Removing hidden Mac files from USB stick drive

Good evening. It is for me too, now that I’ve solved a particularly tricky little problem. I have been in the following applications trying to solve the appearance of hidden files (.fseventsd, .Trashes, .Spotlight-V100, etc.) on a USB stick drive:
Disk Utility
Graphic Converter
Eject for Windows
(Didn’t need most of this stuff in the end, and most of it I hadn’t used in years.)

Let me explain what’s happening: A Mac creates a few hidden files on USB sticks because when the files are accessed by a Mac, it needs these other bits of information. I wrongly assumed the days of that kind of thing were in the past since OSX happened. Nope. (I haven’t done tech work for years, so I don’t keep up on stuff anymore anyway.)

These invisible/hidden files are completely harmless in most situations no matter what operating system that USB stick gets stuck into. However, enter my issue: I need to play a folder of jpegs on a television.
Sounds easy enough, I know, so I spent all day assembling a collection of 54 images I want to display as a slideshow in a café to accompany an art exhibition for the next two months. Sadly, the extra files kept showing up, and not only that, but they also doubled how many image files the Sony TV thought were on the stick because the Mac had written a ._(filename).jpg for every one of the genuine images. (The dot indicates it’s a hidden file.)

I ran the images through ImageOptim thinking I could strip out extraneous information. It certainly did strip it down… to the point the TV couldn’t render the images correctly because ImageOptim removed the colour profile data. Oops.
To make a long story short, here’s what worked for me:

1.) Batch export the images from Aperture (or other photo library app) to be the same colour profile. (In my case, sRGB IEC61966-2.1 – Sony TV likes that one.)
2.) Stick them all in a folder that contains no spaces in its name, or uses an underscore if needed.
3.) Copy this folder to a USB stick you have just freshly erased to become a FAT32 file system in Disk Utility.
4.) Drop the USB stick icon/filename onto a utility app icon called Eject for Windows. –> You can download it here* <–

That’s it. Eject for Windows is the miracle needed to delete those hidden files before ejecting the stick. No more garbage showing up on the TV browser. No more hidden files looking like broken images. Easy, finally, and it only took me hours to figure this all out.

Hope it helps someone else out there.

* Download and do this stuff at your own risk. Thanks. :)

Friction friction

One of my favourite quotes from a film is “It ain’t easy having pals,” from Young Guns. Not only do I still have a soft spot for that movie, but the reason the quote is a favourite is down to its versatility. Where you can look a bit of a twat repeating “Say hello to my little friend” too often, “It ain’t easy having pals” works fine in relation to the casual frequency a friendship has its ups and downs. Lately, sharing a house with my best friend brings the words to mind.

Maybe it’s the change in seasons, the winding down of the year causing “oh-shit-I-still-haven’t-achieved-___” anxieties, or simply two strong personalities living and working in too small a house. Whatever it is, combine it with our typical cocktail of mental health issues (depression, anxieties, ADHD, et al), and we’ve been fighting too often. We don’t fight in loud, sweary, arguments, rather, more low-key frustrated discussions which often end in tears for one or both of us. We are both sensitive, and most of the time, very alike. I can pinpoint several things that have made this last year difficult for each of us, but knowledge and objectivity aren’t preventing the friction.

Personally and professionally, we both have a lot of work to do. We need more exercise, better prioritisation of work/life stuff, and time together as friends- like normal people. We’re working on it, but we have much to learn and do to make this winter bearable in each other’s company. We have love and trust – and that’s a good foundation – but even so I think I can speak for us both when I say “it ain’t easy having pals.”

Reading glasses and economics

I was beyond due for an eye examination, so I grabbed the Specsavers coupon for a £10 gander at my peepers and headed to a nearby branch. My close vision has been feeling ‘off’ for about a year, and after having been nagged by a couple of friends, I finally went to see what was happening. Mind you, I’m over four decades without a cavity in my teeth but my eyesight began to change years ago around the time I started working on CRT screens in a fluorescent light filled office. Could be coincidence, but I’m blaming that terrible flickering for beginning the downward spiral.

The vision I have is far from something to complain about, in fact, I rarely wear glasses unless I’m driving at low-contrast times of day. Sometimes I’ll wear them for a trip to the cinema or other entertainment, but generally speaking, I’m still in pretty good shape. It wasn’t until I noticed I had started doing the push-pull thing with books and my phone screen that created some concern. If I was deteriorating for reading, was I experiencing the same with my drawing and painting? Not much, but the reading thing was starting to become a bit of a bummer. And if I had my distance/general glasses on and needed to read something? You know the drill: lift-lower-peer over the rims, sink my chin into my neck… hello, grandma Jen.

I count around half a dozen or more pairs of prescription glasses in my drawers. Only one is current, but the rest are still perfectly good frames. I’ve just ordered a pair of reading glasses online, so that’ll be another pair kicking around, but I couldn’t beat the price. I could’ve got one of my existing pairs reglazed with the new prescription for about £25 (shipped), or order a completely new pair for cheaper. Like, crazy cheaper. £7.50 for frames, £5 upgraded lenses, plus shipping came to under £18 total. As a self-employed, not-yet-rolling-in-the-dough artist, I couldn’t pass it up. I would love to support Specsavers and buy through them – I did last time – but for reading glasses that’ll be worn intermittently… well, no-brainer, really.

Not an exciting blog post, I know, but I’m trying to get myself writing more frequently again. There was a time I wrote a blog post most days of the week; I know I can do better than the once a month I’m managing now…

sharing too much since 2003