Boot Runner 1.3 has a feature that we are very excited about: The ability to schedule a startup volume selection based on a schedule. Our customers have been asking for a way to keep their Windows machines up to date, and it has been problematic in the past since it requires the dual boot machines to be booted into Windows during specific times. Windows updates may be managed by a different group than the group that manages a lab, and the updates and patches happen automatically if the dual boot mac is in Windows at the correct time. Assuring that the computer is in the correct OS has been a challenge, and we addressed with version 1.3.

Through both policy and in System Preferences, a lab manager can select a time period where a specific volume is automatically selected and will continue to be selected until the time period has elapsed. So if your Windows updates happen between 2 am and 5 am, you would set Boot Runner to select the Windows volume during those times and the Mac would reboot into Windows right at 2 am. If the update process reboots the machine, it would go back to Boot Runner, and if it was still between 2 am and 5 am, it would reboot back to Windows for any additional updates. When 5 am is reached, a final reboot is done in Windows and the Boot Runner screen is displayed and ready for students to log in.

Another feature we added was a time delay. Prior to 1.3, if you had a volume automatically selected, Boot Runner would immediately select it. There was no time to select a different volume. In 1.3, we introduce a 60 second countdown that gives the user an opportunity to select a different volume. This countdown is configurable via a preference key, and can be set to any number of seconds that a lab manager wants.

I made a quick video so show this new features, and we updated the documentation to include the new keys.

As always, let us know of any feedback.