Applications for the Mac come and go. I suspect that some of the apps we use today will still be around in a few years, while others (Microsoft Office, I’m looking at you) will die a slow, lingering death amidst a growing dearth of usage. In between the Mac apps we know and love, and those we’d love not to have to use, are little utilities that appear as if they’re built in to your Mac in OS X.
Tops on my list this week is Plisterine. As in Listerine and property lists, but with functionality that belies the name. What Plisterine does is somewhat unique on the Mac. It lets you create and manage launch agents.
What? You’ve never used a launch agent? Well, actually, you probably have, especially if you’ve setup your user account to automatically open an app upon startup or login. If all this sounds ultra geeky, it really is, except that Plisterine’s claim to fame is to make geeky easy.
It’s simple to use, too. Create a new launch agent, choose where to save the file, then select what you want the agent to do (start up an app, run an AppleScript, Unix shell scripts, or whatever), then choose the time for the action to take place.
How’s that for simple?
Plisterine sets up launch agents to perform specific tasks, do so at a specific time each day, or each day of the week. It can also run at load or login, and an agent can be assigned to perform an action with a change occurs in a folder (for example, when a file or folder is added, removed, or changed).
Launch agents can be created manually using the built-in OS X Terminal.app, but nothing is easier than Plisterine, and it’s less than a dollar.
Mac users have a few other options for login and startup actions, and some are listed in the articles below.