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Author Topic: Convert screenshot into file to be processed by QB  (Read 4309 times)
Moneo
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« on: August 28, 2004, 10:39:04 PM »

Hey guys,

I need some way of converting screenshots of the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs screen into a text file that I can read with a QB program.

I'm now reading these screenshots and checking by hand if the software names exist on a database. This is real dog work. There must be a way to convert  the screenshots and do the comparing by program.

Yes, I know there are a bunch of software products that do this, but my boss doesn't want to spend any more time and money on this task.

All ideas are good.
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Jofers
Been there, done that
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2004, 10:54:01 PM »

You could try and store for all the ascii characters in Window's fonts, and then look for the exact pattern, anything else would be OCR, which is probably waaay harder than letting your eyes do it.
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_Mensliber_
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Posts: 32


« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2004, 05:56:21 AM »

there is a good free program that puts much information of the system and hardware in text or another file you want, it is named Aida32
http://www.abcdatos.com/programas/programa/l5039.html

also you can try an old program from Microsoft like MS-Diagnostics that also puts some computer information in text, i do not remember if it is what you want
see
http://Ftp://Ftp.Microsoft.Com/SoftLib/MslFiles

the program it's under the names: MSDZIP.exe, WW0440.exe, GA0363.exe
also you could find something in
http://ftp://ftp.simtel.com/.2/simtelnet/msdos/sysutl/
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Moneo
Na_th_an
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Posts: 1971


« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2004, 09:32:13 PM »

Thanks, Mensliber, but Aida32 is just one of many solutions that I can't use. If the program costs money, the company doesn't want to spend it because they already tried 2 that didn't work. If the program is free, it still has to go through a long evaluation process.

What I need problably doesn't exist; that is, take a file which contains a screenshot and convert it to ASCII text in order to read it via a QB program.

¿En que parte de México vives? Yo vivo en el D.F. en la Colonia Condesa.
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Moneo
Na_th_an
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Posts: 1971


« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2004, 09:37:44 PM »

Jofers,
I don't know what you mean.
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_Mensliber_
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Posts: 32


« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2004, 07:01:43 AM »

i am in the border with USA, we are talking outside the QuickBasic area, i will send you message through private e-mails to give you more information
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_Mensliber_
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Posts: 32


« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2004, 08:59:27 AM »

woops, i tried thrice writing to your Hotmail but they couldn't get in your mailbox, you can send me a private message to contact me, bye
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Moneo
Na_th_an
*****
Posts: 1971


« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2004, 10:29:27 PM »

Mensliber,
Sorry, my Hotmail email is always expiring becuase I hardly use it. My home email is: moneo@prodigy.net.mx
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TheBigBasicQ
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2004, 02:35:06 PM »

moneo do you specifically need to read screenshots or some program which provides you with the list of softwares present on a system will do?

I dont know of such a program but it was just an idea...
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Moneo
Na_th_an
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Posts: 1971


« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2004, 11:54:07 PM »

BBQ,
Yes there are a bunch of these programs on the market, but my company doesn't want to spend the time or money. Time, because every new software bought must go through a formal project of investigation, analysis, testing if requirements are met, testing if the software offers no security problems, etc. This "time" also costs money.

The way that the Infrastructure people take a software inventory is by getting into the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs of each PC and doing "print screens" onto a Word file which is saved on a server. Yes, you can see what software the particular PC has installed, but you can only "see" the information because the damn thing is a picture. You can't read this file into any kind of program, like QB, that I know of. So you end up reading these damn screenshots one at a time and transcribing the names of each installed software onto another file. Talk about tedious --- the company has 350 PCs, so I'm in the midst of having to manually do this stupidity.

If there was a way to convert the picture in the Word file to ASCII text, I could write a very simple program to read all 350 files and in less than 2 minutes produce inventory results as to how many
software products are installed. The estimate for doing this manually, like I'm now doing, is 5-6 weeks. Boy, oh boy, good 'ol data processing is moving backwards nowadays. The worst part is that the majority of Technology people today don't notice it, don't know, or don't care.
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na_th_an
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2004, 12:03:42 AM »

*I don't know how* but this could give you and idea. Which programs are installed is stored on the registry. Maybe you can scan the proper sections of the registry. This is easily doable in Visual Basic using simple API calls.

Now you have to:

1.- Know where to look.
2.- Know what API calls to do.

It should not be very hard, and I guess everything could be found on Google. I would give it a try, but I have exams Sad

Does this sound like a feasible idea? The OCR stuff using the images seems too complicated. OCR doesn't like low resolutions. Most OCR programs need at least 300 dpi to have decent results. And windows fonts are ... tiny compared with how a printed "a" looks at 300 dpi.
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Moneo
Na_th_an
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Posts: 1971


« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2004, 12:17:12 AM »

Gracias, Nathan, yes I am aware that the information I want is in the Registry. The problem is that I really am not allowed the time to analyse this solution and to then do programming. The program that I mentioned before to read files and produce an inventory, would only take minutes. This registry thing could take me days, and my boss would not allow this time taken away from doing the inventory manually --- a dilema.

In this company I'm not a programmer, I'm an internal auditor, a project manager, and the Adminstrator of Software Licenses. The programmers are hired via outsoursing, and they use ASP. I've written 3 or 4 simple QuickBasic programs to solve very specific one-time problems that people could not solve with their Excel files.

Good luck on your exams.
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