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Updating to Android Studio 2.3 - "Cannot delete" file Error

Android Studio can be a challenging IDE to get going with. Customizing settings, connecting to version control systems, configuring the interface, updating... There are enough sources of headaches to thoroughly demoralize the new developers. Recently, while updating to a new version of Android Studio (2.3) in Windows 10, I came across a very stubborn error that looked like this in the console window:
Cannot delete file C:\Program Files\Android\Android Studio1\gradle\m2repository\com\android\tools\layoutlib\layoutlib-api\24.5.0\layoutlib-api-24.5.0.jar
Unfortunately, the error always appears in the last stage of the update as a patch is being applied. It appears that this stage requires API level 24.5 libraries be deleted and replaced with API 25.2 and 25.3 libraries. Attempting to delete the .jar file [layoutlib-api-24.5.0.jar] manually results in an error saying the file is opened by the Java SE process or some similar process. It means the file is locked and can't be manually dele…
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Simplifying Life with CSS Frameworks

Responsive Design, Mobile First, Material Design, UX, IxD...You can choke on technology. It's coming fast and furiously. The biggest challenge of the 21st century may be how to simplify life. How to do one thing at a time when you have five LCD screens blinking at you all the time each with multiple notifications, announcements, ticker tapes, breaking news and all the rest of it.

I can't solve all your life's problems but can share a little trick or two here and there. If you gather all these tricks, you could actually simplify life. 

Mobile First This is a recent approach to website design. In Kenya 97% of web users use their mobiles.  Few have computers, many have smartphones. Therefore, why make websites for computers when these are the minority? Why not make them for mobile first and adjust to fit the few who visit with computers.

The chart below shows the data from Google Barometer for Kenya:

Mobile access is at 97% compared to 17% for computers. 

One of the ways to hand…

The Shape of Electronic Documents

A4 is a very common paper size. Most office documents seem to favour this paper size. Student notebooks take on this size and shape.

A4 Problem?There is no problem with A4. The problem is created when digital documents that are designed for reading online are assigned physical sizes and aspect ratios that were designed for printed documents. The most problematic such format is PDF. 

Why is PDF a Problem?PDF is not the problem. The problem is created by the absence of an option to change the document's aspect ratio at the time of saving it. Most computer monitors use the 16:1 (widescreen) aspect ratio. Ideally, PDF readers should allow the user to set the aspect ratio they want to use when reading the document.   PDF creators should offer a number of common ratios as a minimum or, even better, set no fixed aspect ratio but leave this to the reader.

Fixed is Bad PDF is not a responsive e-document format unlike ePub. Its a fixed layout format. Fixation is a key strength of PDF as an epa…

The Shape of Electronic Documents

A4 is a very common paper size. Most office documents seem to favour this paper size. Student notebooks take on this size and shape.

A4 Problem?There is no problem with A4. The problem is created when digital documents that are designed for reading online are assigned physical sizes and aspect ratios that were designed for printed documents. The most problematic such format is PDF. 

Why is PDF a Problem?PDF is not the problem. The problem is created by the absence of an option to change the document's aspect ratio at the time of saving it. Most computer monitors use the 16:1 (widescreen) aspect ration. Ideally, PDF readers should allow the user to set the aspect ratio to use when reading the document.   PDF creators should offer a number of common ratios as a minimum or, even better, set no fixed aspect ratio but leave this to the reader.

Fixed is Bad PDF is not a responsive e-document format unlike ePub. Its a fixed layout format. Fixation is a key strength of PDF as an epaper forma…

Windows 10 Search Does Not Work

Windows 10 has some quirks. After some updates, you find changes in the user interface and may eventually find that the search that opens when you press the Windows button or the power user key combination (Windows Key + X then Search) fails to function.



It used to be that you could open the Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del  or Ctrl + Shift + Esc) then look for Cortana and kill it (Right-click, select "End Task") to force it to restart. But now no more. Cortana seems to have disappeared from the Task Manager.

But a search online reveals that Cortana is not gone, just renamed. If search fails, you now need to look for "Search" in the Task Manager. Kill this process. In its place a new process called "Search and Cortana Application" will be loaded as shown below.
Perhaps someone needs to write a tiny little app to carry out this simple task of killing "Search" and forcing Cortana to relaunch properly. Once you do this, Windows 10 search is now well…

Windows 10 Search Does Not Work

Windows 10 has some quirks. After some updates, you find changes in the user interface and may eventually find that the search that opens when you press the Windows button or the power user key combination (Windows Button + X then Search). It used to be that you could open the Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del  or Ctrl + Shift + Esc), you could look for Cortana and kill it (Right-click, select "End Task"). But now no more. Cortana seems to have disappeared from the Task Manager.


But a search online reveals that Cortana is not gone, just renamed. You now need to look for "Search" in the Task Manager. Kill this process. In its place a new process called "Search and Cortana Application" will be loaded as shown below.
Perhaps someone need to write a tiny little app to carry out this simple task of killing "Search" and forcing Cortana to relaunch properly. Once you do this, Windows 10 search is now well behaved.

Who Let the Bundles Out

What that loud barking sound? I's your data bundles going north... And your service provider can't help you nail down the culprit. I know who can help. It's Callistics.

This fella will count all the bytes you and your apps are consuming. He counts your text messages and shows you who you've been texting to - is this a good thing? Callistics shows you  who you've bee calling and for how long. Really interesting.

Here's a short clip:
Callistics - your mobile usage accountant for Android from Jason Githeko on Vimeo.

Note: I have no control over what videos Vimeo may be promoting. Stay safe.