Moving Directory: Replace-Merge-Skip instead of Just Replace

I’ve been using a Mac extensively for the first time at my new job, and I have to say it’s been quite the elegant experience. Installation by copying directories? Beautifully functional touchpad gestures? A gigantic glass screen across which my windows may splay comfortably? Yes, yes, and yes!

Yet, besides the strangeness of how touchpad scroll gestures are the opposite for Mac (swipe down to go down) and my Lenovo laptop (swipe up to go down, like on a tablet), the thing that has jumped out the most is that when you paste a copy of a directory in Finder, the automatic behavior is to replace the old one (after a prompt, of course). That just seems counterintuitive, especially where Windows gives you the option of merging, skipping, replacing, etc. I never realized how I depended on this functionality until it just wasn’t there anymore.

A helpful thread on SuperUser.com suggested some downloadable apps which would add the functionality; someone mentioned that you could do this easily on command line (although I’m sadly still a cmd line rookie — but I used my first sudo command today :D). Someone else mentioned that it is now built into OSX Lion, though you have to hold down the option key after the replace prompt comes up, which doesn’t seem like too much of an improvement for users who wouldn’t know it was even there (plus I’m running an older version of MacOS, so it doesn’t work for me — sad face).

Another person on the thread said that this replace behavior is probably because application bundles are simply directories and they need to be able to install (move and replace older files) cleanly, but one feels like there could be an everyone-wins solution, like copying into the Applications folder would have replace as a default, whereas into other folders it would prompt the user to merge/update/skip/replace.

Well, in any case, it seems unlikely that anything further than the “hold down ‘option'” solution will be implemented in Finder, so what we all need to do is become command line experts 🙂

(I’m not the only person in 2014 thinking about this, so if you’d like a workable solution instead of a talking piece, there’s a great post on DBSysnet.com, Merging Directories (Folders) on Mac OS X).)

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Spring Break

So, it’s about that hallowed time again. I have another week left before I get off for break, and I was thinking about doing a post to help out spring breakers coming to Oahu. I like to consider myself somewhat between a local and a transplant, since I’ve lived here a few years now, and I know a little bit of where to go and what to do. I was thinking something along the lines of an “insider’s guide” type post, perhaps about Waikiki, Honolulu, or even Oahu in general. There are a lot of different aspects to write from though — for people interested in beaches, nightlife, hikes, local treasures. Therefore, if anyone has any particular requests I’m open 🙂

My journey into the serious blogosphere

Well, it’s a little after midnight and I’ve created my first WordPress blog. Not my first blog by far. I’ve been on the internet for quite a while…

This blog is borne out of a desire to put the pedal to the metal, my nose to the grindstone; to get myself motivated to be productive in some way. It’ll also help me hone my writing, which is always useful. I have a big problem with motivating myself to do things, so perhaps a blog will hold me accountable.

But I haven’t released my stats yet, if you will: well, I’m a computer science student; I’m about to graduate with a BS degree from the University of Hawaii, in May; I’m interested in way too many things and not really a master of any of them. Following that, be forewarned that this blog may end up all over the place, but I’ll always try to make it interesting.

Oh, and one last thing you may be wondering: cactusea? What is that? Well, in my blog header (I’ll attach the picture for posterity should the layout change) you can see cacti backed by the sea. Interesting juxtaposition, I thought to myself, when I came across the tableau on a hike a couple weeks back. The portmanteau came from a friend who shortened my Instagram caption of “the cactus and the sea”.

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