Here Are the 10 Winners of Last Week's WinX DVD Ripper Competition
Nick, Shane, David, Jim, Klaus, Kevin, Geoffrey, William, Sean and
What I found even tougher than judging the competition's winners, was
writing 'sorry' letters to the 23 people who did not qualify for a free WinX
Ripper. Actually, the rebel lurking inside of me wanted to send free
licences to 3 people from non-American / non-European countries; although
they had poor English and fairly average suggestions, I sensed they would
have enjoyed the freebie more than most. In the end, I abided by the
spirit of the competition, and I awarded licence keys to the recommendations
that will benefit you the readers the most. This week I feature 3 of
those readers' recommendations, the other 7 will feature in future ezines.
FileZilla - Shane's Recommendation
Sooner or later most people need an FTP program like
though my web publishing program has a built-in FTP client, I
still like an alternative dedicated FTP utility for
troubleshooting. It's hard to fault
FileZilla, it's a
mature, open-source program which has won several awards itself.
Furthermore, reviewing this program myself I
discovered a new litmus test for a good program - it should have
its own forum.
FileZilla also has high rating in all WOT (Web of Trust)
Ninotech Path Copy 4.0 - Klaus's Recommendation
A number of people
recommended one product from a software site that has an Aladdin's cave
of products. Ninotech Path Copy is a shell extension that
enables you to copy the path of a file or directory to the
Clipboard. Even if you don't need such a program right now, it's worth looking around the
Softpedia site to find another gem that you could use right
DropBox - Sean's Recommendation
The reason that I chose Sean's suggestion is that it reminds
me that I am bad at backup. Therefore I like the idea of
having secure 'locker' for my important documents. Another
benefit of DropBox is that you can access your backup from other
computers. The payment options for all these utilities
vary, but DropBox allowed
me to subscribe to a free version giving 2GB worth of storage.
Funny how the mind plays tricks; thinking about backup
triggered my memory of the following horror story.
This particular online-order company had a wonderful disaster recovery plan. Moreover they tested it every 6 months and it always restored perfectly.
The details included a hot standby server, and their backup tapes were stored offsite in the deputy managers safe. Then one night came a thunderbolt. Lightning literally struck their building and everything
including the computer
room was destroyed in the ensuing fire.
After the initial shock subsided, everyone took up their disaster recovery roles, just as they had practiced. Insurance took care of the recovery costs, and in no time at all, the new servers arrived along
with a mobile building and generator. The deputy manager despatched a courier to collect the backup
tapes that his wife got out of the safe.
Precisely what happened on that icy road will probably never be known, but the result
was the poor courier slid under a lorry. Fortunately, the courier was not seriously hurt. Not so the tapes, they were flattened under the lorry's wheels.
The master recovery plan even had a section, which covered failure of the first backup tape, but it had never been tested. Of course, they had other tapes but they were over two days old, and for a variety of reasons,
they could not recover the intervening transactions using backup. Eventually they had a team in India key in all the orders manually.
Guy's Own Recommendations: SolarWinds Engineer's Toolset v10
The Engineer's Toolset v10 provides a comprehensive console of utilities
for troubleshooting computer problems. Guy says it helps me
monitor what's occurring on the network, and the tools teach me more about how the system
There are so many good gadgets, it's like having free rein of a
sweetshop. Thankfully the utilities are displayed logically: monitoring, discovery, diagnostic, and Cisco tools.
Download your copy of the Engineer's Toolset v 10
Tools4Ever provide not one but a host of handy network utilities. They
have a professional stable of products for example, SpaceGuard Disk quota
manager, Self Service Password Reset, and my favourite FreePing.
Tools4Ever use the popular internet utility model where we download a trial
version, and if we like it, we return and buy the full version.
Check out the network utilities from
Guy Learns a Harsh Lesson
I learned a harsh lesson from last week's ezine. I suddenly realized that I am not as good at internet research as I though I was.
Just as a good tycoon dissects a balance sheet before he buys a company, so
Paul DeBrino gave me an insight how he analyzes a free utility before he
'buys into' installing it. Paul says you should check a company's bonafides; does it have an address, phone number? How does it rate in
WOT (Web of Trust)? Does it get the MacAfee's seal of approval?
The time it takes to have a quick trawl of the internet
for evidence of scams, phishing or just incompatibility problems could save
hours of your time in eradicating a rogue tool.
This readers, is near as I get to a disclaimer!
Will and Guy's Humour
They Said I Couldn't Break It
Jason, the company's top computer engineer,
was called out to make field service. When he got to the lady's
house and was let in, the first thing he noticed was the smell
of gunpowder. The second thing he saw was the double barrelled 12-gauge shotgun
lying across her lap. And the third thing was the big gaping hole in her
Jason looked at her. She was a little grey haired woman,
around 60 or so. Had she? Not possible. Still, he
had to ask.
Jason: 'Did you shoot...?'
Little Old Lady: 'Yes, I got a little mad at the computer,
the program would not load. Tech Support told me that I
couldn't hurt it, but I guess they were wrong.
Can you salvage anything?'
See more examples of busted machine stories.