DShutdown is a free portable tool which can wake up or shut down both local and remote PCs on the schedule of your choice. Sounds familiar, yes? But DShutdown goes much further than most of the competition.

You don't just have to say "shut down my PC at "xx:yy" pm, for instance. You're able to shut down on some calendar date, after a countdown, when a program closes, when a pixel colour changes, if the user is idle, if internet activity or CPU usage falls below some specified level, and more.

Despite the program name, you're not restricted to a basic "shut down" action, either. You're able to restart, log off, power off or hibernate the system, forcibly (even if hung). There's a "Wake Up" option to revive a system, if it has the hardware support, and there are a host of more general functions: start a program, close a program, take a screenshot, write a log, send a log file by email, and more.

All this can apply to the local PC, or any others in your network (the program can even try to get a list of network systems).

The interface for all this can look intimidating, and the local help is a plain text file. But it's not as bad as it seems, more than DShutdown makes all its options visible up front, rather than hiding them in various dialogs. Spend a few minutes experimenting and you'll soon have everything figured out.

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A great tool for remote workers that places you firmly in control of the computers you are working with.