Tag Archives: automation

Tasker for Android

Tasker is the most powerful app in Android. It is a GUI base script engine for Android. User can performs different actions based on different trigger events, pretty much anything that the Android OS supports. With Tasker, you write a small script in 2 minutes which pretty much does the job of a silly app that costs $2.

Here are example some useful scripts idea for example. The phone can read the WiFi status to figure out I am at work and turn down the ringer volume. The phone will turn off 3G data and WiFi when the screen is off to save power, yet still kick off auto-sync every 30 minutes with data connection. Whenever I plug in the headphone, the phone will pop up a menu let me select which music player to launch and auto-play the music.

Here is the best script I have created so far. In case I lost my phone, I can sent an SMS to my phone. It will turn on GPS, get its location, use Google Map to convert GPS data into human readable address and send it back to me via SMS.

With Tasker, I can turn my phone into a fully automated personal assistant. In fact Tasker is the app that set Android apart from iPhone and represent the difference in design philosophy between iPhone and Android. Apple spoon feed iPhone user but never let them step outside of the fence. Google gives average Android users a phone close enough to iPhone, but it allows power users fully customize his phone to make it fun and productive. Once you had experienced the freedom and power of Android, you will never go back to iPhone.

iRobot Roomba 530

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Vacuum the floor is an essential house chores I love to hate. On one hand, I don’t want to live among the dust. On the other hand, dragging the vacuum cleaner over all the place is not a pleasant task. I don’t have to vacuum no more. I just got a iRobot Roomba robot vacuum cleaner. Now, I can just press a button and tell Roomba clean the house for me. I haven’t seen it in action yet, it’s still charging up for the first time. I got one of the basic model only come with the base station and virtual walls. The more advance version has schedule program and remote control. All 5th generation model has the same vacuum mechanism. I don’t those electronics function justify 50% more expensive.

I bought it at Home Sense sales this week. The regular price is $369 and it’s $70 off this week. For this weekend only, I got another 25% off if I use the in store credit card. Since I don’t have that credit card, I got a further 10% off just applying that credit card. At the end, I only have to pay $220 for the Roomba 530. The price is so low that it even beat eBay and an almost new 2nd hand unit on Craig’s list. I think cashier made a mistake. The 35% discount suppose only apply to regular price items. Anyways, It’s a really good deal, so I won’t complain.