Automating tasks in OS X is exceptionally useful, but while Apple has some options for scripting workflows, it does not offer many options to trigger them. Griffin's Proxi application may be the answer.
Being able to automate tasks is a very convenient option when using computer systems, which is one of the reasons why Apple included its Automator tool in OS X that can various scriptable tasks within applications and therefore do things like organize files and contacts, create documents with specific items in them, and manage calendar events.
While Automator and other scripting options like shell scripting or AppleScript are convenient, they are missing the triggering tool that will run them. Apple supplies its Apple Events options where you can have the system run a script when a folder's contents are changed, or on demand from an application like running an Automator workflow when an iCal alarm sounds, but other options require more details to get running. Apple's main scheduler in OS X is its launchd system launcher process, which can conditionally run various scripts or programs based on the user's or developer's needs; however, this option requires knowledge of launchd and familiarity with the Terminal to get running.
As a result of this complexity, many tasks in OS X that could be highly customized end up going unattended and requiring users to manually start them in order to get completed, but Griffin Technologies, which makes a number of peripheral devices for Mac OS and iOS systems, has a tool called Proxi that makes triggering scripted tasks far easier.
The tool is set up similar to Automator, where you create a list of triggers followed by tasks assigned to those triggers that will run when the trigger occurs. For instance, laptop users might wish to know if and when their system switches to battery power from wall power. While the power connector's light should be green or amber when connected, and the battery indicator in the menu bar should indicate whether the system is running on battery, these options are peripheral and can easily be overlooked. Instead of relying on them, you can set up a battery monitor trigger in Griffin Proxi that will display a bold notification window on screen about the power supply change. Here is how this is done:
After these steps have been completed, the setup is now done and disconnecting the power cable results in the notification showing up on the display. The tasks will only run if Proxi is left open on your system, which can be done by setting it to run at log-in in the program's preferences. In addition, you can make the program less intrusive when it is running by setting it to not show in the Dock and to have its menu bar display as a menu extra instead of on the main menu bar.
While in this example I discussed how to set up a trigger for battery notifications, you can use the program to set up multiple triggers for a number of different items, including scheduled tasks, folder monitoring, speech recognition and hot keys, application monitors, and even responses to input from infrared remotes for systems with these sensors.
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