Saturday, December 10, 2011

Let By Gone's be By Gone's

You may or may not know that when you drag items to the trash on your computer, they aren't permanently deleted. Just watch an episode of your favorite CSI show, and you'll see that its possible to recover files that haven't been deleted properly. And while I'm sure you're not guilty of any CSI type crimes (or are you?), I'm sure you want to figure out how to permanently delete your files and keep your private things private -- after all everyone has to have some secrets!
Why emptying your recycling bin doesn't permanently delete your files
When you tell your computer to empty its recycling bin, your operating system only deletes the records it has of the files you want to delete. Yet the files still remain on the hard drive memory.
Here's an analogy: If you think of your files as books in a library and you decide you no longer have use for a certain book. Emptying the trash is equivalent to removing the entry in the library's card catalog. The book is still there but not easily found by everyday visitors. But if someone really wanted to find it, and had a clue where to look, they quite possibly do so since it is still physically there.
What it means to permanently delete a file
To permanently delete a file, you need to not only delete its record, but also overwrite the physical portion of the hard drive where it lives. A low level format is equivalent to replacing your private file with random bits (1's and 0's). Continuing with the library analogy you need to remove remove the book, shred it, light up in flames and possibly replace it with a different book
Do it right and do it better
While performing a defragmentation will probably do the trick, it's really not a viable solution. Waiting for disk defragmentation is not something I'd do every time I wanted to do a permanent deletion. The defragmentation process is way too long. The right way to how to permanently and quickly delete files is to use a program specifically designed for that purpose. You're in luck too because most Windows operating systems have a command line tool called CIPHER to do the trick!
Here's how to use CIPHER:
1. After closing all windows, open up a command window.
2. Type the following: cipher /w:�driveletter:�foldername where driveletter and foldername correspond to the drive a location of where your deleted file used to live.
3. Sit back and enjoy your freedom and privacy while your file is truly permanently deleted!
Here's an example:
I have a picture I want permanently deleted which stored on my computer at the following location:
After deleting this picture and emptying the recycle bin, I would type the following (in a command prompt) to ensure that I can still run for senator (as long as they don't catch me in the airport bathroom):
C:>cipher /w:C:�images
I can then move on to my life of privacy and carefree surfing!

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Free Calls with you home phone. No PC required.


I saw Ryan Block review this device with Veronica Belmont on TekZilla. They use it as their home phone. There is no e911 so you need a cell phone for emergencies. It looks like I'm going to cough up the money for this one. They said it runs $45 one time no yearly subscriptions. The OBIHAI network is not part of your call connection so there is one less point of failure and this will likely work if OBIHAI goes out of business which if we all buy one likely won't happen.

I finally purchased this box and plugged it in my router and the RJ11 into my phone. I followed the setup and it simply works. A flawless clear connection. It hasn't dropped. I have a Android app installed as well that gives you ObiHai numbers to call directly between other OBIHai devices. This app lets your cell phone use the WiFi to make calls so if you are in a bad location without cell but you are on WiFi you have a working phone anywhere.

This can be used on a PC as well. (No Cost What So Ever)

Use Google Voice™ on your regular phone and make calls to the USA & Canada for FREE !! *

Make calls to other countries with Google Voice's incredibly low international rates using an OBi100 or OBi110 and your broadband connection to the Internet.

Absolutely Convenient use of Google Voice on a phone connected to the OBi device — No PC required.
Amazingly Simple is the best way to describe how to get going with Google Voice on your OBi. Just add your Gmail credential to the OBi and start making calls!
What You Need:
1. The OBi100 or OBi110 deviceGet it here.
2. Gmail username & password – If you do not have this already, get it here.
3. A Telephone – Make A Google Voice call using your everyday phone – no need to be at your computer.
1. Sign-in to your Gmail account, locate the Gmail “Call Phone” feature and make a call from your PC to any phone number. If you have already done this before, you may skip this.
2. Connect the OBi to a broadband connection via your Internet router.
3. Register with the OBiTALK portal, then add your OBi device and use the configuration wizard to set-up the OBi with your Gmail username + password.
4. This step requires you have previously set-up a Google Voice phone number at
- Sign-in to Google Voice.
- Select the "Settings" link in the upper right corner of the window and then choose "Voice Settings."
- On the "Phones" tab, check the box next to the "Forwards to: Google Chat."
- The selection will be saved automatically and you may sign-out of Google Voice.
5. Now, start making and receiving calls on your OBi with Google Voice!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Released from BluRay Prison

We are finally free from PowerDVD and WinDVD.

A free player that supports multi core and puts the Power back in you finger tips.

This will play a BluRay from your harddisk just by selecting the folder.

Subtitles will play so select the subtitle menu icon from the top of the player which looks like a square with an S in the top right. Select disable from that menu. Do not try to find it in subtitle settings.
This player didn't like conedvd for some reason. I have to un-install cloneDVD. I tried pulling out the SCSI driver but it didn't fix it.

Free Bluray Player

Support commercial and homemade Bluray. The only free Bluray decrypt and backup solution in market. Compatible with BD+ and AACS protected Bluray. Play Bluray from hard disk backup files and virtual driver.

Region Free DVD Player

Play all 1-6 region locked DVD disc. DAPlayer enables you to freely play any DVD on any region DVD driver device with full DVD navigation controls.

Easy Play 1080P High-Definition Videos

DAPlayer supports all 1080P/1080i HD videos at low CPU cost, such as M2TS, AVCHD, TP, MPEG-TS, EVO, MKV, AVC, MOD. Also support the HD video mixed-in subtitle tracks.

High Quality Audio System

Support up to 8 channels audio system, mix audio to 2 channels headphone and surround sound. Support Multi-channel DTS, TrueHD, AC3/Dolby. DAPlayer is based on BASS Audio System.

Support Most Popular Video Formats

DAPlayer is built in 450+ A/V decoders. It supports game videos, Youtube and other popular videos, such as MPEG1/2, WMV/ASF, AVI, MOV, RM/RMBV, OGV, FLV, MP4, H.264, M4V, WEBM.

Low CPU Cost

Optimized with MMX SSE SSE2 SSE3 Intel CPU instructions and support Multi-Core CPU and Hyper-Threading technology. Under 10% CPU cost on i5 CPU when playing 1080P AVCHD video.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is your screen timeout out of control?

This is how to prevent windows timeout or screen lock when it is out of your control.

There is a very old very simple program called delayer.

You put this program in your start folder nad set the options to run it in the shortcut which I will show you how to do.

First you need to download delayer and put it where you want to to run.

You then want to set up a shortcut by right clicking the program and create shortcut.
Then rightclick the shortcut and select properties. You can then edit the shortcut.

The shortcut will determine how the program will work.

Here is my quick help file:

c:\tools\delayer "ping -n 1" /D10 /R /M
options are "program you want to run"
/Dxxxx where xxxx = seconds up to 24 days
/R is to repeat
/M minimize the program you run
/H hide the icon for this program
I minimize the ping so I never see it run so it doesn't popup while I'm working. You can launch a text file with reminders or any other program.
Once the shortcut is created then save the shortcut in your startup folder.

If you don't keep the icon hidden you can open the delayer program and kill if needed.

I run the 32bit for windows 7, Vista, or XP.

How to set up a personal macro in Excel 2010

In Excel 2010 if you need to use the same macro everyday you don't want to have to recreate it each time you want to use it. You need to create a macro in your personal workbook that will be available for use from that point forward.

You need to record a dummy macro and save it to your personal file.

Once saved you need to unhide the workbook.

Once unhidden you can edit the macro and then save it. Now when you click view / macro /view macro from the toolbar you will always see your personal macro.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WebMatrix is Powered by People

So much of today reminds me of the movie Solent Green (I bet you thought I was going to say the Matrix). Well Microsoft giving away web development tools is something new. In the past Front Page was a easy and expensive way to get started. We now see web development integrated into many Microsoft products such as Office. Publisher is pretty nice to work with and quite powerful. They have a host of different tools for web develpment which for most people not earning a living from it, the prices are out of range of most budgets.

This can lead people to free open source products where they develop first an affection for then later a dependence on these open source tools.

WebMatrix Features Hero
WebMatrix is a free and gives you a web server, a database, and programming frameworks. WebMatrix lets you use both ASP.NET and PHP applications side by side.

WebMatrix includes four integrated workspaces that help you focus on different areas of your Web site. Monitor real-time web requests and configure your Web site server settings with the Site workspace. Manage your files and edit your code using the code editor with syntax highlighting in the Files workspace. Add and manage databases using the Database workspace. And last but not least, generate SEO reports and optimize your web site for search engines using tools in the Reports workspace.

Nex time someone asks me how to get started I'm going to point them to WebMatrix

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How to Make a directory list from your hard drive

I have a hard drive dock where I can swap in or out different WD Green Sata drives. Mostly 2 Terabyte drives. This have my movie collection. I need a way t keep track of what movies are on what drive. This is easy with some old fashion DOS.

dir e: /b/p > Movie1.txt

e: is where the movies are

movie1.txt indicates the movie disk 1 directory being written to movie1.txt

run cmd

paste in the first line of this email, then enter

So there is a separate text file for each movie drive showing the directory names that tell me what is contained on each drive.

Sunday, August 7, 2011 bring form to the front

Question How to bring an already running application in front

Focus On Another Application

set the focus - VB.NET

I was programing in Visual Studio 2010. I ran into this problem and saw no answers in any Google searches. I Saw a whole lot of very complicated and even crazy work arounds so I'm posting this to possibly help someone else who runs into a similar issue.
The problem was when I tried to get focus on the new form after it opened it would always stay in the background. This subroutine simply checks to see if a window is open with a flag I set and if it is I focus on it. When the program closes it sets the flag back to 0. I could not get the window to focus when I used
Dim frm as New vtfrmsearch
by removing the Dim statement everything worked perfect.

Private Sub SearchTempToolStripMenuItem_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles SearchTempToolStripMenuItem.Click

     If SearchOpen = 1 Then

     End If

    If SearchOpen = 0 Then
        SearchOpen = 1
    End If


If you want a form to always stay on top until it is closed use:



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Devil is in the Details

I recently bought a PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series sound card. I know it doesn't follow with the whole concept of high tech on a budget except for the fact that I picked this up for $60 on a black Friday deal at Newegg when it normally runs for about $150.

I picked this card over other brands because it has a s/pdif output that I was hoping to use the fiber optic connection on to eliminate some noise hum. 28% of the reviews were 3 eggs or less out of 5. If you buy something and you rate it less than 4 eggs then there is a real problem. One of the biggest problems was what I ran into and I saw countless people including myself complaining that this board doesn't play multichannel 5.1 or greater Dolby out the S-PDIF/SPDIF optical connector.

This just happens to be one of the distinguishing features about this board when compared to it's much cheaper competition. The install process takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how attentive you are to the process. Once installed the software informs you that you are not running the latest versions of a few of its software packages. This download and re-install took another hour. After 2 hours of mind numbing installs I was ready to test the card. Well I needed music for that or at least some good audio testing software. It turns out the card comes with a dashboard that is actually quite nice for setting up and testing your speaker setup.

To sum things up a bit Windows 7 does not support multi-channel audio (over 2.1) on spdif.
Creative handles this in the most part by providing PowerDVD9 by cyberlink which is a great addition. This is the full version of this software. You can then play upto 7.1 audio through the spdif.
Secondly the Creative software is buggy and in most cases it will say you don't have the hardware installed after your hardware check passes. DRM fail is my guess. I hope this hurts thier sales none the less. I compiled a few hints, tips, and links that I reallt don't want to get into detail about because of the mass frustration dealing with the software included with this card. There are much cheaper solutions out there.

There are 3 components to the set up process.
1.) First you need to ensure the operating system is seeing the card. Many help and forum sites on the internet say you need to disable onboard Realtek audio as well as any other audio sources. This is not true. It might eliminate some confusion but the Windows 7 sound properties clearly indicate what sound devices are installed unless you don't have the manufacturer drivers installed properly.
You need to check off the box in the advanced tab "Allow applications to take exclusive control.."

The software comes with some tools that allow you to change some presets and give you some control over the sound card.
Here are some links to play around with:Dolby* Control Center:

fails to launch even with Windows 7 compatibility mode and running as administrator

From the windows 7 site:

Channels: 1.0 to 7.1, discrete
Data rate: 32 kbps–6 Mbps, scalable; typical range on HD optical discs is 768 kbps–1.5 Mbps
Supports Dolby metadata: Yes
Connections: S/PDIF, HDMI, IEEE 1394
Mixing/streaming capabilities: Yes
Backward Compatibility: Yes; S/PDIF to legacy A/V receivers (640 kbps data rate)
Connector Signal TypesLine output: Two-, six-, and eight-channel analog
S/PDIF: Two-channel PCM and Dolby Digital
HDMI 1.1/HDMI 1.2: Two-, six-, and eight-channel PCM and Dolby Digital
HDMI 1.3: Two-, six-, and eight-channel PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby TrueHD bitstreams

ac3Filter is a high quality free audio decoder and processor filter. It allows media players to playback movies with AC3 and DTS audio tracks. Also it can process any audio track, much of processing options allows to adjust the sound in almost any way. It is possible to upmix any audio source to 6 channels. Filter can do multi-channel and digital (SPDIF) output. It can encode any audio source to AC3 on-the-fly and send it over SPDIF to the receiver.

Lost and Found

WinDirStat creates a directory tree if you file and folder usage. This is useful for hunting down heavily populated folders. The graphical representation is the most impressive part in that is sorts both by file type which is color coded and disk realestate usesage. If you hover over a large file or group of files it will show you where that file is in the lower left.

Find stuff you lost, find stuff you didn't know was there, and get rid of unwanted files.