Converting Old MacWrite Files to LibreOffice Using Automator

Found a cache of old MacWrite files (they appear in Finder as a black exec
icon). At least I think they’re MacWrite files. They retain the creation dates which are around 1998.
They will open up quite well and retain most of the formatting with LibreOffice. But I was wanting to batch convert them using  Automator. Eventually I asked my new friend Chat who was able to help me out. After a few iterations we found something that works like a charm.

The code in the shell script is (can’t vouch for the indentation):

for f in "$@"
    input_dir=$(dirname "$f")
    input_filename=$(basename "$f")
    /Applications/ --convert-to odt --outdir "$input_dir" "$f" --headless
    mv "$input_dir/$output_filename" "$input_dir/$input_filename.odt"

And if you’d care to see the explanation, here’s the full convo with Chat. What was very cool was figuring out how to make the converted file save into the same directory the original was in.

This script will:

  • Get the input file directory and filename using the dirname and basename commands.
  • Set the output filename to be the input filename with the .odt extension using the ${input_filename%.*} syntax.
  • Use LibreOffice to convert the input file to ODT and save it in the input file directory using the --outdir option.
  • Rename the converted ODT file to have the same name as the input file with the .odt extension.Save the Automator workflow.

Now when you run the Automator app and drop MacWrite files onto it, the converted ODT files will be saved in the same directory as the original files with the same filename but with the .odt extension.

Will Vs. The Orb – Venice Beach 2011

For over a decade I lived 6 blocks from Venice Beach. Most days would have a bike ride, usually around sunset, down to the Bike Path. Often a workout at the Santa Monica monkey bars. Friends would come over and I had extra bikes. Here’s my young friend Will riffing to my camera next to a movie shoot.

Dehydration Dent

Suddenly confronted with a significant dent in my forehead I of course turned to the internet. Information was sparse, but I did find one post that documented a similar forehead dent that turned out to be caused by dehydration. I tested this hypothesis by drinking a ton of water and sure enough, within an hour or so the dent was receding and by the morning my forehead was normal.
In retrospect I realized I had not been drinking enough water for the preceding few days. First as a result of two days of driving, but followed with a bunch of hiking in hot weather.
Lesson learned!
Here’s a link to the post that helped me out.¬† How dehydration causes skin deformities


Joe Cohen RIP

My random movie maker recently surfaced a journal entry from 1997 when I was living on Westmoreland Ave. in Hollywood having just been evicted from my awesome rent-controlled apartment in Silverlake by a greedy landlord. One of my roommates was Joe Cohen. We got along okay, but basically trolled each other constantly. Joe was having a hard time finding work at the time. Today I discovered he’d passed in 2016.

Joe Cohen Was the Brother of Cass Elliot and Leah Kunkel

Joe Cohen