About software, technology and random things


Deleting Huge Directories in Windows Via Command Prompt


If you'd like to delete a huge folder / directory in Windows with maybe thousands or hundreds of thousands of files inside, doing that via Explorer might cost you a lot more time than via command prompt.

Here's how to do it faster:

  1. Open the command prompt by using "Start" => "cmd" and navigating to the desired path via "cd <path>" or "pushd <path>"
    - OR -
    navigate to the folder in the Explorer and use Shift + right-click and "Open command window here"
    (Note: if deleting the desired folder requires elevated privileges, you will have to start a command prompt in elevated mode and navigate the old-fashioned way)
  2. Use the following command:
    rmdir /s /q folder

A little explanation about rmdir's flags:

  • /s: removes the directory itself including all the contained files and subdirectories
  • /q: forces deletion and does not ask for approval

Doing this can be very helpful in a coding environment where you can easily end up with thousands of small files.

Thanks for reading!



Hiding the Closing Button (X) on the Firefox Add-on Bar


Since the introduction of Firefox 3 or 4 (I don't quite remember) and the removal of the status bar I have liked to use the Add-on bar instead. In the newer versions of Firefox, however, that Add-on bar comes with a closing button, an X on the very left.

Unfortunately, there is no built-in option to disable that particular button. Right-clicking and "Customize ..." doesn't allow moving or removing that button either.

After searching the web for a while, I stumbled upon a Google Groups thread:

In that thread, Chris Ilias gave a simple solution (thank you!):

  1. Go to your Firefox profile directory. For that, just enter about:support in your URL bar (or click on Firefox => Help => Troubleshooting) and click on the "Open Containing Folder" button next to "Profile Directory".
  2. Close Firefox. (So maybe it would be better to continue reading these instructions beforehand and/or copy them into a text editor. ūüôā )
  3. Enter the subfolder "chrome" in the profile directory.
  4. Open the file "userChrome.css". If it does not exist, copy "userChrome-example.css" and rename the copy to "userChrome.css".
    If you are using Notepad, you won't be able to see line breaks / new lines. Therefore I recommend using a program that can interpret these kinds of line breaks, for example TextPad, Notepad++ or even WordPad, which comes with Windows itself.
  5. Add the following line to the file:
    #addonbar-closebutton { display: none }
  6. That's it! Save the file, start up Firefox again and enjoy the Add-on bar without a closing button!

These instructions were written for Firefox 11, but they should stay viable for the next couple of versions as well.

I hope this was of any help to you.

Thanks for reading!


Restoring Syntax Highlighting to Vim


After doing a couple of updates on my servers today, I noticed that one of them had syntax highlighting in vim disabled. I double-checked to see that it was still vim that was installed, and not vi. Indeed it was, so I tried entering a couple of vim commands in order to re-enable syntax highlighting.

A couple of minutes of trying and searching the Internet went by till I got the idea to directly compare the vim version info both on one of my servers that had it working properly and the one that didn't. It turned out that even though it was the same version number and build with the same compile time it had a certain difference: one line said "Tiny version without GUI." vs. "Huge version without GUI.". The tiny version was the one that wasn't highlighting correctly.

So I checked out what the package manager thought of this:

# yum list *vim*
Installed Packages
vim-common.i386                                   2:7.0.109-7.el5                                  installed
vim-enhanced.i386                                 2:7.0.109-7.el5                                  installed
vim-minimal.i386                                  2:7.0.109-7.el5                                  installed
Available Packages
vim-X11.i386                                      2:7.0.109-7.el5                                  base

Somehow during updating it had apparently decided to install the vim-minimal package as well. And of course it wasn't installed on the server on which vim worked as it should.

Fair enough. I thought to myself that removing should fix it, but when I tried to it said the following:

# yum remove vim-minimal
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Setting up Remove Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package vim-minimal.i386 2:7.0.109-7.el5 set to be erased
--> Processing Dependency: vim-minimal for package: sudo
--> Running transaction check
---> Package sudo.i386 0:1.7.2p1-13.el5 set to be erased
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

 Package                   Arch               Version                         Repository               Size
 vim-minimal               i386               2:7.0.109-7.el5                 installed               581 k
Removing for dependencies:
 sudo                      i386               1.7.2p1-13.el5                  installed               861 k

Transaction Summary
Remove        2 Package(s)
Reinstall     0 Package(s)
Downgrade     0 Package(s)

Is this ok [y/N]:

That was weird. It felt the need to remove sudo along with it. Of course that was not okay for me, so I tried looking for a parameter for vim in order to ignore the dependencies, but apparently there are none (any more).

The solution I found after a couple of more minutes of searching the Internet was to remove the package via the actual rpm program. But don't you need the original rpm file for vim-minimal? No, you don't!

First you have to find out the complete package name, however. That can be done like this:

# rpm -qa | grep vim-minimal

And finally just use the following command:

# rpm -e --nodeps vim-minimal-7.0.109-7.el5.i386

whereas the last parameter is of course the proper name of the package in question. --nodeps, as you might have figured already, stands for "no dependencies" and removes the package without any questions asked.

In the end, these simple steps restored the syntax highlighting functionality for my vim.

Let's hope that after the next update it doesn't decide to go monochrome again.

Thanks for reading!

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