Open source, Java-based dedupe #

Rafal kindly informs us of his cross-platform, byte-level Duplicate Files Searcher.

/misc | Dec 29, 2007

The Definitive Guide to Disabling Windows Vista Services #

SpeedyVista has a wealth of information on Vista services, including recommendations for Default, Safe, Tweaked, and Minimal configurations. The clearest and most comprehensive guide to Windows services yet.

/windows | Dec 29, 2007

Byte-level dedupe #

🌱 Duplicate File Finder 3.3 [108k] + Multithreaded, byte-level duplicate finder.  📺

/windows | Dec 23, 2007

Leopard OS X 10.5 - Startup Keys Don't Work #

If your Mac does not obey startup commands (like Command+C to boot from the optical drive), try using your Apple Remote instead:

  1. Turn on the Mac while pressing Menu on the remote
  2. A list of bootable volumes will appear
  3. Select the desired volume using Forward and Back on the remote
  4. When the desired volume is highlighted, press Play on the remote

This tip came in handy when a MacBook refused to obey Command+C, Command+T (target disk mode), and Command+S (single user mode).

/mac | Dec 17, 2007

Ron Paul - Tea Party '07 - Donate Now #

Get the cool Ron Paul stencil image (as seen on the right hand side of this page) on a tshirt, big button, or small button. More: UPDATE: Ron Paul Supporters Make History with $6 million Online Haul

/misc | Dec 16, 2007

Business #

"Business! ... Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!" - from Dickens' Christmas Carol

"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy." - from Gibran's The Prophet

"Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business, is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things. And it is not by any means certain that a man's business is the most important thing he has to do." - Robert Louis Stevenson

/misc | Dec 11, 2007

Delete all files except... #

While importing a My Pictures directory from Windows XP into iPhoto via drag-and-drop, the process would crash after several thousand photos. I suspected iPhoto was choking on a non-JPG file, so I recursively deleted all other files in the directory:

Sure enough, after cleaning the directory of extraneous filetypes, the import worked flawlessly. Use the above commands at your own risk - unintended data loss is likely. As always: backup, backup, backup. (Thanks to Todd for his post, from which the above commands were largely lifted.)

/mac | Nov 15, 2007

Delete empty directories recursively #

A tiny Windows app for this purpose was mentioned a few years ago, but here are the Linux and OS X commands to recursively delete empty directories below the current one (use at your own risk, as the slightest mistake can erase all of your data):

/nix | Nov 07, 2007

CrashPlan - Insanely cool offsite backup for Windows, Mac, and Linux #

Readers of this blog (both of you!) will know that I am a long time fan of Mozy. Now that they've got their millions (bought out by EMC) there is a new, leaner and meaner kid on the block: CrashPlan. These guys take automatic offsite backup to the next level by allowing you to backup not only to their servers (for a monthly fee), but also to any number of computers for free. Those computers (as well as yours) can be running Windows, OS X, or Linux, and of course everything is encrypted. They have a super-cool, intuitive UI for all this - just check out the tour by Matthew.

/misc | Nov 05, 2007

Popcorn email client update #

Cesar kindly informs us of a rare update to the venerable Popcorn email client. The source code has been graciously provided as well!

/windows | Oct 30, 2007

Install Leopard on older, unsupported G4 Macs #

Leopard will not install on a G4 with anything less than an 867MHz processor. Fortunately, suneohair has figured out how to get around this artificial limitation. On a related note, you can save some CPU cycles (and get back some usable screen space) by replacing the 3D Dock with the good ol' 2D version:
$ defaults write no-glass -boolean YES; killall Dock

UPDATE: Install and Optimize Leopard on Unsupported Macs

/mac | Oct 27, 2007

What if I had invested $1,000 in EBAY ten years ago? #

ShareBuilder's free What If You Had Invested? tool allows you to calculate the past returns of a stock:

/misc | Oct 25, 2007

Send To SFTP with WinSCP #

There is no dearth of Send To FTP apps, but I couldn't find one with SFTP support. On a whim, I revisited WinSCP (which has come in handy before), and sure enough it offers a context menu option. Combined with AxCrypt (for quick and easy file encryption), it takes just a few seconds to begin securely uploading and storing sensitive data offsite. WinSCP and AxCrypt are both free and open source.

UPDATE: Bjorn kindly informs us that RightLoad offers experimental SFTP support as well (though it "may be slow or not work at all.")

/windows | Oct 22, 2007

Giving and Getting #

"Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you." -Andre Gide

"What I spent, is gone; what I kept, I lost; but what I gave away will be mine forever." -Ethel Percy Andrus

"Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity." - Edwin Hubbel Chapin

/misc | Oct 08, 2007

History #

"History... is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind." - Edward Gibbon

"There is no history of mankind, there are only many histories of all kinds of aspects of human life. And one of these is the history of political power. This is elevated into the history of the world." - Karl Popper

"Happy the people whose annals are blank in history books!" - Thomas Carlyle

/misc | Oct 07, 2007

Simple QuickTime MOV cropping via Goldberg 2.5 #

Goldberg 2.5 is a simple image and movie editor/viewer. However, it wasn't immediately apparent how to crop trim a QuickTime movie, so I have posted a brief howto video. The cartoon in the video (by Bizarro artist Dan Piraro) can be found here.

UPDATE: See also Cropping a video with Handbrake, which actually covers cropping instead of trimming.

/mac | Sep 26, 2007

Ad Blocking - YES!! #

AdBlock & Filterset.G were mentioned in this space over a year ago, but it is only recently that sites like Why Firefox is Blocked have appeared. Their basic contention: "Accessing the content while blocking the ads, therefore would be no less than stealing." To which Tim Swanson rightly replies:

There is nothing ethically or morally wrong with an ad-blocker. It is no different than using any other technology to filter language or explicit content. No one is being harmed nor has property been destroyed or stolen (the owner was not deprived of their property).

Plain and simple: if you do not want to pay for the bandwidth and hosting charges, don't put material online. Just because you are trying to make a living does not mean anyone should partake in your business model. After all, should everyone that visits your site be required to click on one of the ads?

Furthermore, if you can't survive off an ad-based revenue model, try something else - like subscriptions - or perhaps find a different day job.

Hear, hear! Besides which, the Internet circa 1994 was far superior to today's Disney/CNN/Fox/Web 2.0/spammy/ads-everywhere glop anyway. If blocking ads means seeing this mess disappear, so much the better. (By the way, where are the calls to block Lynx? Those freeloaders have been ad-free for years!)

UPDATE: Over a quindecennium later, this HN comment by kibwen warrants inclusion:

It is not stealing from radio stations to change the station when ads come on. It is not stealing from TV channels to go get a drink when ads come on. There is no moral compunction to watch ads, from anyone, anywhere. Stop trying to normalize advertising, which is to say, stop trying to normalize the enshittification of the human mind.

Meanwhile, a web browser is a user agent running on my machine. Youtube's content is a guest on my hardware. Once it's on my machine, I have the moral right to do whatever I please with it. If Google doesn't want to serve it to me, then it has the right to prevent me from accessing their server, such as in exchange for payment. But again, advertising is not payment, it's just corporate-sanctioned, socially-acceptable brainwashing.

/misc | Sep 16, 2007

VistaPE - Like BartPE, but for (you guessed it) Vista #

Create a bootable, Vista-based rescue disc from any version of Vista or the free Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK). Wide support for SATA/RAID/SCSI/NIC devices.

/windows | Sep 08, 2007

Printing from OS X to a Windows Workgroup printer #

Many original print drivers do not support printing from a Mac to a Windows shared printer. Others have problems printing to Airport Extreme base stations. Here are two solutions:

/mac | Sep 02, 2007

Impenetrable, unentered, unassailed #

The following passage (excerpted from American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 - 1964 by William Manchester, pgs. 341 & 343) brings to mind another from thousands of years ago:
Willoughby now estimated - and events would prove him to be correct - that they would be met by over four thousand Japanese troops. MacArthur handed back the papers, turned to several anxious officers awaiting his decision, and said, in his calm way, "We shall continue as planned, gentlemen." After a pause he added that he intended to land with the troops. Krueger was alarmed. In his memoirs he writes: "He had expressly forbidden me to accompany our assault loadings and yet now he promised to do so himself. I argued that it was unnecessary and unwise to expose himself in this fashion and that it would be a calamity if anything happened to him. He listened to me attentively and thanked me, but added, 'I have to go.' He had made up his mind on the subject - and that was that."

The General spent most of that night alone at the Phoenix rail, gazing out at the black, phosphorescent sea. At dawn, when they dropped anchor in Hyane Harbor off Los Negros, they were greeted by a bombardment from Japanese shore batteries. A Life correspondent who was present wrote: "One salvo went over the ship. The second fell short. Men on the deck, expecting that the third might well be on the target, were preparing to get behind anything handy when it hit. MacArthur began to take an increased interest in the matter at that point, standing up straight on the bridge to survey the scene while chatting with his staff. Fortunately, his survey included the obliteration of the Jap gun positions by the cruiser, which had got the range in the nick of time."

Six hours later he went ashore in a pouring rain. The fighting was heavy. GIs of the 1st Cavalry Division wearing steel helmets and camouflaged battle dress were lying prone, but the General, conspicuous in his trench coat and cap, awarded a Distinguished Service Cross to the man who had led the first wave and then, to the amazement of his party, strolled casually inland. Anguished aides tried to persuade him not to expose himself. One senior officer warned him that he was in "very intimate danger." MacArthur lit up his corncob pipe, waved out the match, and explained that he wanted to get "a sense of the situation." A lieutenant touched him on the sleeve, pointed at a path, and said, "Excuse me, sir, but we killed a Jap sniper in there just a few minutes ago." The General nodded approvingly. "Fine," he said. "That's the best thing to do with them." Then he walked in that direction. Stumbling over the cadavers of two enemy soldiers who had been slain a few minutes earlier - their bodies were still warm - he continued on, merely remarking, "That`s the way I like to see them." A GI called, "You are beyond the perimeter, sir!" MacArthur courteously thanked him for the information, but he didn't break his stride until he came to a wounded American infantryman. Crouching down beside him, he took the man's hand and asked, "Son, what happened?"

John Gunther wrote: "He stalks a battlefront like a man hardly human, not only arrogantly but lazily."


The most dangerous spot on the island was the airstrip. Kenney had told the General that it could become "the most important piece of real estate in the theater." Now he wished he hadn't, because MacArthur was heading straight for it. From the number of corpses later counted there, officers estimated that eight hundred pairs of Japanese eyes were watching as, Kenney remembers, "General MacArthur wandered up and down the strip . . . digging into the coral surfacing to see how good it was." A correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post who had joined his entourage wrote: "With his yellow trench coat swinging out behind and smoke trailing from his pipe, MacArthur paced off the puddled coral runway himself. At first the width, and then down the length, far outside our lines." A dumbfounded cavalryman said afterward, "Why they didn't kill him, I don`t know."

/misc | Sep 01, 2007

Portable (and open source) apps for OS X #

OS X FOSS portable applications are packaged so that you can keep them and their preferences on removable media.

/mac | Aug 26, 2007

Slicehost: Best hosting on the planet #

Slicehost offers simplicity, power, and a crazy clean UI. I haven't enjoyed tech this much since BeOS.

/nix | Aug 22, 2007

Changing mouse orientation (especially useful for gamers or CAD users) #

For those wanting to change the orientation of their mouse (for example, having the cursor move up when the mouse is moved down), Moritz Franckenstein has written an excellent shareware mouse driver that can: and more. Having tried a variety of Logitech Mouseware and Microsoft Intellimouse drivers, registry hacks, etc, I can unequivocally state that Moritz has crafted the best solution for Windows users who want to change their mouse orientation.

/windows | Aug 17, 2007

Command line feed readers #

Feed readers for the console crew: UPDATES:

/nix | Aug 17, 2007 free shipping search engine #

Amazon Filler Item Finder helps you find low-priced items on Amazon (which are eligible for free shipping) to push your total over the $25 minimum.

/misc | Aug 16, 2007

txt2tags - A clean and simple document generator #

While searching for technical book writing software (which turned up the usual suspects: DocBook, FrameMaker, MS Word, LaTeX, Help & Manual, etc.), I stumbled upon a hidden treasure - txt2tags. It is a document generator geared more towards webpages than books, but does a beautiful job of converting plain text with simple markup to the following formats: The clean, simple design actually makes markup fun, and the automatic numbering and Table of Contents generation will save you heaps of time.

/nix | Aug 15, 2007

Concurrent Terminal Services (RDP) sessions under Windows XP! #

Normally, Windows XP allows only a single remote login via RDP (which in turn requires the currently logged-in local user to be kicked off!). However, there are several methods to circumvent this restriction:

As always, use at your own risk (and joy). Before playing with any of these (particularly in a production environment) you may want to contact Microsoft regarding potential licensing issues.

/windows | Aug 08, 2007

Excellent, Free Terminal Services Book #

Brian Madden & Ron Oglesby are offering their excellent Terminal Services for Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Advanced Technical Design Guide free for download (PDF). It's got swell reviews on Amazon. Here's the blurb:
This book is not an administrator's guide. Rather, it's written for IT consultants, system engineers, and architects who must plan, design, implement, and optimize Windows 2003-based Terminal Server systems. It's filled with real-world, proven strategies created specifically for Windows Server 2003. See how some of the world's largest companies are using pure Terminal Server 2003 environments.

/windows | Aug 08, 2007

LiteIcon and AppCleaner - freeware replacements for CandyBar 2 and AppZapper #

Free Mac Soft has kindly coded AppCleaner, an uninstaller that performs exactly like the shareware AppZapper ("The uninstaller Apple forgot"), and LiteIcon, an app to change system icons, one of CandyBar 2's main features ("Change the Mac OS X icons you usually can't!").

/mac | Jul 05, 2007

Accessing KeePass / KeePassX databases on your Palm OS device #

KeePass and KeePassX users can access their encrypted databases under Palm OS via Keyring and one of these converters: Delphi-based | Java-based.

/palm | Jun 25, 2007

When nothing is done, nothing is left undone. #

Tao Te Ching - Sixty Interactive Translations

/misc | Jun 20, 2007

WakeOnLan #

WakeOnLan 0.89 [852k] Wake / turn on computers in LAN (Macs can also be put to sleep). Includes scheduling support.  📺

/mac | Jun 10, 2007

CocoaWget - GNU Wget with a GUI for OS X #

CocoaWget 2.6.3 [532k] {S} GUI for GNU Wget (which is included - no need to compile seperately).  📺

/mac | Jun 02, 2007

Bean #

Bean 0.94 [664k] {S} Simple word processor / rich text editor. Supports basic Microsoft Word docs, in addition to standard formats (RTF, TXT, HTML, etc).  📺 (via Lifehacker)

/mac | May 31, 2007

Sysinterals apps : The pre-p0wnage years #

While reading this swell post by Mark Russinovich (creator of Sysinternals), I clicked on the Strings link to check it out. Sadly, the download link was broken. A quick Google query uncovered buried treasure: a kind collection of pre-p0wnage Sysinternals apps. The Wayback Machine has loads of archived downloads as well.

/windows | May 27, 2007

Dell 1815dn: OS X printer and network scanner drivers #

To their credit, Dell has provided a printer driver for OS X users of the 1815dn. Jon Chambers has kindly crafted a cross-platform Perl script that enables network scanning for OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, etc. (The script also supports the Dell 1600n and Ricoh FX200.)

/misc | May 24, 2007

Dell Laser Printer 1815dn (and a note on network scanning / PIN requirement) #

I have setup several Dell Laser Printer 1815dn units, and am insanely impressed with these low-priced ($399! UPDATE: The price just changed to $499 on May 26.), high-performance machines. This snippet from a PCMag review sums things up nicely:
"In addition to printing, scanning to and faxing from a PC over a network, the multitalented 1815dn also works as a standalone fax machine and copier. The machine is a digital sender too, letting you scan and e-mail without a PC. Most AIOs with digital sending that I've seen up to now have been aimed primarily at large offices. In particular, they didn't work with most ISPs and required you to have your own corporate-style e-mail server to connect to. By contrast, the 1815dn operates with standard ISPs, as I confirmed by testing it with the Verizon DSL home Internet service. An even nicer surprise was the 1815dn's ability to turn faxes into e-mails. It accomplishes this bit of magic by converting the fax image into either a PDF or TIFF file and then sending it off as an e-mail attachment. Better still, you can forward incoming faxes, outgoing faxes, or both."
Another review from Computer Shopper:
"Dell's Multifunction Laser Printer 1815dn is based around a fast laser printer. It can make black-and-white prints and copies, and can scan, but not print, in colour. It has a standard network interface and a duplexer that allows it to print on both sides of a sheet of paper. Its 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) is useful for making unattended copies or faxes of long documents... The 1815dn is a fast, well-specified MFP that's easy to set up. It uses only a single consumable and has low running costs, making it an ideal multifunction peripheral for a moderately busy office."

The 1815dn makes a great alternative to HP's Digital Senders, which cost many times more and do far less.

For those who plan on using the 1815dn's network scanning function: it is not mentioned anywhere (not even online at the moment), but you can bypass the need for a PIN by entering 0000 when prompted during the software installation. Doing so will return the following message: "You just entered '0000' for a PIN. Network Scanner will not ask for a PIN when you login to the scanner."

/misc | May 23, 2007

Google / Dell junkware getting worse #

David Ulevitch has a detailed post reviewing the latest Google junkware on Dell computers, and how to remove it.

/windows | May 23, 2007

WiTopia personalVPN #

I imagine most folks reading this blog do not need to be convinced of the value in encrypting their Internet traffic. From foiling sniffers at a wifi hotspot to preventing gov'mint tracking of your surfing habits, there are reasons aplenty. While I am very grateful to the EFF for Tor, it is too slow for my needs at present.

The search for an alternative service lead me to WiTopia's personalVPN service. It is simple to setup, has low latency, and runs under OS X, Linux, and Windows 2000/XP/Vista. Here's the process under OS X:

  1. Read the FAQ to make sure you understand the service.
  2. Sign up for an account ($40/year)
  3. Your custom installer arrives via email in a few minutes. (List of what was installed on my system.) Intel-based Mac users need to jump through the additional hoop of updating Tunnelblick (WiTopia needs to fix this).
  4. You'll need to specify one or more DNS servers for your desired network adapters (as explained in the welcome email), and you may need to adjust your SMTP settings.
  5. After rebooting, the Tunnelblick icon appears in the menu bar:

    Click and choose "Connect".
  6. The Tunnelblick icon changes to show that you are connected:
    That's it! You can of course verify the encryption with a tool like Wireshark, and your new IP address via sites like IP Chicken.

I asked WiTopia about their policy regarding customer privacy, logging, etc. They replied:

"Privacy is our business so we take it very seriously. We don't monitor or keep logs of where anyone goes. We do run tests to prevent spamming, etc. If it is reported to us by a respected authority that a user is participating in criminal activity, or other activities that could harm WiTopia, or its customers, we turn that over to our abuse team and they likely turn your account off."

/misc | May 20, 2007

Javascript progress bar for tracking goal completion #

I asked Jonathan how he created his cool financial goals progress bar. He kindly pointed me to this post, which referenced The Percent Bar Maker, which mentioned a Javascript percentage bar, the link to which returns a 404. Thankfully, the Web Archive hooked me up with the cached page. Here's a sample (apologies to Jonathan):

UPDATE: Ben Oakes kindly sent in his OS X-themed modification.

/misc | May 20, 2007

Three image viewer apps for OS X #

Small and simple apps for browsing images:

/mac | May 20, 2007

Apple Safe Sleep Sucks #

Why did Apple not include an option to disable Safe Sleep (aka Hibernation) in Energy Saver? As it is, closing the lid of your new MacBook or MacBook Pro and moving it too quickly can destroy the hard drive. I first learned of this unpleasant state of affairs thanks to random restarts after closing the MacBook Pro's lid. Here's how to disable Safe Sleep, and make your MacBook sleep instantly (and safely!):

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage

UPDATE: This is no longer sufficient to disable Safe Sleep on most modern Mac models; see this post for more information. I had to run this third command on a Mid 2012 MacBook Pro to stop it from hibernating after four hours:

sudo pmset -a autopoweroff 0

/mac | May 15, 2007

Klaus Knopper (creator of Knoppix) request #

I've been chatting with Klaus recently, and he has the following question:
"I'm working on a Linux-based network boot console that can automatically restore operating system partitions with multicasted archive from a server. For this, I have tried to keep all programs as small as possible, but currently, I'm already at 12MB (compressed), which takes a lot of time to decompress on an old computer (about 8 seconds, goal is 4 seconds). I'm still searching for a way to get the Qt-based embedded GUI smaller. But C++ apps seem to need a lot of bloated libraries. Maybe you have an idea how to get this smaller."
If you can help, please email him directly at: knopper AT knopper DOT net. Thanks.

/nix | May 11, 2007

Knoppix - A great thing just keeps getting greater. #

It's hard to believe that it has been almost five years since Knoppix was first mentioned in this space. There has been an explosion of Live CDs since then, but Knoppix always manages to stay several steps ahead of the competition. Features I've recently noticed and appreciated:

/nix | May 09, 2007

Make a simple and sturdy CD sleeve from letter-sized paper #

While there have been instructions on making paper CD sleeves for a long time, I've never found instructions as simple and easy to follow as these. The sleeves are fun to make, and the process will likely leave you with an inner smile.

UPDATE: Fernando Aversa kindly sent instructions for yet another folding method.

/misc | May 09, 2007

Japanese-English dictionary for Palm OS #

PAdict is an open-source Japanese-English dictionary based on EDICT with a slew of features:

/palm | May 06, 2007

Two newly-listed Palm apps: Downloader and Snap #

/palm | May 06, 2007

Automatic disk imaging and file versioning device for Windows XP #

The Rebit is a bus-powered, USB external hard drive which automatically/continuously mirrors your boot drive and keeps multiple versions of your files. It comes in three sizes: 60GB ($169), 80GB ($189), and 120GB ($219). Includes a bootable rescue CD for disaster recovery. (via Boing Boing)

/windows | May 04, 2007

Quick cleaning of HTML files for archiving #

I use EagleFiler to store and search just about everything: PDFs, HTML pages, email, TXT files, etc. Until now, I've relied on the MyPage Bookmarklet to strip ads and other junk from webpages before archiving them. However, an increasing number of sites seem to be blocking its use.

That's where a Windows app suggested by Mike Mills comes in: it can batch scrub a group of HTML files in seconds, making short work of a formally tedious process. Check it out:

HTML stripper 1.1 [275k] + Scrub HTML clean of ads, iframes, scripts, etc.  📺

/windows | Apr 26, 2007

Mozy for Mac OS X #

OK, OK, perhaps I've mentioned Mozy a few too many times, but they have just released a beta version for OS X 10.4. In case you've forgotten, Mozy is: Now Mac users, too, can enjoy free/cheap automated online backups.

/mac | Apr 25, 2007

Freeware network monitoring software # offers a nice collection of tiny network apps, including the newly-added:
MultiPing Grapher 1.4.1 [284k] + Graph up to 10 different ICMP results. Adjust ping interval and packet size. Includes logging and average calculation.  📺

/windows | Apr 13, 2007

Common decency #

I am the first to promote the free exchange of ideas. But if you are going to copy, virtually verbatim, someone's work (even the title and images!), at least have the common decency to cite it. Especially when you plaster said work with loads of ads and other crap. Here is a screenshot of what I'm talking about, along with the original tutorial.

UPDATE: A link back to TinyApps.Org has been posted.

/misc | Apr 09, 2007

21 free, tiny icon sets #

DHTML Site has put together a list of 21 free, tiny icon sets from around the web. Most of them are 10x10 or 16x16. Here's a taste:

/misc | Apr 09, 2007

SSH and SSHFS Guide for OS X #

This might interest about 4 people on the planet, but a new guide has been posted in the Docs section: Hardening SSH and Mounting Remote Filesystem in OS X Finder via SSHFS. It's sort of a long-winded followup to this post and the AFP over SSH tutorial.

/mac | Apr 06, 2007

Highly recommended Dell rep #

If you buy business hardware from Dell, I can't recommend Justin Anderson strongly enough. He goes above and beyond the call of duty, and gives the impression of sincerely enjoying his work. I doubt he will be working on the front lines much longer, but for now you can reach him at: Justin_Anderson at Dell dot com or (800) 901-3355 x 7237087.

/misc | Mar 21, 2007

Four things OS X can learn from Windows 95 #

You would think that after all these years, Apple would have copied these simple yet essential abilities from Windows 95:
  1. In Spotlight's search result window, files should be able to be deleted, copied, moved, renamed, etc.
  2. Spotlight should offer an "In Folder" or "Location" column rather than forcing the user to press the tiny "i" symbol for each result.
  3. The Trash should have two more columns: "Date Deleted" and "Original Location".
  4. The context menu in the Trash should offer a "Restore" option to return files to their original location. This is especially useful in putting back the 20 or 30 files from 10 different locations that Adobe asked you to remove and then realized they shouldn't have.

Windows' Find Files or Folders

OS X's Spotlight

Windows' Recycle Bin

OS X's Trash

/mac | Mar 21, 2007

OS X: Slow startup, update_prebindin, and Application Enhancer (APE) #

For those wondering why their Mac hard drives thrash about on startup, while a process apparently called update_prebindin (it is actually "update_prebinding") hogs the CPU, here is one explanation and a possible fix.

/mac | Mar 20, 2007

Pablo Software Solutions - Tiny, open source Windows apps #

Pablo has authored a fine collection of tiny, open source Windows apps, including: Baby FTP Server (44k), Baby POP3 Server (40k), and DBF Explorer (48k), among others. Though built with MFC, Pablo's apps thankfully do not require installation.

/windows | Mar 14, 2007

Thank God: Ron Paul Launches Presidential Bid #

ABC News has the scoop. Check out Ron's website for more info or to make a contribution (I did). Recommended reading: Davy Crockett's Not Yours To Give. Here's a taste:

Horatio Bunce: "My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?"

Crockett: "Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did."

Bunce: "It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be intrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means.

"What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he."

/misc | Mar 12, 2007

Why, in my day... and we LIKED it! #

One of my favorite memes on Slashdot is the "Why, in my day..." (along the lines of Monty Python's Four Yorkshiremen). Here is a taste:

Old guy #1: Yes, sir, a six-bit character set was all we had, and we liked it!

Old guy #2: You had a character-set? Damn you were lucky! Back in MY day all we had was a bunch of rocks, and we communicated by banging the rocks together.

Old guy #3: Rocks!! Do you know what we would have done for rocks! A good honest rock could get you places. No Sir. All we had was mud. Mud and straw. We used to pile the mud up into segments to make registers and then use the straw to represent numbers. We didn't have any of your holier than thou binary formats. No Sir. We had unary and we liked it.

Old guy #1: In my day, we made our CPUs out of crystals! Our motherboard was a clay tablet. And we hammered the gold into thin sheets, baked it in a dung-fired oven, and we LIKED it.

Old guy #2: Luxury. Back when I was a young'en, we didn't have any o' those fancy crystals, ovens or precious metals. We 'ad to make due with a bunch o' stones, manipulating the electrons by hand!

Old guy #1: The TRUE geek makes his own from a brick of silver. In my day we had to make thermal paste by grinding it down with stones.

Old guy #2: Silver bricks? You was lucky! In my day we had mine our own ore and smelt it down. Then our dad would assay it, and if it wasn't 99% pure, all we got for breakfast was CompUSA Silver Thermal Grease!

Old guy #3: You had HEAVY ELEMENTS? In my day, the loose clouds of interstellar gas hadn't coalesced into star systems yet. All we had were hydrogen atoms and maybe a trace of helium around Christmas!

Old guy #4: You had loose clouds of interstellar gas. *LUXURY* In my day we had nothing but the vacuum and had to wait for a universe to pop into existence before we could even begin to think about the existence of energy and matter. Kids today ....

/misc | Feb 25, 2007

Cobian Backup is now open source! #

Last year, we mentioned that Luis was looking for a developer to take over Cobian Backup. The right person must not have come along, since he has released the source code. It would be hard to make this app any better (aside from perhaps cleaning up the interface and icons a bit), but don't let that deter you from trying!

/windows | Feb 22, 2007

TinyApps.Org for sale - a mere $695,412.00 ;-) #

Thank you for showing me the true value of TinyApps.Org. I had no idea this humble domain was worth almost $700,000:

This week only, potential buyers can take a whopping $5000 off the sticker price! Everyone else can visit LeapFish for their own wildly inaccurate domain name appraisal.

/misc | Feb 13, 2007

Batch file renaming and text replacing in OS X #

Simple Find & Replace 1.6 [500k] {S} Includes four apps (with AppleScript source): Simple Find & Replace in: Text Files, File Names, Folder Names 1 Level, and Folder Names Recursive.  📺

/mac | Jan 29, 2007

Allegro! - Catch that public radio show you missed (or want to hear again) #

Allegro! can help you locate and listen to public radio audio streams. Just select the desired program (From the Top, Weekend Radio, Hearts of Space, etc) along with your current time zone to display a list of available streams.

/misc | Jan 28, 2007

FreshBooks - The best online invoicing and time tracking service for consultants #

If you are looking for the perfect online time tracking and invoicing service, look no further than FreshBooks. These guys do it right: a toll-free number (1-866-303-6061) where you can reach an English-speaking person who knows and cares about their service, free trial signup in seconds, everything done over SSL (you even get a cool URL), professional invoices, and the easiest-to-use interface I've ever seen. Their excellent service and clean UI remind me a lot of Mozy.

/misc | Jan 23, 2007

The happiness of your life depends on... #

the quality of your thoughts.
- Marcus Aurelius

/misc | Jan 23, 2007

SoundRec - record voice memos on your Treo or other Palm-based device #

SoundRec v1.051 [24k] {S} Voice memo recorder. One button recording, save or export to SD card, more.  📺 💾

/palm | Jan 19, 2007

Portable Python #

Perica kindly informs us of his Portable Python for Windows project, which does not require installation and can be run from a removable drive. Besides Python, it includes SQLite, Django, and SciTE.

/windows | Jan 15, 2007

At last! Mount SSH in the Finder! #

I've been looking for a way to mount SSH or SFTP in OS X's Finder for several weeks. Sure, you can tunnel AFP over SSH if you are connecting to a server that offers AFP (mine doesn't). OS X's "Connect to Server..." feature does not support SFTP or SSH, and SFTPDrive for OS X has not been released. Now, thanks to Amit Singh and Google (and of course the original FUSE team), MacFUSE has made it possible! Of course, it can do a whole lot more than just SSHFS (read/write NTFS, UnionFS support, etc), but being able to securely mount a remote Linux server in the Finder is awesome.

Thomas Stromberg has a good overview of using MacFUSE and SSHFS, but I needed to make a few changes before it worked for me:

  1. Download the binary: fuse-binaries-0.1.0b006.tar.bz2
  2. Install: $ sudo tar -C / -jxvpf fuse-binaries-0.1.0b006.tar.bz2
  3. Attempting to run sshfs returned the error "fuse: failed to exec mount program: No such file or directory", since /usr/local/bin is not in Tiger's default PATH. To remedy this:
    $ export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH
    Alternatively, you could include it in /etc/profile
  4. Run: $ sshfs username@host:/some/remote/directory /some/local/mount/point -o ping_diskarb,volname=some_volume_name,reconnect

That's it! The remote server is now accessible via the Finder:

/mac | Jan 14, 2007

Disable Hibernation in Vista and delete hiberfil.sys #

To disable Hibernation, remove it from the Start Menu, and delete hiberfil.sys: powercfg -h off . Perform at your own risk (and joy).

/windows | Jan 01, 2007

Cannot access file shares from Vista #

If you are running Vista and cannot access Windows file shares on your NAS or other *nix-powered 'puter, it may be due to Vista's insistence on NTLMv2 authentication (which is not supported by older versions of Samba). To restore access you can either upgrade Samba (version 3.0.22 or higher), or force Vista to use the less secure NTLM protocol when necessary:
  1. Start > Run > secpol.msc (BTW, "Run" is missing from the Start menu in Vista by default. You can add it by right clicking on the Start button, choosing Properties, then Customize, etc, or just use Win key + R to launch it. You can also use the "Start Search" box just like "Run" if you prefer.)
  2. Local Policies > Security Options > Network Security: LAN Manager authentication level
  3. Change "Send NTLMv2 response only" to "Send LM & NTLM - use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated"
(Thanks to this post by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.)

UPDATE: If your version of Windows does not include secpol.msc, use regedit to add or edit the DWORD LMCompatibilityLevel with a value of 1 in HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa.

/windows | Jan 01, 2007

The Businessman & The Fisherman #

One day a rich businessman was surprised to find a fisherman lazily smoking a pipe and lying on the riverbank beside his boat.

"Why aren't you out fishing?" said the businessman.

"Because I caught enough fish for one day," said the fisherman.

"Why don't you catch some more?"

"What would I do with them?"

"Earn more money. With that you could buy a motor for your boat so you could go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Then you would have enough money to buy nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats, maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me."

"What would I do then?"

"Then you could really enjoy life."

"What do you think I am doing right now?"

From Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart, edited by Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield

/misc | Jan 01, 2007

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