Monthly Archives: April 2013

Total Commander

Originally known as Windows commander, Total Commander debuted as a nice windows file explorer with all the features of the well-known DOS Norton commander.

Its main and most important feature is having two folder panels side by side to copy/move files back and forth. Currently, Total Commander supports multiple tabs so that now you can work with several folders in one window. In several levels, Total Commander supports plug-ins to add limitless new features. For example, you can manipulate registry, services, start-up programs, clipboard contents, control panel, task manager, and Uninstaller.

You can also use Total Commander as a RSS feeds reader, an emails reader, a HTTP browser, and a FTP browser. Total Commander comes with a nice viewer called Lister which also supports plug-ins. Using this viewer, you can view virtually any type of files (pdf, ps, MS word, images, videos, music, database files, web pages, just to name a few. This program has everything in one nice user-friendly window that you don’t have to shuffle through different programs to get the job done. There are folder history, folder bookmarks, program shortcuts, extensive compression type support, just about anything that is related to file or folder and much more.

Cobian Backup

Have you ever lost your files? Well, here’s a little program that will help you save those files before that happens again.

With Cobian Backup you can store your files in your hard drive making frequent background backups of some or all of your files! You can customize different tasks for all those things we bury into our hard drives. It is one of the simplest, versatile and quickest backup programs you will find. Plus you only have to set it up once and it will do its numerous tasks stealthily without you even noticing.

Apple TV Review

Since the Apple TV finally shipped it has been met with as much criticism as it has praise. The device itself is simple, beautiful and over other options, seems to be a break-out hit.

Opening the packaging was very similar to the enclosure the iPods with video come in. A thin box slides out of the exterior shell and opens midway to reveal the Apple TV on one side, the Apple remote on the other. Only one cable is included with Apple TV: the power cable. Reasons for this aren’t clear, but it is assumed because of the variety of ways Apple TV can be hooked up, Apple would rather not have wasted the money and space to include cables that may not be used by the customer.

Setting up Apple TV takes just a few minutes, after it finds your network, you enter your wireless password, then pair the device with iTunes. Apple TV generates a code for iTunes to pair, and upon success, you are greeted with syncing and streaming options. Content ripped from DVDs into the mp4 or H.264 formats looks fantastic on Apple TV, as well as the newer, higher resolution content purchased from the iTunes store. Apple TV is a fantastically easy way to manage all of your films, TV shows, podcasts, and music within your home entertainment system.

Not that hacking the machine is necessary, but it has proven already to be very mod-able, like the first generation TiVo. There are ways of adding a larger hard drive, to upgrade from the stock 40GB drive, ways to play Divx and xvid format files, as well as ways to install a fully-functioning OSX to turn Apple TV into the smallest functioning Mac available. Apple TV is a notable entry into the content management space, and there are exciting things in store as the device gains more traction in the market.

Capture A Screenshot From A Streamed Video

Ever wanted to take a screen shot of something you’ve seen in a streaming video? Sure you have!

You set up the stream, advance to the right time counter, and snap! But.. oh no! The frame of the media player is black. What happened? Well, the problem is likely due to video card acceleration and overlays. Basically, to produce higher quality video, your computer asks your video card to display the accelerated video in an overlay, which “overlays” the rest of the screen. From the user’s perspective, the video and the other windows are all on the same plane.

However, from the software’s point of view, the only things on the screen are the windows, since the actual video is in the overlay. This is why the streaming media player’s window appears black. How to fix this? Well, I will demonstrate with RealPlayer v 10.5 for Windows as an example, but the general idea should hold for any media player. Go to the menu bar, and select “Tools.” Scroll down and select “Preferences…” The preferences window should appear. Within the window, select “Hardware” from the side menu. In the bottom panel, select “Most Reliable” which will show “Disable optimized video and overlays.” Then, restart RealPlayer and try capturing the image again. Voila!

iTerm Terminal Emulation

For many Mac OS X users migrating from Linux or Unix, the Terminal application is a frequently used piece of software.

However, the native Terminal application leaves much to be desired, most notably due to lack of support for a tabbed interface. For an improved Terminal emulation utility, consider iTerm, a native Cocoa application that supports both a tabbed interface and transparent windows. Since the application is written in Cocoa, it maintains the standard look-and-feel that numerous Mac users have grown to love. iTerm is a free application and supports all of the same language encodings available natively through OS X. Try out this fantastic find at, where iTerm is available as a convenient universal binary.

ThinkUI SQL Client | Database Driven Code Generation for Java

Most developers often look at code generation with skepticism and assume that the generated code will be incomprehensible and/or of low quality.

However, under the right circumstance, code generation can be an important asset in the developer tool belt. For example, if you are a Java developer you can easily find a large number of code generation tools (e.g. search for “code generator” in any search engine). However, most of the tools usually require a time commitment that makes code generation unattractive (except for niche domain such as Data Access Object code generation or simple JSP/HTML form generation where a large number of artifacts can be generated). However, one tool that have been recently surfaced seem quite promising. The ThinkUI SQL Client tool allows Java developers who are familiar with the Apache Velocity template engine to easily generate code (or any text output) based on database meta data. This approach allows developers to customize the generated code to their preferences and since the tool is quite simple to use, the initial time investment is minimal. For example, you can create customized Java bean classes for all your database tables/views is matter of seconds. This gives you plenty of time to customize the formatting and javadoc of the template to suite your needs.