CRUMBS software

CRUMBS Computer Activity Monitor

CRUMBS records a participant's keyboard and mouse activity during use of their computer.

To install CRUMBS on a participant's computer, download ComputerActivityMonitor.zip and uncompress (unzip) the file.

Link to the ComputerActivityMonitor.zip file 10.5 MB

From Windows, double-click the file and select “Extract all files”, or right-click the file and select “Extract All…”. Windows should extract three files (setup.exe, Setup1.msi, and vcredist_x86.exe) to a new folder (ComputerActivityMonitor). Double-click setup.exe to install Crumbs. When the installation is complete, double-click vcredist_x86.exe to install additional files that Windows will need to run Crumbs.

Once installed, Crumbs will start automatically whenever the computer starts, and will place a window on the screen to inform the user that logging is enabled. It can be turned off at any time by clicking the “Stop Logging” button in that window. The installer will also place “Logging Software” icons on the desktop and in the All Programs list of the Start menu.

While running, Crumbs saves log data to folders within the directory c:\testdata\. Within that directory it creates a new subfolder for each day. The folder name will include the name of the computer and the date and time when logging started, with the format:

100-[computer name]-[YYYY].[MM].[DD]-[HH]-[MM]-[SS]

Within that folder, a text file is created for logging. The file name specifies the time when the file was created, with the format:

YYYY.M.DD-HH.MM.SS.txt

Data is logged in that text file until the log file reaches 500 KB, when a new text document is created in the same folder; or until the first event after midnight the following day, when a new folder is created for the new day, with a new text file inside that folder. The main directory (c:\testdata\) contains a text file called tempData.txt which contains the current path and filename for logging.

Data is logged in the text file with four tab-delimited columns:

  1. Type of event (Mouse, Keyboard, or API)
  2. Timestamp, with hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds separated by colons
  3. Event label
  4. Event details

The table below gives details about the types of events recorded, and the information provided.

Chart

* Key types include: Printable Key, SHIFT Key, ENTER Key, CAPS LOCK Key, ESC Key, Correction Key, Navigation Key, Function Key, Numeric keypad Key, Numeric Keypad Separator Key,
** Other API events may be reported depending on your system. If so, the labels should be self-explanatory. The details will generally be blank or be a series of zeros; non-zero details would indicate the position and size of a relevent object (e.g. a menu or a window which gains focus) with the format (left, top, width, height), where left and top refer to the coordinates of the upper left corner.

 

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