WordPress iPhone Android App

Just downloaded this WordPress app for the iPhone, and it’s seriously cool.

(WordPress for Android, Blackberry and Nokia Also Available)

I had the ability work on my WordPress blogs through iPhone’s Safari browser before, but there was a lot of window resizing, and repositioning. Plus having to login every time was a drag.
With this app, you register each blog and it offers the essentials; posts, pages, comments and stats. But you also have an option to add code:
This is a link

You also have the ability to add photos and videos in an easy to use interface. Location mapping allows you to share your whereabouts as you compose your masterpiece blog post.

Wordpress for iPhone

So far, I’m really digging it! Originally the apps worked only with WordPress.com sites, but later versions include the ability to register self-hosted WordPress sites as well.

The WordPress App for the iPhone, very cool. Oh, and of course it’s FREE!

Below are all the WordPress Smart Phone Apps:

Here’s a link to the official site for the iPhone: IOS for WordPress

The Android App for WordPress is here: WordPress for Android

WordPress on your Blackberry: WordPress for Blackberry

Your Nokia Phone as well: WordPress for Nokia

Cheers

David Kelsen  - aka - reeljerc

Share

Fix Your Damaged CD’s – Recovery Toolbox

Is Your Favorite CD or DVD Scratched? Recovery Toolbox Can Help

This one surprised me. A very good friend had a CD with literally hundreds of photos from Sept. 11, 2001.

She is a Fire Captain herself, and was totally distressed because she couldn’t access the data. The CD itself was almost 10 years old, which brings me to the first point:

CD’S ARE NOT DESIGNED TO LAST 10 YEARS!

With regular play, a CD can wear out in less than five years, which doesn’t account for it getting scratched in car visors and glove boxes.

I figured it was history, but after searching a little and trying 3 or 4 products out, I came across this one which totally rocks.

Recovery Toolbox for CD FREE

Yes, FREE!

You know I love that, and it couldn’t be easier. Just download and install the program, put in your damaged CD and choose the drive to fix.

Recovery Toolbox for CD - FREE

If you have data that you feel is important, please copy it onto more than one disk and onto a folder on your hard drive or on a thumb drive.

You should have at least 3 copies of important information.

That’s all folks, download it here:

Recovery Toolbox for CD FREE

Share

Torrents – Torrent Sites – Torrent Software

Torrents - Torrent Sites - Torrent Software

I’ve been asked numerous times about how to obtain Operating System (OS) software for free. Here’s how:

But First

Be forewarned, we are treading on morally and/or legally questionable ground here and taking advantage of this particular technology has the propensity to infect your machine with all kinds of ugly little beasts if you’re not careful.

In a classic application of the “Good News/Bad News” cliche, let’s explore…

The Good News

You’ll be able to download, install and enjoy almost any software, movie, music or other digital property for free. With few exceptions, I’ve found every application I could ever use, for Windows and Macintosh, and thousands upon thousands of movie titles, music albums, audio books, photographs, etc.

The good news is easy, next;

The Bad News

Legal

The nature of this type of technology is questionable. Many, namely the major movie studios, record companies and software distributors, consider it illegal.

The technology is peer-to-peer (P2P) and started with applications like Napster, Kazaa, Morpheus and Limewire. Bittorrent is considered the 3rd generation of P2P and is not only more efficient, but also more elusive from a legal standpoint.

Without getting into too much detail, when you install a bittorrent client, like Vuze, you enable the bittorrent protocol which allows you to download very large files from multiple sources simultaneously. The source of those files do not reside on a server, which would be copyright Vuze - Formerly Azureusinfringement, but rather on a network consisting of millions of personal computers.

When you initiate a download of a particular file, the protocol searches through the network of computers, locates the file, then downloads the file a small piece at a time from each computer in the network and reassembles them in order after the download has completed. The ambiguous nature of the download presents a challenge, legally, and while there are efforts to close this gap in the law, as of this writing nothing with teeth has come about.

(Please also keep in mind that much of the software downloaded requires serial numbers and activation. Very often the tools required to activate the software are provided with the files. Serial numbers and activation codes can be generated by programs called “Keygens” and files or programs called “Cracks” are also used to make the software fully functional.)

Moral

On the face it would seem obvious that downloading a movie you didn’t buy is wrong. But what about software and movies that you have purchased?

There was a time when Microsoft included full-install disks when you bought a computer with Windows installed. With Windows 95 you could install that OS on as many machines as you wanted. As greed and time progressed, less features were offered by the software behemoth, and now if you’re hard drive fails and you only want to replace that, you conceivably are forced to purchase another OS disk from Microsoft.

So the morality of P2P is subjective, and many industry techies not only endorse using it, many use it themselves.

Virus, Trojans, Questionable Material

The last caveat is the sites where torrents are available. They are often cluttered with ads for pornography and a good percentage of the files themselves are either infected with little nasties or are fake downloads to begin with.

Demonoid

DemonoidShould you decide to try this out, Demonoid is the safest place to do it. In the beginning you could only register on Fridays, but this seems to have loosened up a bit. Demonoid does not allow pornography, nor does it advertise pornographic sites or products. One really great feature about Demonoid is the comments sections.

Before you embark on a torrent download, read the comments section to see if it works, and whether or not there are any virus’ or trojans associated with the files.

Pirate Bay, Isohunt, Btjunkie

Pirate Bay has a rich history of scoffing at legal threats from the largest corporations in the world. Go HERE to read through the letters and responses, very funny stuff. Pirate Bay has lost some of it’s luster since the original owners sold the company to a Swedish software firm, but at least you don’t have to pay for the service.

Isohunt, Btjunkie and hundreds of other tracker sites is where you’re exposed to porno ads and a higher probability of infecting your machine with above mentioned nasties. To add insult to injury, many of these sites want you to buy a subscription so that essentially you are paying for what they got for free.

Summary

If I bought a computer with Windows installed on it and something happened that required I reinstall the Operating System, I am not given the proper tools to correct the problem. As we Windows users are well aware, updates, patches and security fixes are a regular part of our computing experience. It is also well known that the Windows OS gets messed up after regular use.

Since Microsoft admits, by insisting on constant updates, that their product is flawed, why do they not include a full install disk with your purchase?

The simple answer is that they don’t have to, because they monopolize the market. They force us to either re-purchase the OS or seek other means to obtain it. Installing Vuze and downloading the OS from Demonoid is one other way to obtain it.

Share

What Is This Thing Called Joomla?

Web Design For Dumbies or The Way of The Future?

Leo Laporte (The Tech Guy) repeatedly rhetorically asks, why would anyone develop a website from scratch anymore when Content Management Systems (CMS) exist that do it better for free?Leo Laporte

Thousands of geeks around the world freely contribute multiple hours to create, innovate and improve the functionality, usability and aesthetics of many popular open-source CMS’s like Joomla, Drupal, WordPress and others.

Why…? Because they love doing it. Initially, there may be an element of selfishness, an attempt to fix something on one of their sites. But after the epiphany and breakthrough that magically happens after hours of stubborn, obsessive, frustration-laced concentration, rather than keep it to themselves, they share what they’ve learned. In what I term the “True Spirit of the Internet”, many then spend countless hours on forums answering questions and trying to help.

The cliche “Labor of Love”, comes to mind.

So to reword; A collaborative effort by dedicated and intelligent individuals sharing freely of their time and expertise for the simple common goal of self-improvement, improvement for the sake of their peers and further discovery and learning. If you can conjure a downside to a project with this ideal as it’s sole motivation, you’re free to go, because that is a determined negativity and trolls aren’t welcome here.

Joomla is such a project

I’ll spare you the Joomla history lesson, if you’re interested check out the wikipedia entry here. The basic idea is to offer a web development system that can be created with a minimum amount of technical knowledge and allows the individual complete control over numerous powerful and effective web components.

Bulletin Board SystemIn the 80’s and 90’s the average web viewer or user was highly UN-sophisticated. We were easily amused, and there really weren’t that many actual websites. I remember being thrilled after logging into a Bulletin Board (BB) and the Sysop broke in to say “hello” on my Apple IIe. We were dial-up, monochrome and working on 64kb’s of memory, wow.

In those days, just having a website was impressive and “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) didn’t really exist, so you could build a 5-page website with Dreamweaver and get respectable traffic.

Today, just having a website is not good enough and website viewers are growing substantially more sophisticated by the packet.

Relevancy in cyberspace today requires dynamic content, semantic html markup, meta tags, keywords, nomenclatures, site-maps, link building, social network cross-utilization, etc, etc…Who has the time to learn all that stuff?

Joomla developers and coders have built many of those assets into the framework.

Learning Curve

You still have to familiarize yourself with the terminology and system, but in that it is a system, once you figure out how it works, that part doesn’t change.

Web sites are a series of files and folders on a computer called a server. Web pages are a series of boxes systematically and aesthetically organized that hold different types of content. The typical web page is broken up into 4 or 5 basic display elements which are organized by TABLES, FRAMES or DIVS:

Header – Top of the website that usually contains the logo or banner

Left Column – Traditionally an area that holds menus or navigation

Main – Area where the content resides

Right Column – Banner ads or ancillary information typically goes here (although navigation elements are increasingly being used here)

Footer – Further navigational elements, copyright info and validation or sitemaps have historically gone here

TABLES or FRAMES were the most popular way to organize these sections of the webpage in years past. More recently DIVs are the method of choice for serious coders because of their superior configurability and flexibility.

My usage of the term “boxes” in this article equate to the same function as TABLES, FRAMES and DIVS.

Flexibility

The Joomla system is comprised of Templates, Components, Modules and Plugins. There is a front-end, which is what the web surfer sees when finding your site online. And there is the back-end, which is the web-interface or Graphical User Interface (GUI), which is the administrator area where you develop the site and add content. Joomla, like most CMS’s, is database driven, cross-platform and uses server-side language. For our purposes, that means that you can log into your Joomla site from any computer that has internet access and add content and/or perform any function necessary.

In Plain Language

Templates – Templates are the basic framework of the site’s aesthetic design. The template is like the map of where all the boxes on the page are located. You can put almost any element in any box. below are a couple examples of templates and their modpositions or Module Positions.

EXAMPLE 1Template Module Positions

Joomla Template Module Positions

EXAMPLE 2 – Template Module Positions

Module Positions

Components – components are applications that process data, usually from another GUI within the admin area, and display the result of that formatted information typically in the main content area of the site. In “EXAMPLE 2” above, you see all the module positions, but there’s a blank space in the middle. That space is typically where the component data goes, that is the “Main” area. Many Joomla extensions offer Component, Module and Plugin versions of the application so that that particular element can be available for display in any of the positions.

Modules – generally, modules are slightly less complicated applications that are designed to be placed in any box or module position on the site.

Plug-ins – plugins are also applications that are designed to be placed within content posts or Articles.

Articles

In the Joomla framework, Articles are the main content. Articles are the basic resource that feed many of the modules within the framework. The Articles are the meat of the site itself.

Summary

Hopefully you’ve gathered that if you choose Joomla as the delivery method for your website, that certainly you can place any element in any module position, thus exhibiting total control of your site. But what are the elements? Here are a few (not anywhere near how many actually exist)

  • Forums
  • eCommerce
  • Business Directory (Sobi2)
  • Ad Management Systems
  • Videos
  • Slideshows
  • Gallerys
  • Contact & Feedback Forms
  • Menu Systems
  • Calendar & Event Management
  • Communities & Groupware
  • ETC…

Implementing any of these features into your “hand-coded” site can be really expensive, let alone incorporating several of them. One of the several advantages to utilizing the Joomla framework is that all of these features are offered free, but not only that, there is support available as well. The power you’ll be able to harness for a simple investment of time is astonishing.

Share

File Recovery – SmartCard Recovery

How to Completely Recover Documents, Pictures and More Off Your Failing Hard Drive or SmartCard

Nearly every computer user has experienced a crash at one time or another. Most times your machine fires right back up, but sometimes not. So what do you do about all your pictures, music, videos and miscellaneous documents you’ve gathered over the years? Here are a few ways to save your precious data.

(BTW: this wouldn’t be necessary if you regularly backed up your files onto an external hard drive or or burned them onto DVD’s, but you probably haven’t done that).


Whoops! I Deleted Everything, Right?

If you’re a CSI, Law & Order or NCIS fan you’ve seen that data can be retrieved from a hard drive, even if it’s been deleted. That’s possible because even though you delete a file, it doesn’t actually go away. Your computer simply moves the file to an area of the drive where it can be overwritten and tells the OS (Operating System) that that space is now available.

But the TV Detective IT Squad has special tools to extract the damning digital evidence, right? Sure, but so do you and it’s free. Before I go there, what do you do when your hard drive completely dies and your computer won’t fire up? Honestly, most of the time it’s just a corrupted system file or portion of your boot sector which can be corrected by running the chkdsk command in a DOS command prompt, but that’s for another tutorial.

The most cost effective way to retrieve your data and even repair the drive is to open up the case, remove the hard drive and plug it into a another working computer as a slave drive.

A hard drive is a peripheral component and is not OS exclusive, however, in order to retrieve data from a Windows machine, you’ll need to hook the drive up to another Windows computer.

Remove the Failing Drive

  1. Power down the computer and unplug the AC from the back.
  2. Remove the side of the computer case.
  3. Locate the Hard drive and unplug the Power and Data cables from the back of the drive. (Newer computers use SATA connectors, but yours may have the PATA or Parallel connector, there are only two kinds so it’s one or the other)
  4. Unscrew or detach the drive from the chassis or case (check your manual for instructions) and remove the drive.

Hard Drive Connectors

(The power cable pictured is a Moler cable, yours may be the SATA power connector, again there’s only two choices so it’s one or the other)

Most newer computer motherboards have both PATA and SATA connectors, check your hard drive connection and the motherboard connections of the computer you want to use to make sure.

Motherboard Connections

Next, be sure you have the proper cables. For the SATA drive you can pull the one from your computer and take it with you. If you have a PATA or Parallel connection you’ll need a PATA ribbon with three connectors like below:

PATA Ribbon with 3 connectors

The only possible remaining issue could be the jumper pin settings on the PATA hard drive (SATA drives are preset). The most common jumper setting is CABLE SELECT (CS). Jumper settings on both drives should be set to CS. Otherwise, the drive you’re plugging into should be set to Master and your drive to Slave.

(Check the hard drive manufacturers website for the correct jumper settings for each drive, the image below is an example specifically for this article)

Jumper Pin Settings

As above, power down, unplug and open up the computer you’re going to hook your drive to, plug in the appropriate cables, put everything back together and fire it up. There’s no need to replace the side of the computer you’re using, unless it makes the other computer owner feel better, than by all means.

Failing hard drives may have corrupted system files or may not have enough juice to fire up the entire computer, but even slightly damaged drives will register with the other machine, and that’s when you can navigate to the folders where all your stuff resides.

Your drive will show up as E: or F:, depending on that computers set up, it could be anything except C: or D: (in most cases).

Once you find your drive go to – E: (whatever drive letter it is)>Documents and Settings>Owner (or whatever your user name is)>My Documents. That is the default location for personal data storage, although you may have files on your desktop or other folders you created as well.

Once you have that figured out, start moving your data over. You can use your friends hard drive, an external drive, a thumb drive or you can burn the files onto a DVD or BluRay disk.

What If…

PC File Inspector File RecoveryIf the drive registers but doesn’t allow access the drive may be damaged. In that case, you’ve got a couple options. The FREE option is to download and install PC Inspector – File Recovery.

PC Inspector is a FREE data recovery program that can not only pull data from a damaged drive, but it also has the ability to retrieve deleted files on your computer. As mentioned above, when you delete a file it just gets moved to another area and is overwritten. If the file was deleted recently or not much activity has taken place, there’s an excellent chance that you can completely restore the file. PC Inspector – File Recovery is awesome.

PC Inspector also has a SmartCard Recovery program that performs the same function for the SmartCards used in digital cameras and other PC Inspector Smart Recoverydevices. Digital cameras have been known to re-format a SmartCard for no reason at all, but when that happens you just need to download and install PC Inspector Smart Recovery. Plug a card reader into your computer, or use the card reader bay, start Smart Recovery, navigate to the card and your pictures magically reappear. Again an awesome program.

If All Else Fails

If that doesn’t work, there is one more option you can utilize that isn’t free, but it doesn’t cost hundreds either. The absolute best data recovery, hard drive repair program is called SpinRite.

SpinRite - Data Recovery|Hard Drive Repair

For a mere $89 (as of this writing) you can save data and repair hard drives over and over again. I’ve used SpinRite on dozens of drives and have had 100% success in restoring them. SpinRite will restore corrupted system files, boot sectors and it can even repair physically damaged drives. Absolutely amazing.

Summary

If you’re cheap (or broke) like me, you may go through the steps above to retrieve your data. If you’re not interested in cracking open your computer, than SpinRite is definitely the best way to go. Please leave any questions in the comments section.

Good Luck!

Share