Posts tagged Windows
This is an interesting article from the Google operating system blog about plugin support in the Google Chrome Browser:
With this approach however I have to ask myself, will Chrome ever exceed the abilities of Firefox?
It'd be nice if it did, but it seems like Chrome will always be in a lagging position, unless Google can really add something noticeably ground breaking...
Google chrome is a new lightweight browser released by Google, which is meant to be faster, safer, etc. and optimised for web apps such as Google provides (and I use).
I judge a browser by it's speed when I'm using it on the train (into and out of work), via my mobile broadband and what I can actually do with it in terms of functionality, and unfortunately I'm not impressed.
I don't like bloated software, but I don't like software that's so minimal I can't really use it.
So, though seemingly very fast on a standard internet connection, google chrome has been very slow on my mobile broadband, noticeably slower than firefox but not as slow as internet explorer. Gmail is comparativly slow as are other google apps such as igoogle.
Features wise it's not much better - Â so far, it's so minimalistic it's almost unusable. Don't get me wrong, it has a few nice things in it but it's missing all the things I need and use every day.
So what's the answer?
Well I may be able to spped up the browser by turning off the usage statistics reporting (though this is on in firefox without issue), so I'll give that a try soon.
And if google produce a plugin API for chrome and developers actually code for it that'd be great. But saying that, what would be better (for me at least) is an interface that allows you to use native chrome plugins if they exist but, also import firefox plugins where possible.
As it stands, unfortunately, I'm quite underwhelmed with the usefulness of chrome and kinda wish it'd been released with a bit more usefulness than it currently has, at the very least it could have google toolbar options built in...
Lets hope they build on it quickly or else it'll just become another niche product for die hard googlephiles.
When you have a number of different servers to administer (yes administer - administrate is not a real word!), all across different platforms, switching between different client programs can get very tiresome very quickly.
As a result there are a few programs out there that act as all in one clients for Windows Remote Desktop connections, VNC Connections, SSH, Citrix, etc. These can be REALLY useful in this situation and can save a lot of time and hassle while in some cases reducing the chance of user error when switching between apps.
We worked with a commercial tool, iShadow, for about a year, for this and soon realised its utility but although it was commercial, it was clunky and very very temperamental when it came to storing/loosing passwords and connection profiles. So we set out to find an alternative.
Thankfully, Kelvin, our Technical Manager found MRemote, a free, stable and nice to use client which does the job very well. Yes, it is basically an interface on top of a lot of existing open source client programs which it loads as components, but why re-invent the wheel when these things in their own right work, and work well?
So without raving about it much more, if you manage a load of servers and want to simplify the process somewhat why not give MRemote a go. The only thing I think it's missing, from my point of view, is an interface to the NX Client which I use on some of my machines, and maybe database servers such as MySQL, but aside from that it's fantastic!
Like most people I know I have a lot of mp3's and every person likes to sort theirs differently.
My preferred method of sorting my mp3's is to do it on the file system going artist -> album -> track, but I know some who do crazy stuff like genre -> sub-genre -> artist -> album -> track and worse!
The reason I like to have it sorted on the file system is that I can quickly copy a specific artist's album when I need it, and I don't like bloated mp3 managers like itunes or winamp for managing my collection.
Also like many other people I know, though I did my best to keep things organised I still had an unsorted folder of about 1000 tracks of all kinds of stuff, which I just didn't have time to sort out properly.
So I went looking for a tool to do this organisation for me. I found a couple tools that would do the job but I had to pay for them and as this is a relatively simple job I thought I'd hunt out a free one.
As it turns out there's not many tools that I could find easily to do this in the way I wanted until I came across MediaSort (http://mediasort.sourceforge.net/). This did exactly what I wanted examining the id3 tags of the mp3s in the unsorted folder and moving them into a series of folders arranged in the way I wanted.
The only problem with this tool is that it runs of Apache ant (http://ant.apache.org/) the setup of which on windows can be a right pain to work, and hence the reason for this post - a quick and easy guide to getting MediaSort running on Windows so you too can bring order to your mp3 collection. Incidentally media sort also arranges other file types too such as avi's and images in a similar way, and as such can be really useful for those of you with massive unsorted photo collections.
So what do you do to get it going?
- First install the latest java development kit (jdk) for windows from Sun Microsystems (literally just download it and run the installer - version at the time of writing is 6 update 6): http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp
- Once this is installed go and grab this really, really handy Apache ant installer for windows from Google code, and, again just run the installer: http://code.google.com/p/winant/
- Download the MediaSort code from sourceforge: http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=169714&package_id=193585&release_id=510898
- Extract the media sort archive and copy the contents of everything in the sub folders of the lib folder to your Apache ant lib folder (being careful to overwrite any files that already exist) on my machine the location of the Apache ant folder is: C:\Program Files\WinAnt\lib due to using the winant installer.
- run the run.cmd file in the mediasort folder you just extracted and you should find that it fires up the interface
- Set the source folder you want to arrange - in my case C:\MP3\Unsorted and mediasort will analyse the files for meta information (id3 tags from mp3s, filesystem data on the files, etc.)
- Set the target folder you want the arranged mp3's to be copied or moved to - in my case C:\music\target
- Click on items in the list of meta-data attributes that you want to use to define where you're copying or moving files to - in my case I chose the following pattern: [MP3 - author]/[MP3 - album]/[MP3 - title].mp3
- Click copy or move and it will do that sorting the files to the pattern you specified - job done!
This worked great first time for me but there was room for a little improvement. Where some of the mp3's didn't have a full set of id3 tags MediaSort didn't know where to put the files and as such bundled then into folders called "unknown".
So I went hunting for another free tool to analyze the mp3s and populate all the id3 tags before running the sort again and second time round it worked flawlessly. For this part of the process I used Zortam Mp3 Media Studio 8.10Â (http://www.zortam.com/) which did the job a treat.
So that's it.
One last thing to mention is if you followed my Red5 posts (http://www.coderchris.com/tag/red5/) then
you should be able to use winant to get that installed on windows too - I've not tried it yet, but it should work.
When I converted my laptop to a dual boot system, I did so by shrinking the Vista system partition (C:\) to half it's size to allow me to setup Linux in the free space.
That's fine I thought, as I only use one or two programs on Vista anyway so there'd be no big problems with available space for app's (data is stored elsewhere), but recently Vista's been throwing low disk space warnings at me...
This was a bit weird, so I decided to have a look around and work out what was causing this.
Well, it turns out that a couple of weeks back I needed to burn a CD and as a result I turned to an old favourite, Nero, for this. I had gone to the website and just downloaded the 30 day trial without thinking too much about it, installed it and burnt my disk as a one off - job done and Nero was forgotten about.
It turns out however that the Version of Nero I downloaded, once installed, consumed a massive 1.67Gb on disk! I think this makes it the biggest single program (set) I have ever installed, even bigger than a full Microsoft Office install!!
That's just nuts and when you compare it to Ashampoo's Burning suite at 26.4 Mb then I think it's very fair to say that Nero has become very excessive bloatware over the last few years.
I actually use Ashampoo's burning software a lot more than Nero nowadays and it seems to do a good a comparable job with a very easy wizard driven process which is very familiar to existing Nero users.Â
So the upshot is that if you want some decent burning software, and don't want the massive disk overhead of Nero use Ashampoo!
Or if like me you use a Toshiba Laptop, have a dig around in the Toshiba programs folder in the start menu, and you may just find Toshiba disc creator in there, which is a free (9.7 Mb) burning utility that comes bundled with the machine - Doh!