A Sweet Blog Title

Feb 25

Time Machine Backups via Alfred

I keep my MacBook Pro plugged into an external hard drive toaster while I’m at home so that it backs up regularly. Sometimes I like to manually initiate backups though, so rather than taking up space with the Time Machine menubar icon, I created myself an Alfred extension.

All it does is run this in Terminal:

/System/Library/CoreServices/backupd.bundle/Contents/Resources/backupd-helper

Personally, I find it very useful.

You can download the extension here: http://cl.ly/ES0W

Feb 22

Instalfred - My Instapaper Alfred Extension

I love Instapaper, and I love Alfred. I love them so much, in fact, that i decided to create myself a neat little script to grab the URL from my browser and send it over to Instapaper. It’s not very sophisticated, and Marco makes it really easy to send URLs via the Instapaper API, but it works. Plus, being able to do it through Alfred means that I don’t have to click a button in my toolbar.

Just open the file and put your email and password where USERNAME:PASSWORD is (don’t worry, it’s sent securely via HTTPS).

And that’s it! It’s still got a few kinks, and I’m open to suggestions or requests, but I thought I’d share it with everyone. I hope you like it.

UPDATE 2/29/2012:

- Instalfred now plays nicely with multiple browsers running at once. It now considers what the frontmost application is, not just what applications are running (this caused an issue where it would always grab the URL from Safari first if it was running, thanks @MadeByJoe).

- Also added an error message when Instalfred is called on a non-browser window.

The Applescript is available on Github here: https://github.com/rxacevedo/alfred-to-instapaper

Or you can just grab the extension here: http://cl.ly/EeT3

A Useful Workflow

When I was working on my internship last summer, I had to create a lot of documents containing screenshots to document test cases. It was tedious at first, having to continuously print-screen and paste the images into Microsoft Word, but then I started to bring my MacBook Pro to work, so I got a little creative. I put together an extension for Alfred that let me whip up a PDF from a folder of images. I ran into a small problem though: the PDF would sometimes get created with the images in the wrong order. This is because OS X names screenshots based on date and time, which throws off the ordering (alphabetically, based on filenames). To overcome this issue, I used Hazel, an application (System Preferences pane, actually) that runs in the background and lets you specify various rules that get applied to files based on filters that you set. Its usefulness depends on how creative you get with it, but I used it for the aforementioned problem to rename screenshots sequentially and move them from my desktop into a separate folder in my Dropbox.

It’s a great workflow for the very specific problem that it addresses: take a bunch of screenshots, rename them in an orderly manner, and combine them into a PDF.

This cut my work time by over half because I didn’t have to manually rename the images or mess around with word. Fast, easy, and simple.

You can download the Alfred extension here: http://cl.ly/ETP6 

And you can download the Hazel rule here: http://cl.ly/ERlA

Note: the Hazel rule saves the screenshots to /Users/Roberto/Dropbox/Screenshots by default, feel free to change that or just recreate the rule yourself.

Also

This is my new blog. I feel like I should somehow christen it.

*christen*

Things Cloud Now in Public Beta -

This is great (for Cultured Code), but not compelling enough to make me switch from The Hit List. Potion Factory’s keyboard-driven approach is just too efficient for me to pass up.