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Topics - Steven Avery [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / CMS lite with fine RTF editor
« on: February 14, 2014, 08:56 AM »


Been awhile.  Always appreciate this forum.
Have a question.

Now I know we have some fine CMS and lite website builders here on the forum.  

A while back I tried playing with the blogging platforms, WordPress and Blogger, they are nice
for my type of quick posting, however I don't like having to work around the sideways blogging
architecture, to mimic the top-down structure of a website.  (Maybe this is not as awkward
as I think? With a special admin panel, eg. on WordPress? On Blogger, extras are minimal.)

One of my major goals is simple.  Pages with fine RTF for basic color, size of fonts, italics.
And easy insertion of pics, usually simple screen pics of a manuscript or from a book (all
copyright fine).  The best is cut-and-paste, also very good is an upload facility that integrates
nicely, I don't mind the extra steps of creating a disk folder and save to file from a screen pic.

Also I want a good webpage administration architecture, built in. This item is underneath this, and then
when you  move that, maybe some tabs and links automatically recognize the new architecture.  In a blogging
platform that is probably doable with modules, however unless there is some special implemenation,
I prefer a more elegant CMS-website building architecture.

Now, I looked at CMS Made Simple. The adminstration architecture looks very fine, exactly what I like.
However RTF is not directly implementable on the page through the editor, RTF works through style sheets,
which seems like it would  be overly structured for my purposes, which are more ad hoc.  This Bible verse
is purple, this quote is brown, this is highlighted and in italics. etc.  I want that type of formatting
through normal editing (like when I work here, or on Eudora) not front-ended. (Unless I am missing something.)

Oh, an extra plus is if you can RTF cut-and-paste from an existing document (e.g. my Eudora email, or a web
forum) and keep the formatting intact.  However, the extra steps of reformatting in an editor are not too bad, if



So anybody have a suggestion?
Likely a CMS (reasonable cost ok) that:

a) is easy to use and rarely if ever has to fall down to code on simple pages.

b) has a fine administration center, where pages are edited, moved around, structure is built, pages are disabled, etc.

c) has a good regular editor, with color, sizes, maybe fonts, a step or three beyond the underlining etc.
that is in the rudimentary editors (e.g. MicroTiny that is bundled with the CMS Made Simple install).

Any help appreciated.


Here is my discussion on CMS Made Simple forum. (What puzzled me was that one of the CMS
videos I thought showed a nice full-featured editor. And I thought maybe loading the TinyMCE
module would accomplish my goals. The answers I got seemed to indicate not.)

editor functionality, RTF - text colors, size, fonts

I thought I put the following post in, as a follow-up.
Possibly, my error. Possibly not.




Eudora has simply a normal easy-to-work editor, with good RTF functionality.  

Plus it has a special nicety, that you can paste pictures directly in from the clipboard (they don't have to be uploaded attachments.) So I think when I was playing with Wordpress I used that feature combined with emailing to the blog. However, I do not particularly like trying to mold a blog architecture to mimic a website. Seems unelegant.

With CMSMS I gather if I use style-sheets for RTF it would be hard to go in and out of different color and size on a web-page, in a free-form, not previously sectioned, manner.  Without tweaking in HTML after the fact. That sort of free-form writing (e.g. Bible verses in one color, quotes from books in another, my text in another, some words might be in italics) is an ongoing part of my writing and what I am trying to accomplish on my web-pages.


Note: I test on my XAMPP installation.  I don't mind testing a couple of CMS or similar platforms.  Right now WordPress, CMS Made Simple and some others are "installed".  (Also Concrete5, getsimpleCMS, ProcessWire, WolfCMS and MediaWiki, the last for a different purpose)

My goal is to to decide the best without too much extra testing of a tool, especially not one that might not have the basic features or on the flip-side one that requires too much initial coding expertise.

Steven Avery
Bayside, NY


Last one or two times I did an OS reinstall is was a real bear.  Many hours getting the OS install and drivers and software and basics right.

So I made sure to use the freebies of image backup, especially Macrium and DriveImageXL (any other favs?) to make multiple images in the days right after the install, stuck them on some Iomega and burned the recovery CDs.  This can be fully free.  I liked Macrium a little better especially since the result tended to be one easy to work with file of about 5 to 10 gigabytes for my early images.  

When I went to restore, one image was busted (Macrium has a test-verify mode before) so the fact that I had made multiples was very helpful.

For this the more data you put on the d:\ the better.  I'm not sure whether you can get Xampp type servers there though, so you be sure to back up the stuff you need, probably you also back up the full d:\ to be safe, even if you have to do some final backup with a recovery CD because your Windows was uncooperative.

(The file managers in the Recovery CD's vary, Dolphin on Kaspersky is ok, some have Midnight Commander, you do want one that thinks a bit in Windows rather than raw Linux only, once I had FreeCommander but I don't know where.  I avoid the more complex recovery CDs like BartPE and UBCD4Windows).

You do have to keep in mind that if you reduce the c:\ size after the backup you won't be able to get the free larger image scrunched down (the paid version might work by eliminating blank space).  So it is a good idea to partition down the c:\ to where you think you are comfy (in my case 30 gigabytes) before imaging.

Understand that ... I do not like image backup for full, funky systems. ... the systems are too tardy and cumbersome anyway.  If they give you trouble, you want a clean reinstall, and the good clean reinstall is the image thing, making sure you have serial numbers, etc.

Anyway, I just did one of these. Could not sign on. Probably winlogon.exe was glitched, I tried various safe and debug modes, various tricks for fix, checked registry entries in the Rescue CD, and nothing was really working.  I even tried a Windows XP pseudo-install where it fixes the OS, but that locked up at one point where it was looking for a file and the mouse and keyboard would not move. Weird.

So I made sure backup was good (I had done the d:\ right before the final glitch, it turns out to be nicely redundant) and reinstalled the c:\ from the image using the Macrium recovery CD.

And I must say, Macrium worked super-fine.  Within about an hour the reinstall was done, email was loading down, browsers were updated, my main programs had been already loaded, I had updated and added a couple more programs that I now consider basic, and I decide to write this little note.

And after an hour or two of update I plan to do a more refined image backup or two for the down-the-pike "next time".  A few definite programs loaded, really not much, I am quite happy with the light system that I have.

It is real comforting to have the system back up, all the drivers totally fine (I think I may have an optional screen adjustment to check, changing the resolution, that's all) and all the main programs, including PrivacyFirewall and my AV up and running immediately with the restore. And all my data up-to-date on the d:/ email, Linkman, Rightnote, etc.

So here is the buzz.   Early OS and programs (after you have all the basic up and running) images can be ultra-friendly.  They don't have to cost a penny. They don't take a lot of time.  And they can make it very easy when Windows clogs.

However, use some redundancy.  More than one program.  More than one image for each program.  Then when Windows gives you a hassle, don't worry too much about cutting bait and going back to an early state.

In my case my image has about 25 apps installed.   Probably I had about 100 and more at the time of the kludge.   And I probably will reinstall about 25 in the next few days.  However, it is always nice to think "do I really need that .. now?".  And just put on what you really, really use.



I have used Total Commander for many years. Sometimes it seems to choke, or run not so good, on folders with huge amounts of files. Plus we all know that Xyplorer2 and XYplorer join TC as three incredible programs. And each one has its strengths.  DOpus too, for more $. Others are fine, too, (including FreeCommander for the free) but those three above have a certain panache, along with a je ne sais quoi.  That is, these programs are fantastico.  Inexpensive, lots of features, fine developers.  


XYPlorer is saying goodbye to a lifetime license (I own one) that they have had for about 12 years so far.  Not in the common charlatan way of Roboform and this and that, where they change the rules of the game.  Nahh, they are doing it the integrity way.  Buy one this week, till the end of the year, if you want, because in 2013 we are not selling any more.  However all such licenses, whenever bought, will be honored.  Buy this week, if you want, but please do not complain next week.  I don't know the price,  it may not be worth it for most, but some might be interested.

My experience with them the other day was rather amazing.
Here is the thread.

sort question - date, size

Ask for a brand-new feature, of some substance.
And it is in Beta within two hours.  

That is as good as our local DC programmers !

I've been busy, so I have not used it yet, but the thread explains all.

Just a FYI.  A nod.  A shout-out.

Well done, Don!
Gentlemen like you make our puter use a pleasure.


Hi Folks,

Siber Systems from Roboform has done some things that made former customers a bit unhappy, where they felt that the terms of the purchase and licensing was unilaterally changed.  We have discussed that here on some threads. This is not directly about any of that.


With two recent Bits specials, I read up on Roboform issues and found out that, at a time that people were concerned about licensing changes, Siber changed the export function in 6.10 and 7.  Apparently their export function is "Print-to-HTML" and they shortened the url. Which would be fine as an "option" but since the "Print-to-HTML" is their export facility it acts to cripple the export.  ie. If another password program imports the HTML, you then have to change all the urls by hand. For this reason, you will find lots of discussion of Roboform customers actually trying to reload earlier versions of Roboform in order to have a proper export function.

And I asked about this on Bits and got a developer response that was unacceptable, and from that point on, Bits threw out two of my comments and placed my posts on moderation.  (I have purchased in the past many items with them and made many comments.) It really seems like Bits, which used to have a reputation of allowing tuff questions, is now going milquetoast "protectia" for clients.

Note also that there has been an increase of what seem to be shill and social media type "rah-rah" posts from a number of vendors. (I don't blame that on Bits directly but it has weakened the whole concept.)

On the Siber issue, I managed to place a post in the little-read Bits forum (if you can see it):

Bits Du Jour
Siber-Roboform and the ethics of crippling an export function.

From this experience, my former enthusiasm for Bits has been greatly dampened.  Little reason to get involved in discussion (except for maybe the rare situation such as helping with Linkman discussion) and purchases now considered largely done.



Eudora has an interesting technique of saving "embedded graphics" pictures and "attachments" (pictures, PDF, etc) in their own folders, and keeping the actual mail in a rather simple form in an .mbx file .. pointing to the two folders when necessary.  Architecturally, it makes some sense, although I think most mailers keep the pictures (in long string mode) inside the .mbx  file. This is one of the things addressed by conversion and import-export programs.

Now, I have a huge folder, mostly with lots of worthless .jpg, with my Eudora, going back many years, including all sorts of email forum nothings. 

However, about 1% of those (maybe 1000 .jpg) are related to a group of specific emails that I want to archive properly and separately. (Largely corroborative research, using .jpg made by Abbyy Screenshot reader of google and other book text online.)

So I want to read the actual mail of those limited folders with emails to be archived, find the lines like this:

Content-Disposition: inline; filename="file name.jpg
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="int_1.jpg"

(There may be one more for something like hybrid or multi-part.)

And then copy or move all the matching file names into their own special folders.
And I don't mind learning a script language to do this.

What is my tool of choice ?
 Autohotkey ? AutoIt ? Something else ?

Your expertise and thoughts appreciated.


General Software Discussion / Linkman save methodology
« on: July 24, 2012, 06:41 AM »

Many of you, like me, probably use Linkman as an all-purpose PIM and information repository, as well as bookmarks.  There is one behaviour I noticed that I want to discuss with the Donationcoder experts.

Linkman has a method of saving to backup files with extensions like .ba0, .ba1, etc.  And this is very helpful for giving you access to a recent copy in case of things like a crash.  You have flexibility as to the frequency of the saves, I choose about 10 minutes, not after every add.

What I find perplexing is that the main file .lmd often is behind the .ba_ files when you reopen Linkman after crashes (this can be a Windows forced reboot, or an occasional Linkman lockup) ... and maybe, at times,  even after exiting the program normally.

What I do in that case, if I remember the problem, is go to the backup files in Total Commander, see which is the biggest ( ba0 ) and then rename the .lmd file to .aaa (or anything) and rename the .ba0 file to .lmd .  Thus I have data that is up-to-date.

However, this seems strange to me, that the .lmd file gets so far behind. That it is not updated at the time of the saves. I've discussed this a bit with Thomas from Linkman, without succeeding in getting him to agree that this is unusual.  Now there may be a problem updating the .lmd file which is in memory, that is a techie question. However, do a test, sometimes I think the problem even exists on normal "exits" (at least it has seemed that way to me), where there is not a memory issue.

So your experiences and perspective is welcome. 
Am I missing something ? Is there something that should be improved ?


Steven Avery


When I work with pictures, often small sections from books, I really want them to be translatable to the web with a minimum of muss and fuss.  

My goal .. take a picture to the clipboard (Abbyy Screenshot Reader) .. place them inline by pasting .. (e.g. to a Eudora or another editor) and somehow get them to web output with a minimum of fuss.

Here is an example of two pics that went to Blogger this way, from an inline pic from Eudora, sent out as an email:

Erasmus and the heavenly witnesses

Of course, if necessary, once the pic is in Blogger or Wordpress or CMS..theoretically I could modify the size in an editor, maybe, like Windows Live Writer.

Anyway, I am looking for this type of easy picture --> web output in general, whether it involves an email forum, a web forum, a blog (like here), a CMS system, or a webpage.  

Do you always work with pics by saving to a file and then importing ?  (e.g. as an attachment).

Please share your best ways of getting many simple small pics "to the web" .. in a manner where it is in your own articles, as above.


Steven Avery


Anybody able to share on this special ?

Ruby In Steel 2
Professional Ruby Development for Visual Studio

Note the discussion about using the Visual Studio Express edition combined with this and Rails.


Living Room / the home PC network enigma
« on: April 03, 2012, 06:08 PM »

Supposedly, Windows theoretically, possibly, maybe is all set up for networking out of the box.  The prenamed MSHOME in an XP network section, the Homegroup function ... if you have all Window 7, the "Workgroup" name given to the Windows 7 network that can be the name you apply to all the puters, as suggested by one article.   Yada and a yada and a yada.

However, in my experience, it never works well. Things don't want to connect, or they don't want to stay connected.


Everything here is behind a router.

The goal in my system is 3 PC's , 1 on Windows 7, 2 on XP.  One of those I plan to dual boot Linux (really, this time). Also maybe a laptop occasionally saying hi by cable or wireless.

Only two systems are really fundamental a Windows 7 and my super-clean reinstall XP.  The laptop and an old XP are sort of auxiliary.  I am working with a KVM switch attempt as well. (Which has its own tricky aspects, whether hardware or software.)

Here is the rub.  I either am quite bumbling, or the Windows network is a bubblegum and scotch tape method. 


Remember "Lantastic" ?  Well, what do we do today ?  Set up a VPN ?  Set up a real network with a server or with "Active Directory" to pretend to be skilled in that realm ?  (oops, might cost $$).  I would not mind dedicating a PC largely to traffic cop and working with Spiceworks, but that would be more play than need.  And it still does not tell me HOW to go.

What are my major options ? What do you suggest ?  Am I really supposed to use MS ? My gut says there is some other way that is simply better, but I want to hear from the experts.

Since I prefer XP to Windows 7, I want to keep my mixed Windows hybrid group for now.



My goal is to have online notes with a fair amount of simplicity.  Since it is largely a holding pattern for quick remembrance until the entry is brought over to RightNote, or MyBase, or another more permanent.  Or used in an email or forum, or printed, reviewed, etc.  Thus you should be able to get in and out fairly quickly.

The de minimus features include the ability to accept an image to clipboard ( using Abbyy Screenshot Reader or Screenshot Captor etc to make the image). RTF (rich text format) is more or less required.  

Here are some of the interesting online note programs, more or less.

Backpack, Springpad, Springnote, Notepub, Threetags, Webnote, Ubernote, Tiddlywiki,, jjot, Evernote
Webasyst, Zoho

I looked at Zoho, and they wanted a file upload or a pointer url.  Possibly acceptable, but another step, cumbersome.  Granted I could use a picture upload thing that immediately gives me an online url, but that would only be a plan B.


Similar questions can be asked about regular notes, where this would be a more-or-less standard feature of the better programs. Maybe.

And also Sticky notes, where Zhorn's Sticky Notes and Globonotes (open source) I think have the feature of taking the image from the clipboard. And NoteZilla and others could be compared.  

However, my main question is online notes, which I would like to add to my repertoire in a limited way.
Who is good, who is limited.

Oh, it would be a nice feature for this forum, too. :) .



Hi Folks,

Questions from Partition 101:


Does partition software generally make 100% sure it is only partitioning away free space ?

Does the software move files away from the end of one partition to create the next partition before
doing anything else ?

Should you defragment before partitioning ? (presumably it is a smart idea). In any special way ?

Does this question vary a lot between software products ?

Do you find any great functional fundamental distinction between the Windows products (Paragon, Easeus, Aomei, etc.)
and the more tech partition stuff like Terabyte (Bootit) that works outside Windows ?  

In the old days it made a difference where you started partitioning (e.g. in XP or underneath). Is that a factor today ?


I always hesitate a bit before partitioning a system, presumably I have a good OS resinstall handy and all
the important data backed up as well, preferably including early images after the OS install and maybe the
final, current image. More important than images, the data should be backed up in individual files. (I do not
trust images completely, although some image software includes file-by-file as an alternative.)

Granted there are functional differences in products, (e.g. a Pro product compared to Lite or Free will show you
some differences, as will reviews) and there are differences in support and cost.  It seems like the software has
generally become fairly good.  One feature I noticed is that some software may be stronger than others in simply
moving x gigabytes of space from one partition to another.


Your thoughts ?


My short-term attempt is to take my lightly used Windows 7 64-bit puter and add a d: and some drives for
a linux install.  And I may do similar on a spare older XP system.


Here are some notes about free space.

"Partition Manager 11 Free Edition For personal use only The safest tool for hard drive partitioning! Partitioning is not for amateurs. That is why millions of people have trusted our safe, stable technology and professional software solutions for over 15 years. Our latest 11 version easily organizes your hard drive and redistributes free space to enhance system performance."

"Aomei Partition Assistant ...Allocate Free Space - Allocate free space from one partition to another for making the best use of disk space."


Aomei is the new kid on the partition block. The reviews have been pretty good, the company is friendly in correspondence.  

They do not at this time have forums like Paragon and Easeus.  I may ask them their plans in this regard.  Forums on a product like this means that the company is willing to face the public, and can have lots of helpful info.  Dunno if any other windows  products have forums, but Terabyte definitely does. 

Along with the three mentioned as the main Windows-based programs, (Paragon, Easeus, Aomei, all active in promotions) Partition Wizard (positive from freewaregenius) also looks like it is quite interesting, so maybe that is a big 4. Partition Commander is from Avanquest, Partition Genius from Spotmau (not sure if active development-update).  These programs should all have a CD-type alternative as part of their system. Any others of real note ?

While Parted Magic (GParted and Parted) and then also Partition Logic and Ranish are examples of below Windows tools. Terabyte seems to lead that section, as a commercial product with a fine reputation.  You could probably add a gazillion Linux-style tools.


I noticed a complaint with one about losing a Symantec serial #. So probably some programs look at free space through the Windows file system, and some programs do security in a hidden manner.  And you could be forced to try to re-enter the numbers (be sure you keep them). I doubt that it would be easy for a partition software to do anything, since the software product will be pointing to that spot made defunct.


General Software Discussion / Windows Desktop ---> web-page
« on: March 08, 2012, 07:41 AM »

Here is a quirky idea.

Your basic Windows Desktop to a web-page.
(Does the desktop have a key to close and then reset all your windows open ? )

The web-page should get around the limitation of calling programs on your disk. (A limitation designed for internet security that can get in the way of internal browser usage.)  This limitation was discussed briefly, I think, a while back. 

Implemented anywhere ?  Make any sense ?



A very helpful part of the note programs is strong tab implementation.  This can avoid your having data in multiple files to open and close, a big plus.  
Right Note, for instance has a strong horizontal (x axis) implementation combined with an explorer tree on the y axis with multiple levels, I think.  This could be given an arbitrary tab-interface score of maybe 8.5 on a scale of 10, real solid and strong, not spectacular.

Keynote-NF seems to have the same features. (Heavy users of the programs .. please tweak.)

TreeDbNotes as well, so this combo looks to be the standard, more or less.

Any significant functional difference in the 3 ? Right Note seems to win in "presentation" of the meal, where the tabs are easy to color and the sizes vary to text.

I remember seeing (and commenting on) one program having strong X and Y axis implementation of user-defined categories, which is a nice plus for the program.  **** Anyone remember or know which program has this ?  ****  The reason this is helpful is that often your major categories, such as finances, web, spirit, software, etc could be the Y axis distinction, while the specific topics could be X axis,   Within the specific topics, then, the Explorer tree would only get moderately cluttered.  The whole purpose here is to keep a bit of top-down thinking so that the Explorer tree does not have to be frequently opened and closed and navigated to find the present topic.

Note: some programs use tabs internally in neat ways. MyBase uses them in the context of the explorer menu, Overview, Bookmarks, Calendar, Labels, Outline.  Helpful, but a bit rigid, dunno if it is modifiable.  Of course, calendar implementation is another place where these programs have major differences.

Compare your favorite programs in Tab implementation (or any substitute ideas that are functionally helpful).

We could also discuss other aspects of tabs, and interface niceties.  Do they size and place easily, etc.  Are the button bars customizable ?  Is the user interface crisp ?

A major example -
 ** I would like my major colors right on the button bar, rather than a pull-down pallet and choice. **
Is this implemented here or there ?  A note is much more usable if you can color-code on the fly, very simply.

This thread, perhaps, can focus on these interface things, which we sometimes consider as secondary, but really help determine if we like the program.  Simple example. Keynote-NF is a nice program, but a little bland in style.  (Maybe it has skins ?)

Major first interest, tab application.

Your thoughts welcome.  Drift into other discussions if you please.  Place your pics in the thread (ok, I should remember how to do that, too). The emphasis here is generally on the free-form notes programs, the more techie database ideas are a different issue.


Another big issue is an active user forum, a rarity in the Note field.  Worthy of discussion, too, as it has a lot to do with where we settle.  Right Note is considered excellent despite this lack, but it should be noted.  The developers should be encouraged on this, even if it is done by a Yahoogroups or Googlegroups type of forum, or even attempted by letting Donationcoder or another forum host.  (Wilder's does this a lot with security software, quite successfully.)


Possibly in printing there are big distinctions as well.  Formatting, margins, viewing, combining pages, saving a set of printing. If you find that one program really shines here, share away.  We tend to forget about that aspect until we are done and want to take the notes with us.  It is nice if our notes can be our pseudo-.doc files.


Granted, we have a danger here of running through the whole feature set of the notes, revisiting the "big threads". Not exactly the goal. More techie things like synching to the cloud, spreadsheet implementations, export-import, PIM, database, etc. are less the sense of this thread.


General Software Discussion / Cloud Backup Simplicity
« on: February 24, 2012, 03:42 PM »

It seems to me that cloud backup simplicity will occur when :

a) your cloud drive is mapped as a local drive - so that normal backup set software can be used
    (also you have all the ease utility of Total Commander, xyplorer, etc in working with the data)

b) your backup software is reasonably robust

c) your files can be saved directly in native format, rather than proprietary or even .zip

That way you can easily make and tweak precise backups ... daily saves of volatile data, even automatic from multiple locations (a type of u-sync, I remain skeptical of auto-sync), occasional of work on websites or whatever, special research stuff handled differently, and email handled in its own way, etc.


DriveHQ is my general cloud like, they have their own fine file manager and they try to make mapping almost trivial (WebDav). Cost for data backups is reasonable.  Most of my stuff is small to medium. Right now I went to $3/month.

If you have found other clouds that work as well for mapping and file visibility and control, share away



Syncback looks like it is too sync oriented, and does not have the type of flexibility of saving this file here and that file there very easily.  How it works with profiles and tasks seems strange, although maybe there is some way to group that I have not found yet.

Backup4All has that excellent backup flexibility .. but for some reason they want to save as a zip.  And then if the file is real big, they have a special situation about how to dezipperize.  Ugh.   Incidentally, Syncback did have a simulation mode that B4All doesn't seem to have, however overall B4All does look like a better program for backing up without sync.

So am I missing something ?  Am I asking too much ?  Doesn't it make sense to have the option to save files WITHOUT .zip .. for quick visibility, selective restore to another spot, etc.

Also I would like my backup, if possible, to backup the same sets to an external drive, without duplication, a soft-coding of the drive:directory prefix.  Anybody do this ?

Your recommendations welcome.  I might even move to one of the lesser known off-brand backup programs if it is going to make me more confident about a solid backup every day.

Incidentally, I have no real interest in mirrors or smoke (except after an OS install with drivers and such).  If the system crashes, a clean install is called for, is my backup philosophy.  Purge the junque.



Note: there was an earlier discussion:
backup software - file-by-file sets

Now I am trying each one to see which one is comfortable.  Syncback and Backup4All both had some problems from my perspective. Cobian is possible but a smidgen quirky.  Right now I can't find it in the system tray and  I can not kill it in Task Manager :). (I was trying to cancel a job in process.)   I'll get back to it later since it is worth a look-see.  Easeus says it is missing a service, maybe I will get back to them.  So I think Uranium is next.  The free version has a 4gb zip limitation that really does not effect my basic concerns here, and it got some good comments on the earlier thread.  Gizmo likes Backup Maker, but it has a couple of weaknesses (backup up opened files, msgs in German, and maybe  a bit too much on the toolbar cautions on upgrades, etc.)


I'll report back on Uranium, their solid forum is a big plus.

So far, pleasant.
"The use of mapped network drives is not recommended. Convert into the full network path ?"
Hmmmm .. I said no (defeats the purpose, I think).
Uranium created a unique folder name, I'll have to check those destination options.
However, it seems to have locked up, on the first file.

Ok, 2nd time I switched to the full network path, and giving my destination.
I would like it to say more than "Backup in progress". Oh, I may have had two instances running, which it should prevent.

Uranium .. another time around ..after reboot .good info about save (a bit slow but acceptable), very good log (an option to tell you everything), one file super-locked, no save (Swift To-Do, this may need VSS) and still strange with folder names, this has to be played with, the files themselves were in the proper native formats.

Another question: I had to regen the drive mapping after the reboot. It was quick, but still a puzzle.



Well, I think I need either on boot-up or pre-event to the save - regen the mapped dirve / is that normal /  presumably I have to learn the windows.exe and the paramaters and make it a batch file.

My problem so far with Uranium is that it locks up in an unfriendly manner (e.g. if the drive is not there) and, at least in the free version, it is weak on copying a locked file (VSS). A workaround in general for that weakness would be to copy (using a utility that beats the lock) the file and then save the copied file.

Cobian is strong on these and it has pre-events and it has the choice of saving files with a date stamp or overriding the existing regular file.   so so far it is the leader for my purposes.  I'm not sure about grouping say four backups into one group yet, but the design of a single backup is pretty good

In review so far :

DriveHQ - happy location because of easy of file manager, both Total commander style and their file manager

Mapping drives - need to automate the check that the mapped drive is there

Cobian -- very good overall, nothing fantastic, everything good
Backup4all (own pay vesion) -- good but forces .zip
Uranium -- free version - seems weak on VSS locked files, and unfriendly when locking up
Syncback -- not so friendly for backup sets, designed more for sync it seems


Hi Folks,

AVG Anti-Virus 2012 - includes 1-PC, 1-Year license - $3.95

I am still using Avira free, but I did get upset with how they handled some stuff last year (toolbar, Uniblue). AVG is supposed to be pretty good, so this is tempting.  I generally avoid suites, preferring to piece together my own security system, so this might be good.


Hi Folks,

Company  (nice web-site)

They say it works better than WebDav, which is the normal attempt to map the cloud as a drive,
as I understand. I know I hit a glitch on my one WebDav attempt, so it might well be accurate.

As an example, here is the DriveHQ section about WebDav

Map DriveHQ Cloud Storage as an Online Drive without Installing Any Software

Apparently a number of people agree that the ExpanDrive SFTP connection is similar, but more robust.

Once a drive is mapped, that should mean you can run Backup4All, Cobian, Total Commander, etc.
on the data.  A big plus.

Notice the poster concerns, Richard Blake, about loading up a whole Python interpreter, lots of directories and files.

Your thoughts, even in this late hour ?

ExpanDrive comes over from the Mac world, the Windows earlier similar product is


However it is a bit pricier.

Here is a bit of "alternative to"

Is there an open source tool to map SFTP connections as a Windows mapped drive?

Worthy of special note, freeware city:

Access remote disk over net using SFTP protocol and map it to local drive letter - SFTP Net Drive

Note the critique:
Thanks for the answer, but unfortunately, FTP + SSL/TLS is not the same as SFTP, this will not work against an SSH/SFTP server, and ,as you said is not open source - so there's no way to know what's in the binary. – Tom Feiner May 16 '09 at 17:59

I have no idea if that is correct, still the case, or important for most use.


The second program - PowerFolder Pro Silver - or Gold - is also of some interest.
Much harder to evaluate, has to do with creating a synch situation among multi-computers.
The idea of having a controlling app for that may make sense.


Personally, I tend to "hand-sync". With an automated save.  So I see WebDav, or ExpanDrive, or something,
as the way to leave a puter, press a button, and know the current versions of certain files are going to the
cloud. Then if I go to puter B (say at work) and want to use those files I have a similar automated download.
The idea is to set up the saves and restores in a program like Backup4All.

I'm always a little nervous about sync that is not under my direct control, much as the idea of not having
to think about it has its pluses. e,g. I looked at the PowerFolder forum, and immediately saw a thread about
a long-standing file locking issue.



"simple automatic cloud active data file save-restore"

You pre-select 5 or 10 or 20 files and every time you want - you press a button and know those 50 mg or so will back up properly.

How do you do it ?  With a program like Backup4All, Easeus or Cobain and a set that goes directly to cloud-land ?  Which program works with which cloud ? Either free or extraordinarily inexpensive.

Or do you do it directly with a built-in Cloud program. However, preferably not a clunky one that works through Explorer this and that, one that feels solid like when you work with a backup program.  Quick, happy, modifiable.

I like DriveHQ because it has a superb file manager (Total Commander style). A simple tool that is missing on many clouds. However, DriveHQ has a daily limit of about 50 mgs in free mode, which is marginal.  Also .. afaik there is not a preselect like I am asking. (I have the question in to their support forum.) I would have to have my files in one folder/sub-folder area and copy it over.  Overall, it is doable, but with limitations.

What set of tools do you find competent and pleasant for this purpose ?  I am not asking about huge files, simply the daily notes, and work and special files will be saved, including the current linkman.  Thus, speed is not the big issue. When I leave my home puter I want to press a button. Then when I get to work, press a button and bring the current files down.  A type of homemade synch.


Hi Folks,

This looks like it is worth consideration.

Celebrate with us: Emsisoft is turning 8!
Anti-Malware and Online Armor for 8 days for only $8



Tonight, for a few more hours. 

My registration is still good from the earlier Boot-It Next Generation from a March, 2010.
So that is a sign of good company policy, not just a new release, a new name, almost 2 years, and my download and
registration is updated to the new product.

Although I do not do a lot in this area, and for simple stuff there are various freebie Windows Partition managers
from Paragon and Easeus and others, Terabytes has a great rep.   You like to have a good forum and support
area if you are puzzling out in the partition and boot area.  (I do not do a lot of imaging, except right after OS install.)

BootIt Bare Metal



From freeware genius, announcement of a freebie of iCare Data Recovery, a place where it is good to have more than one program pre-installed

Cyber Tuesday GiveAway: iCare Data Recovery Professional

Dunno how many more hours this will be on, Asian Pacific time x the square root of pi logarithimcally divided by Comet Elenin.

The freewaregenius link goes here:

24HR. CYBER TUESDAY SPECIAL GIVEAWAY - Only On Nov 29 (Asia Pacific Time)

Very simple install and registration.  I had one from GAOTD that had a registration problem and uninstalled that first, it left very little on the disk, ie. it was well-behaved per Revo.

Even their free version was rated quite well here, in what looks like a solid mini-discussion:

(Their program line-up is a bit hard to figger out, but this freebie looks like the solid "Pro" version.)

Two thoughts:

1) have a program or two pre-installed, ready, like iCare and Recuva

2) for really big OS/File problems, switch to a Linux-style Rescue boot anyway, with utilities for file movement and recovery on the CD, so you are working under the OS covers.


Hi Folks,

Wishing u all a good giving of thanks today.


Bits extended the Swift To-Do.

I put some longish comments in the thread. Overall, I can see this being used a lot (much like ListPro became a keeper) as it is really something different than Task Coach and AbstractSpoons ToDoList.  Things like drag-and-drop, sub-tasks, and printing and notes have been implemented well, as well as a pleasant design and a multi-PC sync Beta.

The ToDo field has sort of fallen by the wayside, sometimes being an offshoot of a PIM (Time & Chaos used to give it a nice try, Essential PIM and Ultra Recall and others today).  Or a Note program.

However, it really seems to have a place as its own metaphor, with some reminder and calendar as an outgrowth.

ListPro and Swift are very different (ListPro excels in customized database-style columns, Swift excels in visuals, ease-of-use, printing etc) and I can see both having a place.  e.g. Custom lists of financial this and groupons and software serial #s and such  go to ListPro, general ToDo with priority, assignments, printing, etc. goes to Swift. A smidgen of overlap, but not that much.

Swift only works because I sort of trust that the developer is improving (granted, he was one of those who messed up on the lifetime licenses, I gather) and supporting well, although no forum.  And the alternatives of friendly ToDo are largely stagnant.

This is not an easy no-brainer, since I will go for the 3-PC pro at $45, but it gives the sense of becoming a keeper.


Hi Folks,

Lots of file-to-file backup software function is fairly generic. Especially in the small data backups of your currently active files, which might only be 50 megabytes or even a gigabyte, rather than some massive amount.

Copy from A to B.
Have the default or option set to automatically override all B with the new A.
In other words, nothing about incremental and stuff like that, you just want to copy the current files to a USB or external or somewhere.  To be clear, there may be incremental built in, in the sense that a duplicate file is not copied, the software is intelligent in that sense, but no attempt is made to add to a file if it is different.

Backup4All is one of the better programs, yet 2 features I asked about it lacks.

flexible drive assignments ?

The lack of flexible drive assignments hurts.
You never quite know if you are thinking d: or e: or what.
You should be able to design a backup and decide on the fly where it goes, or by passing a shortcut, command line parameter.   (Granted, you can go in and change the catalog fairly quickly, rather than making a duplicate, however it is so unelegant to work in that manner.)

The cloud lack is understandable, it is more a specialty, but it would be nice if your basic home USB and external drive backups also worked directly to a cloud, without tweaking. (Much like we see these days with the screen capture programs using Zuploader rather than to a local disk file.) I tend to doubt if this really exists anywhere (backup to cloud DriveHQ rather than D:) . Anyway, if any backup software has this feature, it would be nice to know.  

Another feature , where Backup4All looks ok, is the ability to choose the actual files, one by one, or a .zip compression. They call the actual files a "Mirror" backup.  This is one feature I do not want to lose.

Granted, I am probably leaving out a lot, and sometimes software has their own quirks, but I am trying to automate the basics.   Have 3 or 4 backups,  something like this:

1) all my regular data files
2) all my email
3) special critical email .mbx that I want handy even on the road.
4) the relatively complete backup (e.g. all miscellaneous except the email in (2) )

And clearly, there might be other groupings, like pictures, or web development, or this or that.  In my case the email has lots of forum stuff, and has its own dynamic, and is many gigs, that is why I approach it separately.  You might have a similar situation with music, video, pics, egtc.

Anyway, just focusing on the requirements above -- especially flexible drive assignments and "mirror" (not image) backup -- and thinking about the Cloud alternative, your ideas appreciated.


I will say that I like DriveHQ because, even as a cloud app, it has available for your disk a nice Total Commander type of file manager, however, afaik, it does not have an easy to set-up (like Backup4All or Syncback or Cobian) backup save-group method.  The goal here is to take care of two stones with one bird.  Sometimes, before going out, I find myself quickly dropping the current linkman file into DriveHq and taking off.  And that is with the free (50 mg a day ?) DriveHQ account which I would expand if I found they have a more sophisticated backup group method.

(Which leads to another question, maybe another post, as to where the alternatives of serving or synching data rather than copying makes sense.   My experiences so far have always been that having local data can not be beat, and other methods have problematic elements.  With the possible exception of my local network, where it looks like a file might share reasonably neat.  I think everybody plays with this stuff on a trial-and-error basis, with the emphasis on error.)


One little tweak about the description at top.  Some software handles these file-by-file copies differently than others, say you are copying from A to B, but B has an existing file not in A.  Does the software delete the early version in B ?  There is no automatic right or wrong, it is conceptual, if I remember some folks are upset that the Cobian default. Which, unlike some others, is to delete and have a true "mirror", but you can see that keeping the earlier files (with the earlier date available) might be superior, e.g. if you accidentally deleted a file.  So this is one other issue that I can see as important.

And of course it almost goes without saying that you would like there to be some sort of verification involved as well.

Personally, I prefer file-by-file visible non-zip backups.  Where you see what is there immediately. If you have a crash, you do a reinstall to a cleaner system, one where you do not reinstall to a possibly compromised earlier state (sluggish, virus, etc.)   With the exception of software testeers, network managers and a few other areas, I think the whole idea of rollbacks and images is way overdone, with one other exception, an early image close to the OS, so you might avoid the OS reinstall headaches involving drivers and basic install.


Living Room / no power on Dell desktop
« on: October 22, 2011, 12:16 AM »
Hi Folks,

ok, the problem is forcing me to improve my Windows 7 puter, to make it run sensibly. 

It is a Dell Precision 380, probably occurred when there was a circuit breaker switch event.  Even though it is plugged in through some sort of surge protector (hmmm, maybe I will upgrade the quality there.).  The system has a few years, and it may be "routine maintenance" for a power supply to go ?  Is the power supply the likely event ?  No lights or noice at all, tried various plug-ins.

Best method ?  Take it into MicroCenter ?  Take it to small shop and Joe Friendly where we may chat more about stuff at the same time ?  Or do it myself, guessing that it is a "replace power supply unit" type of problem ?  Any caveats ? 

Your thoughts appreciated. 

My main concern, of course, is the data, which is not backed up daily. (Ok, I learned, I'll try to change that.)  Hopefully the disk is fine.


Hi Folks,

Normally an email forum like Yahoogroups or Google groups (others are Topica, BigTent, etc) is very good for archiving information, since each email = 1 url and the urls can have their Linkman keywords.  Thus, once you know the url (navigate to the page and bookmark) and add some keywords the material can be re-found easily. And the art of composing and sending is very quick using Eudora or any RTF email compose, combined with Abbyy Screenshot Reader (a $10 product, which has the OCR option when desired, to transform the pic text, when appropriate).

However, one limitation is hard to address. Inline .jpgs, can be an integral part of such emails.  When people receive them in the mail, through the forum (if they enable RTF which in Yahoogroups is "attachments") they show up fine (generally).

However the online Archive system of Yahoogroups, the one you would link to, is not designed to show the inline .jpg.  Instead it leaves a blank space.  So far, I do not know that any email group handles this properly, although I do plan to recheck.  The limitation of Yahoogroups on this is well-known, and work-arounds are clumsy, such as using or Flickr or attachments.  All of which defeats the purpose of ... quick, easy and simple pics in each email (not the specialty, carefully done cases where I find or Flickr can be superb).

Now among the group forum moderator lists, and my own experementation, I am trying to determine if anything is really good with any email forum host.  So far, nothing.

However, what about alternatives like Evernote or Onenote or some Web Archiving systems ?  Do you know of any way to accomplish the same end ?  Here is the key:

Start with : email with RTF and inline .jpgs, composed with your home email editor.
Send the email: to some place.
And have the url reasonably easily accessible for that very same email, and have it show up as sent.

Any help accomplishing this, or coming up with an alternative method of accomplishing he same general :
(Does not have to be email.)

COMPOSE -- SEND -- LINK with KEYWORDS ... the goal... using any tools.

Please share away.



Found Deals and Discounts / CloudZap on Bits Du Jour - Saturday 9-10-11
« on: September 11, 2011, 12:47 AM »
Hi Folks,

Well it is ending in a bit more than an hour. And one comment earlier on Donationcoder was "a solution looking for a problem".  Nonetheless I like it.  And the Bits price is ok.. $9.95.


Not for pictures so much. Now we have screenshot captor and zUploader (or zScreen and zUploader) which covers that well. And CloudZap only integrates with SnagIt, a very good program with a $50 price tag. btw, zUploader looks more configurable in terms of adding your own new storage units.

However, CloudZap has a couple of nice features.  Simultaneous uploading-distribution to a few places at once. That might not be in zUploader.  An evernote connection. A rudimentary history file. And, most of all, a printer driver. 

Normally when I want to save a picture, especially from a webpage like an invoice confirmation, I use the pdfFactory printer driver from the Fineprint people.  And save the PDF to a file.  So the idea here is that you use their printer driver and then download-upload simultaneously .. to your file, and to some upload places. 

Similar can be nice on sharing files. One lack seems to be not giving you back a sharing link on those types of uploads, but I have a question in about that.  You would like the automatic upload to give you the file share link in some nice easy places without logging in on your own.

This is all done on a rudimentary level, so lots of tweaks of the above are possible.


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