Last week's Gadget generated quite a bit of feedback, with folks suggesting other utilities which can help automate common tasks. Fellow Observer Derrick Donnelly pointed us towards T-Minus Ten. Like last week's Gadget, QuickPop, it can map keystrokes to certain tasks. But this is where the similarity ends. Amazingly, T-Minus Ten can perform these tasks without having to press any keys at all...
Installation is a snap. The first time you double-click on the program's icon, the T-Minus Ten Extension will be installed. This is used to activate tasks which are activated by a schedule rather than a keystroke. You can then use the application to start or stop the program, define tasks, view the activity log, and set preferences.
You can define a task as either the launching of an application or document, or running an AppleScript. The trigger for the task can be selected from a wide variety of options, including one or more specific times, a certain amount of time after system startup, at system shutdown, after a certain amount of idle time, the pressing of a key, or the mouse pointer entering a certain area of the screen.
The log will show each task that has been attempted, and the outcome of the attempt. The preferences allow you to fine-tune the behavior of the package, such as sounds to play, the size of the log file, how to deal with tasks when the computer isn't on, and what to do when the system is otherwise busy.
The potential of this package is very cool. Although the keyboard mapping alone is nice, the scheduling and AppleScript abilities are what makes this package shine. For anyone who'd like their Mac to perform a certain task while they're away, T-Minus Ten is the way to go.
Define Tasks and Triggers in a Wide Variety of Ways
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John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at