Tag Archives: Utilities

ownCloud – a self hosted alternative to DropBox and Google Drive

I’ve used both DropBox an Google Drive for a while. They are wonderful. I’m going to talk for a moment about free self-hosted alternative that I’ve grown fond of.

Cutting to the chase: ownCloud

Features Overview

  • Nice iOS app.
  • Mac & Windows clients are better than Dropbox
  • Support for multiple sync locations and selective sync
  • Public link sharing with optional password or expiration.
  • Server requires just PHP

Sharing

Sharing works very similar to dropbox. The expiration date & password options are quite nice for limiting who has access and for how long.

Selective Sync

Like Dropbox it supports selective sync.

Bandwidth Limiting

Great for control if you’re syncing large files. The Automatic setting is quite handy

Utility: Bootable ISO on USB Drive

I’ve given up burning ISOs to a disc. CDs are in the past. It took time to burn them, store them, and find them. I have all my CDs/DVDs in ISO form using another awesome lightweight utility that creates ISOs.

YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator

YUMI is a utility I’ve been using to load ISOs to a bootable USB disk.  The process is pretty dead simple and takes but a few moments to transfer an image to the USB disk.

  1. Choose the destination USB Device
  2. The type of ISO
  3. The source .iso file

YUMI-Multiboot-USB-Creator

Removing ISOs is equally simple via the View and Remove Installed Distors.

YUMI-Boot-Menu

Providing your system has the proper boot order to allow booting from a USB, YUMI will startup and ask what ISO you wish to launch. From there – business as usual.

Download

YUMI.exe (1.2MB)
Developer’s Site

 

Utility: FTP Automation and Sync

I write code. I often find my self manually uploading every change to an ftp server using wither FileZilla or Windows Explorer native ftp browsing.  Keep the FTP in sync is tedious as you may know. Save file – Switch to ftp – upload – refresh browser. In the past I have searched for a simple answer for ftp automation but found nothing. Perhaps I didn’t search long enough, however I have an answer at long last!

Enter WinSCP

WinSCP FTP Automation

WinSCP has a built in “Keep remote directory up to date” function. It is brilliant let me tell you. You select the local folder and remote folder, tinker with settings (like if it should monitor subdirectories in addition), and away you go! Instantly as soon as you save the file it will upload any changes. FTP automation. What a time saver and frustration eliminator!

FTP Automation – It’s like magic!

There is very little latency for WinSCP to detect a changed file, perhaps a fraction of  a second at most! It is important to note, this automation is upload only, it doesn’t appear to support download sync as it doesn’t monitor the server side for changes. However, it does have a directory comparison tool and manual two way folder synchronization options in the main toolbar. But both of these are manual operations.

I recommending give it a try to see if WinSCP can help your workflow and save you time by eliminating the pains of manually uploading to an FTP server.

SyncFTP_Options

Overall I’m very pleased with this application, I think I may say farewell to FileZilla.

Download

Head over to WinSCP’s site for the latest downloads.

In addition WinSCP has some great scripting options with WinSCP.com. I have used it for automation / scheduled FTP transfers.  I will write more on that in the future.

Script: Unhide Network Drive Folders

There is an infection going around that hides all folders on a network drive and sets them as system folders. Here is a script I wrote that will remove the hidden and system attributes all folders/files in a directory you specify.
It uses the “attrib -h -s” and is not recursive into subdirectories.

For complete removal of the infection, naturally scan all machines. Remove any rouge autorun.ini files and rouge .exe files on the network drive.

Download: UnhideNetworkDriveFolders.v1.zip

I haven’t tested on all system setups and naturally comes with no warranty.

Update 3/22/2013

This script can only be run against a folder ( C:/Production/Shared ) not against an actual mapped drive ( S:/ ) at this time.

Update 3/27/2013

Here is a quick list of things to check regarding cleaning up the infection/worm.

  • Scan all PCs with Malwarebytes
    • Cleanup the the startup items
    • Cleanup and rouge exe files located
      • C:\User\%Username%
      • C:\User\%Username%\AppData
      • C:\User\%Username%\AppData\Roaming
    • Find proccess the infection is running under. Example:  jjhhgg.exe
  • Network drives, Flashdrives, External Harddrives
    • Delete all *.exe that mimic a folder and have a folders name
    • Delete autorun.inf
    • Delete x.mpg
    • Deltee anything else odd, rouge .exe files, photos files with .exe extentions
    • CMD Prompt, browse to the folder and run
      • attrib -h -s
      • Note this only unhides files, not folders.
    • CMD Prompt, browse to the folder and run
      • FOR /F "tokens=*" %i IN ('DIR /A:D /b') do attrib -h -s "%i"
      • Note this only unhides folders, make sure to have the quotation marks

 

Utility: ISO Rip / Mount

I was searching around and found a set ISO utilities that are a great pair together. Both have no cost.

Portable Lightweight ISO Rip utility

LCISOCreator

LCISOCreator is great for creating .iso rips of a cd quickly.

ISOs rips are bootable for virtual machines. For physical machines I load the ISOs to a bootable USB disk. The interface can’t get much simpler. I can’t think of more to say.

LCISOCreator.exe (52KB)
Developers’s site seems to be no more.

Portable Lightweight ISO Mount utility

WinCDEmu

PortableWinCDEmu is great for mounting .iso files to a new virtual drive quickly.

The app does have to load a driver, naturally. The driver can be removed right from the app when you are finished. You can mount multiple images.

Supported image formats: iso, cue, img, nrg, mds, ccd, bin

PortableWinCDEmu-4.0.exe (229KB)
Developer’s Site

Photo Exif Edit

I discovered that is is rather difficult to edit exif tags on photos. Its probably by design to prevent tampering of falsifying information.

I have been creating HDR photos with my Nikon D5000. It’s been a great success and good fun! However my HDR software keeps all the original exif info from the first image in the series. Some of the data is no longer relevant  specifically the the exposure length or ISO! Can you imagine an HDR photo take at 1/1000 sec with a 200ISO? I think not!

Why does it matter? Well my over in my Photo Gallery it shows the camera settings at which each of the photos were shot. It bugs me that on those types of work it shows wrong info!

I spent some time searching and eventually came upon ExifToolGUI.

  • Allows you to edit / remove many exif tags
  • Edit geolocation
  • No cost

It takes a little effort to set it up, but here is a great tutorial of setting it up. But basically you have to place the command line ExifTool in the same directory as the ExifToolGUI app.

Search Everything

I have been using a real nice application “Search Everything” that I think is worth sharing.

Windows search is not my favorite, I find it rather cumbersome, and rather slow. Search Everything takes the application about 5 – 15 seconds to index the entire drive. Search results are returned live as you type. By default it searches all files, temp, system, hidden, you name it.

Here are some creative uses and wildcard searches I often do.

  • To restrict your search to a certain subfolder use a backslash *\windows\*sol.exe
  • To restrict your search to a specific drive letter D:\*sol.exe
  • Finding misplaced files, say a .pst or .doc
  • Verifying the pc has no lingering .doc, .xls, jpg, .pst files before formatting the HDD
  • Also great for finding an infection’s location if you know process file name

The installer or portable version can be found on the developer’s site: http://www.voidtools.com