Python's Sendmail fails due to access permissions

A script that ran happily for about a year suddenly stopped working last week. From the stack trace, it was apparent that the script was stumbling on Python's smtplib>sendmail command. Here's the error:

OSError: [WinError 10013] An attempt was made to access a socket in a way forbidden by its access permissions

The offending code:

A simple Bitcoin price tracker with Python

This script tracks of Bitcoin's current USD price and displays it along with the price's "trend" since the script started running. The main part of the idea was borrowed heavily from this Stack Exchange article. It takes advantage of the coindesk API for getting current price information.

Sure, it's not a fancy line graph, but it's got ASCII-art up/down arrows!

Here's an example screenshot:

Collecting new document files for easy attachment in email

I find that I frequently (many times daily) have to send files as email attachments. Depending on the task, the files can be located in a half-dozen or so places on the Windows file system. I found myself browsing (from Outlook's "Attach File" function) to my Documents, Downloads, Desktop, or one of several network drives for the file I just saved there a few seconds ago.

Change pip package dependency lists and install from local source with Python 3.6

When installing a Python 3 package with Pip, if the package to be installed calls for a dependency that is outdated or otherwise not available, you can get a local copy of the module, change its dependency lists, then install it from the local source.

This will likely be no big deal for the Python wizards out there, but it was a pretty nice victory for me, so I thought I'd better share in case someone else has the same trouble.

I was attempting to install the lastpass-python module:

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Properly configuring and using Drupal's views_data_export module

In a Drupal view, I have a button in place that allows the user to export the current view to an Excel (XLS) download (utilizing views_data_export module functionality). That download is expected to be around 3,500 rows, with 39 columns. I just noticed that trying to hit that button for the download results in (almost exactly 30 seconds later) an error I hadn't seen before: "Server Hangup".

CSVKit

I've found this tool to be very powerful and helpful...and I almost couldn't find it again after recently upgrading to a new computer. To prevent future heartburn, I'll document it here.

From the csvkit web site:

csvkit is a suite of command-line tools for converting to and working with CSV, the king of tabular file formats.

AHK - Autoload multiple scripts with separate autoexec and timer hooks

This post outlines a method I came up with to use a single AutoHotKey script to auto-load any number of scripts in a sub-folder. It also allows every script to have its own autoexec section, and to hook into a timer for event-type functionality.

AutoHotKey scripts that are 'persistent' need to be loaded into memory by Windows just one time. If you have several of them to load, you can get them all individually, but you end up with a system tray full of little green 'H' icons.

Organizing Windows on the Desktop and Connecting to Network Drives with AutoHotKey

AutoHotKey is a powerful Windows automation tool, capable of doing pretty much anything you could do yourself on your PC. I have a number of scripts I run regularly (or always have running) to speed up my work and/or make it more accurate and efficient.

One of my favorite scripts responds to the key combination of Ctrl-Alt-0 (that's a zero). When I press that combo, a couple things happen:

1) First, the script checks to see if the machine is connected to WiFi, and if so, grabs the name of the WiFi's SSID.

Sending Email to Outlook Groups from a Mobile Device

I haven't found a way to make my email 'groups' from Outlook available on a mobile device (Android phone). I've tried several email clients, but none of them brings in the groups I use frequently in Outlook.

Recently, I came up with a workaround, using Outlook rules. Essentially, I can set up a rule with the following criteria:

  • Sent from my account
  • Sent to my account

    I almost never send mail to myself, so this works. If you routinely cc: yourself, you may need to be careful here.

Building a barn door for a closet

As part of a major kitchen remodel project, we moved the old laundry room up to a 2nd floor closet. With the washer and dryer occupying about a third of the old closet space, we needed an elegant solution to cover the rest of the old closet door space.

We settled on a rustic barn door option. We already had a little experience with distressing new boards to make them look old (from the remodeled kitchen ceiling), so we decided to use that same method on the door.

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Fixing an Error in the Notepad++ Plugin Manager

Notepad++ is a powerful text editor; so much more than a Windows Notepad replacement, and (for me at least) often better for 'real' word processing than Microsoft Word, when coupled with language tools (like Markdown) and plugins.

One of the powerful features in Notepad++ is the Plugin Manager, which provides an easy check-box menu system to install a wide array of plugins that enhance the program. This way, you don't have to mess around with finding and downloading add-ons - it's easy to get them right from the application.