Copy/Move Files Faster In Windows Vista

I found these programs on the interwebs last week and thought they might be useful; the first, TeraCopy, significantly sped up my file transfer speed in Windows Vista and seems a lot more intelligent than the built-in Windows Explorer copy/move dialog. The other nice thing about TeraCopy is that it seamlessly replaces the original Explorer dialog, so all you have to do to use it is just drag and drop (or Cut/Copy and Paste with the menu or keyboard shortcuts) like you usually would.

The second, Direct Folders, improves the File Open/Save dialog and adds a shortcut menu to any folder in Explorer.

  1. TeraCopy (http://www.codesector.com/teracopy.php)
    Copies files faster and smarter than Windows Explorer’s built-in copy function (this program replaces it) – asks you questions at the *beginning* of the copy operation instead of getting halfway through, then asking if you want to overwrite something.

  2. Direct Folders (http://www.codesector.com/directfolders.php)
    Makes it easier to navigate to a specified set of folders – gives you a shortcut list by double-clicking on the desktop, or the blank space in any Explorer folder window.

Instant Eyedropper

This little tool is awesome. It’s like the eyedropper in Photoshop, except that it works on any pixel of your screen and gives you the hex code for the color in your clipboard. Very cool!

How it works

  1. Move the mouse pointer to the Instant Eyedropper icon in the system tray.

    Step One

  2. Press and hold the left mouse button and move the mouse pointer to the pixel whose color you want to identify.

    Step One

  3. Release the mouse button.

That’s it. The clipboard now contains the color code – in HTML format (or any other format that you have previously specified). It can be pasted and used in any text or HTML editor or the Color Picker tool of Photoshop.

(http://instant-eyedropper.com/)

How-To Geek: Using Symlinks in Windows Vista

I haven’t tried using my favorite XP junction tool, NTFS-Link, since I upgraded my home computer to Windows Vista, and I’m a little apprehensive since the filesystem has changed a bit. Nonetheless, if you are still using XP, NTFS-Link is an excellent tool for those of you already familiar with symbolic links via other operating systems, such as Linux.

Luckily, Windows Vista does include a command-line tool for creating symbolic links, similar to “ln” in Linux. However, it’s not quite as straightforward. Here’s the scoop from How-To Geek:

Using the mklink Command

The command that you need to use is mklink, which you’ll use from the command line. Just type it on the command line to see the options:

C:Usersgeek>mklink
Creates a symbolic link.

MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target

        /D      Creates a directory symbolic link.  Default is a file
                symbolic link.
        /H      Creates a hard link instead of a symbolic link.
        /J      Creates a Directory Junction.
        Link    specifies the new symbolic link name.
        Target  specifies the path (relative or absolute) that the new link

(continued via Using Symlinks in Windows Vista)

Download Squad: Quick Media Converter

This program looks awesome, and it’s comforting to know that both Download Squad and Lifehacker vouch for it. Check out the details; it might just replace MediaCoder for me…

quick-media-converter

Quick Media Converter is a Windows utility that will let you convert practically any audio or video file from one format to another. MPEG to H.264? No problem. WAV to OGG? Sure, why not.
Now let’s get something out of the way here. Quick Media Converter is basically just a fancy front end for the open source, command line FFmpeg media encoder. But it’s a really useful front end. The utility offers you two interfaces: an easy mode and an expert mode. In easy mode, you can choose from a number of predefiined formats. So just select the media files you want to convert, and click the Audio, Quicktime, WMV, DiVX, Xbox, PS3, or Wii button to create a file optimized for your system of choice.
In Expert mode, you have much more control over the code choices and settings. For example, in easy mode, there’s no way to convert a FLAC file to OGG. But you can do that in expert mode.

(via Quick Media Converter converts media… quickly)

Convert < > to &lt; &gt;

2008-08-11_105145

Can’t wait to see how WordPress tries to format that URL. 😉

Anyway, there’s a great site hosted at Stanford that will convert your HTML code into its character literal equivalents for posting within a webpage / blog post so that it is visible as code instead of being interpreted into formatting.

Quite nice for making Flickr invite/comment code snippets, btw. 🙂

Update: Here’s the URL, by the way: http://www.stanford.edu/~bsuter/js/convert.html

VirtualBox: Free Virtualization Software

800px-VirtualBox

I’ve been using VMware Player for quite some time, and it’s quite good, but recently, I stumbled upon another free virtualization tool which also allows you to create new VM images (VMware Player only plays back VMware images created with a purchased version, such as VMware Workstation, or through a website such as EasyVMX: http://www.easyvmx.com/)

According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VirtualBox):

VirtualBox is an x86 virtualization software package originally created by German software company Innotek and now being developed by Sun Microsystems as part of its Sun xVM virtualization platform. It is installed on an existing host operating system; within this application, additional operating systems, each known as a Guest OS, can be loaded and run, each with its own virtual environment. For example, Linux can be guest hosted on a single virtual machine running Microsoft Windows XP as the Host OS; or, XP and Windows Vista can run as guest OSes on a machine running OpenSolaris.

Supported host operating systems include Linux, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp, Windows, and Solaris, while supported guest operating systems include FreeBSD, Linux, OpenBSD, OS/2 Warp, Windows and Solaris.[1]

According to a 2007 survey by DesktopLinux.com, VirtualBox is the third most popular software package for running Windows programs on Linux desktops.[2]

So far, so good, with the exception of a little glitch I experienced while installing FreeDOS. Ubuntu runs quite well, and quite fast, as far as I can tell.

A particularly cool element of VirtualBox is the “Seamless Desktop” mode, similar to what is found in Parallels or VMware Fusion on the Macintosh:

750px-Virtualbox15seamless

Considering the level of functionality given for free, which is quite similar to the functionality you’d have to pay for in VMware or Parallels, I’m tempted to stick with VirtualBox for the near future and put it through its paces.

If you’re curious about VirtualBox yourself, you can find a copy here:

http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

and more directly, here:

Sun xVM VirtualBox 1.6 Download

Update:

Here are some links to download pre-made VirtualBox images:

http://virtualbox.wordpress.com/

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=213555

NTFS junction point – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NTFS junction point – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

An NTFS junction point (JP) is a feature of the NTFS file system version 3.0 or later. It is a type of NTFS reparse point. Junction Points can be used in a similar way to symbolic links — allowing the creation of a link to a folder that is, for most intents and purposes, the same as the folder itself. This has many benefits over a Windows shell shortcut (.lnk) file, such as allowing access  to files within the folder via Windows Explorer, the Command Prompt, etc. Junction points can only link to directories, and moreover, local directories only; junction points to remote shares are unsupported.[1] For linking to files, possible alternatives to junction points (aside from shortcuts) include hard links (which have the restriction that the file must belong to the same logical volume), and symbolic links (which are only included in Windows Vista and newer, but do work over network shares). The Windows 2000 and XP Resource Kits include a program called linkd to create junction points; a more powerful one named Junction was distributed by SysinternalsMark Russinovich.[1]

While I’m still limited to using NTFS Junction Points (versus Symbolic Links, available in Windows Vista), I do really like the idea of having C:\Users\ link to C:\Documents and Settings\ (who the hell came up with that naming convention anyway?) – similar to how C:\Documents and Settings\ is a symbolic link to C:\Users\ in Windows Vista.

Luckily, there is a utility for just that purpose, available here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ntfslinkext/

(more info, including earlier code and screenshots here: http://elsdoerfer.name/=ntfslink)