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Welcome to Thought Asylum a place for me to share my thoughts, ideas and experiences with the rest of the world.  I try to post reasonably regularly and if you like the content consider subscribing to the site feeds.  If you're trying to find something specific try the search, otherwise just have a browse.


Entries in Scripting (21)

Saturday
Jan202018

XYplorer: Concatenating Files

Today I’m going to share an XYplorer script for combining files through concatenation - i.e. merging them together by appending the files to one another in order to create a new combined file. Whilst it isn’t the sort of script I use everyday it does speed up the occasions when I need to combine plain text based files into a single file; in my case often for post-test data loading.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec222017

XYplorer: Create a Time Stamped ZIP Folder

Something I find I need to do quite regularly is take a snap shot of a folder. For the purposes of saving space (and often for passing on the folder to someone else) I like to compress the folder into a ZIP archive and prefix the current time stamp to the file name.

This little activity was perfect for a bit of automation and so I created a little script in XYplorer (my Windows file manager of choice) to make this as easy as clicking a button.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug192017

PowerShell: Sorting and Encoding Problem

Recently I was working on processing a file of data and in order to deduplicate and sort it, I decided to employ Windows' PowerShell scripting functionality. It's a very powerful tool-set and perfectly suited to what I needed to do, but I ran afoul of a small detail that caused me some confusion at first but that I resolved in the end. Just in case anyone else comes upon such an issue I thought it might be useful to write up the problem and the simple solution.

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Sunday
Apr302017

Batch Generating Worksheet Hyperlinks in Excel

In my work I often find myself building spreadsheets to carry out calculations, manage sophisticated processes and capture information. These spreadsheets can often extend to covering many worksheets and as a result it can be awkwardly slow to navigate to particular worksheets just by paging back and forth with the navigation buttons.

In this post I'm going to illustrate a couple of useful techniques to help you navigate around.

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Saturday
Apr232016

Exporting Snippets from TextExpander (v6)

TextExpander has long used Dropbox to synchronise snippets, but with the advent of the latest version (v6 on Mac), the snippets are now synchronised by a proprietary synchronisation service. Thoughts about the move to a software as a service (SaaS) model aside this then poses the question how can you access your snippets for the purposes of independent backup or sharing with users on earlier TextExpander versions?

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Tuesday
Mar222016

Tackling a Club MacStories DMG Workflow Request

Club MacStories is a membership value add option provided by the rather popular MacStories.net web site. I'm a Club MacStories member and as such receive the weekly newsletter which contains lots of additional Apple related material and articles. In last week's newsletter (issue 24) one of the user questions was around automatically attaching and detaching DMGs and whilst a partial solution was provided, the response also invited readers to round it out to complete the last part. I figured I'd give it a go and share what I came up with.

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Tuesday
Sep302014

Archiving Folders With 7ZIP

Recently I was carrying out a bit of house keeping on my work laptop's hard drive. I have a folder in Windows that contains daily folders of temp files and every so often I compress them and archive them off to free up some space. Usually it just takes me a few minutes to run through the folders and compress them into archive files. Unfortunately over the past year I'd not gotten around to doing it so I had rather a lot of folders to archive and I decided to quickly put together a little script to help me.

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Friday
Aug292014

Read Batch File Script Info

Recently I was updating a rather complex DOS batch file that we track the changes on. Each time we update it, we update a comment in the batch file for the version number. Since we sometimes get logs sent to us about the script's operation I figured it would be useful to add the version number to the log file.

Whilst I could have set the script to use a variable with the version number in it I decided to create an option to work with the existing comment based format.

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Wednesday
Jul302014

Blank All of Your Screens with an AutoHotKey Script

If you work with computer aided presentations on Windows, then you probably know PowerPoint has options to show blank screens. Pressing "B" will give you a black screen and "W" will give you a white screen. These are useful options when you want to focus people's attention on what you're saying and away from any slides you might have up. For example if you need to discuss a point for which you don't have a slide or if you want to tease something.

But have you ever considered situations where you are doing something other than a presentation application aided presentation? For example an application demonstration, working though a document, etc. Wouldn't it be great if you could blank your screen on these occasions too? Or maybe you want to blank the screen with a different colour. Well that's what I wanted to be able to do so I put together something to do it.

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Wednesday
Apr302014

Export all Canvases in OmniGraffle

Over the last few years I've created a number of useful diagrams in Omnigraffle that describe some technical architectures and requirements for some of the software that I work with. Whenever there is a new release I update the diagrams and then export each in turn as an image file. Because of the number of diagrams involved this became a rather laborious process ... so as usual I decided to make things a bit more automated.

Click to read more ...