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Adi Oltean's Weblog - Flashbacks on technology, programming, and other interesting things

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  • Blog Post: The new must-have gadget: Flash laptops

    The entire world is now slowly shifting to Flash-based storage in mobile devices. The latest trend is to get rid of harddisks in your laptop - and you will have longer battery life, faster shutdown/reboot, better shock-resistance. Not to mention that flash memory takes less space than a harddisk. Fujitsu...
  • Blog Post: 12-disk SATA storage box for less than a grand

    ExtremeTech has a review of the Norco DS-1220 eSATA storage box, which can accomodate up to 12 SATA disks. The price is pretty low (on Newegg.com it is $840 without disks). I computed a small table that shows how much it will cost for a simple JBOD configuration. So, for less than $3000 you can get six...
  • Blog Post: New hard drive price war coming

    Seagate, Hitachi and Samsung will compete for more price cuts for harddisks in the near future. The toughest competition seems to be on the low-end, 80 GB harddisk models. So, what do you think the new non-rebate price would be for, say, 160 GB drives? [source: USA Today ]
  • Blog Post: Search Engines and Privacy

    The recent AOL scandal had one and only one learning lesson for any software company. Think 10x, 100x, 1000x about customer privacy. There is a large amount of discussions, opinions, passion on the blogosphere, but I don't think that anyone disagrees with the point above. However, there is an alternate...
  • Blog Post: Why Flash memory is good for your computer

    Simply put, flash memory will enable a revolution in improving computer performance in daily utilization scenarios. Your computer will boot up faster. It will launch applications significantly faster. (Hey, it will shutdown faster as well.) The problem To see why we will have this dramatic performance...
  • Blog Post: Passwords: Bad "best practices"

    So, you think that your password is secure? Let's see: does it contain a mixture of uppercase/lowercase letters, punctuation marks and digits? Yes? Well, even in this case, your password might be still completely insecure. Read ahead why... To understand the problem, we need first a little rehash...
  • Blog Post: How to run Defrag on a scheduled basis

    On Windows XP, it's simple. Just run this command and you are done: schtasks /create /TN defrag /RU "NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM" /SC weekly /TR "defrag %systemdrive%"
  • Blog Post: Internet Explorer 7 Beta2 available for download

    It's finally here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/default.mspx
  • Blog Post: Using NTBackup to achieve P2V

    I always thought about writing a post about physical-to-virtual migration strategies in combination with VSS, but I never got to it. So it's not surprising that others started to uncover this trail :-) One particular technique in this area is described in Lindsay Donaghe's blog - she uses NTBackup...
  • Blog Post: Perpendicular storage arrives on laptops

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060116/ap_on_hi_te/seagate_drives Seagate's new drive, the Momentus 5400.3, was being shipped as of Monday, the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based company said. The shift to perpendicular recording allows it to bump up the maximum capacity of its notebook drive to 160 gigabytes...
  • Blog Post: Windows Backup - highlighted as one of the main Vista features!

    Whoohoo! Windows backup is there. Proeminently: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/features/default.aspx#wvC2 They also mention the Shadow Copy (aka Previous Versions). This is a standard feature now in Windows Server 2003, which is invaluable for many many customers. Now we are bring it to...
  • Blog Post: How to stay safe with the new Windows vulnerability

    As previously published here , this is a quick-and-dirty method to get yourself in a relatively safe position: 1) Click Start, click Run, type "regsvr32 -u %windir%\system32\shimgvw.dll" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK. 2) Restart the machine. [Update] Note that this workaround...
  • Blog Post: How to do atomic writes in a file

    Let's assume that you want is to write some simple code that writes to a text file. A few assumptions: 1) You need avoid corruptions of any kind. 2) Either all of your writes have to make it to the disk, or none of them. 3) The file is updated serially - no concurrent updates from separate processes...
  • Blog Post: Windows Local Live is out in the wild!

    Here it is: http://local.live.com Check out some cool bird's eye images: - Space Needle - Microsoft campus . [ Update - Dec 8, 11 PM ] It turns out that the service is not exposed to the public yet. Funny enough, it works fine from my dev box, but not from my home computer. Maybe they block all...
  • Blog Post: Holographic storage for everyone

    Maxell hints that it will ship 300 GB optical media next year, in September 2006 to be more exact. The bandwidth is decent too: 160 Mbps. The technology behind all this? Holographic storage: Holographic recording technology uses intersecting signal and reference laser beams to store data in a number...
  • Blog Post: Singularity - a new research OS from Microsoft

    Here it is: http://research.microsoft.com/os/singularity/ There are several interesting ideas in this new operating system. It's not just an "OS written in managed code". There are a new set of techniques in modern software development: contracts, verifiability and static analysis. Singularity combines...
  • Blog Post: Check the reality: What most gamers use as their gaming PC?

    I just got prompted today for a survey on what most gamers use as their gaming PC. Very interesting results: http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey.html A few notes: 1) Most peope are still in the ATI 9600/9800 ballpark. Hmmm... now this is interesting. I do not feel that outdated anymore with...
  • Blog Post: DOSDEV.EXE - a misterious tool

    Once in a while, you might encounter this tool in some Microsoft-provided SDKs, or Resource Kits, for example in the Windows Resource Kit, the Exchange Report Toolkit, and others. But this tool never came with any relevant documentation. It just displays the following cryptic help message: DOSDEV...
  • Blog Post: Are there any COM programmers out there?

    Even with all this new wave of .NET stuff, I still find myself in the XXI century doing good old COM programming - and I enjoy doing it... So is anyone still interested in blog posts around COM programming? (especially around COM servers, COM security, etc).
  • Blog Post: CMD programming - elements of style

    Everyone knows how to write CMD scripts. And this is the reason why we have so many messy CMD scripts around. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anywhere some guidelines on how to write clear, maintenable batch files. So here is my take: 1) Think about discovery and usability . Anyone should be able to...
  • Blog Post: 100 GB in your cell phone?

    Using nanotechnology, Rusell Cowburn and other researchers developed a new 3D architecture for memory chips. This latest research, however, has the potential to develop a chip that combines the storage capability of a hard drive with the low cost of memory cards, potentially increasing memory capacity...
  • Blog Post: VSS writers and inconsistent shadow copies

    A few days ago, a customer told me that he encountered a weird error while using NTBackup to backup the system. The error text looked like this in backup log: Media name: "System State.bkf created 8/29/2005 at 5:38 PM" Volume shadow copy creation: Attempt 1. "MSDEWriter" has reported an error 0x800423f0...
  • Blog Post: Here comes the Spyware patrol!

    I just read in eWeek about yet another technique to find suspicious sites. The principle is surprisingly simple: 1) Take N virtual machines, running Windows XP with various degrees of un-patched security holes. These machines will serve as a honeypots for potential spyware. 2) Each machine (called a...
  • Blog Post: IE7... feels different

    I like IE7. A few days ago, being too brave maybe as usual, I decided to instal it on my dev box and in a few days I succeeded to develop dangerous addictions for several things. First, on tabbed browsing (pretty fast given that each IE window is a separate process - and opening a new tab is instantaneous...
  • Blog Post: SecureEasySetup - the holy grail of Wireless security

    Recently, Linksys , a division of Cisco and Broadcom joinly announced support for the SES technology ( SecureEasySetup ). These are fantastic news! What SES allows is brain-dead, risk-free wireless security configuration of your network, with a very simple operation. You don't have to understand what...
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