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Member Since: Dec 13, 2007
Location: United States of America
Posts: 256
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Mac Specs: 2.1GHz MacBook with 4GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.6, iLife and iWork 09

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This is actually quite simple using System Profiler. Run this command from Terminal:
system_profiler SPApplicationsDataType > ~/Desktop/Applications.txt
This will output every single application on your computer to a file on the Desktop called Applications.txt. To refine it to just the applications in your Applications folder, try something like this:
system_profiler SPApplicationsDataType | grep "Location: /Applications" -B 7 > ~/Desktop/Applications.txt
It will output a generally nice list of applications. You could even refine that further to include other folders, such as ~/Applications. Also, you can change the path to output it wherever you like, including on your backup disk somewhere.

Throw that as a do shell script in an AppleScript, set it to run on a schedule with iCal, and you'll be good to go. Here are instructions that I gave in another thread on how to assign an application to a scheduled iCal event. Just replace making an Automator script with making an AppleScript (or even do make it in Automator with a Run Applescript action), and schedule it regularly for how often you want the file to be updated.
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