By guest blogger Josh Tafoya, Global Distribution Manager
Last year, the Bold Users Conference was held at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. As you can imagine, it’s a busy time for all of us from Bold. If we aren’t teaching, we are assisting. If we aren’t assisting, we are moving things. If we aren’t moving things, we are doing one of the countless tasks necessary to make everything run smoothly.
For those of us who have been at Bold for a while, it’s almost like a family reunion. We get to see people we met years ago and catch up with every year. We get to see the people we talk to all the time. And we get to meet new people. If you haven’t gone, I highly recommend it. This year we are “Learning Through Connection,” and we expect great things once again.
I was fortunate enough, last year, to host a shift in our Demo Room, where we are quickly able to show examples, answer questions, demo features, and do brief training sessions.
But this time, something new happened… somebody showed me a handy tool which I had never seen. This tool will change your life. Now, you might think I’m getting a bit carried away with that statement, but if you are in IT, or if you are a Central Station Manager, I bet you’ll reconsider.
Here’s what happened:
One of our Phoenix customers came up and introduced herself. She asked if she could show me something she had discovered because she hadn’t been able to track our support team manager yet (see that first paragraph about how busy we get!)
She sat me down in front of a computer, then had me open the Run window (WINDOW KEY + R is the easiest way), and type in three simple characters: PSR
When I clicked the “OK” button, I was taken to an all-new screen that I had never seen before:
She told me to click the arrow on the right side, and click on the Settings -> Item
Next, she had me Browse for a file path (I selected c:temptest.zip), and to change the “number of recent screen captures to store” from 25 to 99. I then clicked “OK.”
Then she told me to click the Start Record button, minimize the PSR, and click around as though I was working on something, reproducing steps for a bug, reproducing steps for instruction, etc.
When I was done, she had me click the Stop Record button.
Finally, she directed me to browse in the File Explorer to the zip file I specified moments before and open it. There was a single file inside the folder with a bunch of numbers (related to the date and time), and with an extension of “MHT.”
When I opened it, I was rewarded with the coolest thing I’d seen in a while. It was a web page that showed, click by click, everything I had done… with accompanying screenshots!
My surprise was instant and I immediately thought of dozens of uses for this! My first thought was, as a Manitou user, it is sometimes hard to communicate to the support staff exactly how a particular error came about. Meaning, the steps that led up to it… or exactly what was clicked, in what order, to get there.
Or how about a Central Station Manager who is trying to quickly communicate the excellent information she learned at the Bold Users Conference? She can run through it once while the PSR is running, and pass the zip file on to her staff. (Who can, if necessary, use the images to make a step by step set of instructions).
I’ve shown this trick to over 100 people by now: every time I go on site, and every time I have an extended call with someone I think might find some way to use it. I encourage you to use it as well. I think the Support staff would appreciate the wealth of information that comes with using the PSR.
A couple of things:
- This feature is supplied by Microsoft, not Bold. It’s free with every version of Windows since Windows 7. No warranty is expressed or implied.
- Server versions allow up to 999 images.
I hope you find this feature to be as useful as I have!