How to Delete Folder with Special Character in Windows 10/11
I ran into an issue where a folder was created by some application with a special Unicode character that Windows Explorer doesn’t seem to play nicely with. I also was unable to tell what the character was since nothing would reveal it. The folder’s there, but you can’t rename or delete it. If I tried to remove or delete it, I’d get an error saying the folder doesn’t exist:
I have LockHunter installed but it wasn’t able to delete it for some reason. The easiest way I found to delete the folder was to use Git Bash and then use the appropriate commands to rename or delete the folder.
Browse to the folder where the offending folder is located. For example purposes, I’ll use c:\temp\folder1
mv fol (hit tab to autocomplete) folder1
del fol (hit tab to autocomplete)
If you don’t have Git Bash or are not a developer/power user, you can download the portable version from https://git-scm.com/download/win to use temporarily. Once you decompress the files to a folder, you’ll find git-bash.exe which you can double-click to run and use the above commands.
How to Setup a CI/CD Pipeline for Storybook.js using Gitlab
I just spent a few hours setting up a Gitlab pipeline to deploy a Storybook.js site. Of course the end result ended up being much simpler than I made it out to be. Like everything else on my blog, I’m sharing in case anyone else can use the information to save time.
Just put this in your gitlab-ci.yml and it’ll take care of caching the node modules and building your static version of Storybook to deploy.
image: node:latest cache: paths: - node_modules/ stages: - build - deploy build: stage: build script: - npm install - npm run build-storybook -- -o storybook-static artifacts: paths: - storybook-static only: - qa - develop - master deploy: stage: deploy_to_aws # add your deploy code here
How to Clear Archive & Read-only flags on Files in Windows in Bulk
I ran into an issue where I had to move files from one system to another and was running into issues because files had been set as read-only, had the archive flag set, or both. It was causing the system to skip files which wasn’t acceptable. Normally you could just use Windows to clear it in bulk, but that could potentially mess up file permissions. I needed a way to automatically just clear all flags but respect permissions.
I did some searching and didn’t find a utility that would do the job and most of the solutions I found required Powershell which wasn’t available on the system I was on. I ended up writing a quick console application in C# to do the trick. I’ve made it free and open sourced it in case anyone wants to use it.
If you need just the app, you can find the release build here with instructions. The app also prompts for input to make things a bit easier to use. There’s no install, no tracking or metrics, or anything else related to privacy concerns in this app. It’s a simple throwaway utility to get the job done and move on.
If you want to see the source code, that is available here:
Please note that I did this in about 10 minutes for my own use so error handling is pretty much non-existent. I mention this because I did run into one issue where Windows was somehow seeing a folder with files in it as a file and it couldn’t be deleted or renamed and the utility couldn’t get past it until it was resolved. I didn’t spend much time debugging and just used my Mac to rename the folder and Windows was able to recognize it after the change, so the utility was able to continue processing.
How to Prevent Raspberry Pi Zero from Blanking or Sleeping
I was setting up a Raspberry Pi Zero in an office to use for displaying a slide show of pictures on a TV in the waiting room and dismayed to learn it would constantly go to sleep after a few minutes. I researched and tried setting the consoleblank=0 in config.txt with no luck along many other solutions, but learned none of them worked for the Raspberry Pi Zero.
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install xscreensaver
I’m not sure why, but I got an error that some dependencies were not installed. If that happens to you as well, run this command in terminal:
sudo apt-get --fix-missing
and then run the install for xscreensaver again
sudo apt-get install xscreensaver
Now under Preferences, you’ll see a new option for screen saver:
On the Display Modes tab, you’ll see a drop down for Mode. Choose “Disable Screen Saver”:
Your raspberry pi zero will now no longer go to sleep.
How to fix VMWare Fusion Pro 10 “Cannot find a valid peer process to connect to”
I recently got a new mac and was migrating a VMWare Windows Virtual Machine from my other computer. When starting the virtual machine, I received a random message from VMWare Fusion saying “Cannot find a valid peer process to connect to.”
The fix was rather simple as it was just Apple blocking VMWare from running. To fix it, follow these steps:
- Open System Preferences by searching in Spotlight or clicking the gear icon in the dock.
- On the top row there is an icon for Security and Privacy – Click that icon
- Near the bottom of the screen that appears the following statement
“System software from developer “VMWare, Inc.” was blocked from loading”
- Click Allow
Windows 7 & 10 How to Bulk Unblock Blocked Files
While setting up a new computer, Windows was throwing up warnings that files transferred from a backup drive might be unsafe. The files were text and images, so the warnings were safe to ignore but the directory had over one thousand files. Rather than unblocking each file manually, Windows PowerShell makes it easy to unblock files in bulk.
Load up Windows Powershell:
- Press Win + R on the keyboard to open the Run dialog.
- In the Run box, type powershell
For one folder without subdirectories, this snippet will do the trick.“$env:userprofile\Downloads“ tells PowerShell to use the Download folder for the logged in user and unblocks all files in it. Change this to the folder path you need if it’s not the Downloads folder.
get-childitem “$env:userprofile\Downloads“ | unblock-file
If you have sub-directories and need to unblock everything, use the -Recurse flag:
dir “$env:userprofile\Downloads“ -Recurse | Unblock-File
Want to see a report of files to be unblocked before running it? The -WhatIf flag will show you without executing.
dir “$env:userprofile\Downloads“ -Recurse | Unblock-File -WhatIf
List of my must-have Alfred Workflows
Use a mac? You’ll want to grab Alfred App. I’m finding it an invaluable replacement for spotlight and the workflows allow me to supercharge my workflows. It’s so useful that I’ve purchased the Powerpack lifetime license.
In addition to the standard features, here are a list of the most useful workflows for dev/tech:
Kill process – by Nathan Greenstein (@ngreenstein)
I use it as an activity monitor for CPU usage, and from there I can easily force quit any process if needed. It’s easier to see all processes on the Alfred UI instead of opening Activity Monitor on your mac. There’s also the workflow Kill Application – by Sebastian Hallum Clarke (and also on his site you can find other cool workflows).
Timer – by Daniel Bader
I use this one a lot. It’s super simple and by writing “Timer” and the number of minutes, you can easily set a reminder. It’s great for anyone using the Pomodoro technique or even if you leave something on the stove and want to go back to work.
Copy SSH Public Key – By oldcai
This one saves me time when I need to deploy my SSH key on a new server. Type ‘pk [ssh key file name]’ and it’ll copy the ssh key to the clipboard.
Incognito – by Nedwood
I find myself using this when I need to test a page and bypass the cache. Type ‘incog [url]’ and it’ll launch a new chrome window in incognito mode.
Find Folder by Samvlu
Finds a folder by name. I find this is faster than spotlight in just about every search.
Smart Folders by Deanishe
List all the Smart Folders/Saved Searches (same thing) on your system and drill down into their contents. Works in much the same way as Alfred’s File Filter, but Smart Folders are also available outside Alfred and are a bit more flexible.
For example, you can configure a Smart Folder to show all video/audio/image files without having to specify each different filetype individually. If you already use Smart Folders, this workflow can save you the work of re-implementing them as File Filters.
What’s more, you can exclude specific filetypes with a Smart Folder, which Alfred cannot do.
Advanced Google Maps Search by stuartcryan
This workflow gives you some quick and dirty shortcuts into Google Maps:
mapsethome <home address including street number, name, postcode> (i.e. what you would type into Google Maps)
mapsetwork <work address including street number, name, postcode> (i.e. what you would type into Google Maps)
Commands for Use:
maps <query> – Search Google maps for an address
dir <query> to <query> to <query> etc (seperate multiple addresses with ” to ” minus the quotes, and you will get a multiple location search)
dirfw Show directions from Work to address
dirfh Show directions from Home to address
dirtw <query> Show directions from query to Work address
dirth <query> Show directions from query to Home address
trafficw – Show traffic from Home to Work
traffich – Show traffic from Work to Home
StackOverflow Search by deanishe
If you use stackoverflow as much as I do, this is a must-have.
I find myself needing to calculate differences between dates in my personal life a lot lately. This workflow saves me a lot of time to do that. Want to know how far Christmas is away in days? ‘dcalc 12-25-16 – now d’ returns the number of days (assuming you’re using the US short format like I am).
Wifi Control by miroman
All my Macbooks periodically have issues with wifi. I’ve never been able to figure out what’s causing it but I use Wifi Control to restart the wifi which allows me to connect successfully.
Bugnot by vitor
If you use bugmenot at all, this is a useful extension to get logins without loading a new tab. Type ‘bn domain.com’ and you’ll get a list of matching passwords to use.
How to Fix ‘Converter Failed to Save File’ with Excel 2016
I recently upgraded to Office 2016 on my Windows 10 desktop and was getting the error “Converter failed to save file” when double clicking on the file along with an “There was a problem sending the command to the program error” every time. I finally had enough with the annoyance to troubleshoot it and figured out a solve.
If you have the same issue, here’s how to fix it:
- Open your Default Programs configuration from the Control Panel. On Windows 10, you can hit start, type Default Programs, and it’ll open the app.
- Scroll down the list until you get to the Excel formats (XLS):
- If you see anything other than Excel as the default, you’ll need to change the default to Excel. For me, the issue was the Open XML Converter not being installed anymore after upgrading to 2016. To change the default, select the format, click the “Change Program” button and select Excel 2016 from the list of apps that pops up and click OK to set the association:
- You’ll need to do this for each format in the list to correct it. The most common formats you’ll use are XLS, XLSX, & XLT.
One-line snippet to update linux and apps on Ubuntu using apt-get
I find myself using this command on Digitalocean droplets fairly often and am sharing in case anyone else finds it useful. Use this one line to install all updates, security fixes, and system upgrades.
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
ReportCrash High CPU & How to Disable reportcrash in Mac OSX
For a while now, all of my MacBooks have run extremely hot and the fans have gone nuts. While troubleshooting the issue, Activity Monitor showed that an app named reportcrash has run very high on the CPU and has killed my battery life. Force quitting the app didn’t help as it would start right back up in a few seconds and climb back to 80-100% usage of the CPU.
What is CrashReporter?
CrashReporter runs in any time an application crashes and it’s designed to saves the application state to aid developers in working out why the app crashed. Basically a process is launching, crashing (and invoking CrashReporter) and then re-launching, repeating this cycle never ending.
How to Identify What’s Crashing
To show which process is triggering this cycle and stop it, CrashReporter is pretty verbose in its logging which makes finding the problem app somewhat easier. Open up the console.app (/Applications/Utilities/Console.app) and look towards the end of your system.log to see what app is crashing.
Unfortunately for me, the problem is a driver by some company called EFI and getting the latest drivers didn’t resolve the issue. The next obvious solution was to disable reportcrash.
How to Disable ReportCrash
Fire up terminal and run the following commands to disable reportcrash:
launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.ReportCrash.plist sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.ReportCrash.Root.plist
How to Enable ReportCrash
If you need to reenable crash report, run the following commands in terminal:
launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.ReportCrash.plist sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.ReportCrash.Root.plist