Telling Hazel not to match locked files

Hazel is a centrepiece of my automation suite on macOS. I rely on it to watch directories and take complex actions on files contained within them. Recently I discovered an issue with files that are locked in the Finder. If files that otherwise match all the rules are locked, then Hazel will attempt to execute the rules. But the locked status may preclude execution. For example, I began seeing frequent Hazel notifications popups such as:

Changing the file creation date on macOS

If you modify a file in-place using sed with the -i option, you will get a file that has a new file creation date. On macOS 13.3.1, this is absolutely 100% true, although you will read claims otherwise. I ran into this problem while implementing a Hazel rule that updates YAML automatically in my Obsidian notes. Background I have use YAML frontmatter in my Obsidian notes. It looks like: —uid:20221120152124aliases:[20221120152124,AllAboutShell]cdate:2022-11-2015:21mdate:2023-05-1805:14type:zettel— My goal is to update the mdate field whenever the file changes.

Hazel deletes custom file icons, and a workaround

I use Hazel extensively for automating file management tasks on my macOS systems. Recently I found that Hazel aggressively matches an invisible system file that appears whenever you use a custom file or folder icon. I’ll describe the problem and present a workaround. In a handful of directories, I have a rule that prevents users (me) from adding certain file types. So the rule just matches any file that is not an image, for example, and deletes it.

Dynamic DNS - auto-updating from macOS

To run a little project (that I’ll describe at some point in the future) I have to run a small web server from my home computer, one that happens to run macOS. More than anything else, this is just a reply of what I did to get it running in case: a) I have to do it again, or b) Someone else can find it useful. Sign up for dynamic DNS service I signed up for service with dynv6 because I saw it recommended elsewhere and it didn’t look creepy like some of the other options.

No sir, I do not want Big Sur

Maybe I’m just getting cranky after over a year of on-again-off-again pandemic lockdowns, but I’ve had it with Apple’s heavy-handed attempts to get me to upgrade to Big Sur. Mind you, I have nothing against it. It’s just an operating system. I don’t particularly like it’s translucent bubbly iOS look. But I could live with. But I don’t want it. I depend on a very unorthodox setup. I have a lot of infrastructure tools that depend on certain versions of Python to be in just the right place.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Custom aliases in oh-my-zsh With oh-my-zsh, you can store custom aliases in multiple (?per application) file under .oh-my-zsh/custom giving them .zsh file extensions.1 ¶For example, in my hugo.zsh file, I have: alias hnewtil="/Users/alan/Documents/blog/ojisan/scripts/" alias gtojisan="cd /Users/alan/Documents/blog/ojisan; ls -l;" Executing inline Python in a shell script It’s possible using the -c command.2 python -c 'import foo;' ↩︎ ↩︎

Typing Russian stress marks on macOS

While Russian text intended for native speakers doesn’t show accented vowel characters to point out the syllabic stress (ударение) , many texts intended for learners often do have these marks. But how to apply these marks when typing? Typically, for Latin keyboards on macOS, you can hold down the key (like long-press on iOS) and a popup dialog will show you options for that character. But in the standard Russian phonetic keyboard it doesn’t work.

Using variables in Keyboard Maestro scripts

Having fallen in love with Keyboard Maestro for its flexibility in macOS automation, I began experimenting with scripting in various languages, like my old favourite Perl. That’s when the fun began. How do we access KM variables inside a Perl script. Let’s see what the documentation says: So the documentation clearly states that this script #!/usr/bin/perl print scalar reverse $KMVAR_MyVar; should work if I have a KM variable named MyVar. But, you guessed it - it does not.

sed matching whitespace on macOS

sed is such a useful pattern-matching and substitution tool for work on the command line. But there’s a little quirk on macOS that will trip you up. It tripped me up. On most platforms, \s is the character class for whitespace. It’s ubiquitous in regexes. But on macOS, it doesn’t work. In fact, it silently fails. Consider this bash one-liner which looks like it should work but doesn’t:

should print I am corrupt (W.

Partitioning a large directory into subdirectories by size

Since I’m not fond of carrying around all my photos on a cell phone where they’re perpetually at list of loss, I peridiocally dump the image and video files to a drive on my desktop for later burning to optical disc.1 Saving these images in archival form is a hedge against the bet that my existing backup system won’t fail someday. I’m using Blue-Ray optical discs to archive these image and video files; and each stores 25 GB of data.