Sunday, December 30, 2007

Backup Content in Blogger (Blogspot)

If you’re using Blogger (Blogspot) platform, you probably want to backup your content unless you really trust the Blogger (Blogspot) which hosted by Google won’t screw up your content. Do they have a backup as well? I really don’t’ know. Have you ever think about your blog has been hijacked one day? In case you don’t know, there are quite number of Blogger’s blogs have been hijacked. You may face a risk to lost all your content in your blog.

Recently I found a tool called “Blogger Backup Utility”. It is in Beta releases. Thanks to gduncan411 who are actually doing this for free. You can backup all your posts and comments in your blog. In case of you lost some of the posts or all the posts, you can restore them using this tool. Of course, I don’t hope to use the restore feature one day but who knows?

For the "Save posts as (format)" option, I think we better choose "Atom, One File Per Posts" rather than "Atom, All posts in a single file". I think I read it somewhere if you choose "Atom, All posts in a single file" the restore feature may not work.

Since this tool is BETA, don’t expect this tool is completely out of bugs. Every software has bugs. One of the things I found not working is the “Save Comment” feature. If I redirect my feeds to feedburner the following error happens:

Error looking for comments, retrying (0)
Error looking for comments, retrying (1)
Error looking for comments, retrying (10)

I’ve already filed a report and hopefully this will be fixed in the next release. According to some of the discussions, if you don’t redirect your feeds to feedburner it should be fine. I haven’t tried this yet and I think I will just wait for the fix in later release. As for now, I will just backup my posts without comments.

One final note, the "Images or Pictures" are not able to backup yet at this moment. So you may want to download again for complete features of this tool in future.

[Updated: 05/02/09]
I think comments and pictures have still not yet supported. It seems like the authors has stop developing this tool but for the basic functions to backup the blog content, it works perfectly. 

Download “Blogger Backup Utility” here. Click the release tab for the latest release.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

How to Burn Audio CD with Media Player

I was not aware of this feature until I want to burn my own customized music CDs and listen to them in my car every morning I drive to my office. At first I thought Windows Media Player can't do that but I'm wrong.

Here are the very simple steps to burn Audio CD with Window Media Player:

Step 1
Insert blank CD into your drive

Step 2
Play the song with windows media player (I have bunch of songs in my laptop and I want to listen to them first before I decide to burn them into Audio CD).

Step 3
Click the “Burn” tab at the top and make sure the “Audio CD” is selected. If I like the song, I will right click the song and click “Add to Burn List”. I will continue doing this until the Audio CD is full.

Step 4

When the Audio CD is full (close to 0:00 remaining time). I will click the “Start Burn” button at the lower left. When the burning is done, the Audio CD will automatically be ejected (default option).

Step 5
Label the CD.

So far, I have burned 2 CDs with all my favorite songs. :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

MP4 is not supported by Windows Media Player

Recently I got a video clip in MPEG-4 (.mp4) format but I was unable to play it with Windows Media Player. Later I only found out MP4 format is not supported by Windows Media Player.

But wait, I thought I had already install the K-lite Codec Pack which suppose able to play MP4. Perhaps the codec was corrupted somehow and can't play MP4 format. So, what I did is to reinstall the codec. However when I uninstalled the K-lite Codec Pack, I got bunch of warnings asking me whether I want to remove this entry from registry.

The following DirectShow filter was detected as broken:”
Name: Native FLAC Source Filter

There are quite number of these warnings message. So, I clicked "Yes" manually one by one for each message box until the un-installation completed. I think the codec really was corrupted for some reasons. After that, I reinstall the latest K-lite Codec Pack 3.62 and finally the MP4 can be played.

Thanks K-Lite Codec! :) Now I can play mp4 shared by my friend.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Copy & Paste Folder Tip in Windows

I used to copy a lot of folders from one machine to another machine. However, I misunderstood the overwrite feature in windows. This is to share my stupidity.

Consider the following scenario:

Folder A (Machine X)
File 1
File 2

Folder A (Machine Y)
File 3
File 4

Assuming machine X and Y are connected in the network, I want to copy File 1 and File 2 from Machine X to Machine Y and the end-result will be something like:

Folder A (Machine Y)
File 1
File 2
File 3
File 4

So I right click and “Copy” Folder A in Machine X and “Paste” it to Machine Y. A message box appears as below asking whether I want to overwrite (my assumption) the existing Folder A.

What I really need to do is just click “Yes”, it will MERGE the Folder A in Machine Y without removing the existing File 3 and File 4. Before that, I used to click "No" because I thought File 3 and File 4 will be gone. So what I did is manually copy File 1 and File 2 to the Folder A in Machine Y. If I have 10 folders, I actually manually do it 10 times! You see how stupid I am!

Look back to the message carefully (which I ignore all the while), it actually explains it very clear - "Do you want to MERGE this folder". Ya, Windows XP doesn't explain that and probably this is the reason I thought all the while is the overwriting feature if we replace the folder. No, it is the merge feature.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Why Mozilla Firefox?

It has been quite sometime Mozilla Firefox has gain market share from internet explorer since 2004. So you may ask “Why Mozilla Firefox?” or “Why not Internet Explorer?” It is time to understand why and you can make your own choice whether you want to switch or not. I’m going to share my own personal experience from user perspective why I like Mozilla Firefox.

1. Firefox is More Secure Than IE

When Firefox was first announced in 2004, it was more secure than IE for various reasons. This is also one of key main reasons why majority of users switch to Firefox for more secure surfing. However, when the recent IE 7 release, I no longer sure this still holds true because a lot of improvements has been made by IE all these years. No software is free of bugs and of course both Firefox and IE cannot run away from it.

HOWEVER, I will still say Firefox is more secure than IE. This is also what most people say but they do not understand the reasons behind. The reason behind is hackers do not want to hack Firefox, they want to hack IE! One of the reasons is 85% of people use IE and as a hacker, you want to target to the bigger crowd. Another reason is most hackers have a strong anti-Microsoft sentiment. They hate Microsoft and they will do their best to hack IE and screw Micrsoft. On the other hand Firefox is an open source and as you know open source is loved by hackers. So, what are you still waiting for? Switch to Firefox now!

2. Firefox has Tabbed Browsing and Better UI

I would say this is the best feature that I like most. I wonder why there is no such feature in IE until IE 7. With this tabbed browsing feature, I no longer require to open too many browser windows in my desktop. It is really messy sometimes. In IE 7, this feature has already been supported. However one thing sucks about IE 7 is they change the UI! If you just switch to IE 7, I bet you have hard time to familiar yourself with the new UI. The whole file menu is gone. I wonder if I should hold back my respect to Microsoft UI which I believe Microsoft's UI the most user-friendly.

3. I love the Firefox’s Find Features

This is also one of the most frequent features I used during surfing. I use the “Ctrl-F” to find a specify string in a page especially there are a lot of information on the pages. IE has this “Ctrl-F” feature but it is really annoying. In IE, it pops up the dialogue when you press “Ctrl-F” and you enter search string. You hit “Enter” to perform the search on the page. However, when you want to search for the next string in the page you need to press “Ctrl-F” again and annoying pop-up dialogue box appears again. You need to continue doing this until you've found what you want.

In Firefox, when you press “Ctrl-F” instead of pop-up dialogue box, it is placed at the lower left just above the browser’s status bar. You can just enter your search string there directly and the Firefox will search the page while you’re typing. The searching is incremental and the found strings are also be highlighted in the page. You hit “Enter”, you will go to the next found string. It is really a very useful and efficient feature as compared to IE.

4. Firefox is Platform Independent

This probably won’t apply to you if you’re just using Windows platform. I like Firefox because it is platform independent. It can runs on Linux, Windows and Mac. It gives me the same user experience when I switch to my Linux box from Windows.

One last thing in terms of speed and memory consumption, I don’t feel much different between Firefox and IE although some say Firefox runs faster with lower memory consumption. For me, there are almost the same. In summary, yes, I do prefer to use Firefox and IE. Please keep in mind that not all the pages can be run one Firefox. Those pages are usually run using Active-X control which is the Microsoft technology. You need an IE browser to run this page. I just don’t understand why the web designer wants to design such a page in the first place? They must be Microsoft supporters.

Get the Firefox now for better browsing now! Download Firefox here...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Vista Performance Is 10% Slower Than XP

Other than driver compatible issues and you may want to ask what Vista sucks? Yes, you're right. It is the performance. In short, Vista is 10% slower than XP. Check out the news here.

Summary of the News

  1. Vista SP1 will released next year and it is intended to boost the performance. However with the SP1 beta testing, yes it does boost but less than 2%.
  2. Microsoft responds some craps that they will continue make improving and make the Vista a better tool.
  3. Microsoft mentions a lot of us do not fully understand the features in Vista. We need to be educated. Perhaps Microsoft means the 100 reasons to use vista in my previous post.
  4. Others not important stuff, marketing talk.
Well, Vista when are you going to catch up XP? Wait until XP retire? or Wait until the later service pack from XP that slows down the performance in purpose?

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