Category: Reference Sites

Dealing with Microsoft PowersHell

| October 20, 2011 | 3 Replies

Why, one may wonder, would I be delving into something that ubiquitous Microsoft decides unabashedly to call PowersHell? To start with, and in full disclosure, they capitalize it as PowerShell, a new and improved version of the command line interface that we old timers sometimes still call the DOS prompt.

But why would I use this, when the Gooey does so much? It has to do with too many cameras and too many memory chips. You see, I just went on vacation, a two week, 3,550 mile drive to Yellowstone, the Tetons, and many places in between. I brought home over 4,000 snapshots and video clips taken with 4 cameras.

Why would anyone need 4 cameras? Well, I have a SuperZoom 12Mp, and a pocket camera (the SD1100 that we’ve raved about), and my new Droid. That’s three? Well, I also got a back-up SD1100, that I’ve also rigged up with my first to use as a stereo camera.

So with three of the four cameras all of the same brand, and so many pictures, eventually the 8 character file names (the first four of which are fixed in 3 cameras at “IMG_”) began to overlap. And when I filled up a memory chip, each camera decided to reset to IMG_0001, so I have many overlaps in the lower numbers. Very clumsy. Also it is hard to match up the images from the left and right cameras (each eye stored in its own folder) without looking at each enlarged, and the Windows Photo Viewer doesn’t let me look at two files from different folders side-by-side.

So I decided to rename all the images to use longer names, and decided to use the picture date and time to rename them. My former XP machine had use a nice re-namer that would do this. But now I have Win7, and the old Win95 app won’t run.
But I keep in mind that “Every O/S Sucks”

So I Googled for a new renamer that could handle the task, and stumbled on to this post: Rename multiple files as “Modified Date/Time” using cmd or Powershell. Yee, I thought, Haw! Why install another utility when the O/S does it for me.

But it can’t be done with the old command line. One has to figure out how to use the new, powerful, dangerous PowerShell. I could have just used the code snippet in the Super User post linked above. But I wanted to, a) Know how it works, and b) Do it a little differently.

So once I returned, I did some reading, and playing. But after a minimum of profanity, I got it working on a test folder, and then ran my new script on all my files. Now I can tell at a glance when each picture was taken, and therefore easily glean the where and why.

Just for a laff, here’s a bit about the code name Microsoft used while developing this new shell:

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Memory biases and cognitive biases

| January 23, 2011 | Reply
Memory biases and cognitive biases

I’ve previously linked to Wikipedia’s pages for memory biases and cognitive biases. But I’m linking to them again because these pages make great checklists for figuring out what went wrong (cognitively speaking) almost every time I listen to any of our political or religious leaders speaking. And might as well throw in this long list of fallacies for good measure. Many of these problems usually apply to anything you hear on the national stage.

BTW, I hear a lot of people (mostly academics) attacking Wikipedia, and I don’t understand the frustration. Wikipedia is an amazing free resource (and many other people acknowledge this, among them, many academics). Name any other single research tool that offers so much. And then consider that it is free for users.

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Tell me about my house

| April 22, 2010 | 1 Reply
Tell me about my house

I recently learned about a data-rich site focusing on real estate: zillow.com Would you like to know about your own house, for instance, would you like to know what it’s worth? Then type your own address into the home page field. You’ll also find lots of information about your neighbors’ homes. Looking for a home? Zillow will help you with that too

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