A passionate programmer’s findings in the world of internet.

Archive for the 'Software and tools' Category

Recover Deleted Files from USB Drive

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

I accidentally deleted a PHP source file with hundreds lines of source code and I'll have to show the system to my client tomorrow. I know I should backup additional copies, but I always think that "I'll do it later".

I found 2 "undelete" tools which I tried to recover the delete file from my USB drive.

Free Undelete 2.0 (Not working)

The Free Undelete from Office Recovery showed up as the first result in Google. Believing in Google's PageRank, I gave it a try.

After installing it, I start it up. The user interface was very user-friendly. Besides that, the file size is only 1MB.

However, as soon as I click on the scan button, the whole program took about 5 minutes to scan. Before it shows any result, Windows XP Error Reporting box showed up, then followed by messages related to Dr Watson. I had to restart my computer to gain control of everything (even 'End task' in the Task Manager does not work).

I'm not sure why it doesn't work for me, or probably it doesn't work on USB drives?

PC Inspector File Recovery (Recommended)

PC Inspector File Recovery was the next program I found.

Very much different from FreeUndelete, the file size was so much bigger, with more than 5MB and the user interface was awful. It takes a while to understand the buttons.

The good part is, it shows all the result instantly and I can find the file that I needed in no time. It also shows the modified date and condition of the files.

Give it a try when you are having the same fate some day.

One important note: If possible, do not perform any activity on the drive you would like to recover. Activities may include copying and creating files. That means, installing the recovery program itself can pose some risks that your deleted file could be overwritten. You may want to install it now, if you think you might need it some day.

Trying Safari on Windows

Monday, April 7th, 2008

When I read of Apple is offering Safari for Windows (I know I'm outdated), I have a strong feeling to give it a try as soon as possible. However, I must say, I am very disappointed.

After I have installed everything that I needed for my programming work, I haven't install much apps into my system because I don't want any of the programs to slow my PC down. I broke the rule for Safari and I'm very disappointed with it.

I have tried opening it a few times, and this is what I've got!

Safari not responding

The application just hang after I start it up. And, it hang indefinitely.

I suspect it is unable to detect the network properly, or simply because I did not install Bonjour?

Anybody had the same experience?

Update: The program finally working after I reboot the machine. Why, why, why?

Backup and Restore Firefox Configurations and Settings (Profile)

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Recently, I installed my web based PHP system in a company. After I setup the server, I went to each PC to install Mozilla Firefox. There are around 8 computers and it will take a while for me to install and reconfigure each of the fresh installed Firefox.

So, I spend some time to check how I can backup all configurations from one machine and move it to all the others. I did not expect it to be so simple.

Backup Firefox Profile

Copy the following file:

C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\profile.ini

and the following Firefox profile folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<random-string>.default

into a pendrive to backup.

Restore Firefox Profile

Go to the second machine, replace the profile.ini file at the exact location. Then, copy the profile folder to the exact location as well.

You can expect all the Firefox settings and configurations are transferred to the second machine!

In case you had renamed the profile folder, make sure you correct profile.ini file so that it points to correct path.

If you would like to read further details, go to: Firefox Help: How to Manage Profiles

Internet Explorer Unable to View FTP Sites

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Microsoft Internet Explorer has the ability to view FTP site like a normal local folders. This is a feature that lots of people are not aware of or don't really use it. I have always been using some freeware FTP clients for a while and find them don't really improves anything. At times, I would use command line, but when transferring many files, command line is not very convenient.

As I begin using Internet Explorer not too long ago, I never use any other clients since then. It is convenient as it is pre-installed in every machine!

Recently, as I tried to use it on a different computer, I keep getting "Page not found" error. But the FTP server is working fine when I try to access using command line FTP.

After spending sometime to search for solution, I found a setting in Internet options that fixes it. Go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab > tick Enable folder view for FTP sites.

If you have never use IE for this purpose, I recommend you to try it.

Just type in address bar: ftp://www.yoursite.com

Unless you need some extraordinary functions, IE is good enough.

Disable A Certain Key In Your Keyboard

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

The 'Alternate' (Alt) key of my friend's notebook keyboard got stuck. So, when he presses A, the computer accepts it as Alt + A. The immediate solution that I can think, is to disable the key.

I find that it's not hard to disable a key. Here's how to do it:

  1. Download MapKeyboard from download.com (27KB only)
  2. Uncompress it, then open the MapKeyboard.exe (not installation is required)
  3. A virtual key board will show up.
  4. Click on the key that you want to disable. For my case, I click on RAlt to disable right Alt key.
  5. Then at "Remap selected key to:", select "Disabled".
  6. Finally, click "Save layout" and reboot the PC

If you failed to start the program, you will need to install Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0.

I think this can be useful, especially for some gamers who would like to disable the Windows key for you-know-what reason.

Besides disabling a certain key, the program can map keys as well.

Hope you find it useful too.