Posts Tagged ‘OS X’

Preserving Character Encodings of a DSpace Metadata Export using MS Excel 2011 on OS X

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Stencil Alphabet The problem I recently ran into was updating the metadata for a particular collection that was being moved from TDL’s repository into A&M’s repository. I able to quickly move the collection into the new repository using OAI-PMH harvesting with ORE support. However, the metadata needed a bit of cleaning up for it’s new repository home, such as changing dc.contributor.author to dc.author and inconsistent formats used in other fields. This is a perfect task for Stuart’s Bulk Metadata Export tool. This DSpace feature allows an administrator to download a Comma Separate Values (CSV) file of all the metadata in a particular collection, then open it up in MS Excel and edit the metadata naturally. Finally once the metadata is ready to go you can upload it back to the repository and all the fields will be updated correctly. It is a very nice feature that can save a ton of time.

The Problem

When I opened the file in Excel some of the characters were not showing up correctly. Specifically characters in titles and names which used non-English marks, in this case there were all from the extended Latin character set. If you ignore these problems, later when you try to upload the CSV file DSpace will pick up on these changes and cause the garbled characters to be introduced into the repository.


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OS X Terminal slow to bring up a prompt?

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Today I was in the middle of some tasks and needed a bash shell. Naturally, I fired up the Terminal.app from OS X and waited….. and waited….  The window popped up but the bash prompt didn’t come up, it just stayed there with one character blinking at me. It took forever for the prompt to appear, it seemed like a few minutes but was probably more like 20 seconds. You know how time scales depending on how busy you are. Fed up with that, I goggled [1][2][3] around to see what if anyone else has had similar problems.

It turns out there’s a well known solution to the problem:

sudo rm -f /private/var/log/asl/*.asl

The speculation is the that a build up of log files causes the terminal app to continually slow down when opening a new prompt. After deleting the log files and opening a new terminal window the prompt appears immediately. I hadn’t noticed this behavior before Snow Leopard so it looks like apple forgot to clear something out on a regular basis or added a new check. In either case, it’s annoying.

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