OS X 10.4.6 Update

Apple has released OS X 10.4.6. This update “resolves potential issues with several iPhoto Automator actions, such as Import Photos into iPhoto,” and “EXIF data is now exported with TIFF images in Aperture.”


Automator Adopts New Mascot

Internal builds of OS X 10.5 indicate Apple is quietly rolling out a new “mascot” for Automator. Automator 2.0 is dropping the beloved Otto robot icon for that of The Terminator.

According to seed notes, this change is “to help Automator appeal to a broader audience,” based on market research which indicates that “hardcore Mac scripters are more receptive to ‘totalitarian futuristic robot assassins than cutesy little Twiki-looking things.'” OS X 10.5 is due by the end of 2006.


Interarchy 8.0 Apes Automator

Interarchy, a long-time favorite Mac FTP/SFTP client, has just been updated to version 8.0, sporting three Automator actions: List URLs, Download URLs and Upload Files. It also appears to hold the honor of being the first 3rd party application to mimic the Automator interface (with less bugginess, one hopes.) (Via Daring Fireball.)


Sound Studio 3.0.3 Released

Freeverse has released Sound Studio 3.0.3, which includes nine Automator actions: Amplify, Compress Dynamics, Expand Dynamics, Get Sound Studio Document, Normalize, Open Files With Sound Studio, Save Sound Studio Documents, Sound Studio and Split By Markers. Sound Studio was one of the first really good audio apps for OS X, considered by many the spiritual successor to the great Sound Edit 16.


Set a Course for Adventure…

Geek Cruises has announced that MacMania V is set to sail on October 28th through November 4th. Along with a host of other seminars, Rob Griffiths will be presenting “Working with Automator”. So if you’re looking to justify an exotic South American cruise to your boss, reserve a berth today.


Automator at the Olympics

A number of blogs have reported on the use of Apple technology at the recently completed 2006 Torino Winter Olympics. New York Times photographer Vincent Laforet is featured in a Pro/Photo profile, which details how Automator played a part: More »


iMagine Photo Turns Universal

Yarra Valley Software has released iMagine Photo 2.1.4, a Universal Binary update to their Applescript imaging environment. This update bundles the previously separately available Automator actions, and sports a number of bug fixes. iMagine Photo is a free download.


Applescript Pro Sessions Take Manhattan (well, nearby anyway)

For the first time ever, The Applescript Pro Sessions are coming to the New York Metro region, running May 8-12 in Secaucus, New Jersey at the Meadowlands Marriot Courtyard. As someone who spent years taking the bus from the Port Authority to the Meadowlands (Go Devils!), I can tell you it’s an easy and fast trip from Manhattan. More »


Fetch is Universal

Fetch Softworks has released Fetch 5.1b1 (download), a public beta of their popular S/FTP software. Fetch 5.1b1 is compiled as Universal Binary to support the awkwardly named Intel-based Macs. It also includes an extensive group of Automator Actions, including Convert Fetch Item to URL, Delete Fetch Items, Download Fetch Items, Get Fetch Folder Contents and Upload Files.


Macworld Automator Sessions

Ben Waldie, president of Automated Workflows, LLC, and author of the Mac OS X Technology Guide to Automator, will moderate several Automator-related sessions at Macworld Conference and Expo 2006 in San Francisco. More »


Automator Wins Eddy Award

For its annual Eddy Awards, Macworld has selected Automator as a winner in its Top Productivity Boosters category:

“Apple’s Automator, built into OS X 10.4, puts AppleScripting power into the hands of users who feel weak-kneed at the thought of script-writing. A few relatively simple click-and-drag operations let you build your own commands; even better, you can turn these commands into programs that you can easily reuse or put on a pop-up menu in the Finder.”


Aperture Automator Actions

Aperture is in users hands now, and the reviews are a bit mixed, to put it mildly. But hey, it wouldn’t be the first time a 1.0 didn’t live up to the hype. Aperture comes preloaded with a set of Automator actions: Retrieve Item References, Store Item References, Assign Keywords to Images, Export Images, Set Image Rating, Set IPTC Tags, Choose Albums, Choose Projects and Import Photos. Assuming you aren’t obsessing over the quality of Aperture’s raw conversion, these actions should be handy in enhancing your imaging workflow.

Hints & Tips

Hide Running Automator Applications

From MacOSXHints: “…choose the Automator plugin that you want to remain hidden while it runs, control-click on it, and choose Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu. Inside the Contents folder, open up Info.plist, and change LSUIElement from No to Yes (if using Property List Editor) — or change the line after the LSUIElement key line to (if using a text editor). Save Info.plist. More »

Hints & Tips

Troubleshooting Workflows

Macworld has posted a brief article on steps to troubleshoot workflow creation. One helpful tip is to pause your workflow:

“If one of your workflows takes its sweet time, you might want Automator to notify you when some part of it has completed. The trick is to insert the Automator: Ask For Confirmation action after the relevant part of the workflow, forcing Automator to pause the entire workflow at that point. (You can also use the Ask For Confirmation action to pause your workflow so you can make changes to whatever it’s working on.)”


LinoType FontExplorer X Makes Me Happy

Many readers of this site are graphic design professionals, and I haven’t met a one who doesn’t have, to put it mildly, font issues. Recently I installed LinoType FontExplorer X, and within five minutes of launch I came to the conclusion that it is, and I say this without reservation, the best font management application I have ever used. And it’s free. More »