Remember that time you had to do the same thing 400 times on your computer? It was probably pretty boring and tedious. The bad news: that’s how computers work. Do lots of boring stuff a whole bunch of times until you get what you want. The good news: there’s a program for that.
AutoIT has been around for a long time and it’s not very well known. However, it’s hugely useful if you’re willing to take the time to learn it. This easy to learn scripting language can automate virtually everything you do on your computer. Yesterday I used it to upload 900 files through a program that would only let me access 1 file at a time. I setup a script in about 15 minutes and over night the job was done. There’s nothing I like more than using technology to make my life easier.
Here are some details from their website.
“AutoIt v3 is a freeware BASIC-like scripting language designed for automating the Windows GUI and general scripting. It uses a combination of simulated keystrokes, mouse movement and window/control manipulation in order to automate tasks in a way not possible or reliable with other languages” more…
Now that you know what you’re missing, there’s a great tool for actually creating this stuff. It hadn’t been update for almost 2 years until this month! It’s called AutoIt Debugger and it’s worth it’s weight in software. I guess it probably doesn’t weigh anything. It’s just really useful.
Setup takes a bit of patience but it’s a small price to pay for all the time saving. If you want to start playing, here’s the Download page and
getting started instructions. (The getting started link is no longer functional)
Continuing with the theme of remote control software this one works in reverse from Synergy. Instead of reducing the number of input methods were going to add one that you already keep in your pocket.
This handy little app installs right on your smart phone and adds support for controlling your computer from across the room. This makes it ideal for watching TV in bed when you don’t want to get up. Ideal for all those times when Netflix demands that you hit “continue playing” right in the middle of the episode.
With this app you need to think big. They’ve added a variety of custom remotes in addition to just basic keyboard and mouse control. Connect your laptop to your speakers and use the media remote to control volume and play controls from anywhere in your house. No need to be able to see the computer so feel free to hide that old laptop away in your media cabinet and use Unified Remote as your only mouse and keyboard.
It can connect through the wifi or bluetooth and it automatically detects your computer so setup is super easy. Just install the software on your computer and on your android phone.
There’s a full version as well if you like supporting the dev’s.
Over the coming days I’m going to do a series on software that you really should know about. There’s tons of amazingly useful apps that can dramatically improve the way you use your computer. Some of this stuff is so good it seems like it should be bundled with the operating system. First up:
Most people don’t even know they need this software. I’m picking them first because they asked me for help spreading the word and frankly, the software is awesome.
What it does: shares one mouse and keyboard across all your computers seamlessly. Most people have embraced the concept of multiple monitors. The productivity improvements are super apparent. Well the same is true for this. Take that spare laptop you have sitting around from ages ago and put it to work.
All you have to do is install Synergy on both computers and you will be able to move your mouse from one screen onto the other. It’s all wireless and you just added processor capacity to your work space. Synergy is literally the first thing I install on any new computer. You probably wont need it all the time, but when you do, it’s there waiting.