Mac: If you tend to run the same Terminal command pretty often, then it makes sense to do one of two things: Create a text expander snippet or turn it into a keyboard shortcut. How-To Geek shows you how to do the latter using Apple's built-in Automator tool.
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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
Mac: Sometimes you need to send an email at a specific time. Maybe it's an anniversary or just a reminder. Chrome extensions like SndLater let you do this with Gmail. If you have a Mac, Automator lets you schedule mail through Apple's default Mail app.
We're big fans of Automator here at Lifehacker, and the folks over at Mac OS X Automation have created a few services that let you share photos and links straight from your Mac.
Mac OS X (10.5.6) only: Instead of launching iCal and clicking on a date to add something to your calendar, Macworld details how to put together a one-click Automator action. With a simple New Event Automator app on your Dock (or accessible to your favourite keyboard launcher), you can add an iCal event or a new to-do in one shot, with the ability to add event details on the spot. If you've never used Automator before, don't worry, because putting together this one is a cinch. Apparently this tip didn't work in OS X 10.5.3 through 10.5.5, but yesterday's 10.5.6 Software Update fixed the bug and it works again. Here's what the new event dialog looks like when you launch the Automator applet:
The 37signals weblog highlights an Automator workflow that downloads the front pages of popular newspapers from previously mentioned web site Newseum and combines them into one consolidated PDF you can print off and read on your daily commute. The script downloads each front page from Newseum, then combines them into one master PDF. As TUAW suggests, you could automate this one step further by setting the workflow to run daily with iCal.Newseum: Today's Front Pages
Weblog TUAW details how to take advantage of your Mac's built-in automation tool, Automator, to send out birthday greetings on the day-of to everyone in your Address Book. Using the Birthday field in Address Book, putting together automated birthday emails is just a two-step process in Automator. Naturally, you shouldn't rely on this method as your only means of remembering and recognising birthdays, but it's a nice way to send simple notes and get a birthday conversation started, especially with people you aren't in touch with that often. While you're at it, you may also want to import Address Book birthdays into iCal.Mac Automation: Birthday greetings