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EJK for the Year

Music: Code Monkey by Jonathan Coulton

One year ago today, I was playing around with Automator in OSX and decided to create a script that would automatically upload my latest picture in ichat to flickr. Every time I change my chat icon in iChat I upload it, (mostly) daily. It has gotten to the point where it’s taking over my photostream and I’m just ready to quit, or at least slow way down.

So what better way to celebrate the one year anniversary of my first ichat2flickr picture than a nice 90 second slideshow of all 187 pictures. You’ll see at the 0:47 mark where I upgraded to Leopard and the ichat pictures changed to 640×480 instead of 256×256.

I used iPhoto to create a slideshow of all the pictures, then exported a quicktime movie into Quicktime Pro to squish it all down to 90 seconds.

This also means that I won’t be posting all these goofy pics as often, so my contacts won’t see my face plastered in their photostream quite as incessantly as in recent months.


iChat2Flickr update : Direct Upload Action

My last post detailed an automator action that would upload a copy of your ichat buddy icon everytime you changed it with a built in camera. Unfortunately, it had to use the mail program to send the picture to flickr by email.

But what should I find on [|TUAW] this week but the [|OSX Automator Flickr Upload Action] by James Pitts! So here’s an updated version of the script. This will allow for easier uploads and more reliable data.

ichat2flickr automator action

ichat2flickr.gifSince I started using a Mac with a built-in iSight, I’ve been changing my buddy icon every morning. It’s always a bit of a surprise how it comes out, because you only get 3 seconds to pose. Some of them were turning out pretty funny, and I wanted to be able to store and share them. So I wrote this automator script to upload the new picture to flickr using the email to flickr method.

The keys to this project were:

  • Buddy icons are stored in ~/Library/Images/iChat Recent Pictures/
  • Automator can create and send a mail message with an attachment
  • An Automator Workflow can be saved as a plugin, and run as a Folder Action whenever a file is added to the folder.

This script is saved as a plug-in Folder Action on the ~/Library/Images/iChat Recent Pictures/ folder. When it sees a new file added to that folder, it copies it to ~/Pictures/Flickr Selfportraits/, then changes it from a TIFF to a JPEG, then attaches it to a new email in the Mail program, then sends off the email to flickr.


  1. Open the workflow in Automator.
  2. Customize the email details with your [|Flickr Upload by Email address], customize tags if desired, and choose an email account to send from.
  3. Save as a Plug-In, Plug-In for Folder Actions, Attached to Folder: ~/Library/Images/iChat Recent Pictures
  4. Change your buddy icon in Adium or iChat, and test it out!

I’d like to be able to upload to flickr directly from the automator script instead of having to use the Upload by Email function, but I haven’t found anything that does that yet. I did find [|this Automator Action], written by Fraser Speirs which does just that, but it’s not intel-friendly at the moment. Maybe I’ll offer to help him update it.

Have fun, and please leave a comment if it works or doesn’t work. I’m new at releasing Automator workflows.

Note:Apparently, an Automator workflow is really a folder, not a discrete file. I’ve zipped it up into an archive now for distribution. Drupal did NOT like trying to attach that.

Flickr as Local History

We had a magical sight outside yesterday: near freezing temperatures combined with a slow, steady rainfall had produced a thin layer of ice on everything. Tree branches, bushes, lampposts, street signs and even individual blades of grass were all transformed into china-shop glass treasures. Combine this with the recent warmer-than-usual weather and there were plenty of tree buds encased in shimmering ice. And the temperatures and rain continued all day, leaving plenty of opportunity to experience the sights all around town.

I was able to grab a snap of a maple tree in our yard with my cameraphone and upload it to flickr:

Iced Buds

As I looked, I found that I was not the only flickr user around town that grabbed the moment. So, rather than trying to describe the scene, I could just show people all of the pictures on flickr. I searched for “Ann Arbor”, and then using advanced search restricted the dates of the photos to only Monday, January 15. Here’s just a few of what I found:

[|Here’s the whole bunch, sorted by “interestingness”, for you to see for yourself.]

Flickr is such a great tool. The day after a local event, I can do a quick, simple search, and be able to find tons of wonderful, artistic photos to remember and share with anyone else in the world.

I’m also finding some [|local] [|stories] of those upon which the [|weather] has had less pleasant [|effects]. I hope they were still able to find some [|sights to enjoy] in contrast.