How To Create a Ram Drive Using Keyboard Maestro

While it may not be common on most computers, I am a fan of using a RAM drive. For my work Mac, this is where all my music plays from. I also play desktop videos such as beach scenes to create a festive atmosphere. I use the RAM drive to save wear on the spinning disk. Although I have a 3TB data drive for the purpose, there is no reason to play 8 hours of music, all day, every day, from a disk when memory is more efficient. In order to create a RAM drive, you need a lot of RAM. Setting one up on an 8GB machine will lead to tears. Lots of RAM is one of the reasons I love these older model Mac Pros. I can allocate 6-8GB of RAM without issue. Although it’s a rarity, when the Mac needs to reboot, such as a security update, the RAM drive disappears. After the reboot, the RAM drive […]

Prompt for User Input in Keyboard Maestro

One of the great things about Keyboard Maestro is the ability to design a UI for your macro. Using the `Prompt for User Input` block, the macro can be dynamic in how it works, or perform different functions based on user choice. The prompt can contain an entry field, checkbox, dropdown, or buttons selections. The result is stored in a variable. I have several macros with prompts, such as the size of a RAM drive, the number of times to click the mouse, a folder name, and what to rename a file. Those results are then used later in the macro or passed to the shell to move files, or create volumes. A broad list of examples can be found at the Keyboard Maestro Wiki: Keyboard Maestro- Prompt for User Input The following examples are the ones I use most: Text field: Variable and default value Checkbox: Variable and 0|1 indicating checked or not (value must be 0 or 1, […]

Building a Simple Workflow With Keyboard Maestro

Building a Keyboard Maestro workflow is a great way to save time and make a consistent work environment. I trigger several workflows for writing, SQL, and automation development. This creates consistency by having all my tools laid out in front of me before I begin. Let’s use my Journal workflow as an example. Before I begin writing, several things need to happen. I need to open and mount the DMG file that contains my .scriv file. I need to start Scrivener and load that file. I start Wordweb so I have a dictionary and thesaurus at the ready. I also start TextSoap for text cleaning. They are simple steps, but when you pick each apart, there are multiple actions taking place. Here is the breakdown: – Open Finder, navigate to the Dropbox folder, open the Scrivener folder, then load the DMG. – Once the DMG is open, select the .scriv file inside and load it. – Open Launchpad, find Wordweb […]

Creating an Automated Job to Empty the Trash in Keyboard Maestro

Each Friday, I like to tidy up my machine before turning it off for the weekend. This includes several maintenances tasks including emptying the Trash. Like a real trashcan, why leave it sit? With Keyboard Maestro, this becomes an automated task. With one code block, the trash can be emptied on a schedule. There is no need for me to remember. No need to switch apps. No need to accept a confirmation prompt. As you can see from the screenshot, the Trigger is set to At Time. Since this is for my home machine, I have this set for 7:45PM each Friday. The one at work is set for 3:00PM. As long as the machine is turned on and I’m logged in, the macro will run. And come on, who isn’t logged into their at 7:45 on a Friday night? The next block of the macro is the small piece of AppleScript it takes to empty the Trash. It’s job […]

Getting Started With Keyboard Maestro

Before getting on board with a tool like Keyboard Maestro, it's common to say, "I don't have anything to automate." Actually, working on automation is the old chicken and egg scenario. You don't have an automation tool because you aren't working on automation. However, you aren't working on automation because you don't have an automation tool. You need to look at it from a different angle. I'm sure you've had this experience, you only notice how many blue cars are on the road right after you buy one. The same is true for automation. Once you have the right tool, you see all the ways it can be used. You notice the repetitive tasks. You see this is the third time you've done this job. Each week you clean out the Download folder the same way. There are multiple tasks to be automated. Automation macros don't have to be grand programs. They can be simple, one hit wonders. In fact, […]