Why to automate
Automation is saving time and is best way to protect yourself from forgetting. I use also automation of small tasks as a delegation. I delegate some of my tasks to my PC.
The advantages of are:
- The PC never forgets
- The PC is never wrong :) - only human programs and algorithms do.
- I can do something else while my tedious or boring tasks are done
- Huge tasks can be done effortlessly - Once we had to convert more than 10000 pics, to do some changes, to rename the file according to some needs and to categorize them. Time for the program: 4 hours and 2 hours tests. The processing took about 1 hour and 1 hour to verify the results. I can't imagine if we had to do it manually what time we had to spent and the errors.
- You can reuse the automated tasks
You can use Task Scheduler(example for windows 7 - it may also be called 'Scheduled Tasks' you can find it located in the Control Panel.):
- Create new task
After that is really straightforward:
- first you need to give the "trigger" - when to start the task:
- based on time frequency
- event - computer start, login etc
- one time - you can run it manually later (select the task and start it from the context menu);
- next is to set up the program that will be run:
- start a program - you can put a command and parameters - for example run music every hours and give as parameters this song.
- send a mail
- display a message
You can use crontab(depending on the distribution - in this example I'm using Ubuntu 14):
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install cron
- set up
- create new job(per user) by
crontab -e [username]
- add tasks
If the command runs properly, a text editor will appear. Now you can add your commands to the crontab file. To run python script every five minutes:
*/5 * * * * python /home/user/test.py
*/5 * * * * /home/user/test.sh
- save the text file - depending on the text editor that is used - id could be ctrl + X and then Y or something else. The is to read the instructions.
Read more about it on the following pages: Wikipedia: crontab
.---------------- minute (0 - 59) | .------------- hour (0 - 23) | | .---------- day of month (1 - 31) | | | .------- month (1 - 12) OR jan,feb,mar, | | | | .---- day of week (0 - 6) (Sunday=0 or 7) OR sun,mon,tue.. | | | | | * * * * * command to be executed