Mac Stuff

Most of the information I include about using Macintosh computers will center around automation. I’ll probably put AppleScripts in my blog posts, and I’ll probably use this page as a repository for some basic automation functionality that can be useful for anyone who has a Mac.

One important automation feature for the Mac is the Automator application, supplied with every Mac system since Mac OS X 10.4. It’s useful to be able to create Automator workflows to help with Apps, but it’s also useful to know how to incorporate Automator to easily access the functionality of AppleScripts that you may already have or that you may encounter when searching for general solutions. It’s pretty simple to use Automator to give you access to your scripts through either a contextual menu choice or a keyboard shortcut, providing functionality that at one time was only achievable through the use of macro applications such as Keyboard Maestro or QuicKeys. Here’s the shortest complete documentation I could find (written by Ben Waldie, an extremely proficient Mac automation enthusiast) that explains how to use Automator to quickly deploy AppleScripts for many types of solutions.

Desktop Wrap is an application I wrote quite a while back to provide an easy way to  configure a login item that will customize the position of items on your Desktop. It was developed before Apple started charging an annual fee for full developer membership, so you have to bypass Gatekeeper to use it (so administrative access on your Mac is necessary), but that’s not too difficult to do, even in MacOS 10.12, Sierra. It might be helpful to view the Robservatory blog post that tells you how you can “jump through some hoops” to launch pre-App Store identified apps. Once you bypass Gatekeeper to launch it, you’ll be prompted to enable its ability to write files in the Accessibility item in the Security & Privacy prefpane.