Dull tasks? Automate them!

Isn’t it great that you can script anything in an open source OS such as Linux/Ubuntu? Dcop rules. A good reason not to use windows (for me that is). If you still bound to win32, here’s a great band-aid for this lack of ‘scriptability’:

Imagine the perfect piece of software to automate all your dull, repetitive tasks. It exists, and I think that the best one is this: autohotkey. Not because I evaluated all of them, but just because it’s (more or less) perfect.

  • It’s easy to understand,
  • it has extensive scripting capabilities,
  • can respond to hotkeys,
  • monitor the clipboard and do useful stuff in the background,
  • it’s versatile
  • and you can make simple EXE files of your end-product.
  • Did I say it is free, as in Open Source and as in does not cost a penny?!

My significant other was typing over long questionnaires from a printed .csv file into a windows application. Now that’s dull… The questionnaires were about 500 yes/no questions. This was about 20 minutes of work to automate this. The file now even parses, checks the CSV for consistency, opens up the right program. Yay!

[edit]
At my girlfriend’s company they liked the time-savings so much that they asked me to make a more extensive version (supporting more programs), and they rewarded me nicely. It’s now saving them many (bored) man-hours every week and reducing the chance of mistakes!
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1 Response

  1. Hi Andy, don’t I know you? 🙂

    It was a real discovery to me, since I usually don’t look for solutions to make windows more usable. I simply stopped using it when I knew I could work better under linux. My company sponsors wine so people can keep using some win32 apps under linux.