Category Archives: WindowsOnMac

PowerShell String.Split() Off-by-Method-Overload Error

This seemed to me an error and I and was on the point of raising it as a bug on the Powershell github repo:

PS> "\this".Split( [char]'\', [StringSplitOptions]::RemoveEmptyEntries).Length
# >> 2

Presumably it is because [StringSplitOptions]::RemoveEmptyEntries is coerced to a [char] and so the line is parsed as:

PS> "\this".Split( ([char]'\', [StringSplitOptions]::RemoveEmptyEntries) ).Length

Instead of as

PS> \this".Split( (,[char]'\'), [StringSplitOptions]::RemoveEmptyEntries).Length

If the first parameter is a string not a character then it works as expected:

PS> "\this".Split( '\', [StringSplitOptions]::RemoveEmptyEntries).Length
# >> 1

But the really unfortunate case is :

PS> "\this".Split( [System.IO.Path]::DirectorySeparatorChar, [StringSplitOptions]::RemoveEmptyEntries).Length
# >> 2

which results in

PS> "\this".Split( [System.IO.Path]::DirectorySeparatorChar, [StringSplitOptions]::RemoveEmptyEntries).[0]
# >> $null
# instead of
# >> "this"

It turns out that it’s fixed in Powershell 6 Beta; or to be more precise, it doesn’t happen in PowerShell 6. What changed is that the underlying .Net framework has added new overloads to String.Split():

string[] Split(char separator, System.StringSplitOptions options)                                                                                    
string[] Split(char separator, int count, System.StringSplitOptions options)                                                                         
string[] Split(string separator, System.StringSplitOptions options)                                                                                  
string[] Split(string separator, int count, System.StringSplitOptions options)                                                                       

Whereas PowerShell 5 only has these overloads available:

string[] Split(Params char[] separator)                                                                                                              
string[] Split(char[] separator, int count)                                                                                                          
string[] Split(char[] separator, System.StringSplitOptions options)                                                                                  
string[] Split(char[] separator, int count, System.StringSplitOptions options)                                                                       
string[] Split(string[] separator, System.StringSplitOptions options)                                                                                
string[] Split(string[] separator, int count, System.StringSplitOptions options)                                                                     

And so the best-match overload that PowerShell 6 chooses is different to PowerShell 5’s best match.

Using Windows keystrokes on a Mac

Alas. I’ve been using Windows so long that now I go back to the Mac and want Ctrl-C to work. Sad, but there it is. At last I found Karabiner, which does keyboard remapping, and created a set of Karabiner rules to map the main Windows Ctrl-keystrokes to the matching ⌘-keystroke on Mac:

Karabiner Rules for main Windows Ctrl-keystrokes on MacOs

Okay, so Ctrl-W isn’t strictly a windows keystroke. But who can work without Ctrl-W?

Karabiner Complex Rules Snippet

    "profiles": [
            "complex_modifications": {
                "parameters": {  /* ... etc ... */ },
"README": "********************************************************************************************************",
"README": "*" COPY JUST THE ELEMENTS OF THIS "rules" array into your profiles.complex_modifications.rules array. "*",
"README": "********************************************************************************************************",
                "rules": [
                        "description": "Change Control+Z to Command+Z",
                        "manipulators": [ { "from": { "key_code": "z","modifiers": {"mandatory": ["control"],"optional": ["any"]}},"to": [{"key_code": "z","modifiers": ["command"]}],"type": "basic"}]
                        "description": "Change Control+X to Command+X",
                        "manipulators": [ { "from": { "key_code": "x","modifiers": {"mandatory": ["control"],"optional": ["any"]}},"to": [{"key_code": "x","modifiers": ["command"]}],"type": "basic"}]
                        "description": "Change Control+C to Command+C",
                        "manipulators": [ { "from": { "key_code": "c","modifiers": {"mandatory": ["control"],"optional": ["any"]}},"to": [{"key_code": "c","modifiers": ["command"]}],"type": "basic"}]
                        "description": "Change Control+V to Command+V",
                        "manipulators": [ { "from": { "key_code": "v","modifiers": {"mandatory": ["control"],"optional": ["any"]}},"to": [{"key_code": "v","modifiers": ["command"]}],"type": "basic"}]
                        "description": "Change Control+N to Command+N",
                        "manipulators": [ { "from": { "key_code": "n","modifiers": {"mandatory": ["control"],"optional": ["any"]}},"to": [{"key_code": "n","modifiers": ["command"]}],"type": "basic"}]
                        "description": "Change Control+S to Command+S",
                        "manipulators": [ { "from": { "key_code": "s","modifiers": {"mandatory": ["control"],"optional": ["any"]}},"to": [{"key_code": "s","modifiers": ["command"]}],"type": "basic"}]
                        "description": "Change Control+O to Command+O",
                        "manipulators": [ { "from": { "key_code": "o","modifiers": {"mandatory": ["control"],"optional": ["any"]}},"to": [{"key_code": "o","modifiers": ["command"]}],"type": "basic"}]
                        "description": "Change Control+Y to Command+Y",
                        "manipulators": [ { "from": { "key_code": "y","modifiers": {"mandatory": ["control"],"optional": ["any"]}},"to": [{"key_code": "y","modifiers": ["command"]}],"type": "basic"}]
                        "description": "Change Control+W to Command+W",
                        "manipulators": [ { "from": { "key_code": "w","modifiers": {"mandatory": ["control"],"optional": ["any"]}},"to": [{"key_code": "w","modifiers": ["command"]}],"type": "basic"}]
"README": "******************************************************************************************************",
"README": "******************************************************************************************************",
            /* ... etc ... */

Editing the Keyboard Map

This approach didn’t work for me. I’m not sure what I missed.

‘bash\r’: No such file or directory. Or, editing unix files on a Windows machine

'bash\r': No such file or directory

What does that mean, you ask yourself? It usually means you are editing *nix script files on a windows system, and then running the files on a *nix machine. For instance in docker, or a VM. Your solution is to use a text editor that allows you to save with unix line endings. `Notepad++` calls it, very reasonably, `’EOL conversion’`. Sublime text calls it `View->Line Endings`.

A further complication if you are using git is that it keeps getting reset back to windows. You could fix this with `git config core.autocrlf false` but that may have other consequences which you don’t want to bother with.

AutoHotKey script for they who, being Mac Users and also equipped with an Apple keyboard, yet still they work at a Windows desktop

Surprising how much time you can spend on these little niggles…

  • Irritated that Windows doesn’t have an ellipsis key?
  • Wondering how to do printscreen from your apple keyboard?
  • Really really fed up with swapping between Cut‘n’Paste is “⌘-C,⌘-V” and Cut‘n’Paste is “Ctrl-c-Ctrl-v”?

Help is at hand.


When I first came across I was a bit unsure about using AutoHotKey. But I have seen the light. It is the bee’s knees. It is open source, widely used for years, free, small footprint and is the ultimate customise-all-the-things tool for Windows. It is a combined scripting tool & Keyboard/Mouse hotkey manager.

My AutoHotKey for a Mac User with an Apple keyboard on Windows Script

There you are. It’s all you need. That, and a few hours to customise it yourself. Then a few more hours to… oh, never mind.


When I said that AHK is the bee’s knees, I didn’t say that the language isn’t arcane, unintuitive and bearing signs of organic growth over a decade or more…