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Sep 27, 2010

Know your Browser: Internet Explorer 9 Beta

So I was going to write up this post last week but decided to give it a few more days of testing to get a good feel for it. I’ve used it every day in my normal work, which consists of going through probably hundreds of tabs throughout the week and almost never closing the browser. Loading plenty of flash and sites with a lot of javascripting.

So what are the results? I would give IE9 Beta a 7/10. It is by far better than IE8 or lower. It does have most of the modern web standards, supporting audio and video tags from HTML5. It is much faster than other versions and more slim and compact. For me it scored a 95 / 100 on the Acid3 test. where IE8 only had a 20/100 and Firefox had a 94 / 100, so a bonus there also. Another improvement I've noticed is that the Remember Password doesn’t come up as a popup but instead a hover over the page at the bottom similar to how other browsers do it. Some of the downfalls to it, is, well that it’s Microsoft. Other than that, visually it does not have some of the features we’re used to in other version of IE. There is no status bar, instead when you hover over a link it shows in a little popup in the bottom. To me I find that annoying. I don’t mind losing some of the web viewing space for the status bar.

There are also very limited good or free add-ons for it as there are in Firefox and Chrome. Although a lot of improvements are built in to it, you can’t fully customize it and make it your own as much as I would like. It also does not and as far as I know does not support default re-opening your last session. Although you can still do it via the New Tab page. Also if you still need to view a site in IE8 or 7 it has an engine switching mode in the developer section by pressing F12. Though the developer section doesn’t seem to have changed at all from IE8 and not nearly as functional as Firebug.

So to sum it up, performance wise it seems good, a far improvement from older versions. Functionality and feel of it is lacking and takes some getting used to. So if you’re a dedicated IE user then this will be awesome for you and the greatest thing ever, and for us web developers, we can’t wait for everyone to start using it when it comes out in full release next year. For you firefox and chrome users it’ll still be a useless blue e icon on your pc, but at least it’ll look prettier.

IE8 Acid3  TestIE8_Acid3_Test

IE9 Acid3 TestIE9_Acid3_Test

 

By FreedomChicken

Sep 24, 2010

Theme of the Week #2: iDroid for iPhone

If you’re unfortunate enough to have an iPhone and really wanted to have a Droid phone instead but don’t have the money yet saved up to shell out for a new Droid X or EVO. iDroid should help you last long enough till you can actually get one. Or if for some reason you like the iPhone or want to seem trendy with one, but like the cool Android icons iDroid will work too. This is a theme however that will require you to have your phone jailbroken and have WinterBoard installed, but not hard to do. Another nice thing about it is that It’s Free. It’s got about 35 different icons, dock, background, lock screen background and some other custom UI mods.

 

 

How to Install

1. Your device must be jailbroken. (how?)
2. Make sure you have WinterBoard installed via Cydia.
2. Make sure you have the MacCiti source installed in Cydia.
3. Search for iDroid in Cydia, run the install.
4. Open WinterBoard and activate the iDroid Theme.

 

idroid2-160x240 idroid8-160x240 idroid9-160x240 idroid10-160x240 idroid34-160x240 idroid-160x240

 

Brought to you by the letter A and FreedomChicken

Sep 22, 2010

Using 7Zip For Backups

A few weeks ago my wife Mary went to the dentist to get her normal cleaning and checkup done. While she was there the dentist’s office server crashed and he wasn’t able to view patient records via computer, or look at X-Rays. You know, the good stuff that dentists need to do. Being a nice wife, Mary offered my computer services to the doctor, and here is the beginning of the story.

I eventually showed up at the dentist’s office to find out he had a small time computer company working on his stuff, and they wrote up a number of recommendations regarding his backup strategy. I mentioned in an older post that he was backing things up using a program called backup 2005 to an older 80GB Linksys NAS with no RAID capability. because of that I went out and got him an inexpensive Netgear Stora NAS. The only problem with the Stora was it wasn’t Active Directory integrated, and you couldn’t connect to file shares without a username or password. You also can’t share directories using anonymous connections.

 7zip-icon His Backup 2005 program was having issues, so I decided to go a different route, and tried the built in NT Backup. That didn’t work so well either, because for some reason it wouldn’t cache the credentials for the NAS. I decided that since all Backup 2005 did was create ZIP files any way, I could probably do the same thing using 7Zip which is free!

Now if you didn’t know, there is a command line version of 7Zip called 7za. With that you can create 7z files via command line. If you can create the files via command line then you can script that mo fo!

Here are the commands I used:

 

@echo off
echo Backing up BACKUPS files...
net use \\10.0.0.200\ipc$ /user:USERNAME PASSWORD
7za.exe a "\\10.0.0.200\MyLibrary\BACKUPS\%DATE:~-4%-%DATE:~4,2%-%DATE:~7,2%_BACKUPS.7z" "D:\Office\"
echo %date% backup complete>>Backuplog.txt
net use \\10.0.0.200\ipc$ /del

 

If you don’t understand what is going on, first I pass the login credentials to the Netgear Stora, then 7za compresses the directory I want to backup into a file 7z file with a date stamp. The last two lines creates a quasi backup log, and then finally logs me out of the Netgear.

If you want to do something similar, make sure you change the above script to match your environment!

Do you use 7Zip to for backups? Have you ever used a Netgear Stora? What’s your favorite low-cost or free backup solution? Let us know in the comments.

Sep 21, 2010

Win a PS3 Monster Gamer 8’ Component cable!

So I was going though some of my stuff here and realized I have a new unopened PS3 Monster Gamer 8’ Component Video/Audio cable. Not really sure when or why I got it, I don’t even own a PS3, but I was thinking of what to do with it. I figured why not give it away to some Bauer-Power readers. So that’s exactly what I’m doing. The contest details are below. I have made it as simple as possible for people to enter. There is only one entry per person and a winner will be chosen at random at the end of the contest. The winner will be notified on twitter and given a contact email address to collect name and physical address for shipping. This is 100% free no shipping fees or anything.

 

How do you enter? Well that’s easy, just send out the tweet HERE or just send the tweet “@FreedomChicken I want to Win a PS3 Monster Gamer 8’ Component cable! #freestuff” and that’s it. You don’t even have to follow me on twitter. Of course you can if you want and that would be cool.

Who is eligible? Anyone in any of the 50 the U.S.A. that tweets the message. Sorry everyone else. I don’t really feel like dealing with customs.

When is this going to end? The contest will end on October 1st 2010.

What is a PS3 Monster Gamer 8’ Component cable? A quick lookup on amazon.com for the best description and info so as to not have to paste it here reveals that would be one of these.

Why do I want this? Well if you have a TV that does not have HDMI inputs or those are being used up and you have some HD Component connecters free. It will give you better quality than your S-Video or Composite connections you’re probably using now.

By FreedomChicken

Sep 20, 2010

Adventures in Jailbreaking: iTunes 1600 Error

I want to preface this post with saying that I AM NOT an iPhone jailbreaking expert. In no way can I explain why things work, and why they don’t. All I can do is tell you what worked for me, and what didn’t. Please don’t email me asking me for the best way to jailbreak, or asking me about the problems you are having, because I probably can’t help you.

That being said I did have to get my hands dirty in the world of jailbreaking recently. You see, last December I bought my wife a jailbroken iPhone 3G from a buddy of mine so she could use it with T-Mobile. No biggy, it was already jailbroken and unlocked, so I didn’t have to screw with it. It was jailbroken on version 3.2.1 with the 5.11.07 baseband. No biggy right?

Well she recently had been experiencing performance issues, and finally yesterday she told me that she could no longer connect to EDGE for some reason. She called T-Mobile to verify her settings, and to make sure that she still had an active data plan. she did, so logically it appeared to be an issue with the phone itself. I decided that perhaps it was time to try upgrading her jailbroken phone to something newer.

Knowing that it was already jailbroken, I knew not to run the update from iTunes. Instead I Googled around and found a cool article on how to Jailbreak version 3.1.3 using a sweet little utility called Sn0wBreeze 3.1.3. Sn0wBreeze worked like a charm, and I soon had her phone updated to 3.1.3. I couldn’t leave well enough though could I? No, not with version 4.1 out! Now I read around and found there were problems with jailbreaking and unlocking iOS 4.1 so I decided to stay away from that, and some friends suggested staying away from 4.0.1 and 4.0.2 as well. That left version 4.0. Well I found another utility called RedSn0w that was supposed to be able to upgrade me to 4.0. What it did though was got me stuck in a restore mode loop. Also, apparently I was up to baseband 5.12.01. WTF!?!

Trying to get out of the restore mode loop, I downloaded and installed the retail version of 3.1.3. I tried the retail of 4.0, but it kept failing because iTunes would call back to Apple, then error out. After Installing regular 3.1.3 the phone came out of restore mode, but would not activate because my wife’s SIM was T-Mobile. Damn it!

jailbreak iphone 3g Then I found an updated version of Sn0wBreeze (1.7) that was supposed to be able to make a custom ipsw file for installing 4.0. Nice! It worked for 3.1.3, why not 4.0? Here is where the problem was.

Although there is a part in the Sn0wBreeze process that asks if your phone is already jailbroken, and gives you the option to hit no, if you try to install the custom ipsw you will get an iTunes error 1600 (I even saw errors 1603, and 1604). I finally figured out a way to fix it though. Here is what I did:

  • I downloaded the original 3.1.2 ROM
  • I downloaded Blackra1n (A jailbreak utility for 3.1.2)
  • I installed 3.1.2 using iTunes. I still got an error at the end, but it still restored successfully.
  • After it installed and rebooted, it came back up un-activated.
  • I ran Blackra1n to jailbreak 3.1.2
  • After it rebooted, I didn’t see Cydia, so I browsed to http://jailbreakme.com on the iPhone to run their un-tethered jailbreak utility.
  • After Cydia was installed, I rebooted it
  • I put the phone in restore mode
  • I created a new custom ipsw file using Sn0wBreeze 1.7 selecting the option to hacktivate, and then the option that the phone was already jailbroken.
  • I then restored the custom ipsw file using iTunes successfully!
  • Once the phone was back up, I unlocked the phone using UltraSn0w through Cydia.

The moral of the story? It appears that in order to update your phone to a newer custom jailbroken ROM created by Sn0wBreeze your phone must already be jailbroken or it will fail with a 1600 error. Also, it is really easy to fall back to version 3.1.2 in a pinch!

Are you a jailbreaking guru? Know of a better way to do this? Know what I did wrong? Got any pointers? Hit us up in the comments!

Sep 17, 2010

Theme of the Week #1: BeDroid for Blackberry

Droid phones are all in style now. Even taking a good grab of iPhone customers, which is awesome. So for those of us that are stuck in our contracts and not able to get a new Droid phone yet we have the BeDroid theme. Install it and you can pretend that you have a Droid phone till you actually are able to get one.

Granted it’s not free right now, but at least right now it’s only $0.99 on the BlackBerry AppWorld and if you’re into paying for theme’s it is totally worth it. I’ve gone through about 15-20 different BlackBerry Storm themes over the last few weeks and this is by far the most awesome. It’s simple, sleek and doesn’t use a ton of resources to drain the battery more like some other nice ones.

Theme Link: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/screenshots/4698

34380 34376 34378 34381

By: FreedomChicken

Sep 16, 2010

Use jQuery to add Wikipedia content to your site.

 

While working on my Political Genome Project site I came across an issue that took a while to figure out how to implement decently. That is to grab Wikipedia data and place it directly on my site. I didn’t want to use any clumsy iFrames or anything. I poked around for a wile and found out that there is actually a nice API for Wiki. The API can pull basically any info you want from any page on Wikipedia.

I wanted to pull the actual description /  article from them and found that by using a url formatted like, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/api.php?action=parse&page=google&prop=text&format=json , then you will get json data back of the full page. Now throwing this into a jQuery .getJSON request won’t actually work. I found that to get the data back properly for jQuery to use it i had to add &callback=? at the end which turns the url into, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/api.php?action=parse&page=google&prop=text&format=json&callback=? . Now with the properly formatted url it was just a matter of dumping the parse text to a div on the page. That worked great and I then ran into another problem. The links were all wanting to point locally.

To fix the problem with the links not actually pointing to wikipedia that was an easy fix. While inside of the .getJSON function I had jQuery loop through and and find all a tags that were not child to the references object and added http://www.wikipedia.org to the href attribute. Then also just to not take people off my site if they click on a link I had all the links in there also target _blank.

Here’s a code sample of what I did.

In your Header:

  $.getJSON('http://en.wikipedia.org/w/api.php?action=parse&page=google&prop=text&format=json&callback=?', function(json) {
    $('#wikiInfo').html(json.parse.text.*);
    $("#wikiInfo").find("a:not(.references a)").attr("href", function(){ return "http://www.wikipedia.org" + $(this).attr("href");});
    $("#wikiInfo").find("a").attr("target", "_blank");
  });

 

In the Body:

<div id="wikiInfo">&nbsp;</div>

 

Demo of how it works

By FreedomChicken

Sep 15, 2010

jQuery jRoller: A rollover solution with no need to preload

Sure there are tons of javascript rollover options out there. So what makes this one any better. Well it’s just simple to use, loads quickly, and no need to preload images. Sounds to good to be true? well it’s not. All you have to do is download my jRoller package and use the example there to add it to your site. I accomplish this by having all images and the rollover saved as the same image like the Red and Grey one on here. In the example just the grey will show and when you hover over it it’ll turn red. This works great with text headers that are a non web safe font and you want it to change color or background on rollover.

The usage is very simple. Simply put all your images inside of a container either table, div, span, whatever, and give it either an ID or jRollerTest Class of rollernav. You can modify the jQuery.jRoller.js file at the bottom to add/remove items. Then it will simply go through all the image tags there and reformat them to 1/2 the height of the image, thus cutting off the hover part, and setting it to the background of a Div that will move the background on hover. It does all this on load so it doesn’t have to reformat the page after it’s loaded and make your site look crazy for a second or so on slower machines.

I have provided 3 links here, a download with example, a download of just the js file in zip format, and a hot link to the file so you can add it to your blog or site without having to download it.

 

Download with example Here

Hot Link: http://www.freedomchicken.com/media/10278/jquery.jroller.js

Download only the JS file Here

By: FreedomChicken

Sep 14, 2010

Know your Browser: Internet Explorer

With IE9 Beta just around the corner I figured I’d start off my new series of posts, Know your Browser, with the infamous Internet Explorer. From it’s roots in 1995 it has come a long way. Unfortunately it got old, obese and lazy. They stopped keeping up with the times and tried to make a come back in IE 7-8 but still fell short with no HTML5 support, ect… Granted I was a fan of IE 8 when it came out. But that was until I actually used it for a few weeks with 10+ tabs open constantly and it got slow again.

IE8 would rank about a 5 / 10 not the worst browser out there, but with it’s quirks of being able to let web pages change the rendering to that of IE7 depending on it’s meta tags. I guess that’s good to keep people wanting to see all their weird random sites normally and not move to another browser anyway, but this does not help people out there to get some better XHTML standards. IE has made improvements for RSS and Ajax support which did help to move it forward in the world, and it’s accelerators and WebSlices aren’t too bad.

With IE9 Beta coming up tomorrow it will be nice to try out with it’s 95/100 on the Acid3 tests and HTML5 video/audo tag support. Maybe when it finally releases next year Youtube will be able to start moving more off of flash video. One major problem I have seen with IE 9 being more important on the web is that it won’t have support for Win XP, and yes there are a lot of those people out there already. Especially in the workplace. Hell there are some places still on IE6 even… *shudders* But at least they’re working in the right way and as Microsoft loses more of the dominance with IE on the web they will conform more to the rest of the world.

By: FreedomChicken

Sep 10, 2010

Hide the Site Actions button in SharePoint 2007

You guys ever get those crazy requests too from your boss? Things that really don’t matter at all and they only want to do it, because they thought of the idea. Well I get those all the time. This time it was to hide the Site Actions for our new SharePoint 2007 setup. I mean really, who cares if users can see the link/button, they can’t do anything and they’re used to seeing it from SP 2003 so it’s not like they’ll get confused about it. But anyway, the good team player I am I went in and figured out how to do it for us.

I’m not sure if this will work for everyone. I also did this like 6 months ago after searching for a few hours and not really finding anything. Probably because no one else care. But anyway, You should just have to wrap/replace your Site Actions code in your Template and it should hide the button from those who don’t have access to use it. I hope this helps out some of you out there that have the same request.

 

  Code:

<style type="text/css"> 



#LeftNavigationAreaCell {  



    display:none; 



} 



</style> 



 



<SharePoint:SPSecurityTrimmedControl PermissionsString="AddAndCustomizePages, ManageLists" runat="server"> 



                <style type="text/css"> 



                               #LeftNavigationAreaCell { 



                                display:block; 



                } 



                </style> 



 



                <table height=100% class="ms-siteaction" cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0> 



                 <tr> 



                       <td class="ms-siteactionsmenu" id="siteactiontd"> 



                       <SharePoint:SiteActions runat="server" id="SiteActionsMenuMain" 



                        PrefixHtml="&lt;div&gt;&lt;div&gt;" 



                        SuffixHtml="&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;" 



                        MenuNotVisibleHtml="&amp;nbsp;"><CustomTemplate> 



                        <SharePoint:FeatureMenuTemplate runat="server" FeatureScope="Site" Location="Microsoft.SharePoint.StandardMenu" GroupId="SiteActions" UseShortId="true"> 



                            <SharePoint:MenuItemTemplate runat="server" id="MenuItem_Create" Text="<%$Resources:wss,viewlsts_pagetitle_create%>" Description="<%$Resources:wss,siteactions_createdescription%>" ImageUrl="/_layouts/images/Actionscreate.gif" MenuGroupId="100" Sequence="100" UseShortId="true" ClientOnClickNavigateUrl="~site/_layouts/create.aspx" PermissionsString="ManageLists, ManageSubwebs" PermissionMode="Any" /> 



                            <SharePoint:MenuItemTemplate runat="server" id="MenuItem_EditPage" Text="<%$Resources:wss,siteactions_editpage%>" Description="<%$Resources:wss,siteactions_editpagedescription%>" ImageUrl="/_layouts/images/ActionsEditPage.gif" MenuGroupId="100" Sequence="200" ClientOnClickNavigateUrl="javascript:MSOLayout_ChangeLayoutMode(false);" /> 



                            <SharePoint:MenuItemTemplate runat="server" id="MenuItem_Settings" Text="<%$Resources:wss,settings_pagetitle%>" Description="<%$Resources:wss,siteactions_sitesettingsdescription%>" ImageUrl="/_layouts/images/ActionsSettings.gif" MenuGroupId="100" Sequence="300" UseShortId="true" ClientOnClickNavigateUrl="~site/_layouts/settings.aspx" PermissionsString="EnumeratePermissions,ManageWeb,ManageSubwebs,AddAndCustomizePages,ApplyThemeAndBorder,ManageAlerts,ManageLists,ViewUsageData" PermissionMode="Any" /> 



                        </SharePoint:FeatureMenuTemplate> 



                        </CustomTemplate></SharePoint:SiteActions> 



                    </td> 



                 </tr> 



                </table> 



</SharePoint:SPSecurityTrimmedControl>




By: FreedomChicken

Sep 8, 2010

Coolest Online Version of Mario Ever

Last night I was up rather late surfing around StumbleUpon when I landed on one of the coolest flash ports of Nintendo’s Super Mario Brother's of all time! In this version you not only play the original Super Mario Brothers game, but you also get to choose from several different characters from the old Nintendo games! You can choose to be Ryu from Ninja Gaiden, or even Link from the Legend of Zelda to name a few!

The online game is called Super Mario Brothers Crossover, and was coded by Jay Pavlina of Exploding Rabbit. From the page:

[Super Mario Brother’s Crossover] exists as a tribute to classic video games and celebrates the games and characters that many of us grew up playing. It gives attention to our gaming roots and serves as a reminder that games do not have to be complicated to be fun. It is not intended to inhibit the copyright holders of the original games it is based on in any way.

Being an old Ninja Gaiden fan, I of course decided to play using Ryu! Here is a quick screen shot:

Super Mario Bros Know of any other cool crossover games using characters from our childhood? Let me know your favorites in the comments!

Sep 7, 2010

Netgear Stora MS2110 NAS Review

I hope you all had a great labor day weekend. I don’t know about you, but I spent the entire weekend working my butt off. My wife, kids and I moved into a house a year ago and we finally got around to hosting a house warming party. To get ready for it I did all sorts of landscaping, and other grunt work on Saturday. On Sunday we had the party, so I had to do a bunch of last-minutes stuff to get ready, then of course at the party I had to grill and entertain. On Monday, my wife traded my computer skills to her dentist so we could get some work done on her grill, and he could get backups working correctly. That is where this article stems from.

So on Monday (yesterday), I drove over to the Dentist’s office and checked out his current setup. He was using some program I never heard of called Backup 2005. Using Backup 2005 it would backup to an older Linksys EFG80 NAS (Network Attached Storage) device which only had 80GB of space. The amount of data he was backing up was only 17GB, so that would have been sufficient if it weren’t for two inherent problems. The first being that the drives had crashed. The second being that this device doesn’t have any RAID options. For those not in-the-know, RAID is necessary to protect data in the event of a hard drive crash. I told the doctor that we needed to get another NAS, one that at least. has the ability for RAID 1. He agreed, and sent me over to Fry’s to get something that supported RAID, and wasn’t terribly expensive.

Looking at all of the different NAS options at Fry’s, the least expensive was the Netgear Stora 1TB which has two drives and supports RAID 1 (Two 1TB SATA drives mirrored). Of course it only comes with one drive, so I also had to pick up another 1TB SATA drive while I was there.

Netgear_Stora When I got back to the office the setup was pretty easy. The only problem I had with it was that the manual didn’t tell you how to slide the front cover off so you could install the second drive. To do it just slide it  up slightly and off. After that it was pretty easy. You can either use the CD that comes with it to set it up, or if you find the IP address it picks up from your DHCP server, you can browse to the web interface and follow the prompts to get it going.

The only other problem I have with the device is that there is no Active Directory integration. That doesn’t surprise me because it is a lower end device designed for home use. It still works fine for a quick and easy backup solution though as long as you have a way to supply your backup software with credentials to the NAS because you can’t backup using anonymous connections for security purposes.

Some cool features of the Netgear Stora includes the ability to email you alerts when the device is malfunctioning (I.E. a hard drive crashes) so you can act when it happens, and not when you least expect it. Also the device allows you to share files over the internet easily using FTP, or via a website. This is not important for business use per se unless you want the ability to create a second backup offsite at your home or something. make sure that if you allow sharing that you use a secure password so people can’t hack your NAS and grab your data. The good thing is that if people want to try to hack your device they not only need to know your username and password, but also the device name.

All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this device for enterprise use, but for small businesses or home use it is adequate. It has plenty of storage for most people and small offices, and has redundancy in case of drive failure.

Do you have a Netgear Stora? Like it? Dislike it? Do you prefer a different NAS device for small office use? Let me know in the comments.

Technorati Tags: ,,

Sep 3, 2010

$29.99 For USB Tethering On My Evo? I Don’t Think So!

So I’m not sure If I told you or not, but I finally got my hands an an HTC Evo 4G phone from Sprint the other day. I’m pretty excited because up until the night of August 30th, Sprint was completely sold out of Evo’s in San Diego! I happened to login to see if by chance they had posted the Samsung Epic yet, and there it was, the Evo with all it’s glory just ready for me to blow $400!

Anyhoo, so long story short, I gots me an Evo. Like any good techie computer nerd with a new toy I began to play with it to see what I could do, and what I could get away with. One thing I noticed when poking around in the Wireless & Networks settings that there was an option for USB tethering. Cool right? I knew that there was a mobile hotspot feature built in, but that costs and extra $29.99 per month! WTF? I am paying for unlimited data right? Why do I have to pay extra depending on what device is using said data? Lame sauce! So I decided to call Sprint to find out if USB tethering was separate from the mobile hotspot thing. you know, since I’m not sharing with a bunch of people, shouldn’t it be free?

Another long story short, it’s not. in fact if you want to use the USB tethering feature, you have to have theandroid160 $29.99 per month mobile hotspot feature enabled on your account. Well, that is unless you read Bauer-Power! You know I’m not just going to sit around and NOT use my unlimited data plan right? You know that I am also not going to pay for something as stupid as a $30 per month mobile hotspot feature when there is a free alternative!

If you go into the Android App market, do a search for a little gem called PDANet. Now go ahead and install it on your device. Now go ahead and visit the PDANet website and download the PDANet desktop application and install it to your computer.

pdanet3 Now on your Evo, just plug it into your computer with your USB cable, or even connect via BlueTooth, then enable PDANet. On your computer right click on the icon in your system tray and select Connect Internet. You may have to enable USB debug mode on your Boom! Now you’re surfing!

Now I am sure that violates Sprint’s terms and conditions. As long as you don’t go over a certain data amount per month, you will probably get away with it. Don’t use this for your home Internet connection and especially don’t use it for downloading bit torrents, or you could get your data plan yanked!

Still though, this or and extra $29.99 per month? What would you rather do?

Know of a better app to tether your Android phone? How about one that works in Ubuntu? Currently PDANet is only available in Windows and Mac, so an Ubuntu one would be nice. Let us know in the comments!

[Updated 9/3/10 5:30pm] - So after reading some of the comments about PDANet not being free after a while I starting looking at some other options. I rooted my phone and tried Wifi Tether, but for some reason I couldn't connect to it from my PC. I tried a few others, but few seemed as easy as PDANet. I did find a cheaper alternative though. EasyTether is only a one time fee of $9.95, and works on Ubuntu!

Sep 2, 2010

Digg v4? WTF?

I haven’t been on Digg.com too much lately. I used to frequent it pretty regularly when I as submitting a lot of stuff there, and fellow Bauer-Power contributor FreedomChicken and I decided we would try our hands at creating a Digg army, and try to game the system. I stopped hanging out there when they got rid of the shout feature. After that I found it was just too hard to try to game the system.

Well lately I have been seeing a lot of activity on Twitter. Mainly it is directed at Digg founder Kevin Rose, and almost all of it is really negative! I was wondering what was going on, so I decided to check out Digg. There it was, Digg version 4! With this new version they have tried to make it so that Power Diggers cannot possibly control the front page. In fact, just about all of your stories come from RSS feeds from other popular sites like Mashable, Engadget and others. The rest are articles of the people you are following on Digg. Did I say following? Sounds Twitter like doesn’t it? Well it is exactly that, a complete rip-off of Twitter!

digg.com

Now if you go to the site, you see a bunch of Reddit submissions dominating the front page. If you didn’t know, Reddit is probably Digg’s biggest competitor in social news. These submissions from Reddit are of course in protest to the new fangled Digg v4. in fact one article boasts that Digg v4 has caused Reddit traffic to spike, and registrations to soar!

Besides the changes that sort of make Digg different than what made people love it in the first place, it is also full of bugs. Logging into it this morning I was greeted by numerous errors, and problems. Here is one of them:

digg broken axleI think I can push through the changes. In fact, this might be good for gaming Digg again because in theory, the more followers to can acquire, the more diggs your submissions will get. Also, you can add your site’s RSS feed to Digg so that your stuff gets auto-submitted.

What do you think? Do you like the new changes? Do you hate them? What is your least favorite feature of the new Digg? Let us know in the comments.

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Sep 1, 2010

How To Restore Multiple SQL Databases At One Time

At my day job we are getting ready to move our hosting environment from one colocation facility to another. Sounds easy enough right? Well it is if you can afford some down time, or of you have some money to buy more equipment to replicate your environment. If you are working on a shoe string budget though, then you have to get creative.

One of the things I have been working on lately is migrating SQL data from a very large Microsoft SQL server that has multiple instances, each with about 100 databases or so. These four instances were originally stored on one physical server with no redundancy. Bad idea right? Well, at our new data center I have configured two fail-over SQL clusters to house all of this data. I am moving two instance per cluster. I would have built two more clusters, but I just don't have enough SAN space at the new data center yet. Anyway, In order to migrate the data relatively quickly, I hooked up a USB hard drive to the physical SQL server and created a maintenance job on each instance to backup all the databases to the USB drive. Now with all that data on the USB drive, I drove it over to the new data center, and hooked it up to a server there and shared it out. Now the tricky part, restoring all those friggin' databases! All friggin' 400 some odd databases!

Now I'm not a DBA, so I don't know T-SQL scripting at all, but I was able to figure out something. If you go through GUI (Microsoft SQL Manager) and go through all the steps to do the restore, right before you restore there is an option so save that job as a T-SQL script! Boom!



So now that I have gone through the motions of restoring one, I get a little bit of code similar to this:

RESTORE DATABASE [DB_RESTORE] FROM DISK = N'\\<FILESERVER>\<FILESHARE>\DB_Backup.bak' WITH FILE = 1, MOVE N'DB_Backup' TO N'E:\MSSQL10_50.SQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\DB_RESTORE.mdf', MOVE N'DB_Backup_log' TO N'E:\MSSQL10_50.SQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\DB_RESTORE_1.LDF', NOUNLOAD, STATS = 10

GO

Cool, now all I had to do to restore multiple databases was to copy and paste the above code (Before the GO line) over and over again, and changing the database information to match the other database names and backup files. For example, restoring three databases at once would look like this:

RESTORE DATABASE [DB_RESTORE1] FROM DISK = N'\\<FILESERVER>\<FILESHARE>\DB_Backup1.bak' WITH FILE = 1, MOVE N'DB_Backup1' TO N'E:\MSSQL10_50.SQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\DB_RESTORE1.mdf', MOVE N'DB_Backup1_log' TO N'E:\MSSQL10_50.SQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\DB_RESTORE1_1.LDF', NOUNLOAD, STATS = 10

RESTORE DATABASE [DB_RESTORE2] FROM DISK = N'\\<FILESERVER>\<FILESHARE>\DB_Backup2.bak' WITH FILE = 1, MOVE N'DB_Backup2' TO N'E:\MSSQL10_50.SQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\DB_RESTORE2.mdf', MOVE N'DB_Backup2_log' TO N'E:\MSSQL10_50.SQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\DB_RESTORE2_1.LDF', NOUNLOAD, STATS = 10

RESTORE DATABASE [DB_RESTORE3] FROM DISK = N'\\<FILESERVER>\<FILESHARE>\DB_Backup3.bak' WITH FILE = 1, MOVE N'DB_Backup3' TO N'E:\MSSQL10_50.SQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\DB_RESTORE3.mdf', MOVE N'DB_Backup3_log' TO N'E:\MSSQL10_50.SQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\DB_RESTORE3_1.LDF', NOUNLOAD, STATS = 10

GO

After I had my script in order, all I had to do after that was to create another maintenance job on the new cluster to run my T-SQL script above. I had to set the timeout to about 60000, and just let it run. After about ten minutes or so I had all the databases restored! It actually took me longer to generate the script than it did to restore all the databases!

Make sure that if you are using the above code to change it to fit your environment!

Now if you know of an easier, or better way of doing this, I am all ears. All though creating the script was fairly easy, it was tedious as a mother f**ker to copy and paste all the info needed for 400 some odd databases. Please let me know in the comments if you have done this before, and did it differently.





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