09.27.10

Intel CPU Info tool.

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:09 pm by mike

Cool geekware to tell you about your CPU: http://www.cpuid.com/downloads/cpu-z/1.55-setup-en.exe. Be sure to disable the evil Ask toolbar window from the install wizard.

09.26.10

Open Apple Pages .pages files in Windows

Posted in Windows at 11:11 am by mike

Quick fix for Grammie.   Someone had sent her some .pages files and she couldn’t open them on Windows 7.    Turns out that they are a Winzip compatible file archive with a PDF preview in them.      Since she doesn’t even have Winzip installed, I simply exported, edit, and imported the .zip registry entry so the Windows File Explorer would do the trick.       It ended up looking like this:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\.pages]
"PerceivedType"="compressed"
"Content Type"="application/x-zip-compressed"
@="CompressedFolder"
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\.pages\CompressedFolder]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\.pages\CompressedFolder\ShellNew]
"Data"=hex:50,4b,05,06,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"ItemName"=hex(2):40,00,25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,\
  6f,00,74,00,25,00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,\
  00,7a,00,69,00,70,00,66,00,6c,00,64,00,72,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,2c,00,\
  2d,00,31,00,30,00,31,00,39,00,34,00,00,00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\.pages\OpenWithProgids]
"CompressedFolder"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\.pages\PersistentHandler]
@="{098f2470-bae0-11cd-b579-08002b30bfeb}"

I’m not sure if all those GUID and Shell data values are universal, but if importing the above doesn’t work, I’m sure you can figure out the same export/edit trick I did.  Note you need to logout and login again to restart the base explorer shell.   Enjoy.

09.17.10

Allway Sync now supports Amazon S3

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:53 am by mike

So I’ve been using AllWay Sync tool for a couple  years now to keep laptops synchronized (free for home use).   I recently downloaded the latest version to help me back up the HTPC harddisk before pulling it out and moving it to the ReadyNAS NV+ as an iSCSI device (a story for another time).    In the back of my mind, I’ve also been contemplating various offsite backup strategies.    My photo and home video collection is nearing 1TB, and after seeing the San Mateo gas fire, I’m a little more motivated to get those offsite.

It turns out the latest version of AllWay now supports Amazon S3!  This basically gives you an unlimited storage solution for $1.20$1.11/GB/yr using S3 RRS.    Or $10 $9 a month for a TB of backup.   The beauty is you only pay for what you use, so 250GB is only $2.50 $2.25 a month, or $27/yr.  The AllWay tool can do scheduled synchronizations and after the initial sync, it only pushes new files and deletions.

Now the Internet backup providers like Carbonite are running right as low as $55/yr for unlimited backup, so you may be able to pay a little less for a more feature rich solution if you are over .5TB but if you have multiple PC’s (or a NAS).   That said $55/yr only gets you 1 PC and I don’t know if it will backup network shares.  Furthermore they don’t recommend the $55 solution for anyone with more than 200GB.  In fact, in their FAQ they mention something about bandwidth throttling at 35 and 200 gig.

Finally, Amazon has been consistently dropping the price on S3 storage every year, so it will only get cheaper.    Allway includes integration with Windows Task Manager, so scheduled backups are a breeze.   As soon as I get all the drives reorganized, this is definitely the next task on the list.

09.01.10

More CPU Envy

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:49 pm by mike

So just completed the configuration of my new Dell M4500.

  • Intel i7 Q72o @ 1.60GHz (not the fastest i7, but uses the least power)
  • 8GB memory
  • 60GB SSD drive
  • 500GB HD
  • Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit

The machine measures twice as fast as my old 4300 and the i7 excels at running VMWare machines. (Task Manager shows 8 CPUs: 4 hyperthreaded cores)  Add the SSD for the OS, and you’re not waiting for anything.   Furthermore, with a 64bit OS,  I now have 4G allocated to each 32 bit VM and they run like they are native.    Other nice touches are the back lit keyboard, wireless-N card and external SATA port.

My only complaint is the camera built into the screen is always pointed at you. I’d prefer it had a some sort of physical lens cap.

Nice big keyboard with three mouse buttons above and below the pad.

The WEI score is 6.5 due to I didn’t bother with the high end graphics card. Processor and SSD come in at 7.0 and 7.3. 7.9 is the highest score possible, don’t ask me why…

Mean looking charcoal black case

BTW: The upgrade to the latest BIOS from Dell seemed to solve the BSOD problem I saw a couple times.    Haven’t seen it since.