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Ask the Wizard Questions

Killing a process after a pre-determined amount of time

The Question is:

Dear Wizards,

Do you know of a program that will kill a process after a pre-determined amount of time?

We have a paging process written in Focus that when pulled up on a terminal, HITMAN will not kill the session because it sees the Focus program is active. I would like to have a program that basically starts a timer when it sees the pager process become active and then kill the process after a certain amount of time.

Enough info! Thanks!!

The Answer is:

Despite the name, I gather this is not an excessive page faulting problem. If it is then perhaps increasing the working set size and/or physical memory is in order.

I also gather that simply training the users to exit the "pager/paging" application is not sufficent.

The problem is if you do figure out how to kill a process running the application after a fixed amount of time, you might be doing the wrong thing, inasmuchas the user would have to restart.

The application must be fooling HITMAN somehow. The best way to determine if there's a user still making use of the application is to time input.

Whereas the following loop should not defeat HITMAN;

	$ loop:
	$ show time
	$ wait 0:1
	$ goto loop

the following could;

	$ loop:
	$ set terminal /inquire
	$ wait 0:1
	$ goto loop

The difference is the set terminal /inquire command causes the terminal (or emulator) to send a sequence of bytes which look a whole lot like user keystrokes. If HITMAN is fooled by the first loop then the application might be ticking a clock on the display.