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My last post discussed the Selenium IDE plug in for Firefox, which can be used to automate website browsing for testing purposes.

A limitation of Selenium as an automated browser is the lack of a scheduler, which would allow you to browse sites at set periods.

If this is something you want to do, then, the Easy Bee could be what you are looking for.

I recently used this to log onto a website and refresh and advertisement every 30mins.

The Easy Bee is a relic of a pre RSS era and was not designed as an automated browser so much as a news aggregator. It allows you to record all your actions within the browser and select page elements (text or images) which you want to store for later use.

Once you select an element to save, then you are able to set the scheudle:

easybee04.png

Now you can see why there haven’t been any screen shots until now!

It may not look nice, and the worker bee analogy gets annoying, but it does the job.

The image above shows the content I wish to collect as well as a timer counting down to the next run.

The Easy Bee can be downloaded free of charge from most download sites, such as download.com.

Unfortunately, the free version does note let you schedule within periods of less than 30 minutes, though you can create more than one “bee” and offset the times to get a faster refresh rate.

The full version will schedule once a minute.

The other problem with the free download is that it has “bee’s” configured within it which constantly “fly” round pre-determined sites. Now, as only one “bee” can “fly” at a time :oops: your own schedules don’t get to run. To get the program running you need to delete all the other “bees” and “honeycombs” and restart the “hive” :neutral:

With such an ugly interface and silly analogies it is little wonder that this software never really made it, that along with a price tag of $129 for the full version :!:

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    4 Comments

    Comment by Kassper

    $129 for the bee is waaay to much!! :???:

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    Comment by SiteLogic

    Yeah I know, I suppose they thought they had enough of a niche product to charge that much. I bet they haven’t sold a copy in a long time…

    The free version is good enough for what I needed anyway…. the scheduler works really well, just runs in the background…

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    Comment by HMTKSteve

    Hmm… I will have to investigate this one!

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    [...] previous two posts were Automate Website Browsing which discussed a browser containing a scheduler, so you can set it to browse sites at different [...]

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