148 posts tagged with automation.
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If this then what else?

How do you automate your work and your workflows? [more inside]
posted by rippersid on Oct 1, 2015 - 5 answers

Are there rules for coin choice in returning change from machines?

A person on FaceBook has pondered why self-service checkouts always return two 20p and one 10p coin (UK obviously) as opposed to a single 50P coin. Which led me to wonder - is there a general approach for choice of returned coins in programming coin-operated machines? Do you get rid of the lower-value shrapnel first? Or do you try to strike a balance somehow to ensure availability of most combinations of returned values?
posted by GallonOfAlan on Jul 3, 2015 - 8 answers

Need to analyze words within 800+ ppt decks - shortcuts?

I have a set of 800+ powerpoint decks. I'm looking to identify which ones have certain search terms -- say, "aardvarks" or do not include certain terms -- say, "tigers". Ideally, I'd get an excel spreadsheet with the file names and how many times "aardvarks" appeared, and another list of file names where "tigers" did not appear. Is there a tool to do this so that I don't have to open all 800+ individually?
posted by emkelley on May 5, 2015 - 13 answers

Generating photo captions from EXIF data and posting them to tumblr

I have a tumblr that I post images to and my backlog of images is piling up because it's a boring slog to post them all. I want to come up with a way to automate the boring parts so that I can focus on the fun parts (taking and categorizing the photos) instead of dreading the process of uploading them all. Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by metaphorever on Apr 20, 2015 - 4 answers

Recommendations for door bell cameras/intercoms

My mother and I live in the same house. She is on the main floor and me and my family are on the top two floors. When the doorbell rings we want to know who is there so that the right person can answer the door. How do we make this happen?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm on Mar 31, 2015 - 9 answers

Scantron Is Not An Option

Is there a way to create a Google Forms quiz which will grade itself and email or text me the results? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jan 29, 2015 - 9 answers

Is there a semi-automatic program for replying to emails?

My users fill out out a form that includes their name. It gets forwarded to my gmail account. I want to scan their email myself, then press a hotkey, and automatically generate one of ten replies (content based on the form fields) that includes their first name. Is there a piece of software that does this? If not, there's your startup idea.
posted by markcmyers on Jan 27, 2015 - 7 answers

Whole-house automation

I've just bought a lovely new house, and I'll need to rewire the 2nd and 3rd floors and replace the mains, at the very least. Might as well move up to a 200A breaker box, while I'm at it. And I'd like to automate as much as possible, but for multiple reasons I dislike/distrust wireless systems. X10 questions after the fold... [more inside]
posted by IAmBroom on Jan 19, 2015 - 10 answers

Square + IFTTT(?) + ____ = When should I close up shop?

I run a small arts venue with a bar that operates during events. We don't have a fixed "closing time," and we encourage people to hang around after events if they are continuing to make purchases. I'd like to receive a "smart" notification when it's time to send my bartender home. [more inside]
posted by myrrh on Jan 17, 2015 - 8 answers

Getting in to manufacturing

I work as a software engineer, mostly full-stack javascript (nodejs/angular) and a bit of C#. I briefly worked in aerospace. I've long enjoyed watching videos of assembly line, pick-place machines, etc. How could I move into writing software in the manufacturing industry? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 13, 2015 - 5 answers

Code & instructions needed to shutdown/boot up Linux Mint automatically

Hello everyone. I've put together a new Intel NUC and have installed Linux Mint 17.1. I need the machine to be able to do a few things automatically. I need it to power off at 10pm every day. I also need it to power on at 7am every day. [more inside]
posted by Jackie_Treehorn on Jan 8, 2015 - 4 answers

How do I (Home) Automate?

I'm in the process of building a very small unit, with the idea that comfort is about more than size. Part of this means that eventually, I would like to automate my entire home easily (and maybe from a distance). There are many systems out there, and I would like some recommendations please. [more inside]
posted by ethidda on Dec 29, 2014 - 3 answers

Remote doorbel camera gate opener

Looking for a intercom and remote gate opener with control via the internet on a iPhone / iPad. [more inside]
posted by Mac-Expert on Nov 18, 2014 - 4 answers

How do I automate web form-entry tasks?

I have a pretty simple but repetitive task: From a starting spreadsheet, I have to input information from each row into a web form. The web form generates .pdf files, which are downloaded and need to be renamed based on data from the spreadsheet. What software can I use for a task like this? What approaches can I take for automating this and similar tasks in the future? [more inside]
posted by LSK on Nov 14, 2014 - 6 answers

Must automate, ASAP.

Dear Metafilter, I need to automate some tasks at work, and I'd like to make it happen quickly. [more inside]
posted by schooley on Aug 29, 2014 - 13 answers

Automators against automation?

I am looking for research on, or organizing around, the ethics and social fallout of automation from the standpoint of the workers doing the automating (i.e., computer programmers and allied trades). [more inside]
posted by enn on Aug 14, 2014 - 7 answers

Quantified self for writers

Inspired by this article, I'd like to track and monitor my writing. [more inside]
posted by fonzie on Jul 3, 2014 - 3 answers

Does this software/web service exist?

I'm starting a blog, and I have this hunch that perhaps a service or program exists out there that allows you to: 1) Write, format, and save blog posts, as well as mark them as "ready" to publish, and 2) Automate publishing those ready posts chronologically onto your blog at a fixed rate or alternatively by selecting a publishing date and time for every post marked as ready. The theory being, I could write as many posts as I want on a given day, but schedule and automate their publishing. Does this sort of thing exist? [more inside]
posted by Taft on Jun 23, 2014 - 7 answers

Identify this half remembered parable

I have a half remembered parable about the outcomes of automation of work, that is as stated, half remembered. I'd like to make that memory whole and know the source. [more inside]
posted by borkencode on May 7, 2014 - 2 answers

Help me Automate my new apartment/townhome

I am looking for ways to simplify/automate my apartment. Things like automatic lighting, automatic fridge contents lists, everything turning on/playing music when I enter my apartment, and any other household hacks. I don't have android OS. [more inside]
posted by bbqturtle on Mar 18, 2014 - 12 answers

Technical writing... by robots?

I saw a somewhat blogspammy news article the other day (regrettably, I cannot remember where, and google is failing me) which listed the top ten or twenty professions that would be eliminated by automation in the next twenty years. Among them were ones I would expect: telemarketing, retail sales, etc. Nothing surprising there. And then they threw technical writing into the mix. My question is, how could software automate technical writing? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Mar 17, 2014 - 12 answers

Journals of Autocorrection

Can you point me to resources that deal with the thresholds that computers use to overwrite authorial intent? I'm interested in the boundaries between automatic correction and untrammeled thumbs.
posted by Bistle on Mar 2, 2014 - 2 answers

How can I automate my new year's resolutions?

I have a number of goals, not quite new year's resolutions exactly, but the new year is getting me going on implementing them. They include reading more, running more, staying on top of current events, continuing to study French, listening to more new-to-me music, things like that. None of these are measurable or "SMART" goals, and that's the way I want it--I want this stuff to become a habit, not a chore. How can I automate these goals so that they are more likely to just happen? [more inside]
posted by payoto on Dec 29, 2013 - 15 answers

I want to control lights and/or thermostat with my phone, from anywhere.

It seems like all the home automation device/app combos allow me to only control my lights or devices while inside my house where, you know, I can actually just walk over to them and turn them on and off already. [more inside]
posted by sandra_s on Sep 12, 2013 - 11 answers

Simplest way to generate many chart images from a csv?

I have been looking at Chartbuilder and d3.js as a means to generate chart images for clients. We make them a video and instream advertise it. We report monthly impressions and views of the video. What would be the best way to present this data? [more inside]
posted by andendau on Aug 24, 2013 - 6 answers

How to set up this sort of automation on a MAC

A friend needs to sign his homeschooled child into "school" every day online. There are three or 4 steps: click this link, then click this link, then certify attendance etc I dont understand automator or apple scripts at all. I this likely something I can help them with easily so as to avoid this headache? Running 10.6.8 if that matters
posted by dougiedd on Aug 4, 2013 - 4 answers

Any automated way to print and stuff envelopes?

What is the cost for a machine that stuffs regular-size papers (8.5x11 and A4) into an envelope (folded) or larger manilla envelope (no folding)? Any tips on how to get one used/for the lowest possible price?
posted by jsturgill on Jul 30, 2013 - 8 answers


I'd like to install some home automation/home monitoring hardware in an apartment. [more inside]
posted by A god with hooves, a god with horns on Jul 27, 2013 - 6 answers

Is there a mac application that will cut a movie into clips of X length?

I want to give it a video and say "cut this into clips of 30 seconds/10 minutes/whatever" and have it spit out the clips as movie files. Is there an OS X app that can do this? Or some way to do it with automator? [more inside]
posted by ejfox on Jul 10, 2013 - 3 answers

How to talk about skills gained unethically during a job interview

I'm applying for a job in automation software development but from what I have on my resume, I've only touched upon the subject. However, what my resume doesn't mention is that I was active in the Warcraft botting community developing profiles and behaviors and made programs that botted various online games, surveys, and web forms. I'd be very happy to "go legit" as it were and use my skills for good, but mentioning that I have a good background in automation would prompt questions of specific examples and I don't know how I could talk about it without sounding like an unethical person.
posted by anonymous on Jun 12, 2013 - 19 answers

Time-lapse camera automation

What's the easiest way to set up a time-lapse camera that takes a picture at regular intervals over the course of many months (and possibly years)? [more inside]
posted by antonymous on Apr 1, 2013 - 12 answers

Background Gmail automation, what program(s) to use?

I want to write a script to automatically check for new emails with a certain gmail label, then check the message body for a link containing a certain keyword or phrase and click on it. The logic part should be easy, but what program(s) should I be using for this? Requirements... [more inside]
posted by querty on Mar 13, 2013 - 7 answers

How to automate 4 different web searches for the same query?

I'm learning a language (Hungarian) and I look up new words in a bunch of websites (2 dictionaries, Google images inside of Google Translate, Forvo.com). In general, I just copy and paste each word into the URLs, but there must be some way of clicking a button and searching all four websites at once. Is there? [more inside]
posted by sdis on Jan 27, 2013 - 5 answers

Automated PDF modification

Is there an automated way of placing elements from one PDF file into another? Open to coding this via Python if a relevant module exists. [more inside]
posted by mnemonic on Dec 17, 2012 - 4 answers

What Options Exist for Keyless Entry for Front Door Deadbolts

Are there any deadbolts that feature keyless entry using a fob instead of a number pad? I've seen several locks with number pads, but they look pretty ugly. I'd like a deadbolt that is as streamlined looking as possible, but that can be opened with a proximity sensor or button on a key fob instead of a key. This is for a front door.
posted by willnot on Nov 20, 2012 - 5 answers

Automated screengrabbing

I need to take regular full-screen screenshots of around 12 different webpages that all have similarly formatted URLs. Is there software that makes this easy, and preferably automates it? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Sep 13, 2012 - 3 answers

What's the best way to migrate from local to IMAP in Thunderbird?

I need to migrate about 5gb+ of email from the local folders in Thunderbird to IMAP in Thunderbird. There are a lot of folders and a lot of subfolders, and migrating them "manually" has really been a pain in the ass. I've got about a third of the folders over, but I'd love to hear a better solution that will actually keep the folder structure in place correctly, not randomly. Perhaps there's an add-on for this? Cheers.
posted by gman on May 25, 2012 - 3 answers

How to automate a dynamic web page using VBA?

Help me automate some of my work involving taking values in a spreadsheet and plugging them into a website with dynamically generated content. [more inside]
posted by Reverend John on May 9, 2012 - 6 answers

Help me automate a workflow

Automator/macro/scripting help: Is there a way to automate a series of keystrokes, initiated by a command that I create? Running Mac OS 10.7.3. [more inside]
posted by slogger on Apr 13, 2012 - 9 answers

Help a Python newbie out!

Programming noobfilter: I have a Python script that does some things to a proxy log file: it can count and rank the top 20 urls accessed, users and source IPs. Three further problems and code inside: [more inside]
posted by monocot on Mar 6, 2012 - 10 answers

Search Automation

Librarianfilter: (How) Can I automate comparing the Fiction Core Collection with our catalog? [more inside]
posted by naturalog on Jan 26, 2012 - 4 answers

Automatic PowerPoint Formatting Approaches?

I need to automate the format of outline-based information into slide presentations, given some simple rules. I can code. I have some ideas. What options am I missing? [more inside]
posted by Alterscape on Dec 31, 2011 - 4 answers

Is there a way to make this easier? I'll be doing it for the next twenty years or so...

How can I automate email or text notifications to myself that any given employee's certification is a month away from expiring? [more inside]
posted by mireille on Dec 29, 2011 - 15 answers

Version control with automated deployment?

I'd like to start using source control for a website, with automated, one-click (or close to it) deployment. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Dec 18, 2011 - 19 answers

And then there were none.

Knowing full well I will be pilloried for this: We have a library at work (13,000 mostly-technical books and about 100 active periodical subscriptions, 200 users), but the 1 full-time librarian will retire in 2012 and a new hire is not going to happen ... What's next? (please read the questions inside) [more inside]
posted by whatzit on Dec 8, 2011 - 12 answers

Automate this form!

Endless paperwork! How do I automate filling out a .doc form? Challenge: cannot involve downloading/installing any new software [more inside]
posted by Wretch729 on Oct 5, 2011 - 5 answers

How can I create a hand-made digital timer?

I want to create a digital timer to run a motor and activate three solenoids in a particular sequence and for particular durations. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Sep 28, 2011 - 9 answers

Where my army of robots?

I'd like to automate the creation of online exercises on my company's platform (as in: automatically generated matching, multiple choice, highlighting activities). [more inside]
posted by mammary16 on Sep 12, 2011 - 2 answers

trying to automatically click items on a webpage. but how?

trying to automatically click items on a webpage. but how? [more inside]
posted by krautland on Aug 23, 2011 - 8 answers

Need help designing an OSX based solution to help manage my 85 year old Dad

We'd like to use our OSX-populated home network to automate a bulletin board solution for my Dad. If you can suggest OSX-based tools to do this, it'll help me learn OSX and become a better person! (more Mac-y) [more inside]
posted by kalessin on Aug 16, 2011 - 8 answers

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