Better resource management requires automation for efficient scheduling and execution in order to save time, which itself is a limited resource. If you could schedule important tasks of your system, you could save both energy and usage. For example, instructing your computer to automatically shutdown or wake up according to the specified time, would result in conservation of energy. Z-Cron (similar to Unix Cron) supports a wide range of programs with an extensive function library. Parameter-based starting/stopping of applications, auto-saving of websites, copying/deletion of files, archiving, compressing and auto-backup are some of the features that make it unique from the other tools available out there. You can specify when to start or stop any specific job in light of daily, weekly, monthly scheduled startups or shutdowns.
After unpacking the ZIP file and completing the installation, an easy to use interface will explain to you the inner workings of this software. The buttons on the left sidebar contain the functionalities, while the main workspace organizes the task list for better understanding.
You can access the application-specific settings by clicking the relevant button. From here, you can update the utility as well as access help files or configure features like start, email, shell, time and language settings. To reduce the startup load on your operating system, just specify some delay in the auto-start field.
With these essential settings, you may create a new task by double clicking the blank workspace area and then specifying the relevant title and description of your task in the Settings window. The settings are organized in three tabs: task details, scheduler and run as settings. You can create, modify and delete jobs from the task list coupled with the ability to specify commands through the Tools button.
The Tools button reveals a detailed list of all supported commands such as CHECKURL or HIBERNATE and so on. Z-cron also has built-in modules like Z-DBackup (backs up data according to the specified frequency) or Z-FTPcopy (updates data in sync with an FTP site) and the like. Upon hovering over any specific entry in this list, it will display the relevant function. At any point, you can access the Help button to your left.
After completing the command specifications, move to the Scheduler tab to configure a start time and recurring frequency for the desired job. You have the liberty to mark any time of any day as starting or stopping time threshold for the job.
The Scheduler button yields a matrix of check-boxes valued with time, while the calendar on the right simplifies navigation for scheduling purposes.
All in all, Z-Cron is an easy-to-use application for automation of your system, allowing you to easily perform both tasks and backup functions. We tested this application on Windows 7, 64-bit edition. It works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.