MarkSchlegel.com

6. April 2014 04:51
by Mark Schlegel
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YouTube Playlists, Sesame Street, and Chromecast

6. April 2014 04:51 by Mark Schlegel | 0 Comments

I've been stuck in Toddler World for the last few months, albeit, loving every minute of it as my son grows older and smarter right before my very eyes. My wife and I have tried to introduce him to music as much as possible...pretty much since we knew she was pregnant. The little guy now restarts videos on YouTube when they are nearing completion. [BTW - YouTube needs an auto-replay feature.]  He's mesmerized by these videos; he'll run around and dance - we love watching him.  Once we learned he enjoyed these videos, we purchased a Chromecast so we could quickly and easily play them on our TV - it's been a godsend with a child so young.

Prior to my son's love of Sesame Steet and music videos, I never really used YouTube much.  Here was a typical monthly usage summary curtosy of Google's Activy Report.

Old Activity Report

Here is a more recent take:

Activity Report

Here's the main playlist that he loves.

In case anyone is interested in a few playlists for your kids, here are the one's we've been enjoying. We scoured YouTube for as many kid freindly ones we could find and stand to watch repeatedly. I will warn you, you may find a non-toddler video in there from time to time. After listening to "1, 2, 3, 4 Monsters walking across the floor..." so many times, you need a taste of "How you like me now" or "Time to Pretend".

1 hour 45 minutes of Sesame Street Music Videos
1 hour 20 minutes of Cookie Monster Videos
20 minutes of Sesame Street Music Videos
29 minutes of more Sesame Street Music Videos

26. April 2013 23:40
by Mark Schlegel
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Schedule Printing of Remember The Milk (RTM) Weekly Planner

26. April 2013 23:40 by Mark Schlegel | 0 Comments

Remember The Milk screenshotI am a faithful user of Remember The Milk.  I use it routinely for grocery lists, daily tasks, mid- and long-term reoccurring events, along with many other things list related .  A very useful companion to any Remember The Milk customer is the Android Widget.  The widgets are simple in that all they do is display the list and the due date next to it.  Any scroll through my Android's home screen will show at least 2 lists - Groceries and Due Today, Tomorrow, or Overdue.  The latter being a custom smart list that shows items based on the due date of the task.

Even with these awesome widgets, I still find myself getting behind on my task list.  I tend to ignore the general Due Today, Tomorrow, or Overdue task list (because it has so many overdue items).  Sure, I can easily reset a Due Date for the items, but I don't always to that.

So, to help with this problem, I've decided to start working with a printed version of the task list.  Remember the Milk offers a nice Weekly Planner feature.  I do not want to remember to print out the list of task, so I created a nice Auto Hotkey script that will do this for me, which follows.

run https://www.rememberthemilk.com/printplanner/mschlegel/

Sleep 8000

Send ^p

Sleep 2000

Send {enter}

Auto Hotkey comes with a quick ability to complie scripts into executables (.exe) files.  I did this with the short script shown above and created a Windows Schedule Task that simply runs the executable once a week - Sunday nights - before I start the week.

18. April 2013 22:42
by Mark Schlegel
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Using Auto Hotkey to Automate Quicken to Export a QIF File

18. April 2013 22:42 by Mark Schlegel | 0 Comments

I plan on switching away from Quicken, but not immediately.  I need to use whatever my new tool is along side Quicken for quite awhile before I will feel comfortable dropping Quicken.  It has so much of my financial history and I want to take as much of it with me as possible.  To do so, I plan on developing something that will import the .QIF that Quicken provides as the main export format.  I will continue to do data entry into Quicken until I feel comfortable.  So not to do duplicate data entry, I decided to automate the steps necessary to export the .QIF file.   

Quicken Export Screenshot

Auto Hotkey was my tool of choice.  If you've never used Auto Hotkey, it's a scripting tool that allows you to automate various things you do in Windows.  Best of all, the scripts you create can easily be converted into an executable file (.exe).  I basically call the Hotkeys provided by Quicken and send tabs a few times, as well as the path where I want the export to go.  I've attached the script if you want it, or just copy and paste the following code.  The script takes two parameters - any part of the title of the Quicken window and the name of the QIF File to Export to. 

;--------------------------------------------------------------------------
;Export Quicken Data to QIF
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
if 0 < 2  ; The left side of a non-expression if-statement is always the name of a variable.  

;%0% contains the number of command line parameters received
{
    MsgBox This script requires a parameter for the name of the Quicken window (e.g. Quicken 2013 Home & Business) and the name of the QIF File to Export to.

    ExitApp
}
 
IfWinExist, %1%;Quicken 2013 Home & Business
    WinActivate ;Bring the Quicken Window to the front
else
    ExitApp
 
 
 
Send !f; Ctrl+F
WinWait, PopupWindowTitle,, 3   ; Wait up to 3 seconds for the window to appear.
Send e
WinWait, PopupWindowTitle,, 3; Wait up to 3 seconds for the window to appear.
Send {enter}
 
Sleep 2000
 
Send %2% ; Send the second parameter provided as the name of the QIF file to Export to
 
Send {tab}
Sleep 300
Send {tab}
Sleep 300
Send {tab}
Sleep 300
Send {tab}
Sleep 300
Send {tab}
Sleep 300
 
;  Ideally I would like to check the various "Include in Export" checkboxes.
;  Transactions, Account List, Category List, etc.
;  I'm not investing the time now because the current version of Quicken saves
;  preferences of which boxes were last checked.
;  so instead we're just tabbing past them.
 
Send {tab}
Sleep 300
Send {tab}
Sleep 300
Send {tab}
Sleep 300
Send {tab}
Sleep 300
Send {tab}
Sleep 300
Send {tab}
Sleep 300
 
Send {enter}
 
WinWait, PopupWindowTitle,, 3
Send {enter}

AutoHotkey.ahk (2.93 kb)

22. October 2012 21:55
by Mark Schlegel
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Automate “Driving Mode” with Bluetooth Connections

22. October 2012 21:55 by Mark Schlegel | 0 Comments

Driving Mode

My new favorite feature of my Galaxy S III is Driving Mode.  Driving Mode will read incoming text messages out loud to you.  The guy in the video below briefly goes over the features, how to turn it on and off, as well as mess with the settings.  I don’t want to rehash those parts here (and I don’t necessarily agree with his pessimistic outlook about the functionality), but what I do want to do is tell you (and my future-self) how to automate turning this functionality on and off using Tasker and Driving Mode Widget…so read on!

Bluetooth!

I’ve been using Bluetooth devices for a few years now.  Motorola’s S10-HD Bluetooth Headphones are awesome!  I used the S9 version, only to upgrade to S10 after the S9 version got wet.  These headphones are great – first and foremost - no wires!!!  Easy access to volume controls, forward, play/pause, and rewind buttons!  Oh – and they’re rechargeable – so no batteries!  They’re great for cubicle work and walking around!

I also have a stereo in my car that has Bluetooth built in.  This is very nice, especially for all of the podcasts for which I subscribe.  I don’t really care for using it for phone calls – the caller on the other end never seems to be able to hear me.

Tasker!

If you want to automate your life, Tasker is the tool for you!  Task for Android allows you to automate your Android settings and apps, based on basically event changes.  Events are state changes – for example

  • Bluetooth earphones are connected or disconnected.
  • Wired earphones are plugged in or unplugged.
  • Specific WiFi signal is connected to.
  • A specific location is entered or exited.

Some of the settings and app functions that can be automated are

  • Set media volume level
  • Set ringer volume level
  • Display an image
  • Send a text message

Here are some links to Tasker if you want more information:

Automate this!

One of the more advanced features of Tasker is to send Intents to Activities.  This is done by Misc->Send Intent.  The Driving Mode Widget exposes an Activity that Tasker can call!  Here’s the help information provided by Driving Mode Widget, from what I hear, it’s case sensitive:

  • Method: Broadcast
  • Package: com.arnab.drivingmode
  • Class:  com.arnab.drivingmode.DWidget
  • Action: _drv_on or _drv_off

shot_000008       shot_000010

15. September 2012 10:28
by Mark Schlegel
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Keyboard Shortcuts

15. September 2012 10:28 by Mark Schlegel | 0 Comments

Lately I’ve been making an extra special effort to learn keyboard shortcuts.  As I’ve learned new ones, I’ve been taking notes on them within Microsoft OneNote.  Thinking that these may be useful to other folks, I’ve decided to share it using Microsoft’s SkyDrive Public Document features.

For now, some of the programs I'm concentrating on are Visual Studio (and ReSharper), Microsoft Office products, GMail, and Eclipse. I'll add more programs as I use them and learn more shortcuts. Contact me directly if you would like the ability to edit the Notebook.

Lastly, since I'm on the topic of keyboard shortcuts, there's a nice tool called Keyrocket (by Vedoin) that assists users in learning keyboard shortcuts while you type. It pops a toast message in the bottom right corner of your screen when you perform something using the mouse that you could have performed using a keyboard shortcut.