SimpleActivityLogger

Overview

SimpleActivityLogger is a Windows service that records the following events:

  • System Startup & Shutdown
  • User Logon & Logoff
  • Console Lock & Unlock
  • Screen Saver start & stop
  • Fast User Switch

There is also a small GUI application that allows the user to view the log, append comments to it, edit it, and change the settings.

SimpleActivityLogger is most useful for people who need to track their computer usage during the course of a day for billing purposes.

It is also useful for tracking the usage of a shared computer. However, it is not a covert ‘spy’ program and makes no attempt to disguise itself.

 

Security

SimpleActivityLogger is not a snooping program. It is not intended to hide, or spy on a user, or to be in any way covert. If you’re looking for a program to secretly spy on users then look elsewhere.
It’s also not especially secure; events are logged to a plain text file in the public application data folder, which means the file can be read (and edited) by any user.
The reason for this is that it was designed for use in a single user environment, where the user simply wants to log the supported events as an aide-mémoire for computer usage, say for filling in timesheets or recording billable time.

Logging is achieved using a Windows Service called ‘SimpleActivityLogger’. If you stop or disable this service, then logging will be disabled.

 

Compatibility

SimpleActivityLogger v2.x is compatible with Windows XP onwards, and Windows Server 2003 onwards.
It has been explicitly tested with Windows XP (32-bit), Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

You will require local administrator privileges to install SimpleActivityLogger but thereafter it will work fine with a Limited User account.

 

Known Issues

  • We have noticed that the System Locale datetime format for the USA is not fixed width, unlike the UK one, which means that users in the US locale will find that the log file might not be nicely formatted with the text following the timestamp all aligned. We’ve done our best by adding a tab character after the timestamp. It might be possible to improve this by using the ‘Custom timestamp formatting’ feature.
  • We have observed that upon system startup you might sometimes see a service start event but not a logon event. We believe this is a race condition between the user logging in and Windows starting the SimpleActivityLogger service. In other words, sometimes the user logs on before the service has started and so the logon event is not captured. This seems to affect only Windows XP.

 

Download

The current version is v2.2.0

To see the release notes, click here.
For the change history, and to download older versions, click here .

 

Documentation

You can view the documentation online here.