May. 6th, 2007

dumblemop: (Default)
First I have to talk about my Applegasms.

I just discovered Automator last night, in addition to ordering my computer around. As a side note: it really needs a name now (and possibly a gender). I can't just keep calling it Computer now that I'm actually talking to it. Comment suggestions. Trin said it should be a girl because I have a security cable for it to tie it to chairs and beds and things, but I'm open to other possibilities. Macbook Pro running Tiger, nothing on the case, speaks with the Vicki voice for now.

Automator is a drag-and-drop programming utility for automating repetitive tasks. Last night, I wrote a workflow for installing downloaded fonts.
1. Download .zip files to My Stuff > ... > Fonts > New
2. Say, "Computer: run install fonts."
3. Click play or press Apple+R
-
1. Find files with extension .zip in New
2. Open them
3. Pause for 1 second so later steps recognize the unzipped folders
4. Find files with extension .ttf in New
5. Add fonts to Font library
6. Find files with extension .zip in New
7. Move them to Fonts > Installed
8. Get New
9. Move it to Trash
10. Make new New folder in Fonts
-
Tada! Any number of fonts correctly installed, their .zip files moved to a folder where I can keep track of ones I already have, their no-longer-needed read-mes and .ttf components deleted, and a pristine folder to download more to.

This used to take me a million years, and now it takes about 4-7 seconds depending on how many fonts there are.

The most time-consuming part of creating it was just figuring out what Actions did what and how they interacted so I could come up with a meaningful and effective sequence.

Which is brilliant design--the client doesn't need to know HOW it happens, they just need to know pre- and post- conditions and side-effects in order to do their part.

So basically macros, except I can put off learning VB. I will eventually. AppleScript too, as long as I've got the Mac I may as well attempt to use it to its full potential.

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