[X-Unix] Cron problem solved

Marley Graham mgraham at aquaflo.com
Fri Jun 24 12:08:11 PDT 2005

Many thanks to Norman, Eugene, Eric, David, Robert & Brian who helped  
me figure out my problems with Cron and date scripting, and with  
achieving a much cleaner approach.

My first problem was to get the date appended to a screencapture file  
at the time of file creation by Cron. I created a script that worked  
fine on the command line, but failed in Cron. The solution  was to  
enclose the date command in quotes for Cron.

The second problem was getting the script to run on a client computer  
which I log onto with ssh. The solution to this problem was to use  
root's crontab rather than the administrator's.

Several people gave very helpful suggestions for cleaning up my  
scripts and consolidating the functions. It was pointed out that the  
command "date +%H:M:S" would do the same thing as my "exacttime"  
script, and that it could be incorporated into my screencapture  
script. (Or better yet, leave out the colons in the date format to  
avoid future problems).

So, here is what my screencapture script looks like:
         /usr/sbin/screencapture mg$(/bin/date "+%H%M%S")

That is put into Cron using sudo crontab -u root -e:
         0,30 7-16 * * 1-6 /screenpictimed

And gives an output like:

At the end of the day, I use ps2pdf to convert the files to pdf, so I  
can view them as a series of screen shots in iMovie. I created the  
following script which I run to do the conversion and remove the  
original files:

#!/bin/sh        #psconvert

for screen in $(ls mg*)
         ps2pdf $screen
rm mg*[1-9]

which leaves a series of files like:

So, thanks again for all of the suggestions. I hope the results will  
be useful to someone.

Marley Graham
Aqua-Flo Supply

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