Digital Newspaper Rack

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Southern Dad, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #1
    First, let me say that I'm a nostalgia junkie. Old video games <check>, gumball machines <check>, pay telephone <working on it>, newspaper vending rack <check>

    I've got an old newspaper rack, a monitor that fits just right and an old Mac Mini running Snow Leopard. I get the newspaper headlines front pages from Newseum where they have the exact same file name each day. I then crop them to only display the top half of the front page.

    I'm sure this is probably pretty simple but it is beyond my skill set. I'd like my Mac Mini to download these file sometime during the night. Crop them and drop them in a file overwriting the files already there. I use the screen saver to play them one after another displaying them for a few seconds before switching. Anyone have any ideas or that can point me in the right direction/

    Example newspaper front page:
    http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/?tfp_display=list&tfp_id=GA_AH

     
  2. chown33, Apr 18, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015

    chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #2
    Have you tried Automator? What you described seems well within its abilities.

    1. To download specific URLs, put these two Actions in series:
    Get Specified URLs
    Download URLs
    The first one holds a manually entered list of URLs. That's where you'd put your list of URLs that are the same every day.

    That action then feeds the list into Download URLs, which downloads them. At that point, you should have a bunch of downloaded files/images. If not, then tell us exactly what you have, and how that differs from what you want.

    You may also want to look at these Actions:
    Get Image URLs from Articles
    Get Image URLs from Webpages

    There are other actions for working with URLs, so be sure to look at them.

    2. After there are a bunch of images in a folder (the images from the Download URLs action), then you can crop them with this Action:
    Crop Images
    That Action operates on image files, not URLs, so first you'll need these Actions:
    Get Folder Contents
    Filter Finder Items
    The first action should specify the Downloads folder where the just-downloaded image files reside. The filter should pass only images, so the Crop Images that follows it receives only image files.

    After the cropping is done, use another Files and Folders action to move the images to your desired destination folder.

    Scheduling the workflow to run at a certain time during the night should be pretty easy. You could set up a Calendar, or there are other approaches. Get the process working in Automator first, then come back to discuss how to schedule it.

    This is just a general outline, but the Actions I listed and the sequence of them should be pretty close to what's needed. If you get stuck at some point, come back and describe exactly where you're stuck, along with what you have so far.
     
  3. Southern Dad, Apr 20, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2015

    Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #3
    Thank you for pointing me the right direction. Automator is the right answer to gather the photos, download them and move them. Cropping however with automator crops from the center which cuts off the top and bottom of an image.
     
  4. mns579 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    #4
    Try Propper Cropper, http://automatorworld.com/archives/propper-cropper/. It's an Automator action that gives you greater control over crops than Apple's Crop Images action.
     
  5. Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #5
    It appears that Propper Cropper is only for PPC and there is no version for later Macs. However, that doesn't eliminate it as a possibility. I do have a few PPC lying around.
     
  6. mns579 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    #6
    Sorry. I must have been on a PPC machine the last time I used Propper Cropper. I now see that the action doesn't work on my Intel machine.
     
  7. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #7
    I googled for automator crop action. Two of the top results mention ImageMagick and Pixelmator.

    http://apple.stackexchange.com/ques...tch-crop-with-custom-coordinates-measurements
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5058938


    The ImageMagick website has the precompiled binary for Yosemite. I didn't see a Snow Leopard binary, but I didn't look very hard. If no binary can be found, it will need to be compiled from source, which they recommend MacPorts for.

    Pixelmator is available on the Mac App Store. There appear to be many other image cropping tools there.
     
  8. mns579 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    #8
    Update.

    I find that Automator will use the Propper Cropper action if Automator is set to open in 32-bit mode--or at least it will under Snow Leopard on an Intel Mac.
     

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