Posts Tagged ‘utilities’

File renaming utilities

When working with foreign language (learning) digital media files electronic repositories, typical problems include having to:

  1. adding metadata information to the filename
  2. handling of foreign language characters in filenames across operating and file systems, including code pages

A good file renaming  utility can work wonders in such situations.

I have been using the excellent BRU (Bulk rename utility) for a while, and always liked its flexibility – which is apparent from in its (initially somewhat intimidating) UI:

Now I found to my surprise, and confirmed with the help of the support forum, that the foreign language character support is lacking from BRU’s Regular Expression implementation.

Enter Renamer, another file renaming utility, which features a stable and beta version, pdf documentation and a wiki.

As you can see in the following screenshot, Renamer makes it possible, using Unicode character codes in Regular Expressions, to replace e.g. all Mandarin characters in a filename.

Renamer also has in-built support for common tasks like cleaning up filenames by stripping common tags, transliterating foreign alphabets or adding file numbering (serializing).

Both utilities are free and highly recommended, but also see TBA:part II for limitations.



How to use Bulk Rename’s RegEx matching capability

Much desired, but took me a while to figure that one out:

By default, any filename with a  matched substrings will be replaced by nothing;


What you want to remain, you have to refer to in the replacement with backticks:image

Mousewithoutborders, software KVM from Microsoft

  1. Mousewithoutborders, a free tool from Microsoft, allows you to control, from one keyboard and mouse two (or more) computers on the same network. These could be – as in my case – a laptop temporarily placed on the same desk as a desktop, or a desktop next to a server (if you do not run it headless anyway).
  2. Limitations
      1. Mousewithoutborders needs to control the Windows Firewall which is at work, in a domain administrator controlled windows network, disabled – so no luck getting it to work at the office desk, where it would be even more useful.
      2. For my Mousewithoutborders setup, to not exhibit connection issues, it seems crucial that both local and remote machine a checked in the matrix, and you even may have to type the network name of the remote computer.
        1. While initially, my network configuration was autodiscovered and the clients on the two computers that I try to control from one keyboard and mouse autoconnected, once I type the ID key into both installations
        2. Later, after I once used the “Clear”-button to cut the connection (when I temporarily had to physically reconfigure the arrangement of the two computers where the mouse movement across screens interrupted the new work flow)
        3. they lost their connection, and also could not discover the other client, when I requested reconnection (using the practical keyboard shortcut  option form the “Other Options”tab: one client managed to remember the other, but “timed out”trying to connect; the other client I could not get to remember or autodiscover the other client), until I manually checked the checkbox next to the computer icon (screen icon  turns blue) and typed the network name of the other computer into the textbox. Glad that I have the functionality back now…
        4. mousewithoytborders-get2connect-checkbox-checked-networkname-typedmousewithoytborders-get2connect-checkbox-checked-networkname-typed-connected

Moodle Metacourses, part III: The support workflow: File-renaming

2011/08/31 2 comments

We discussed file renaming utilities in an earlier post. Here are some more practical tips:

Limitations: While both utilities can accept Windows Search Result sets, drag-drop seems limited to fewer than 256 files at a time (on my Vista 64-bit – but that is not an OS limitation, since MS Expression Encoder can accept a drag-and-drop of all over 3.5k files that need reencoding).

Workaround: both utilities have a folder-select, and Renamer in addition accepts file masks, which can mimic some basic searches:


Bulk Rename Issue: While it allows for “Select from Clipboard” which you can use with the Windows “Copy as Path”/”Send  to Clipboard as Name” feature which works with search result sets. However, I could not get this feature to work (neither with the default “” around the path nor, after removing them manually,  without).

Renamer, Issue: rule, clean up, strip-out-content-of-brackets-does-not-what-it-should:

Renamer-translit-anglicize-foreign-language-diacritics: unfortunately still recommended for technical reasons; Renamer has presets, e.g. German here: TBA

Only one preset can be inserted add a time (overwrites previous) – but you can build your list with copy/paste from/to this text box and persist it to disk to load it later, just like the search rules – an extremely handy feature.