drwex (drwex) wrote,

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Flexing my geek muscle

tl;dr - I use my minuscule shell skills and some ingenuity to subvert Mac stupidity in service of my kid's homework.

Set-up: Thing 2 needs to print out some screenshots from Minecraft for his homework. Of course he's left this to the last minute so after returning from King Richard's Faire we're up against the evening deadline to get this done.

Start: To all appearances the screenshots he claims to have created from Minecraft are not there. Really?

First, research all the places that the Web guidelines say that screenshots get saved. Fight with Finder to see all of them. They all appear empty. Dafuq?

Run Minecraft, verify that the kids haven't configured it to save shots in a new place.

Double-check that these places are showing empty in Finder. Curse Apple.

Bring up a command line and "find / -print" those places. cd to each of them and verify that they are in fact empty.

Start to doubt that any screenshots were saved. Re-run Minecraft and create a new screenshot. Fortunately, the game has a standard naming format for its shots. Back to Finder, ask it to locate the screenshot we just saved. "BWAH HAHA HA," says Finder. "U no can haz screenshot!"

Screw you, says I and go back to the command shell, whereupon another "find / -print" command locates not just the new screenshot but also the shots that Thing 2 saved earlier. They're in a different place than the Web pages claimed. Whatever. Now I have an ls of the files in the shell window, I can just navigate Finder to the parent directory and ...

What do you mean Finder won't display the directory? What sort of BS is this? Curse Apple a lot more.

Fiddle with Finder a lot. Pygment fiddles with it some more. No joy. It simply will not show this directory. Uncle Apple knows best! May whatever idiot Jobs hired to code this thing rot from the fingertips upward.

Start to get creative. Grab a USB stick - I can just cp the files to the stick and put the stick into another system. Discover that although Finder can see the stick I can't figure out where in the file system it exists so I can't cp the files over to it.

Then it occurs to me that we have Dropbox installed on this machine and Pygment's machine can see things Dropbox is sharing off the laptop, so if I can get the files into Dropbox she can get them. Better, it turns out Dropbox has a folder that Finder can see. Also, that folder is in a pretty obvious location so I can cp all the screenshots over there and PRESTO they appear in Finder and can be printed.

Do geek dance of victory.
Tags: geek
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