Archive for April, 2004

MyIE2 and the Google Toolbar

April 7, 2004 in General | Comments (0)

I just discovered MyIE2 earlier this week. I really like it. It offers all of the advantages of Mozilla Firefox, except that all the IE specific stuff still works. It’s really a wrapper app that hosts the Windows browser component (IE). At first I was disappointed that the Google Toolbar didn’t work correctly in it, but it turns out I was wrong – it works just fine if you tell it to. Follow the link to get to the FAQ page that shows you how to set it up.


April 6, 2004 in Rants | Comments (0)

This is a link to the ext2fs file system viewer for Windows that I used to recover from my hard disk partition crash (as promised in yesterday’s blog).

Points back on for Windows: Microsoft’s WIX MSI/MSM Tool

in Programming | Comments (0)

I downloaded WIX and took a look at it. It’s not all that I had hoped for, but I think I might like it better than the stuff built into VS.NET. We’ll see.

It isn’t really an installer per se… it only builds MSI and MSM files. I didn’t dig in deep enough to see how much programmatic control you have over it, and the docs are very scant so far, but I think it might be useful in the long run.

In the meantime, I’m still toying with the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System. I think that it’s superior to the “programming under rocks” pardigm of tools like Setup Factory. Besides, Setup Factory has crap for .NET support.

The comments on Slashdot about this item leave me laughing. I love to go there and read the articles, but all of the Linux trolls on the planet live under that particular log, and if any article mentions Microsoft in any way they come lurching out of the shadows to complain about it, whether it’s good or bad. It’s quite comical.

More Points off for Windows

April 5, 2004 in Rants | Comments (0)

I try to remain technology agnostic. I run Windows machines, I run Linux machines. I don’t have a need to run Macs, but if I did I would run Macs. I sometimes defend Windows because it generally works well for me. At the same time, I’ve had recent incidents where, if not for Linux (and most specifically Knoppix), I could not have recovered any of my data.

Here’s the most recent incident.

Last Friday morning, I decided to do a defrag on my C: drive. I started it from the command line, but you don’t get any feedback from the command line interface, so I interrupted it and ran it from the Windows Defragmenter interface. The defrag ran, then I restarted the machine. Well, it didn’t come back up. It tried a couple of times, but soon it was clear that the partition table had been trashed. Windows would not recognize the partition. Damn. My guess is that something went wrong when I interrupted the defrag. I’ll take the blame for that.

So I boot up with Knoppix. For some reason, Knoppix can see the NTFS partition just fine. I took the second partition (which had also been trashed, but was happily empty) and reformatted it as an ext2 Linux partition. I then used rsync to copy all of the files off the messed up NTFS partition to the Linux partition.

Next I reinstalled Windows on a fresh NTFS partition. All of my important data files on the Linux partition were easily retrieved using some special utilities (I’ll post about those next time… I don’t have the links handy :oops:).

It pays to have several different kinds of tools in your kit. If not for Knoppix, I would have lost everything up to my most recent backup, which was a couple of weeks old (need to remedy that). If I counted on Windows for everything I would have been completely out of luck.

The big question for me is: Why can’t Windows read its own partitions while Linux can?