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10.4: Use a Smart Folder for a better 'Recent apps' System 10.4
Tiger only hintThe "Recent Items" list on the Apple menu is great, but it only shows (comfortably) as many items as the screen is high. "Recent Servers" is a folder in ~/Library so you could use that; Apps and Documents maybe folders too, but the Finder's Smart Folders give another, more controllable solution.

I have a "Recent Apps" smart folder with these settings:
  • Where: Computer
  • Kind: Applications
  • Last Opened: Within Last 3 Days
I have a normal icon view, so I can see visually what I want, instead of the usual menu list. You could do the same for Documents (or whatever), too. No doubt many will say "yea, but why don't you use app X to do this?" Well, I like to use OSX as-is wherever possible.
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10.4: Use a Smart Folder for a better 'Recent apps' | 8 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Use a Smart Folder for a better 'Recent apps'
Authored by: lagroue on Jun 15, '05 01:33:00PM

Not a bad idea at all !

Maybe someone can explain why some items are listed twice, at the same path (I've got two FireFox, eg)

And, Spotlight also displays applications inside Applications : I've got two GraphicConverters : GC.app, and GC.app/Content/MacOS/GC :o)

Still, nice replacement for Recent Apps item of the Apple menu.



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10.4: Use a Smart Folder for a better 'Recent apps'
Authored by: mistersquid on Jun 15, '05 01:41:23PM

I just created two smart folders because I wanted to access recent applications as well as recent files.

My question is whether there is any way to specify a smaller period than an hour. I tried using decimal numbers but that didn't work. I want this functionality in case, for whatever reason, I need to reopen a program I just quit.

Any ideas?



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10.4: Use a Smart Folder for a better 'Recent apps'
Authored by: adrianm on Jun 15, '05 04:18:05PM
If you drag a smart folder to TextEdit or SubEthaEdit or whatever, you'll see an expression component like:

(kMDItemLastUsedDate >= $time.today(-3))
(in last 3 days).

According to http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Carbon/Conceptual/SpotlightQuery/index.html you can use $time.now(NUMBER) where NUMBER is seconds.

So change the expression to use a number of seconds instead.

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10.4: Use a Smart Folder for a better 'Recent apps'
Authored by: mistersquid on Jun 16, '05 09:10:11AM

According to http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Carbon/Conceptual/SpotlightQuery/index.html you can use $time.now(NUMBER) where NUMBER is seconds.

Thanks, adrianm. I'm only a sometimes scripter (in PERL when I need it and AppleScript when I can't avoid it). I didn't mean to make someone look at the dev documentation for me, but I appreciate your reply.

Cheers,
msq



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10.4: Use a Smart Folder for a better 'Recent apps'
Authored by: mayo2ca on Jun 15, '05 09:54:08PM

Nice hint! Now if only Dock would show a contextual menu with all the items in the smart folder, just like it does with regular folders ... that would be just awesome.

m



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10.4: Use a Smart Folder for a better 'Recent apps'
Authored by: kirkmc on Jun 16, '05 05:45:31AM

It can't, because a smart folder is not really a folder. Maybe someone can create an app that can translate the search results into a menu...

---
Read my blog: Kirkville -- http://www.mcelhearn.com
Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more



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10.4: Use a Smart Folder for a better 'Recent apps'
Authored by: asdfdsa on Sep 28, '06 06:37:34PM

I created an automator action that does this in 5 steps. They are:

1. Get Specified Finder Item (the folder that currently contains the most recently created aliases).
2. Move to Trash.
3. New Folder for the new aliases.
4. Get Smart Folder Contents (downloaded and imported).
5. Make Alias (downloaded and imported).

If the folder that contains the folder created by Step 3 is in your dock you can use its context menu to get to your most recent app aliases. Voila.



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10.4: Use a Smart Folder for a better 'Recent apps'
Authored by: mayo2ca on Jun 17, '05 02:58:52AM

I know. But if you have the OS sources, the possibilities are endless :) I mean finder treats is as a folder, I don't see why it would be impossible to add some code to do this as contextual menu as well. Ah well, maybe on Leopard (or whatever 10.5 is called)

m



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