FastScripts; My Favorite New Trick

FastScripts_from_red_sweater_software-20090907-234245I know it’s pricey for what it does and it’s definitely a tad on the geeky side but I absolutely had to support Red Sweater Software’s efforts for their little gem of an app, FastScripts. At first glance it’s little more then a way to organize, access and instigate your AppleScripts but it’s only once you tap into what that truly means that you start to realize what FastScripts is allowing you to tap into.

I first came to FastScripts when a blogger (who and for what blog I cannot remember) mentioned that it might help solve a problem I was having, issuing a hot-key combination to an AppleScript I wrote* to open a selected item (RapidWeaver theme package, project, php file, whatever…) in TextMate from my favorite file browser, Path Finder. You see this sort of thing used to be dead easy in QuickSilver (triggers, we used to call them), you enable proxy’s, grab the item, do what you want with it. But in my long struggle to ween myself off QuickSilver and all that it made it mighty, if not temper-mental, I found myself needing to script the things that QuickSilver took for granted. I actually enjoy this hands on dig through what makes Apple tick though.

So it was then that I discovered the magic of FastScripts and what it brought to the AppleScripting platform. It did what I needed, allowed me to assign an application specific hot-key combo to my Open-in-TextMate script. But it does more then the AppleScript menu ever allowed. It makes more sense, completely accessible with hot-keys and keyboard navigation, both global and application-specific shortcuts can be defined… It runs scripts fast and effectively, ties in exceedingly well with any app I’ve used it for, runs AppleScript, Perl, Automator workflows, etc… It just makes a lot of sense to me.

I might be a little script happy these days, but for as many hot-key combo’s as I can remember, I will gladly write AppleScripts for to help automate my day. Like this one for mounting and un-mounting hard disks when needed; instead of opening up DiskUtility and selecting a disk to mount or writing a few commands, I simply use a hot-key shortcut to run this script:

set diskname to "MyDisk"
    do shell script "diskutil mount `diskutil list | awk '/ " & diskname & " / {print $NF}'`"

* In the end I just ended up using Allan Craig’s Open-in-TextMate script as there was little point in reinventing the wheel… and his worked better.