a bit of a long story, but:

I’ve recently come back from almost two years in the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), where I was designing/ engineering/ installing/ and commissioning the AVCN (Audio Video Control Network) systems for a theme park project (Warner Bros. World, the ‘largest interior theme park on Earth’). We had a vendor installing a parkwide control and management system (Virtual Machines with a fault-tolerant Hypervisor) which was deployed on a per-node license basis. All good, but at least 18 of the nodes were all-in-one 7″ touch-panel PCs, which were used to turn On/ Off/ Set levels for the background music and lighting in the Food, Beverage, and Retail venues throughout the park. These touch panels were used about twenty minutes a day — if that much; so having a full license used for these rarely-used nodes was not the best (or fairest) plan. Plus, with the number of users that wanted to monitor the parkwide system, we were being put into a situation of having to buy additional (rarely used) licenses for a fairly large amount of money. Continue reading