Adding a batch script to the Windows Context Menu

With my previous article on How to remove the metadata title from MKV files I discussed methods for using a simple batch file to process a folder, removing metadata from individual files, plus an option to do this recursively; this got me thinking how great it would be to add that to the right-click menu for Windows folders.

As it turns out, it’s really easy, and using the example of recursively processing all MKV files in a folder structure, this is how…

Save the following to a file called MKVCleanup.bat, place this in your Windows folder (Usually c:\windows). You can download a copy by right-clicking here, and selecting “Save As”.

@echo off
cd %1
for /r %%i in (*.mkv) do (
echo processing "%%i"
"C:\Program Files\MKVToolNix\mkvpropedit.exe" "%%i" -d title
)
Echo Done.
pause

The next step, actually adding the right-click command is a registry addition; save the following text into a file on your desktop called MKVCleanup.reg, then right-click on it, selecting “Merge”. You can download a copy by right-clicking here, and selecting “Save As”, you’ll still need to right click on it, selecting merge. This makes an entry in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell – it just includes a title, and one command which points to the batch file.

It takes advantage that the environment automatically starts in parent of the folder indicated by your right click, and passes the target folder as a command line parameter.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\MKVCleanup]
@="&MKVCleanup"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\MKVCleanup\command]
@="\"C:\\Windows\\MKVCleanup.bat\" \"%1\""

If you’re actually using this, you’ll also need the MKVToolNix Program (Backup link to 64 bit installer, since their site seems to be down a lot). Go download and install. It’s free, and doesn’t nag.

That’s it, no reboot required, as soon as you’re done, you’ll have a new & shiny right click option in Windows Explorer for folders called “MKVCleanup” – simples ๐Ÿ™‚

How to remove the metadata title from MKV files

mkvYou may have come across the need to remove the metadata, or extended title information from an mkv file downloaded from the internet.

Not all files are equal – in the case of regular files, for example .jpg and .mp4 files, you can simply right click in Windows, select Properties, and happily click away at the Details Tab, then “Remove Properties and Personal Information” – provided you have the right permissions, it’ll all work fine. MKV files will give you a permissions error, which is a lie, a dirty stinking filthy lie – don’t believe the lie.

Windows just doesn’t know how to deal with an MKV file title.

You need a 3rd party tool, and a small amount of knowledge.

The tool you need is MKVToolNix (Backup link to 64 bit installer, since their site seems to be down a lot). Go download and install. It’s free, and doesn’t nag.

Then you need to understand how to use the command line.

The basic command you need is: “C:\Program Files\MKVToolNix\mkvpropedit.exe” *mkv file name* -d title

When run, it will simply empty the metadata title from the file, no fuss, and it’ll only take a second.

Update: A number of people have asked me how to automate this to make it recursive, i.e. start at the top of a specified directory (Folder), and go through all sub-directories, processing all files.

This is how:

โ€‹@echo off
c:
cd \users\USERNAME\downloads\*.mkv
for /r %%i in (*.mkv) do (
echo processing "%%i"
"C:\Program Files\MKVToolNix\mkvpropedit.exe" "%%i" -d title
)

The For loop goes through every file in the folder structure (Given the *.mkv spec), and executes the mkvpropedit command on every file found in the list. Simples.

Feel free to nick the code above, and use it for your own purposes, but remember to change the relevant path names to those on your own system.

If you would like to know more about batch files, and how they (Plus the command line) work in Windows, please visit the excellent Wikibook: Windows Batch Scripting which should get you started, or go Google it ๐Ÿ™‚

Batch scripting (Or otherwise known as Batch Files) enable simple yet powerful processing of almost anything in the DOS or Windows environments, however the batch-language is largely superseded by the more powerful Windows Powershell; but in my opinion it is still very much a valid and ultimately useful tool, for it’s ease of use and simplicity.

This article (Click here) shows you how to add this to the right click context menu in Windows – even easier!”

iOS: 10 Top Tips which aren’t so well known

This article details some ideas to reduce annoyances, and improve your iOS 10 experience on your iPad and iPhone, plus gives you new features to play with.

These are little tips I’ve picked up over time when using my iPhone, features that are, in some cases, just not publicised during the iOS upgrade & launch. It’s almost like they don’t want you to know ๐Ÿ˜‰

Either way, it’s the little things which make iOS superior to Apple’s competitors, and we should all know about them!

Before and AfterDevice going slow? Clear some memory quickly.

For this one, your device needs to be powered on and unlocked.

Simply press your power button until the power slider appears, then press and hold the Home Button until the screen returns to normal.

This has the effect of dumping some of the cached memory and freeing up a chunk of working-memory for applications to use. If your device is performing poorly, this is a quick alternative to a complete reboot of your device, which can typically take a few minutes, and interrupt your work.

Save some power.

Save power by turning off AirDrop, whilst keeping Bluetooth on.

Bluetooth on an iPhone / iPad isn’t a bad thing, and you can keep it on permanently without using too much power – the only instance where this uses a ton of battery charge is when you leave on AirDrop. Simply turning off AirDrop will enable you to just leave Bluetooth on, without using all that precious power – this is useful, for example, for people who use their phone in and out of the car all day.

To turn off AirDrop, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the control-centre, then tap until it’s off.

Reopen Closed TabsClosed a web page by accident?

Did you know, if you’ve closed a web page in Safari on your iPad / iPhone, you can simply and easily re-open it?

Just hit the button for a new tab, and when the “+” symbol is displayed, press and hold it. This will reveal all of your recently closed tabs, from where you can simply open them back up!

Is that scrolling background causing you a problem? Want to see the text more clearly?

If you’re anything like myself in this instance, the answer will be yes! The good news is that Apple have provided a couple of things to make this better. Firstly, you can turn off that annoying scrolling of the background, and secondly you can make all the text bold.

Simply hit Settings > General > Accessibility, scroll down a little, turn on Bold Text, then Reduce Motion. This will give you an easier to look at and read home screen.

Do you have an ad-blocker installed? Do some pages fail?

Ad-blockers are essential when browsing the web these days, I never venture on to the web without one enabled, however they can cause severe problems with some sites.

Rather than diving into the settings, and turning off the ad-blockers, then reloading the page, … and turning them back on again later on, did you know you can simply and easily reload the page without the ad-blocker?

Easy to do – simply press and hold on the re-load symbol in the address / search bar at the top of safari, this will pop up a menu, which will allow you to either reload the page without ad-blockers, or request the desktop version of the site (As opposed to the mobile version, for example).

Do you ever miss alerts?
Do you have difficulty hearing people during calls?

If the answer to either of the two questions is yes, I have some good news for you!

When you’ve accidentally flicked the switch on your phone to put it into silent mode, and it’s just lying there, vibrating, but you can’t feel it… You can turn the camera’s flash on for the alert! This is also useful in especially noisy environments, and you’ll see it alert, giving you another chance to notice your phone is demanding attention.

To access this feature, select Settings > General > Accessibility > Scroll down to the Hearing section, turn on LED Flash for Alerts.

In the same section as mentioned, you’ll also notice Phone Noise Cancellation – this is absolutely fantastic – this feature, almost magically reduces the background noise, making those all important calls much easier to hear.

Save your home-button

One of the most used physical features of the iPhone and iPad is the home button, which also doubles as the fingerprint scanner in later versions of the devices. This button has been known to fail with excessive use, this problem has been made worse recently as it’s used to wake-up, and unlock you phone in the later instances of iOS. There is a new setting you can enable to reduce the usage of the button.

For example, where you wake your phone with the home button, then want to unlock via a fingerprint, you have to press the button a second time – enabling this function will allow you to simply rest your finger / thumb there and unlock without actually pressing the button a second time. You can save even more button presses on this one, if you wake your phone with the power button instead.

To enable the function select Settings > General > Accessibility > scroll down to Home Button, and select this. Inside the Home Button select Rest Finger to Open.

This function also allows you to use the device almost silently, for example if your partner is sleeping next to you, and you’re catching up on Facebook in bed ๐Ÿ˜‰

Firefox: Prevent Unicode Phishing Attacks

IMPORTANT

This is concerning an extremely troubling phishing attack vector for the Firefox browser (Also impacts Chrome), which could leave you wide open to handing over login details to virtually any site, yes even those sites with the little green padlock (Which is supposed to be a sign of security).

The attack works by taking advantage of the unicode feature to display a false web address in tbe address bar, complete with working SSL certification. I won’t go in to further detail here, however you can read about it from the Wordfence Blog Entry, complete with an in-depth explanation.

The fix, for Firefox, is to set the variable network.IDN_show_punycode in Firefox about:config to True – setting this will reveal the real web address, instead of the phishing version for any domain.

The moral of this is not to hide the address bar and other bits of the browser which are slightly technical – this is a problem with technology which is wider than this specific example – programmers hide things, supposedly to make the experience more user-friendly – well, the world isn’t user friendly, and users should damn-well learn to deal with it!

Random things meme – getting to know your Spabbit.

Here are some random things, statements, whatever. Make of them what you will ๐Ÿ™‚
IMG_3110

  1. Around the age of 35, I decided to look for a wife, took me a while, but have mine for keeps.
  2. I cook only for those I love.
  3. You can go skiing in a car.
  4. It is possible to change almost anything in your life, eventually.
  5. All religion is inherently evil, and not a force for good.
  6. You can call me “Rev Spabbit”, as I’m an ordained member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Sardonic, right?)
  7. Morals don’t, and never have, come from religion
  8. Learning to cook is one of the most important things you can do.
  9. Don’t listen to Doctors too readily, always get a second opinion.
  10. Cats, no society can be civilised without cats * lots (We have 6!).
  11. You can choose your family, do so carefully.
  12. Sex. More fun kinky.
  13. You can sleep handcuffed, quite happily.
  14. Duty and Loyalty and right up there with breathing.
  15. Tattoos are fun, I only have one so far.
  16. Eventually, a computer will do as I tell it to.
  17. Be prepared to be wrong, admit your mistakes. Be gracious when you’re right.
  18. Always look at the actual evidence, and to many decimal places. If the evidence proves you wrong, then you’re wrong, deal with it.
  19. The Scotty Principle saves all.
  20. The 10,000 hours thing is true, anyone can do anything!
  21. If you’ve not been broken at least once, you’re not complete as a person.
  22. Science has the answers, even if it doesn’t yet, it will.
  23. One man’s magic is another man’s engineering.
  24. There is/are no god/gods, only delusional humans.
  25. Make shit count, when you’re dead, that’s it – all you are then are a collection of memories, eventually to fade. There are no second chances when you’re dead.
  26. Women and children first, anything else, and we’re all doomed.
  27. I don’t feel the need to follow every law, I think most are optional at best – it’s only illegal if you’re caught, but be prepared to pay the price!
  28. You have to sleep, so be good and moral where possible.
  29. Always leave your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.
  30. Live and Learn, or don’t live at all. Sometimes you just have to say “Fuck it”, dive off the deep end with that quivering feeling at the base of your spine. Done that more than once ๐Ÿ˜‰
  31. Always try to be objective, and where emotional, make sure you can live with the results of your actions.
  32. If you’re going to take the path of least resistance, you’re invariably going to settle for less.
  33. Physical pain and pleasure really are very close to each other.
  34. If you want to do something, have self respect, at least Google it and try before going begging for help!
  35. If you’re afraid, it means you’re doing it right. Fear is the complement of courage, the fearless are invariably stupid. A man without fear cannot be courageous.
  36. Write shit down. I tell you three times, write shit down. Only a matter of time before you forget something important.
  37. Learn to say “no”, and be rude about it where necessary; the sooner you do so, and mean it, the better your life will become, and the more you’ll be able to support you and yours.

Greater e-mail control & privacy with Google Mail

gmailThis is one of those “Did you know” articles which will become more useful the longer you remember to use the knowledge.

Have a GMail / Google Mail account? Yes – Good. No – Go get one.

You register for gmail, and have a gmail address, for example e-mail@google.com, but did you know that you can actually have as many as you like?

Now you say, “Why would I want more than one address?”. Well, say you don’t like spam, and you register for a website, one which gets hacked, or plain plays dirty and gives that address out – you can then easily filter anything to that address to the bin. The problem is that it’s hard to do when you only have one address, hence the need for multiple addresses. Previously this was one of the bonuses available to domain name owners, or geeks with a million e-mail accounts, but now this can be yours for a few extra key presses with any GMail account.

Simply add dots in your e-mail address, or a + symbol, followed by numbers or letters before the @gmail.com part of the address.

Examples:

So if your address was e-mail@gmail.com, you could automatically just use:

e-ma.il@gmail.com, e-mail+spammywebsitename@gmail.com, e-mail+reallyspammysite@gmail.com

You’d get all of the mails, the same as if you’d just used e-mail@gmail.com – get it?

When you register for websites, just use your-e-mail+sitename@gmail.com, then if they spam you, you can simply autofilter anything to that address into the bin. Simples.

As a side-note – this will also enhance security as often hacked account details are circulated, now as this almost always done via an automated process, a unique e-mail address for a site is by definition going to make the job of the “hacker” more difficult when using an automated process.

Further along the security lines, often phishing e-mails, for example claiming to be from your bank, are spammed at random e-mail accounts. Say you’d used your e-mail@gmail.com address with your bank, it’d be quiet hard to tell if it was legit – but (Not 100% foolproof, but goes a long way!), if you’d used e-mail+banknameyourname@gmail.com, it’d go a long way to telling you if the mail was genuine or not.

Remember though, in general – if you get what you think may be a dodgy e-mail from a financial institution, CALL them on their publicly known numbers and verify it – BEFORE you click on links!

Spabbit’s Onion Bhajis

img_4777These Bhajis are super easy & quick to make, using little ingredients, and are fantastic when served with a little salad, and Spabbit’s Mint Sauce.

Sometimes I’ll whip up a batch as a quick spicy snack – so easy and cheap to do – I’ll never buy them from a takeaway again!

Ingredients

  • Oil for frying
  • 2 Onions
  • 80g Gram Flour
  • 2 tsp Tandoori Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Hot Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Splash Lemon Juice
  • 50 ml Water

Method

Heat the oil to maximum temperature, either in a deep pan, or in a fryer.

Whilst the oil is heating up, chop the onions into whatever size lumps you like, think smallish chunks or slices. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the other ingredients bar the water.

Throw in the chunks of onion, and ensure they’re thoroughly coated. Gradually add the water and mix, eventually when mixed well and all the water has been added, the lumps should be sticking together with a gooey batter coating.

Take a tea-spoon at a time of the mixture and drop in to the hot oil. Make sure the oil is deep enough for the bhajis to float around during cooking. Stir around / flip over during cooking to ensure they’re all cooked evenly. Cook for around 3 minutes, or longer depending on the size. Take out and drain on paper-towel.

img_4776  img_4775

Spabbit’s UK Indian-takeaway Mint Sauce.

img_4662For years now, I’ve been after a recipe to exactly replicate the sweet tasty sauce you typically get when ordering from an Indian Takeaway in the UK – the stuff is delicious, and I often found myself ordering more than I needed, just to feast with afterwards.

The sauce is great – you can have it with Indian food, such as bhajis or Samosas, or just as a dip for some tortilla chips (I’ve done that one more than once!)

The best thing about this – it’s cheap & easy to make. This recipe will make 1.2 litres of sauce, or 12 of those little containers you get from the takeaway ๐Ÿ™‚

img_4656Ingredients

  • 1 KG natural yoghurt (NOT Greek-style!)
  • A small jar (230g) of Mango Chutney
  • 2 heaped tbsp Concentrated Garden Mint (NOT mint sauce!)
  • Around 30ml of Lemon Juice
  • 8 tsp Granulated sugar or sweetener (Vary to taste)
  • Food colouring to preference

Method
Blend / liquidise the Mango Chutney until there are no lumps. Measure out all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, then mix well using a hand whisk – pour into containers, seal and refrigerate until needed. I always go by the use-by date of the yoghurt as a guide as to how long this will last in the fridge.

If you find that the sauce is too thick – you can add some milk to thin it out a little.

Enjoy!

img_4657  img_4658  img_4659

img_4660  img_4662

Not being morbid, or anything, but thereisnospoon.

muerteDo you ever wonder why you worry?

I’m worried about lots of things, all the time. Sometimes I turn to the common vices, drink etc… But why the fuck do we all worry all the time, soon enough we’ll all be dead, and when you’re dead, you don’t care anymore.

Why worry?

Fucking evolution and biology. Fuck them both.

The Human Condition: Bright enough to know what you are, and why you are. Too fucking dumb to do jack shit about it. Yup – there’s your problem.

Thereisnospoon.