Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Disposable URLs

I found this cool little site called VapURL (that's pronounced Vape URL) which allows you to create shortened temporary URLs from any address you can think of. I was browsing Hacker News when I came across this article detailing the application. Short URLs have become common place thanks to TinyURL.com but I think disposable URLs could be increasingly handy in a world where everything we do is monitored.

This is especially true if you work for a large corporation that WebSense's your internet traffic or monitors your instant message communication. Want to send something that's NSFW (not safe for work)? Well then do it with a disposable URL so no onlookers will ever notice!

Again the address is http://www.vapurl.com.

Updated 6/14/2010:

VapURL is officially dead. Apparently the service became very popular with spammers because they could embed shortened URL's (from services like TinyURL) into the service and hide their intentions from potential victims. Eventually GoDaddy pulled the site.

Check out the news from A Broken Thought's official blog post here. Aaron says it was a good learning experience if nothing else.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Deleting a EISA Partition

This posting was taken from Ultimate Ultra Mobile PC Blog and modified:

Most consumer computers these days have their drives partitioned: one for primary use and another for restoration. Often this is a partition that you can't access because it contains restore / backup data. Fortunately for most users new hard drives are large enough that you likely don't need the space; unless you're like me and want every bit that you paid for. Worst is if you have an older computer with less space and roughly 10% of your available hard drive space is gone before you begin putting anything of your own on it. Lucky for you I can tell you / show you how to remove it! You can remove the partition if you want more space and have another way to backup / restore your computer. If you don't, you might want to leave it. It's also a good idea to do this when you first get your computer because it will require reinstalling your Operating System.

Tools Needed: External USB CD/DVD Drive, Original Operating System Discs (Windows XP or Vista), a pre-Vista Windows Disc like XP or 2000, and a USB Keyboard. (I haven't tried this with Windows 7).

Note: I did this on my Samsung Q1 and the partition was an EISA partition. You can determine this by going to the start menu > right clicking on Computer > click on Manage > Click on Disk Management under Storage. You will probably have two Discs 0 and 1. The C drive will be installed on Disc1 (which is the second partition) and a blank drive letter for Disc0 (which is the restore partition). An EISA partition is not recognized by Vista and cannot be deleted by Vista, hence the need for XP or 2000 discs! (I'd assume the same problem exists for Windows 7 and/or any OS after Vista.) See the following article by Microsoft:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=242168

First you want to restart your computer and go into the boot settings. You need to change your boot settings to boot to the CD Drive first, instead of the hard drive. When you exit and restart, make sure the pre-Vista Disc (I used a Windows XP bootable disc) and boot into the setup.

Next, after the XP setup process (or whatever OS you used) has loaded; it will recognize both the EISA partition and your regular partition. From here you can delete both partitions (by pressing L) which will create one large non-partitioned drive that can then be partitioned into a single NTFS drive. Once the formatting is over Windows will want to start loading files onto the drive; it's at this point you can basically shut off the computer without any damage.

Now reinstall your operating system of choice and your EISA partition will be there again. Remember that if you are removing a backup partition to burn the backup or restore discs first. As always questions and comments are appreciated.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Installing OKI 5100n drivers on Windows 7 64-bit

This process was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. Of course the hardest part was finding the correct driver. To install your OKIDATA 5100n laser printer on Windows 7 (64bit version) download the English C5100n GDI Driver for Windows XP x64 Edition / Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition. The Windows Vista x64 edition didn't work.

Go here to download the driver. Extract the drivers somewhere and then install your printer.

Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode

I've been playing around with Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode (the most recent versions are still the RCs found here). I'm not sure when to expect the final versions of these programs since they didn't ship with Windows 7 Ultimate (at least not the RTM available to MSDN subscribers). Regardless the installation and running of the Windows Virtual PC is pretty effortless and I really like how quick the virtual machine is and how simple the layout is.

Only certain types of computers can run Windows Virtual PC. It uses direct hardware support for virtual machines which means your computer's BIOS must support hardware virtualization. My dell laptop does. My gateway 64 bit work computer does not. After you install Windows Virtual PC you will be required to reboot your computer.

You can launch Windows XP by going to Start > All Programs > Windows Virtual PC > Windows XP Mode, which will launch the virtual machine right away, or go to Your User\Virtual Machines and launch the virtual machine directly. If you decide to launch Windows Virtual PC you can either choose the start menu option or go to the Virtual Machines folder in Windows and you will notice the functions have been integrated into Windows Explorer for that folder. Kind of cool!

It's interesting to note how smart / tricky Microsoft is being with this "XP Mode" virtual machine. Essentially Microsoft has offered to "bundle" (I use that term loosely) a free virtual machine program (originally called Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 and then 2007) now called Windows Virtual PC for free in the Business and Ultimate versions of Windows. They also include a full working version of Windows XP which many business and power users have become accustom to. This increases the number of deployments for Windows Virtual PC, increases sales of Windows 7 Ultimate and Business and keeps a large number of deployments in place for Windows XP. Who wouldn't want a free version of Windows XP just in case something doesn't run correctly on Windows 7? I know I do!

It's also interesting to note that Windows Virtual PC isn't considered an application or program by Windows 7 standards. It's considered a feature. Which means in order to uninstall (remove) Windows Virtual PC, you have to:
1. Go into Programs and Features
2. Click the Turn Windows Features on or off button
3. Scroll down and remove Windows Virtual PC

It's much easier to remove the Windows XP Mode virtual machine, just go to Programs and Features and remove it like any other windows program.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

HTTP Persistenace

I was recently looking for the HTTP connection limits (persistent connections) each web browser has. Turns out IE8 now uses 6 by default instead of the normal 2 connections specified by HTTP.

Here's the Wikipedia article.