23 must have applications

This time I guess I’ll take a break from the usual programming-related article. In this article I’m going to share to you some of the applications that I use on my Windows machine. Yes I’m a Windows user, it’s the Operating System that I grew up with.
And here are the apps that I currently use:

Windows Live Writer

The one and only application that I’m using since I’ve put up this blog. It makes my life easier. Especially when I need to use images, links, tables and other kinds of media. So if you’re a blogger like me, I recommend that you use Live Writer. It supports most of the blogging platforms that you might be familiar with.

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Speccy

The only thing that I could rely on when I can’t remember the specs of the computer that I’m working with. Yes, it gives you a quick overview of what powers up your machine. And that includes the motherboard, cpu, ram, and some of the devices that are installed on your computer.

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Firefox

The all-time favorite browser. Words can really describe how awesome this browser is, so I’ll end this short.

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Chrome

Currently the main-browser that I’m using for browsing the web. Because I believe that its faster and easier to use.

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VLC

Can play almost all of the media file that you can think of without you having to install a single video codec on your machine. Another bonus is that its cross-platform, so you can still reap its awesomeness whether you are a Linux, Windows, or a Mac guy.

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Everything

Another kick-ass tool that’s oath to replace the ever-slow Windows default search tool. Just put this tool on your startup folder, give it a shortcut. So that you can summon it anytime you need it. Yes, you’ll only have to wait for a maximum of .5 seconds for the file that you wish to find to appear right in front of your face.

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VirtualBox

The one stop shop for your OS virtualization needs. VirtualBox allows you to virtualize any OS that you can think of as long as you have the installation disc or and existing image of an OS that has already been installed before. And don’t forget the hardware, because basically you cannot virtualize Mac OS on a mere PC. Except if you have the right PC hardware that allows you to run a Hackintosh.

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Dropbox

For syncing files across multiple computers, Dropbox will do the job better than anything else.

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Wampserver

Makes setting up a development server easier and faster by bringing together all the applications needed for running up a website. Yes, if you still don’t know it. Wamp stands for Windows, Apache, MySql, Php. Installing these applications individually would actually be a pain in the neck unless you’re a computer geek at heart.

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Snipping Tool

The one and only tool that I use for taking screenshots when I make articles for my blog. Though I really had to use printScreen to take this cute little screenshot of Snipping Tool. Its really a very useful tool for bloggers like me who often take screenshots. Oh and by the way, its included in Windows 7 so you don’t have to download and install it separately.

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CCleaner

Yet another awesome tool from Piriform. Yes it’s the same company that made Speccy, Recuva, and Defraggler. You might say that I’m a Piriform fanatic because I used almost all of their software.

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Defraggler

If I feel like my system is getting slow and I feel like the hard disk is at fault. I make use of this tool to defragment my hard disk.

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Evernote

If you wish to sync all your notes. Everything and anything that you can think of, but not actually wanting to put it on a blog. Then you might also want to use Evernote. This is also a dropbox like software/service, but instead of syncing files. It allows you to sync notes. Its really a good replacement for the default Windows Sticky Notes.

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Sandboxie

I’ve really come this far in using this app. I guess I’m also one of the people who first used it when it launch. By the way, this app allows you to run any application or even the Windows Explorer inside a Sandbox. This makes the operation more secured since it adds up a layer between the OS and the application. So if the Sandbox gets infected with virus, you can simply delete it without it having to affect the whole OS.

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SuperAntiSpyware

One of the malware removal tools that I trust. I’m not really sure how effective it is in detecting and removing malware. But people from HowToGeek and other reputable tech sites always recommend it all the time. So I guess I have just gone with the flow. But I think this actually live up to its said effectiveness.

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Utorrent

For my torrent downloading needs, I use Utorrent. One of the things that I like about it is that its super small installation size. Its actually just 625Kb in my case. Another thing is its simple interface. And lastly, the speed by which it downloads torrents is not that bad.

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FDM

When I need to download something big, and can only be downloaded through direct-download. I use Free Download Manager.

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Programmer’s Notepad

As the name suggests. This is a text-editor. I believe only a few people are using text-editors considering that there already exist a more kick-ass counterpart which is the IDE. But I think text-editors can still get the job done.

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Foxit Reader

The pdf-reader that I came to love. I was using Sumatra before I discovered this awesome pdf-reader. Sumatra was lightweight but it can’t actually render pdf files as fast as Foxit, that’s why I chose Foxit. Its faster and it matches my current theme.

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Calculator

The built-in Windows Calculator is good enough for me when I need to perform quick calculations. Or I want to test if the calculations of the system that I’m trying to make is correct.

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Freemake Video Converter

For my media-conversion needs I use FVC. Aside from the fact that its free, and its interface is awesome. It also produces high-quality videos in no time. It also allows you to choose the file output size which makes it even more awesome. You can convert a whole bunch of video files from one format to another as you can see from the sceenshot below.

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Peazip

Yeah, I’m really an interface junkie. Once I like the interface of a certain app I test it and see if the face matches the functionality. Oftentimes eye candy apps such as this one passes my test. Peazip supports a whole bunch of archive file types. Ranging from 7z, RAR, ZIP, and many others.

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MS Word

Nothing can really replace the suite of productivity apps from Microsoft. And that includes this baby called MS Word.

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Conclusion

I guess that’s it for this article. You’ve just known some of the applications that I currently use on my day to day life as a student. Next time I’m going to share to you some of the browser extensions that I’m using.

Delete existing virtual appliance in virtual box

Have you ever experienced errors while creating a new virtual machine in virtual box? And it tells you that there’s already an existing virtual machine with that name? Well, you’ve found the right place because this time I’m going to show you how you can rid yourself of that error in two steps.

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That’s it! The screenshot says that you just have to go File > Virtual Media Manager. Then release whichever disk which you think to be the culprit.

Block flash ads without using adblock/flashblock in Firefox

Here’s a quick tip on how to block flash ads in Firefox.

First you have to go to the add-on manager.

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Then select the plugins tab. Click on the disable button next to the Shockwave Flash plugin.

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Conclusion

You can actually use this method to save a little of your battery power if you are on a laptop. Since add-ons /extensions also consume battery power.

Creating new users in ms sql 7

This is the final part of the tutorial series on ms sql 7 database. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how you can create new database users using sql server enterprise manager. This will allow you to login as an administrator to an application which uses sql server authentication before you can access it.

First, you need to expand  the console root  > Microsoft SQL Servers > SQL Server Groups > Name of your computer (mine is NREW) > Security >Logins

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Right-click on any blank space inside the ms sql server enterprise interface and select new login.

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Type in the name that you want to use. Mine is WERN. Then select the authentication method as SQL Server authentication. Type in the password that you want to use. Make sure that you can remember this password.

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Next, go to the server roles tab. And check all the server roles that you can see.

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Finally, go to the database access tab. And select the database which will be managed by the user. Set the database roles to public.

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Click ok. And type in the password that you inputted a while ago.

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You will now see that the user that you created is already in the list.

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You can use the user that you created to authenticate yourself whenever an application which connects to ms sql 7 requires you to input a password or select an administrator.

How to restore ms sql 7 database

In the second part of this 3-part tutorial. I’m going to show you how you can restore the backup that we created on the first part.

First, let’s try creating a new database which will serve as a container for the database which is going to be restored. To do that, just right-click on databases and select new database.

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Give the new database a name and click ok.

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Next, right-click on the database that you have just created. Select all tasks > restore database.

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Make sure that the empty database is the one that is selected in the restore as database drop-down box. Then select the database option. Under the show backups of database select the database which you have backed up.
If there are multiple backups available. Just select the most recent one if that’s what you need.

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Next, go to the options tab. And check the option that says force restore over existing database. Then click ok.

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If that went smoothly then your database should now be restored.

Enable designer tab in phpmyadmin

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how you can enable the designer tab in WAMP’s phpmyadmin.
Its already enabled by default in XAMPP that’s why XAMPP users are very lucky. Since they won’t need to configure anything to have the neat feature.

 

Requirement

  • Wampserver – phpmyadmin is already included by default. So you don’t need to download it separately

 

Configuration File

First, let’s find the config.inc.php under:

C:wampappsphpmyadmin3.3.9

Open that up in a decent text-editor. And add the lines below:

$cfg['Servers'][$i]['pmadb'] = 'phpmyadmin';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['bookmarktable'] = 'pma_bookmark';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['relation'] = 'pma_relation';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_info'] = 'pma_table_info';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_coords'] = 'pma_table_coords';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['pdf_pages'] = 'pma_pdf_pages';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['column_info'] = 'pma_column_info';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['history'] = 'pma_history';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['designer_coords'] = 'pma_designer_coords';

I don’t have my code snippet plugin right now, so bear with me.

Next, access my phpmyadmin from the browser. And perform the query inside this sql file:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/27328449/Tutorial%20Files/create_tables.sql

I haven’t tried importing it from phpmyadmin. It might as well work.

 

Countermeasures

  • Clear browser history by pressing ctrl + shift + del on your keyboard.
  • Restart all services from wampserver tray menu.

 

Database designer

Hopefully you can now see the designer tab whenever you try to open up a database in phpmyadmin. Here’s a sample. This is the database that I’m using for keeping track of my dvd and cd collection on all kinds of stuff that interests me.

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Conclusion

You’ve learned how to enable designer tab in phpmyadmin. If something is not working, please don’t hesitate to comment it below.

A foolproof way to backup your web directory

Have you ever reformatted your computer, and later found out that you wiped out your entire c: drive together with your web directory. That’s got to be the most painful experience ever especially if you’re not a fan of backing up your important files. In this article I’ll be showing you a foolproof way on how you can backup your web directory.

Requirements

 

Dropbox

First you need to create an account on dropbox. Download the installer from their site and install it on your computer.

Sync Toy

You also have to download and install sync toy. If you don’t already know, sync toy is an application used for (surprise!) syncing to folder together. Its like having a mirror copy of the folder you want to sync. The only downside is that sync toy, in the time of writing of this article. Doesn’t have the ability to run automatically. What’s good is that I’m going to show you later, how you can sync files automatically. That is by using the built-in windows utility called task scheduler.

First thing that you have to do is to select the folder pairs from the sync toy interface. Wherein the left folder is the original, and the right folder would be the folder where you want to mirror the contents of the left folder. In the screenshot below, I chose to place the mirror folder inside my Dropbox folder. This would be a 2-way backup, because you would have a copy of your web directory in the server of dropbox. And also a backup on a different partition in your hard drive. If you want to be super conscious. You can always select another folder pair, still using the web directory as your left folder.

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After that, go to options and check to see if the folder pair are active for run all. So that we won’t need to specify the pair name in the task scheduler later.

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Task Scheduler

Next, lets configure windows to automatically run sync toy. Because its really a pain in the neck to repeat tasks in your computer. First, you have to click on action – > create basic task.

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Select daily.

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Just leave this one as it is. But if you want to select the time wherein you usually have your computer turned on. Then change the time. And set it to recur every 1 day.

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Select start a program.

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Next, you have to search the sync toy folder on your own. But if you also have version 2.1 of sync toy then you can use the screenshot as a basis. Note that the argument is <SPACE>–R. Don’t forget to leave 1 blank space before typing –R. If you’re wondering what –R means, it means run.

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This is just a summary of what it will be doing. Just click on finish.

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Next, lets check to see if its really working. Just search for the sync toy task under the active tasks. Select it by double clicking

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Once you double the sync toy task. Just right click on it and select run. There should be a command line window which would pop up. To test if that pop up command line window is really doing its job. Just change the filename of one of the files in your left folder. Then run the sync toy again. If the filename also changes in your right folder, then the operation is successful.

Note that we just run it here manually to test if its working or not. It will actually launch automatically if you are logged into your computer at the time that you specified earlier.

 

Conclusion

You can also use this method on any file that you wish to backup. For me, the web directory is the most important because most of the time that is where I’m working, either on a personal project , school project, or just some tests on different web technologies like jquery and php.