Trying out Ignite with a new Android project

Because I have some free time this evening (wow!) I thought I’d burrito-ify myself in front of the computer and finally make a photo viewer Android app for myself.

Let me back up a bit — since LG stopped making phones, I was forced to get a Motorola phone recently. It’s nice and all, but it doesn’t come with a photo viewer. Which means one must use all the Google apps (file viewer, Photos app, etc) to access one’s files.

This is no bueno.

So naturally I have simply not been opening my files on my phone. Unless someone has sent it to me via SMS or Discord or what have you, where I can view a preview. Or, if I upload it to my Proton storage, I’ll see a preview. (Even VLC Media Player seems to have failed me here — it doesn’t open 95% of the video files I task it with opening, for some reason.)

I got started with a video appropriately titled, “Getting Started With Ignite,” by Jamon Holmgren of Infinite Red. (

Install Yarn first if you want to follow this video smoothly (it can be installed via npm).

Deciding to upgrade to Node 20.8 to keep pace with the video, I downloaded the msi file from the official Node site, and double-clicked it — I didn’t have any reason not to install it globally on this machine. The usual “Get apps from Store / Install anyway” Microsoft warning appeared, but it had scroll bars; weird.
I clicked “Install anyway” several times — nothing happened. Did a dreaded restart. Same thing. So I had to run it from inside PowerShell:

msiexec /i “node-v20.8.0-x64.msi”

Quite irritating, but I thought it was just a fluke/bug.
Next was npx ignite-cli@next new PhotoView

… and selected all the desired settings. I chose all the defaults. I enjoyed the lovely ‘splash screen’:

When I got to ‘yarn android’, the error, ‘Failed to resolve the Android SDK path’ appeared. I remembered that I’d never installed Android studio on this particular computer. Downloading from the official Android homepage, I again ran into the same Windows bug. This time the exe file would not run in PowerShell. My hubby suggested running the Compatibility troubleshooter, which worked, but it seems that the bug can also be bypassed by turning off that warning in the OS settings under Apps & Features > Choose Where to Get Apps.

However, now I’m getting, “Starting Metro Bundler
CommandError: No Android connected device found, and no emulators could be started automatically.”

Yay, new error message!
But I’m ready for bed now… to be continued.
Ok, just kidding…I surfed around Twitter (Xitter?) for a bit, then got my second wind.

Starting Android Studio, then going into Device Manager and clicking the play button to start the device…

…seems to have worked:


Now to attempt some modifications so I can gradually get a photo viewer… to be continued…

Downshift: Transitioning and the Career Twisties

My online presence currently projects as a Web Developer, and my current resume still rings more communications- and marketing-heavy. Really though, I am more of a learner, trying to find learning opportunities which will also pay my bills. But transitioning for the career-changer is not for the faint of heart.

Why did I feel the need to make a change? Upon moving with my husband’s job to Hawaii, I found the Hawaii job market to be very tough. There was nothing approaching my previous salary in New York. And it turns out, getting a good job in Hawaii is very, very much based on having friends in the right places. I made a new friend who gave me local cleaning jobs, and I also did a few temp gigs.

Reasoning that companies in other states would have more openings, I began searching remote job boards. I discovered that the higher-paying remote job listings were for developers, and I found out my dad had also been studying Python and other languages when he passed away, so that sealed my decision to study programming. But I had no idea what to study and actually started out with Python.

After a year of stops and starts (not to mention life drama, as it is wont to do, happening,) I realized I should have been focused on web dev! Yet another 6 months later, I realized that I might have benefited most from the regimentation of a bootcamp. I seriously considered attending a bootcamp out of state, but that would mean leaving home and my husband for months, and I learned that even bootcamp grads have to leave Hawaii to find entry-level work.

Just as the talent saturation of the Bay Area was a big factor in protracting  Patrick Thompson’s (YouTube) job search, the Honolulu area suffers from the opposite: many tourism-related jobs, but not many tech companies featuring entry-level opportunities. Transitioning for the career-changer after a certain age also adds an extra layer of difficulty, since there is competition with shiny new grads for the few positions that are available.

Acceptance and Failing Forward

Still doing the cleaning jobs, and I have a couple of job applications in review. If they get rejected I might wrap up my efforts to enter the web dev employment track. I am proud of all that I’ve learned, but basically I wasted 2 whole years trying to get a remote, entry-level web dev job — something that is still pretty rare! But failure can help you find different approaches and is good for your brain! I am viewing this not as a total fail, but as extremely valuable experience.

For example, I attended meetups and enjoyed working with some great people on a fun internship. Meeting a lot of kind folks in the Twittersphere has also been an unexpected bonus. I learned some essential tools, and learned what I didn’t want to work on!

Also, WordPress freelancing was supposed to be a stop-gap measure until I found a permanent job, but I have learned more about WordPress over the past year than in the previous 5 years as a mere user. I might attempt to go the freelance route. This is something I might not have considered a few years ago.

Lastly, I’ve had a lot of fun — many nights I have had to tear myself away from VS Code and go to bed! I even started a side project which might eventually earn some ad and affiliate revenue. A lot of developers will tell you that they don’t code 24/7, but rather have hobbies such as cooking or sports. So it seems natural that I can have coding as a hobby.

Hindsight Which Might Help Other Career-Changers

In hindsight, transitioning as a career-changer was not even something I could have attempted without the support of my husband. Not knowing what I was getting myself into was probably for the best! If I could go back in time and get a do-over, I would try to secure a remote job with a New York company before leaving New York and relocating to Hawaii. New York has such a diversified economy compared to Hawaii, and there are just way more opportunities available. Also, there seems to be an unfortunate perception of Hawaii residents as beach bums who don’t work, not to mention many mainland companies don’t want to complicate their payroll by hiring out-of-state.

Another thing I could have done differently is studying for the jobs where there is demand, not just studying whatever is interesting. I found Python to be a lot more accessible than JavaScript as a newbie, so that’s what I gravitated towards. Nothing wrong with that, if I had also learned Django. I played with Android Studio (Java) because I wanted to try making a mobile app. I took pre-courses for Lambda School (JS) and AppAcademy (Ruby), instead of just working on my own learning projects. Jumping around so much exploring different technologies, it took me much longer to gain enough skill in one language to pass a coding challenge. There is a confusing amount of stuff out there to learn and without a guide — it is tough to know what to focus on. So I’d say just pick a track/stack and start checking the subjects off one by one.

Which brings me to the final hindsight which I hope someone out there may find useful; having someone to guide you. I really didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do; I just thought I might be good at coding since I like solving problems. Looking at a job board, I had no idea what the difference was between a Web Developer, a Front End Engineer, and a Full-Stack Developer. And I was actually interested primarily in software development and machine learning at first. Having a knowledgeable person to talk to about these tracks might have helped me narrow things down sooner and save a lot of time and energy.

I still have a few job applications out there under consideration, so I will update again later…

Chatbots: Overcoming Errors Using the Rasa NLU Starter Pack in Windows

So I got invited to join a team building a chatbot, exciting! When I am able to say more I’ll definately post. I decided to do a bunch of reading and research in my free time. Ironically it was machine learning which originally attracted me to Python and coding a couple of years ago, and I’d given up on that due to employment options in my area.

I looked into a few options and it seems the best choice for keeping your data to yourself and not using external APIs is an open-source package called Rasa. They have a starter pack you can play with. It comes with a nice video guide, but this is running on Linux. I came across a lot of errors during the install process; hopefully this post will help someone else using Windows.

If you already have Python installed (whether by PyCharm or Anaconda or some other bundle,) open a terminal/command line (cmd.exe) and check to see what version you have by typing:

$ python --version

(Only type everything after the $, at the command prompt.)

You might want to also search for any instance of ‘python.exe’ on your PC.

‘python’ is not recognized as an internal or external command / Can’t find python.exe install folder

When you see “‘python’ is not recognized as an internal or external command” in the terminal, but you know for a fact that you have Python installed (perhaps, um, several different versions in several places,) you might think you are an idiot. But you’re not!


(frustrated user tweet)

After some web searching, I tried setting the Python path in Advanced System Settings>Environment Variables. But that default install directory was too deep (ideally we want it in a top-level folder,) and it is a hidden system folder to boot, so I was really wondering where it installed to.

The easiest way to fix that is to reinstall Python using the graphical installer. Run the installer as administrator. BE SURE to click the little ‘Add to PATH’ checkbox, or all this will be for naught!! This is a lot quicker than manually adjusting the path in environment variables.
Then choose “Custom install location.” Clicking “Install for all users” should automatically change the install path to the C:Program Files folder.

You may also be able to do this without a full reinstall by selecting Modify/Repair under Control Panel>Programs and Features.

‘$ pip install spacy’ command finishes with murmurhash…MS Visual 14.0 C++ required

Rasa can use spaCy, Tensorflow, or other tool packages to parse text. For some reason, Rasa on Windows requires MS Visual Studio Build Tools. I’m sure there’s a fascinating reason behind this, but for now we just have to accept it. Their user forum and Github page has addressed the issue, and you can download and install the needed bits here. (The link provided in the error message — — doesn’t work anymore.)

“access denied” error returned in cmd

Retry the command, but this time run cmd.exe as Administrator (Start menu, type ‘cmd’, right-click the icon and select ‘Run as Administrator.’) I forgot to do this more than a few times.

error: could not find version that satisfies requirement Tensorflow

Turned out I had Python 32-bit installed (issue raised on GitHub here). I uninstalled it via the Programs and Features dialog and installed Python 3.6.8, 64-bit version. I also installed Anaconda because after all the errors, I was getting frustrated with the whole install and just threw the kitchen sink at it. Honestly I’m not quite sure which fixed this error! If I figure it out I will update.

How do you run ‘make’ to train the model?

Unless you install third-party tools, you can’t run the ‘make’ command in the Windows 7 command line. Copy the code from inside the Makefile and paste into the command line:

$ python -m rasa_core.train -d domain.yml -s -o models/dialogue

ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘rasa_core’

I got this after running the rasa_core.train command above. So I ran ‘pip install -U rasa_core’ (again, don’t forget to run as administrator like I did!) This led to the next error:

ERROR: rasa-nlu 0.15.0 has requirement future~=0.17.1, but you’ll have future 0.16.0 which is incompatible.

After a short web search, I just ignored this error because I was getting ready to chuck my laptop out the window. But the code still worked in the end. If you care to share any insights on it, please comment!

ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘named win32api’

This appeared after I tried to run the model test with ‘python -m rasa_nlu.server –path ./models’. A web search led me to this solution:

$ python -m pip install pypiwin32

It installed and said ‘successful,’ but the terminal was frozen with no prompt. I started another terminal and re-ran the model test command and…

terminal hangs at “Starting factory <twisted.web.server.Site object”, nothing happens

I thought that nothing happened, but really that was the command to start the server on port 5000. It had been hours since I read through the readme file, and I’d forgotten there was any mention of a server. And I’d seen so many obstacles I didn’t know what success looked like! In the Rasa forums there was a similarly confused poster, and an answer which suggested checking port 5000, but without any mention of HOW to check that port. I went back to the video and found the command:

$ curl XPOST localhost:5000/parse -d '{"query":"Hello", "project": "current"}'

It will need to run in a new terminal window. (When you’re finished you can kill the server in the first terminal window with Ctrl+C.) If you have GitBash installed or if you are using Windows 10 you can run curl. Change “Hello” to “yes”, or “I am Suzy”, and see the different results!

PART 1: Symantec エンクリプション・デスクトップHDDをリカバーする

すごい 大変な経験あったけど、すごい勉強になりました 。
エンクリプションについて いっぱい学んだので ここに述べたいと思います。   シマンテック のエンクリプションデスクトップ(Symantec Encryption Desktop) の件です。 友達のノートパソコンが動かなくなって  修理しようと しました。
彼女の主人が 何か変なポップアップをクリックしてしまって ラップトップが おかしくなりました*
*彼女のラップトップたんですけど仕事のためにお客さんのデータを守るためにエンクリプションしないといけないって言われて しょうがなかった。
でもこれは7年前 の買った古いラップトップ だったので インストールしてくれた人はもう 連絡できずに 私と 私の主人に 頼んで いることになった。
 一つ のバックアップを持ってた。 そのバックアップは 1年前で 古かったけど、 PGP の パブリックキーと シークレットキー(.pkr/.skr file)は 入ってた (PGP というフォルダの中に入ってた)。
「 じゃあ、 ラップトップから古い SDD を外して 新しい Windows 7の インストール して そして もう一度 Symantec
エンクリプションデスクトップを 新しくインストールして から そのkeyを インポートすることができるでしょう」 と思ってしまいました。
彼女はそのインストール CD もう持ってませんでした それで ダウンロードしよう して に調べに行った 。サポートリンク で pgp Desktop の無料 トライアル バージョン をクリックして。。。
。。。ダウンロードページ に行かれて から「あれ 、これって PGP デスクトップじゃない !」
シマンテックエンドポイントエンクリプション ( Symantec
Endpoint Encryption) しかなかったので、それをダウンロードした。
数時間後 全然違うソフトをインストールしてしまって いたことを 気づいた。 シマンテックエンドポイントエンクリプション (Symantec
endpoint encryption) ではなくて、PGP Desktop の名前が 変わって Symantec Encryption
Desktop という名前になっています。
ダウンロードした後に「 thank you for trying Symantec Endpoint Encryption 」(違う 名前)のメールが来た。
そのメールの中 ライセンスキー は入っいる けど長すぎて 入れる場所をないと思った 。


しかし半分だけのコードを使ったら うまくいけた。 後半 の部分 だけ入れて、 30日間の フリー トライアルが残ってます というメッセージがあった。
My English post from Symantec Connect forums:
Attempting to reinstall Symantec PGP Desktop for a friend whose laptop quit booting properly after her husband “clicked ‘OK’ on a strange-looking” dialog pop-up.  Toshiba Satellite A665, pretty old machine but still meeting her needs just fine. She’s an independent contractor who was required to have encryption installed on her personal laptop, but the original consultant/vendor who did the install is long out of business.
She has a folder marked “PGP” containing 2 files ending in .pkr and .skr which I think are the keys, and she still remembers and uses her password daily so that’s not a problem.  So I thought I could try to find the trial version/old version of PGP Desktop installer, download, and install to a fresh drive in the same laptop, and import this key, slaving the old SSD with a cable.
Wrong! Hours later and I’ve only just realized that I probably have the wrong software (did PGP Desktop product name change to Symantec Endpoint Encryption, or is it now called Encryption Desktop??? If so, how do I download it?), not to mention I don’t know which version except that it’s from 2011.
So I just uninstalled both SEE Management Agent and SEE Client (…I think!  I got this error: “Error Disk is still encrypted. Uinstallation aborted.” but I THINK I fixed that by using Revo Uninstaller because SEE Client is finally gone from the Uninstall Programs list).  I am back to square one.
1. Should I be using Encryption Desktop and if so where can I find a copy? I thought I found it here, but after extracting I click on it it and nothing appears (Task Mgr says it’s running, though!):…
2. After I get Encryption Desktop installed, how to import the .pkr and .skr files? Or will the original password be sufficient?
To be continued…