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Senior WordPress platform developer. Open web / Music. DJ (under @CloudseerDJ). Tall Dutch guy.

What is the meaning of a site's Last Updated property?

2 min read

When running a WordPress multisite, in the site directory each site has a Last Updated property. I previously incorrectly assumed this reflected  when the site's metadata changed, for example the site's attributes. However, archiving and deactivating a site does not change the Last Updated value, so what does it do in WordPress 5.2.1?

As usual the best place to look is the WordPress codebase. It turns out that, on a multisite, this value is updated whenever a post is updated or deleted. It reflects the last content update, not the site's metadata.

By inspecting the html and looking up the property name, we find that the function that updates this is called wpmu_update_blogs_date and there is an action hook wpmu_blog_updated that receives the site_id variable. This function can be called whenever we want to update the value. It isn't used anywhere else.

If we're looking to update this date whenever the site's status changes, then via the same process it appears that he actions to hook into site attribute updates are in wp_maybe_transition_site_statuses_on_update so one could write a quick mu-plugin that updates the Last Updated property whenever these fire.

Fix for Google Chrome Bouncing Forever in the macOS Dock

1 min read

I had the issue where it was not possible to launch Google Chrome. It would bounce in the dock forever without actually starting. Trashing the application and associated files (with Hazel) did not work.

Other people had the same problem:

The following instructions will help get Chrome back up and running.

The Fix

The solution to this issue is to remove all application settings. Start a terminal:

cd "/Users/`whoami`/Library/Application Support/Google"
mv Chrome Chrome.old
mkdir Chrome
open "/Users/`whoami`/Library/Application Support/Google"

Now start Chrome. If it starts correctly, trash the Chrome.old folder. 

Restoring the folder

If the fix did not work in your case, use the following commands to restore the original folder.

rm -rf Chrome
mv Chrome.old Chrome

Good luck!

Countdown - a bash countdown timer

1 min read

I was looking for a tea timer countdown but quickly realised I might as well use a countdown script for this. I based my script on the linked script but added a customizable notification at the end

$ nano ~/bin/countdown
# v2 - 2019-05-01
msg=${2:-$1 seconds passed.}
while [ $secs -gt 0 ]; do
echo -ne "$secs\033[0K\r"
sleep 1
: $((secs--))
notify-send 'Countdown Finished' "$msg"

$ chmod +x ~/bin/countdown
$ countdown 180 "Tea is ready."

macOS doesn't use a swap file when running from an external SSD

1 min read

So I was seeing graphical glitches, freezes and Activity Monitor indicated memory pressure. Turns out macOS doesn't mount a swap file, as I am running from an external SSD install.

This is easily fixed. I can't believe it is a problem though.

By the way I had to change the end of line 4 (because the command in the Ask Different answer returned multiple results) to:

VM_VOLUME=$(/usr/sbin/diskutil list | grep "VM" | awk 'NR==1{print $7;exit }')

It's easy to add the launch item using Lingon X and start it with sudo ./ for the current session.

Stop OpenPGP passphrase prompting on login

1 min read

As a security conscious person I setup my OpenPGP keys with a passphrase, however on OpenSUSE Leap 15 this causes a login prompt to appear that delays the network connection from initiating. The same issue also blocks software updates and means a browser restart due to DNS cache stopping connections to websites. This is fairly annoying.

It turns out that this can be fixed by sharing the network connection via Connections > open the connection > General Configuration > All users may connect to this network. This causes NetworkManager to cache the required  authorization tokens (this is my understanding).

Note that other software such as Kontact might set a daemon to startup by default, causing the same prompt. This can be unticked in its settings.

If everything else fails, then you could remove the passphrase for the PGP key but this is not recommended as this means someone can take on your identity should your key be exposed for any reason.

On doing good work

1 min read

Aka why I keep having bad customer experiences.

Assuming the idea of a business (and us when we represent it) is to stay in business then it should aim to make the customer (a fellow person) happy as happy people are loyal.

This means the person needs to understand what the other person wants from the transaction to be happy. It also means both parties must understand the details of the transaction to know how this makes them happy. The product must be understood  to ensure maximum happiness.  And finally if the product or service offered is not making the customer happy then it’s the responsibility of a good business to help the customer find happiness another way. 

Doing good business is about understanding people, and having empathy. 

This is also why why car dealerships keep disappointing me. Stop pushing product. Start making people happy. 

Updating Known

1 min read

I wrote a quick and dirty script that sits in the parent directory of my Known site. I'm using the following directory structure:


The offical Known git repository is checked out in known/. The config.ini and Uploads folder have been moved to the folder to sit alongside it.

The contents of the script are as follows:

rm -rf old
cp -R known old
cd known
git pull
cd ..
ln -sf `pwd`/config.ini `pwd`/known/config.ini
ln -sf `pwd`/Uploads `pwd`/known/Uploads

It's not elegant but it makes updating to the latest Known changes pretty seamless.

Spotify how to hide the "Find friends" bar

1 min read

On Linux operating systems, Spotify does not always show the file and view menus. This makes it harder to hide the "Find Friends" bar as there is no close button on the sidebar itself.

However there's another way: Click on the chevron in the top right corner next to your spotify username, then on Settings > Display Options > untick Show Friend Activity.

Install Python 3.7.1 on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

1 min read

After another hour of resolving issues with pyenv and a personal project that requires Python 3.7 I thought it best to note the steps I used to install Python 3.7.1 on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed:

# Install requirements for compiling Python
sudo zypper in zlib-devel bzip2 libbz2-devel libffi-devel libopenssl-devel readline-devel sqlite3 sqlite3-devel xz xz-devel 

# Compile Python
cd ~/Downloads
tar xf Python-3.7.1.tar.xz
cd Python-3.7.1

# AltInstall ensures 3.7.1 is installed alongside your system python
sudo make altinstall

# Fix dynamic library loading
sudo ln -s /usr/local/lib64/python3.7/lib-dynload /usr/local/lib/python3.7/lib-dynload

I've updated the Common build problems · pyenv/pyenv Wiki page to reflect the updated required packages. Thanks to Andrew Cooke for the dynamic library fix

The Milk Chocolate Peanut

1 min read

Aaron Gustafson wrote back in 2008:

Getting into the progressive enhancement mindset is quite simple: just think from the content out. The content forms the solid base on which you layer your style and interactivity. If you’re a candy fan, think of it as a Peanut M&M:

The Chocolatey Layers of Progressive Enhancement

JavaScript first websites have the peanut inside out!