Posts tagged windows

Recover deleted files with Handy Recovery™

Handy Recovery is data recovery tool created by SoftLogica for recovering lost or deleted files under Windows platform. Handy Recovery comes in with nifty features for recovery and proves it is a worthy choice for data recovery.

Handy Recovery LogoHave you ever bothered to backup files? If not then Handy Recovery is a handy tool for you that helps you to recover accidentally deleted files. However, I personally encourage everyone to backup their important and sensitive data in timely manner.

There are plenty of tools available both freeware and commercial when it comes to file recovery. Handy Recovery stands out from most the rest just for ease of use. Earlier, file recovery can be done only by a computer expert. This has been proven wrong again by Handy Recovery, allowing any novice user to restore their files safely.

Handy Recovery Screenshot

Key Features

  • Support most of the Windows file system
  • Very extensive scanning for deleted files
  • Ability to create disk image for recovery
  • Search option for deleted files
  • Explorer style interface for ease navigation
  • Preview for recoverable items
  • Supports recovery from memory cards

Handy Recovery works great for most of the file recovery. Handy Recovery also provides you the probability of recovering data. In addition to cool features, Handy Recovery has also got Windows VISTA certified logo for its reliability.

Setbacks

Here are few drawbacks which I have observed so far with Handy Recovery.

  • No support for Linux partitions
  • Not a free ware

Bottom line, Handy Recovery would have been more attractive if it was provided as freeware. Handy Recovery is priced in the higher side and it costs 39$. But if you’re the one looking for an easy way to recover your deleted files go for Handy Recovery.

If you like to try Handy Recovery, you can download the trial version from their download page. The trial has limitation of one recovery per day; sometimes good things doesn’t comes for free 

Have anyone tried anything similar to Handy Recovery for file recovery? Share your views.

This is a sponsored post.

Top 5 Free Notepad replacements

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NotepadNotepad is one of the few tools that is been a part of Windows operating system and which have not been evolved since its initial release. Notepad is simple to use and lacks many features / enhancement. So it is always better to look for a replacement, which will overcome all known issues of Notepad.


Why Replacement?

Notepad has some disadvantages, which is known to everyone who uses it frequently. Here is a quick list of them.

  • Doesn’t have support for multiple document interface
  • Doesn’t display line number (this is harder part for programmer / debugger)
  • Doesn’t support syntax highlighting
  • Doesn’t support larger files
  • It is after all Microsoft product 🙂

To overcome these and other disadvantages many programmers looked into developing better tools that will be as simple to use as Notepad, yet offer additional features and enhancements that were left out of the original Notepad.

Couple of weeks back I wrote about my favorite notepad alternative and I asked my readers about their favorite too. Thanks to the readers who have given their views about their notepad alternative.

Top 5 Notepad Replacement

Here is the top 5 list of notepad replacement. I bet you will love at least one 😉

Notepad++
Notepad++

Notepad++ is a free source code editor and an effective Notepad replacement. Notepad++ supports several programming languages. The features include syntax highlighting, code folding, auto-completion, multi-document, drag and drop, full regular search support etc., It also has include advanced macro recording and playback feature. Moreover Notepad++ has most of my readers vote and it is the well-know replacement for Notepad.

Programmer’s Notepad

Programmer’s NotepadProgrammer’s Notepad is free, open source, text editor with special enhancements for Programmers. Programmer’s Notepad is a project featured in Source Forge, which comes in as one of the best notepad replacement for programmers. The main features include book marking, code highlighting / folding, no limit to file size, tabbed document support, project management feature and much more. Programmer’s notepad is my favorite choice for Notepad replacement.

PSPad

pspad.jpgPSPad is freeware code editor and wonderful notepad replacement. PSPad offers main features like rich text formatting, mighty code editing features, project management, syntax highlighting, auto-correction, HEX editor, text difference, spell checker, macro recorder and many more. PSPad also has inbuilt FTP functionality which is a plus for Web developers and Bloggers. PSPad is more advanced of all editors mentioned here. If you are looking for full functional and feature rich editor then PSPad should be your choice.

Notepad2

Notepad2Notepad2 is a lightweight, free and open source text editor. Notepad2 is a full functional Notepad like editor with syntax highlighting. It is also based on Scintilla source code editing component similar to Notepad++. The features also include drag and drop feature, regular expression search, syntax highlighting for most of the languages. Notepad2 is best suited for persons who need simplicity like Notepad and Code highlighting feature for fun programming.

MetaPad

MetaPadMetaPad is a small, fast and completely free text editor. It was designed to completely replace Notepad since it includes all of Notepad’s features and few extra features. The features include tool bar functionality, WYSIWYG printing, auto indenting etc., It is also been said it consumes less amount of memory than Notepad. So even if you like to stick with the simplicity of Notepad; you can very well try MetaPad.

I have complied the list with the help of my readers feedback and my thanks everyone.

Are you able to spot your Notepad replacement?

Programmer’s Notepad, simply powerful text editor

Programmer’s Notepad is for people who don’t prefer to code in either large IDE’s or just windows Notepad. Programmer’s Notepad is handy tool and good replacement for Notepad users. Programmer’s Notepad comes with lot of enriched features and is highly customizable.

Programmer’s NotepadI have to agree that I’m one among the people who extensively use Windows Notepad either to take notes or little debugging / code editing etc. Windows Notepad can’t be much efficient choice when it comes to coding / debugging. Notepad does lack features that will increase the productivity of programmer / debugger.

Consider a case where you’re trying to fix an error in multi-nested loop. Notepad does fail here and it would consume few extra time than the time intended if we use good productivity tool. One among such tool is Programmer’s Notepad. It would increase your productivity by reducing the time taken.

PNotepad’s Code Folding feature comes in handy here. Code Folding is a feature that allows user to selectively display and hide section of currently edited file. The section can be either a fragment of code or function etc. This feature is available in most powerful text editor and IDE’s

See the screen shot below with code folding done for function second_page(). Also have a look at Text Clips in notepad area.

Programmer’s Notepad Screenshot

Programmer’s Notepad offers syntax highlighting for wide range of programming and markup language. Also it has Text-clips option to insert the predefined code-snippets for various languages. Programmer’s Notepad also has a simple project management interface to manage the files related to the projects.

Key Features –

  • Code Folding
  • Code / Syntax Highlighting
  • Project Management / Grouping
  • Regular expression search
  • Code Snippets
  • Tabbed multi-file support
  • Bookmarking
  • Export feature
  • Addon Support
  • and lot more…

Programmer’s Notepad is an open source project that is featured in SourceForce Programmer’s Notepad is a free to distribute under GPL license. Thanks to Simon Steele for Programmer’s Notepad

Bottom line, Programmer’s Notepad can’t be a replacement in high-end IDE’s but it can be a good replacement for Windows Notepad.

What is your choice?

IrfanView – the best lightweight image editor / viewer

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IrfanView is a fast and compact image editor cum viewer of all time. It is best for use of beginners to professionals. IrfanView supports almost every image format available; moreover plugins are available to enhance the support. IrfanView is well suited for single image editing tool to multi batch image processing.

IrfanView - the best lightweight picture editor If you’re working with images and computers for sometime you must have explored about this tool long back before. It is the cool tool for image editing for all ages right from Windows 9x to VISTA. Now we have a great news as well; latest version of IrfanView 4.-0 has been released. You can download the installation file right here. This release is little bulkier than all its previous release I believe. The size of the IrfanView installer is 1.10 MB (first time reaching Megabytes). This may be because of the improved Vista compatibility in the new release.

IrfanView is written by Irfan Skiljan, a graduate student of Vienna University of Technology. This compact software is completely free for non-commercial use. The development is supported by donation; feel free to donate towards this. IrfanView is especially useful when working with digital photos and their retouching. My top use of IrfanView is to watermark and resize my entire digital collection; so it is ready for Web.

Features Glimpse

  • Many supported file formats ( almost every image format)
  • Multi-language support
  • Thumbnail / Preview option
  • Slideshow (Save as EXE / SCR)
  • Fast directory browsing
  • Batch conversion / editing
  • Multipage editing
  • File search
  • Email Option
  • Multimedia Playe (plays popular video)
  • Change color depth
  • Scan Support
  • Cut/Crop
  • IPTC editing
  • Capturing
  • Lossless JPG operations
  • Effects (sharpen, blur, Adobe Photoshop filters)
  • Extracts icons from EXE/DLL
  • Lot of shortcut keys for ease of use
  • Command line options for experts
  • Customized plugins

Edward de Leau lists the 10 ways of using IrfanView. He writes clearly about how IrfanView can help in day to day image processing needs. Here is the quick summary on how IrfanView can be used,

  1. To take Screenshots
  2. To preview, sort, rotate albums
  3. To resize image
  4. To create thumbnails for online photo album
  5. To scan image
  6. To watermark my photographs
  7. To preform batch processing
  8. To apply effects / filters
  9. To set Windows wallpaper
  10. To do lot more with the image

Update:- Pallab has written a Ten Things you can do with Irfanview with more explanation.

IrfanView has been around for many years and keeps getting better. It might still require lot of improvement towards the UI. Hope it gets better too.

IrfanView is my favorite when it comes to basic image editing / viewing. If you never tried it before give a try today. Visit their homepage.

Restoring Show Desktop icon into Quick Launch Bar

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A Simple guide to restore accidentally deleted Show Desktop icon in Windows Quick Launch Bar.

Recently I ended up in deleting the Show Desktop icon from my Quick Launch Bar accidentally. I needed the button back in place badly since I mostly have lot of windows open most of the time. Show Desktop icon was a handy for accessing my Junk Desktop. So I was researching ways to restore my Show Desktop icon back in place and I have found the following solution.

Manually recreate the Show Desktop icon
Create a text file with the extension .scf (preferably Show Desktop.scf). SCF stands for Shell Command File. SCF files are executed by shell32.dll and the file extension is one of the special ones that remain hidden even if you instruct Windows to show file extensions. Paste the following code into the file.


[Shell]
Command=2
IconFile=explorer.exe,3
[Taskbar]
Command=ToggleDesktop

Save the file and place the same in Quick Launch bar and now you’re done.

Using the Regsvr32 command

This one is pretty simple, just go to run prompt or command prompt and type in the following command.

regsvr32 /n /i:U shell32.dll

The regsvr32 command line tool used to register .dll as command components into the registry. The above command with instruct Windows to register shell32.dll with optional install string, which enables Show Desktop icon back into place.

The Show Desktop icon file should be available now automatically in Quick Launch bar after executing the regsvr32 command.

Finally I was able to access my desktop quickly as I wanted.

Windows Live Writer, a blog publishing tool

Windows Live Writer is a new off-line WYSIWYG blog publishing system by Microsoft

Microsoft launched Windows Live Writer, a blog publishing tool few days back. After reading couple of reviews about this tool, I made my mind to take a chance to try out the windows app, which is freely downloadable from Microsoft site. This windows application allows you to blog directly to your site without a web interface. At the first site it resembles to FrontPage, a web publishing software from Microsoft. Windows Live Writer with integrated WYSIWYG editor will be useful for blog authors who like do thing pretty fast.

Windows Live Writer has a lot of bells and whistles – preview in WYSIWYG or HTML mode, support for most blogging platforms (Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress and others), easy insertion of photos and things like Live.com Maps, and tagging. What’s nice about Windows Live Writer is that it reads your current blog’s template and it lets you preview your content while creating it. It’s like seeing your blog post growing.

The rich-text editor is not impressing, as it contains the usual elements and doesn’t produce clean code (you’ll notice many unneeded tags). When you insert pictures, you’ve got more options: you can resize the picture, add a nice shadow, adjust brightness and even use some simple effects like sepia. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t allow you to publish images for the hosted blogs 🙁

Windows Live Writer is available only for windows and more over it’s still beta. The simple interface and the innovative additions make this tool a good replacement for the standard blogging interfaces and it’s a good alternative to Performancing for Firefox, Qumana, but it’s still far from a commercial application like ecto.

Windows Live Writer needs lot of improvements with features like categories, tags, etc., should show up. Moreover the formatting code should be clean.

For more information about the tool read the writer team blog at http://windowslivewriter.spaces.live.com/

Installing Apache / PHP / MySQL on Windows machine

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Tutorial for hassle free Apache / PHP / MySQL installation.

Hello, I decided to write this post since I knew few people who are not be able to getaway with the installation since they are too new to this world!So to make their/your installation trouble free i’d to write this guide 🙂

This method works well with all Windows PC. Hope this helps people.!

Install Apache

Apache is most trusted web server that suits for the installation of PHP on your machine. Apache is an open source web server, which has captured almost 80% of web server market today.

Download latest version of apache windows binary installation from http://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi. The latest version that is available today is Win32 Binary (MSI Installer): apache_2.2.3-win32-x86-no_ssl.msi

Before installing make sure to disable IIS web server if running. Since it might conflict with the default HTTP port 80, in which apache runs by default.

Now let us install Apache web server into your PC. Execute the previously downloaded apache installation file which is standard Windows installation file and thus very straightforward. Just fill in the required information on screen and end the installation.

Once you have done your apache installation try visiting http://localhost; you should get an apache test page. If you’re done with successful test page, you’re ready to proceed to next step.

Install PHP

Congrats! You’ve made a wise decision to install PHP, a leading open source web programming language.

Now visit http://www.php.net/downloads.php to download latest version of PHP. Download the latest available windows binary version in ZIP format.

Once download is complete; unzip the package into a directory preferably in root drive say C:\PHP. Now you’ve to move the file named “phpXts.dll” from the PHP installation directory to Windows directory (C:\Windows or C:\winnt depending upon your OS version); X stands for the version of PHP being installed. Make an entry to C:\PHP in the PATH environment variable.

Configuring PHP

Now you need to tell apache web server what to do when it encounters PHP file. To make this work we need to make some modification in both apache and PHP configuration files.

Before doing any modification to configuration files, create a directory where you’re going to place the web application. Say C:\www

First rename the php.ini-dist to php.ini in PHP installation directory, in our case C:\PHP. Then modify the following in php.ini
doc_root = “c:\www”
extension_dir = “C:\php\ext

Change the location if you’ve installed in different location.

Note: Use backslashes while you specify any path in configuration files.

Now open httpd.conf file available in apache configuration directory (generally C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache2\conf\). Edit the DocumentRoot entry to DocumentRoot “C:/www”

Then change the Directory Entry as . Add the following entry into the configuration file as well before AddHandler section (do a search for “AddHandler” for find the position fast).

ScriptAlias /php/ “c:/php/”
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php .php5
Action application/x-httpd-php “/php/php-cgi.exe” # if PHP5
Action application/x-httpd-php “/php/php.exe” # if PHP4
SetEnv PHPRC “C:/php”

Finally add index.php to the DirectoryIndex entry as well like “DirectoryIndex index.html index.html.var index.php”

Now you’re ready before testing the PHP; you need to restart Apache web server to effect the changes.

Testing PHP

Create a file named phpinfo.php in C:\www or whether you configured as home directory. In phpinfo.php add “ and save.

Now point your browser to http://localhost/phpinfo.php and you should be able to see the PHP environmental variables displayed. If you’ve not seen that page you need to review the installation process again, you might have missed or went wrong in any of the above steps 🙂

Install MySQL

Now we’re almost in the final stage, we need to prepare a backend so that our web applications can make use of it. MySQL is the best choice to combine with apache and php.

Download the latest version of MySQL from http://dev.mysql.com/downloads. You’ve to download the latest available stable Window MySQL into your PC.

Once download is complete, double click on the MSI installation file, which you have just downloaded. Follow the onscreen instruction to complete the installation. Skip the sign up section and make sure you check “configure the MySQL Server now” option.

Now you will get a configuration dialog box, which can be configured easily by reading the instruction. Make sure “Install As Windows Service” is checked in the configuration page. Then define your admin password as well.

Setting up MySQL

First of all, check the c:\php directory and make sure that the files libmysqli.dll and php_mysqli.dll are both there. If they are not there, check the c:\php\ext directory and copy the files into c:\php

Then open up the file c:\php\php.ini in your editor and ADD the line extension=php_mysqli.dll

Now restart the apache web server to reflect the changes made.

Create a php file and test the mysql functions to connect to the database. Make sure your MySQL server running before executing the php program.

You can use PHPMyAdmin (www.phpmyadmin.net/) to manage your MySQL database through easy to use web interface.

Learning PHP

The complete PHP reference manual can be obtained from the php website itself. You can start learning other basic books to start off with PHP!!!

Have fun with php!!

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