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Today I Learned

How to solve an issue that depends on other people's actions in a big company

Have you ever been in a situation where you're a cog in a big company your work depends on other people's action and you can't get them to do their part so that you can finish your own tasks?

If the answer is yes, you know how frustrating this can be. This happens because the other people involved have their own priorities and you're at the very bottom.

In order to get things done, you have to get to the top of their list and the solution is rather simple:

Create a carefully non-personal, non-emotional email in which you explain the situation, place the person responsibile in the "To:" field and add their direct manager, your own manager, and anyone remotely responsible in the "Cc" field.

I guarantee your problem will be solved in no time. :D

You can even escalate this further up the chain with a follow-up email where you add more managers up the chain in the "Cc:" field.

Don't forget to thank everyone involved after your issue is solved.

How to access refs outside a VueJs template

Sometimes you need to make use of the ref attribute to access a child component in VueJs, like so:

<input ref="someRefName"></input>
this.$refs.someRefName

But what if you need to do the same thing for an html element that's still inside your app but outside of your VueJs template or component? Maybe you've tried it and this.$refs.someRefName comes in undefined.

That's when the $root instance comes in handy. Just add the ref attribute on the target element and access it in your VueJs component like this:

this.$root.$refs.someRefName

That makes VueJs look for that reference in the root instance of your app, and not only inside your component.

Just make sure you don't overuse it. Most of the times, there's a better way to do what you need to do.

How to force a flexbox item to a new row

At some point you might end up with a challenge like this. You've got several items (we'll take an example of 3) laid out with flexbox.

<div class="container">
    <div class="item"></div>
    <div class="item"></div>
    <div class="item"></div>
</div>

The items have fixed width and they all fit on one row, but you want the third to jump on the second row.

Like this:

====item====item====
========item========

So how do you make them stack 2 on the first row, and the third on the second row, centered to the middle?

If you try flex-wrap: wrap, depending on the device resolution, it might do the trick or not. If all 3 fit on the same row, they won't wrap.

The solution is to force them by adding a collapsed row (height 0) which takes up the entire width of the container, making it occupy an entire row, thus pushing the 3rd item on the next row. Think of it like a <br> tag.

<div class="container">
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="break"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
</div>
.break {
  flex-basis: 100%;
  height: 0;
}

Neat trick, right?

And it can be adapted to other situations as well, not necessarily flexbox.

Getting exif metadata from image base64 in PHP

Exif headers provide useful metadata when it comes to images such as the image's orientation.

If you have used / are using Intervention Image, you might have noticed that some of the pictures you upload are turned from portrait to landscape.

If you upload the image normally, in Laravel you can orientate the image properly like so:

Image::make(Request::file('image'))->orientate();

But if you get the image data as a base 64 string this approach won't work, but the following snippet can be used to get the desired information from the image

$stream_resource = "data://image/jpeg;base64," . $base_64_image_string;
$exif_meta = exif_read_data($stream_resource);

You can now get the image's orientation and act based on it's value

$orientation = $exif_meta["Orientation"];

Also, make sure you have this line in you php.ini file

allow_url_fopen=On

Otherwise you will get

ErrorException: exif_read_data(): Unable to open file in file [filename]

Remove a non-removable MDM profile from macOS without a complete wipe

Non-removable MDM profiles cannot officially removed without doing a full system wipe. This is a problem when you restore a system from Time Machine after you enrolled it into the MDM, as the MDM will break, leaving you unable to re-enroll the machine.

Here's how to remove a non-removable MDM profile

  1. Boot the Mac into Recovery Mode (hold down command+R during startup).
  2. Go to the Utilities menu and open Terminal and type: csrutil disable. This will disable SIP (System Integrity Protection).
  3. Reboot into the OS.
  4. Open the integrated terminal and type:
cd /var/db/ConfigurationProfiles
rm -rf *
mkdir Settings
touch Settings/.profilesAreInstalled
  1. Reboot.
  2. Boot the Mac into Recovery Mode (hold down command+R during startup).
  3. Go to the Utilities menu and open Terminal and type: csrutil enable. This will re-enable SIP.
  4. Reboot into the OS.

The profile will be now removed and you will be able to re-enroll the Mac to your MDM.

How to remove a VPN profile on a MDM enrolled macOS

Restoring from a Time Machine backup can create duplicate MDM VPN profiles.

To manually remove a profile on your macOS, follow these steps:

  • Go to System Preferences and select Profiles.
  • Delete the VPN profile, and enter the user password if requested.
  • Then, go to Network Connections.
  • If you see any connections which start with or include “VPN”, delete them.

Note

If the Button isn’t available,you have to use a terminal command to remove it. Open the integrated Terminal and type

networksetup -removenetworkservice "duplicateVPNProfile"