Information

Overview

The Dashboard Rotator is a tool that is used to cycle through web pages in a full screen browser window.
Customize the list of URL’s to display internal intranet or public web pages using either Internet Explorer or FireFox.

URL lists can be stored on remote file shares or on the localhost so multiple machines can share the same list and updating the contents is simple.

No setup is required to run the program. It runs as a standalone executable.

Common uses for the Dashboard Rotator are

  • Internal office monitoring dashboard displays
  • LCD TV displays for commonly accessed web pages
  • Rotating stock market information
  • IT Department monitoring dashboards
  • Pub or club rotating information displays
Features
  • Customizable URL’s lists
  • Customizable file path for URL the list (easily share and update with shared drives)
  • FireFox and Internet Explorer support
  • Customizable page cycle intervals
  • Automatic Internet Explorer memory refreshes (run each hour the application is concurrently run). A splash page will be displayed notifying that Internet Explorer is being restarted. no intervention is required.
  • The option of full screen or windowed mode
  • The option to kill all browser instances on Stopping and hourly refresh cycle (this can catch any lingering IE or FF processes that have hung)
  • Automatic browser crash detection.  If Internet Explorer or FireFox is closed by a user, or the window crashes whilst the program is running, a new window will be opened and the cycle continued within 5 seconds

Choose Between FireFox or Internet Explorer

FireFox is undoubtably the more stable choice for long term screen rotation, although if it is not available on the machine you wish to use, you have the option to also use Internet Explorer.   Please be sure to check the requirements below for version requirements.

Usage

Super easy to use.  Simply download the files, extract them to a directory and run the file  Dashboard Rotator.exe.
Click the edit icon in the top left hand corner and edit the list of URL’s you wish to cycle through.


Variable Interval Times

To set an interval time for a specific page, simply add  “|<number of seconds>” to the end of the URL in the Url list.  The pipe character “|” separates the URL from the interval number.

For example, if  you would like to only display the Google home page for 10 seconds,  but everything else for the normal interval time. I would have the following in my URL list.

http://www.google.com|10
http://www.someothersite.com


Command Line Triggering

If you would like to have the Dashboard Rotator automatically start when Windows starts, its simple, just call the .exe from the command line using a batch file or scheduled task.

Simply call the .exe from the command line with two arguments, the first being start and the second being the amount of seconds you want the rotation run for, so for example if I wanted to automatically start the rotation from the command line with an interval of 30 seconds, I would call the following command:

DashboardRotator.exe start 30

This will load the tool and begin the rotation.
Tip: Make sure the .exe is named “DashboardRotator”, with out a space between the two words, by default, it contains a space.


So Why Not Use A Script?

Scripts can perform the basic rotation functions  although there is one major difference between this tool and a script.  A  script does not handle errors very well, and the inherent problem with scrolling through URL’s using a browser repeatedly is memory consumption, over a period of hours the browser will become bloated and unstable, then the process needs to be recycled.

Tearing down the browser process, and reloading does not tend to work well in scripts, this is where using a software application like the Dashboard Rotator excels as it was built to handle exceptions gracefully.

After every hour, the Dashboard Rotator tool will tear down the Internet Explorer process and free up memory.  There is also a background thread that runs constantly, checking every 5 seconds to ensure the browser is running and rotating.

If someone happens to close the browser window, or the browser crashes using a script,  the script will crash,  using the dashboard rotator, if the browser window should happen to close for whatever reason,  within 5 seconds the background thread will kick in and restart the rotation cycle.

In short, the Dashboard Rotator brings stability, and of course usability.

Things To Note

  • The software was initially intended for use on a standalone machine, example for an LCD TV screen and an attached PC, how ever if you wish to use the software on your own PC, you might wish to uncheck the “Kill All Browser Instances” box before clicking ‘Run”.   Leaving this checked will ensure that ALL iexplore.exe or firefox.exe processes are terminated during the clean up process, even those you might be using on a secondary monitor.
    Although Its recommended you leave these boxes checked, an alternative solution would be use to use another browser such as  Chrome for your personal browsing as these will not be effected by the clean up process.
  • The automatic browser crash relaunch will not fire when you have a second browser window open, example if your browsing on a secondary monitor.  This works by scanning for running iexplore.exe or firefox.exe processes every 5 seconds, if it doesn’t detect any, it will re-launch.

Demo Version

If you would like to test the tool out before you purchase, you can do so by downloading the demo version.  The demo version is restricted to 5 full rotations before It will stop.

Download The Demo Version
Requirements
  • Windows Vista or above
  • Microsoft .Net Framework 4.5.2
  • Internet Explorer 10 or above. (If using Internet Explorer based rotation)
  • FireFox 53 Recommended, (If using FireFox based rotation)