3rd June 2011
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Two applications to cover this week in an extended tutorial:
Concentrate - A brilliant way to help you focus on the task in hand. Concentrate allows you to remove all distractions and will even open the required apps to enable you to get on with the job - automatically!
Keyboard Maestro - If you ever find yourself doing simple tasks over and over again, Keyboard Maestro gives you the ability to create powerful macros to take away the pain
Concentrate - With so many distractions, it’s hard to sometimes focus or “concentrate” on the task in hand. The siren cry of Twitter, FaceBook, Flickr, YouTube, and many more services, all seem to conspire to draw you into a time sink that just stops you from working - well, at least they do for me!
A great solution to this is Concentrate by Rocket.
Concentrate allows you to create “Activities”, selectively loading applications you need to perform the task, whilst at the same time, closing or blocking applications or web services you don’t need, and frankly, stop you from working effectively. You can set a time for your activity, or just close it when you’ve finished, and Concentrate can restore all the applications it closed down.
It’s a really efficient and effective way to concentrate on the important stuff.
Keyboard Maestro - If you find that during the course of the day, you end up doing mind numbing repetitive tasks over and over again, Keyboard Maestro may just be the ticket!
It’s a utility that allows you to record or create macros to assign to any number of triggers. Macros are basically just lists of actions that you can instruct your Mac to carry out. You can assemble the actions from a list of pre-defined actions, or just go into record mode and Keyboard Maestro will learn the actions from copying what you do on screen. Once you have your list of actions, just assign them to a trigger - usually a keyboard combo, and Keyboard Maestro will replay your actions.
In this section, I take you through the basics of the Keyboard Maestro interface, explain some of the terminology in more detail, then give you some real examples. One of my most common tasks is re-formatting spreadsheets - Keyboard Maestro makes this a breeze and I show you how!
"AppleScript is an English-like language used to create script files and applets that control the actions of the computer and the applications that run on it" - macosxautomation.com
You can do a lot with Services and Automator on the Mac, but unleash the power of AppleScript, and you'll be amazed at what can be achieved.
This week's show is an AppleScript primer, designed to demystify AppleScript and give you some pointers to explore further. Even if you don't want to become an AppleScript guru, the show will help you modify, run and save sample AppleScripts that you may find already written on the web.
Batch encoding with Handbrake and AppleScript - great for automating your encoding processes, Setting up folder actions to automate even further, running Applescripts as an OSX Service and a look at an updated application - NoteTote
We revisit one of OSXs most misunderstood features this week and that's the latest version of Automator in Leopard.