KNOW YOUR SCHEDULING OPTIONS FOR WINDOWS
Many people need to schedule Windows to take actions at specific times,
even when they're not at the computer. For example, you might want
to schedule a backup or update for a certain time every day or week.
Windows 2000 includes a command-line tool to schedule events: the
AT command. To learn more about the AT command, open a command prompt
and type HELP AT.
The AT command isn't exactly user-friendly, particularly if you're
not familiar with working with the command prompt. For that reason,
many people turn to the Scheduled Tasks folder to schedule events.
To open the Scheduled Tasks folder, go to Start | Programs | Accessories
| System Tools | Scheduled Tasks. You can add a scheduled task by
double-clicking the Add Scheduled Task icon to begin the Scheduled
Task Wizard. The wizard prompts you to select the application and
the schedule frequency.
While the Scheduled Tasks folder offers a relatively simple way to
schedule events automatically, it still has limitations. If you need
to respond to dialog boxes presented by scheduled applications, shut
down or reboot the local or a remote computer, or take other actions
not offered by the Scheduled Tasks folder, a handful of third-party
tools exist that provide simplified but relatively powerful event
One example is Splinterware's System Scheduler. The free version of
the program provides easy scheduling and the ability to send key presses
to application dialog boxes. The Professional version offers support
for additional actions as well as support.