A few weeks before Christmas, I was given a Leopard install disc to play with. A few days later I found a fantastic deal on an iMac through Craigslist, and finally upgraded my desktop workstation from an ancient G3 built in 1999 to a maxed out 17″ G5. Good grief, what a difference. Apart from a loud fan and a tendency to spit CDs out the side slot like a pissed-off llama, the iMac has been perfect. And playing around with Leopard has been educational; there’s lots of new features and upgrades to the system that I love.

One of the things I got excited about was Automator 2.0. I’d like to be able to use Automator in Leopard to make my life easier, now that I’ve got a faster workstation. I have a laundry list of specialized workflows I’d love to be able to script, not only for me but for my consulting clients, for example: A folder action that wakes up, scrubs newly added fonts through Font Doctor and adds them to Font Agent Pro in a new set when they are dropped into a specific folder. (In my experience, Font Doctor’s Automator action does not recognize single fonts and instead runs a check of all fonts on the hard drive. Annoying.)

I’ve already created one with the built-in actions that ship with Transmit to back up all files on this site on a recurring date in iCal and then email me upon completion. This is how it should work: easy, intuitive, functional.

However, I’m finding that simple tasks that should be easy are not easy at all—like connecting to a server on a local network. Now that I’ve got two machines again, I’d like to set up an action that keeps specific files on both machines synchronized. Sounds simple, right? Nope. Using the “Connect to Servers” action presents me with an action that has no inputs: I can’t specify what server I want to connect to, or figure out how to do so. From the looks of things, I need to have a server pre-chosen somehow. Where? How?

Why is this so hard? And where is the documentation? Lazyweb has no helpful links yet.

Date posted: January 1, 2008 | Filed under geek | Comments Off on Automator 2.0.

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