Find out which program is locking a file with Process Explorer (Windows)

Ever wonder why you can’t delete a file? When the dreadful message appear: “Your file is opened in another program”, the stupid computer won’t allow you to delete that file!

We have just the solution: Process Explorer from Microsoft. I choose to introduce this program because it is easy to use, even if you don’t know anything about bash script and the likes. Let’s see how it works:

1. Download Process Explorer from Microsoft TechNet

2. Start the program. No installation needed

Process Explorer

3. Open menu Find/Find File or DLL Handle

Open menu Find Handle

4. Search for the file/folder name you want. Take note of the PID (Process ID)

Search file name and take note of the PID

5. Use Ctrl + Alt + Del to open task manager

6. In Menu View, enable column PID for Task Manager

Enable custom column for task manager

Enable custom column PID for task manager

7. Sort Task Manager processes by PID. Find the troublesome process and kill it

Kill the possessing process

The other scenario that this tool could prove useful:

1. To track down a “lingering” DLL that refuse to go away (eg: Visual Studio refuse to build because it cannot delete the old DLL)

2. Cannot clear an old folder “just because” it is opened in windows explorer

3. You cannot delete a file because another user has it opened in their notepad in their session

Credit: this solution is taken from many places, yet the most credible source is the question “Find out which process is locking a file or folder in Windows” in StackExchange SuperUser.

What to do when you are on bench?


I see many young developers who work for big companies wondering about their future. Well, they are lucky enough, after graduating they got their first job in a big company. Even greater, they are on bench, waiting for an unlimited “training” time. Isn’t it great when you are doing nothing and people still pay you wages?


As a young adult, what are you lacking? Experience, confidence and trust. What do you have? Strength, Innovation power and peerless enthusiasm.

Let’s do a simple calculation. With your skill, you are able to create a value of $10 per day. So your company will pay you 30 x 10 = $300 per month. Let’s say it’s an ok salary for a new graduate. However, are you still satisfied if that salary level last for 2 years? 5 years? 30 years?

Many people think that their salary level will gain with their seniority. I’m sorry, but the market usually pay less than the value you create.

That means if your skills don’t improve or improve little over time, you will soon in a bad shape in the market. The lifetime of a software developer is generally a lot shorter than normal occupations. The world of information changes much rapidly and radically than the world of , let’s say, finance, retail sales or mechanics. If you don’t utilize your strength now to convert them to experience, chance are, you will never have that chance.

Free time

Did that ring any bell?

But wait, you say, I know this person X and Y and Z, they all do their work, repeatedly year by year, but they still live happily. Of course, the general rule doesn’t apply for everyone, do they?

Yes, instead of improving ourselves, there’s an easier way. We can simply spend more time working. If we can spend more time in office, why not? We go home late. We spend less time with our spouse and children. We “dedicated” our valuable time in a way the company never ask us to, so that we can complain how injustice it is each performance appraisal session. No rat race example can be clearer than that.

So you still plan to waste your time sitting there doing nothing? Even if you did bring the pay check home in the end of the month, is your value increasing? Your abilities improved? Your skills trained?

And now you are asking me that you can do what? Doing what?? Am I listening it wrong? You, the ones who are supposed to be the young and innovative energy of the company, ask me what you can do in your free time to improve yourselves? Stop joking! Doing what you feel best. Identify what is your strength, what is your weakness. Find your path.

The resonance of monopoly (3-2): Selecting the right strategy



In the previous posts, we have seen through the history of monopoly game and the source of its popularity. We also see how monopoly is not simply a game of chance. For this blog post, we will answer the question of the previous post: why shouldn’t we choose to invest in Red and Yellow block, while they are great in term of ROI (Return on investment) ?

Every financiers love ROI, not? The number provides a way to compare the benefit we can yield from different projects, given that we don’t have enough money to invest all of them. We need to figure out how, with our limited resource, we get the best result we can get.

But ROI doesn’t mean everything. There are two other key issues here: timing and resources.

We all love ROI, but it doesn’t tell how fast the money will come back to you after your investment. And you need money to invest in other properties and to pay your own rents, no?

Capital Turnover

In the beginning of the game, you have a certain amount of capital, but far from enough. Usually, I will need to calculate very carefully when I have bought my first 7 – 8 properties. You don’t want to over-spend too much that later you need to sell houses to pay for lunch.

And that comes the equation. Providing that the amount of money to buy the Red/Yellow block is fairly high, it is not a good use of money to pursue a domination on Red block. Chance are, if you managed to own these properties, you will run out of money. A property block without houses is like a tiger without teeth: in fact, you can’t sustain a steady income in any property block without houses.

For the Orange block, though its ROI is somewhat less, it’s the block with the highest chance for players to land on. What does that mean? That means it will take less time to recover your investment, and later you will have money to build houses or sustain your business else where, even buying more blocks!


The resonance of monopoly (3-1): Selecting the right strategy

Following the blog post Monopoly: The Game of Finance, we have seen how important it is to realize the “real” value of a property in Monopoly. Needless to say, it’s the same with the property of real life: the business value of a house is not at its price. If you plan to use the building for business, you had better build it where there are lots of people.

Many of beginners make that mistake. They love building on Boardwalk, where they can charge their visitors a hefty price. However, these naive business owners don’t realize that they have to store in a big fortune on these blue blocks too. With the same money, one can easily generate a better income flow elsewhere.

Our question for today: out of all building block in the Monopoly board below, which one yield the best Return-on-investment ratio? That means the block which will give you averagely the highest rents in the same amount of time.

Before you scroll down for the answer, think a minute. It may not be obvious as you think.

Monopoly Board

Have you got the answer? Great!

The property block which will give the best return on investment is the Red and Yellow block. They give great rent for a fairly ok price and their chance to be landed on ranked second in the game! So if you own one of these two blocks, you have a very good chance to win.

But… In the last post, didn’t I advise you to buy the Orange block first?

Yes I did, and it has a reason.

To uncover this reason, you can check my next post.

Pride of Developer

Developer is maker.

He designs, he builds, he revises. He take pride in the product he has completed. No matter if it’s a mobile kill app, or a website, or simply a module of a bigger system.

He strive for continuous improvement. He wants to see himself better day by day.

 Never let anyone touch that pride.

When your boss say “no”


Have you ever been in this position?

  • You feel you are the only one in the group who wants to make things better.
  • You are the only one in the company who cares to deliver better service.
  • You want to buy something for your mother, but she turn it down and say you’re wasting money.
  • And of course, the time you suggest some of your terribly incredible innovative idea to the boss. And he/she said “no”

How does that feel?

Well, I’m not here to console you. I’m here to state a hard truth. Your idea will be never supported.

The time of a manager is valuable. Manager must balance himself over many stuff. He won’t have much time to look into any detail. If he does, he’s probably running our of time and won’t accomplish his own work.

So what did he do? It’s simple. He just say no.

Ideas are worthless. A true boss know “action speaks more”. If you don’t have the determination to go through with the idea, then he doesn’t have to listen to it.

Well, if you think what you do worth the trouble, you will do it. After you have accomplished something, or great things, present it again. Then after that you can hope for a better answer.

You won’t know unless you try

Business idea photo business-idea-534228_640_zpsizgintqt.jpg
That’s the only phrase I remembered after reading an old story.

Today, when working with my colleagues, one of them tell me: your idea is good, but it won’t work, because

Actually, that’s a very common phrase. I heard it all my years in colleague. When we are in a group and each gives out an idea, when I hear: your idea is good but… I know the conversation is going to be difficult.

An idea is an idea, and even if you think it’s not possible, at least give it some chance. Ideas themselves are meaningless. Only action can bring life up and make dreams come true.

Get over the loss

Listen to ... life

He is lost. He doesn’t know what he wants to do. Like a boat in the middle of the sea in a night.

If you have ever think you don’t have anything more to lose, it’s like his feeling now. The feeling is not easy. Or maybe it is easy, somehow. Knowing you can’t lose more, you can’t make any more mistake. There’s some upside in that.

Like, staying in the solitude cover for a while may really make the calm. But it will never make restoration. Never make a moment of happiness.

Listen. Outside, there are flowers. There are rain. There are voices of people you don’t know. There are market. There are clouds. There are your sister who don’t know how to solve her homework. Like, there are people who wants to know you.

To get over the loss, care more.

The resonance of monopoly (2): Game of Finance


Monopoly is one of the most popular board games in the US.

However, people seldom gets it right.

It’s not until last year that I got my hand on a document on the origin of Monopoly. It is so different to what I have thought! The game is made as part of a thesis (what?) to illustrate how the big guy gets rich by bankrupting the small businesses. It outlives its creator, however, and lives on…

Like I say on the previous article, this game is not a gamble. With the development of computer, now we can calculate the chance of a property will be hit in a single trip around the board. And no, not every property has the same chance. Some has better chance to be hit, some has worse chance, and the gap is quite significant.

Need a hint? The orange block is your friend. Although they are quite cheap, they have the highest chance to be hit in a single round of travel, thanks to their position after the prison. The blue block, though attractive, doesn’t worth a crap at beginning, since you will never have enough money to finance its hefty price.

Lesson: never judge a book by its cover (so classic)

Monopoly Board

The resonance of monopoly (1)


Monopoly is one of the most popular board games in the US.

But so many people have misunderstood this game.

I have played my first game since I was six. That time, my father bought me this board game, and I take it to my parents’ hometown. The kids there are so excited. We think we can buy and sell the most famous streets in the city, That is crazy!!

We don’t have anyone to show us how to play, so we just follow the instruction. We go around, buy immobile, train stations, electric facilities… We laugh when someone land on our property. And then, after a very long time, finally, someone goes bankrupt. But usually the game ends before that, since we all have to eat. The time and experience we enjoy is so memorable.

You know what? I never thought the game has so much depth under the simple cover. Not until getting my hand on the origin of monopoly, I realize that there are actually science in this game. No, it’s not gambling at all. You won’t ever know what you get when the dice rolls, that’s true. However, when statistics come into play, everything is possible…