Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Scheduling a Weekly Defrag in Windows

Just a tip if you want to have your computer defragment itself every week. I found an article titled Windows XP: Schedule a weekly defragmentation that gives nice pictures and makes it easy for the most basic computer user.
If it seems like your computer has gotten slower since you bought it, it probably has. One of the biggest factors that slows down your computer’s performance is fragmentation, a situation that occurs over time, in which files on your hard drive become divided into small pieces. Your computer must read a file to open, save, or close it. So when it reads each piece of a fragmented file separately, the effect is that the file can seem “slow” when you’re working with it.

Defragmenting your hard drive is the process of putting all the scattered pieces of files back together. Microsoft Windows XP includes a tool that will defragment your hard drive for you. To keep your system performing well, it’s a good idea to have Windows XP automatically defragment your hard drive every week.

Just a note, there are some helpful command line options for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003:
defrag <volume> [-a] [-f] [-v] [-?]
volume drive letter or mount point (d: or d:\vol\mountpoint)
-a Analyze only
-f Force defragmentation even if free space is low
-v Verbose output
-? Display this help text

On Vista and Server 2008, there seem to be a few more options according to this article:
The list of supported command line parameters for "defrag.exe" is the following:

  • drive letter - this parameter specifies the drive letter or the mount point path of the volume that will be analyzed or defragmented. (e.g. "defrag c:" or "defrag e:\volume\mountpoint");

  • -c - using this parameters forces "defrag.exe" to defragment all volumes on your computer. (e.g. "defrag -c");

  • -a - performs only fragmentation analysis and it doesn't defragment the specified drive. (e.g. "defrag d: -a");

  • -r - performs a partial defragmentation which consolidates only the fragments which are smaller than 64 MB. This is the default setting. This means that "defrag v:" and "defrag v: -r" are equivalent and the Disk Defragmenter will perform the same type of defragmentation;

  • -w - when you use this switch, "defrag.exe" will perform a full defragmentation, regardless of the fragments size. (e.g. "defrag c: -w");

  • -f - forces the defragmentation even if the free space is lower than 15%. (e.g. "defrag c: -f");

  • -v - verbose mode. In this mode, "defrag.exe" will show a detailed analysis and defragmentation output. (e.g. "defrag d: -v");

  • -? - displays help information about how to use "defrag.exe". (e.g. "defrag -?").

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bothering me: Outrageous Salaries for CEOs

In a new post, Seth's Blog: The myth of big salaries (it's all marketing), Seth Godin speaks about how CEOs are getting too much money. This is something that has bothered me recently. I mean, really, how many people are worth $50 million. If you look at all the lower positions where people are fighting for lower paying jobs, there are a ton of qualified individuals. When was it that MBAs became so rare?
Maybe now with it being an "employers-market" we can get away with paying CEOs only $5 million instead of 50.

ed. Here are some great ideas from BusinessPundit on the issue.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Reprint: Speed Safely by Tracy Arakaki

I just wanted to reprint this article from around hawaii. It was written by my friend Tracy Arakaki who has experienced first hand the effects of speeding. If you want to see more of the work he does, you can see his site at punishum.com.

2001 was a year to forget in regards to tragedy caused due to illegal street racing. Young Logan Fujimoto lost his life after he flew off the freeway and landed in a service station parking lot near Kahala Mall. A month later school teacher Elizabeth Kekoa was killed just a few miles from where young Logan lost his life. The driver Nicolas Tudisco is sitting in a prison cell serving 10 years for his poor decision.

Since January 1st of this year there has been 15 fatal crashes resulting in 17 deaths. 60% or 9 of these fatal accidents were due to excessive speeding. In 2008 Honolulu Police gave out over 58,800 citations for speeding. On a recent Friday evening I was listening to a police frequency for a single district and within 30 minutes there were 6 calls to officers on the beat of racing or speeding vehicles.

In 2001 with the help of import drag racer Shaun Carlson PunishUM Motorsports produced a 30 second Public Service Announcement with the help of a well known marketing firm. This PSA had gotten air time on all the network stations during the 2001 holiday season.

This year with the help of Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona PunishUM Motorsports is producing 3 Public Service Announcements and a half hour television special addressing illegal "Street Racing" or just plain "SPEEDING" and its consequences. Featured on the show is Prosecutor Peter Carlisle, Representative Glenn Wakai and others inform viewers that Speeding can lead to jail time or worse, Death.

Just a few days ago 3 young adults were killed again due to excessive speeding. A tragic loss due to really, there is no other word for it but being plain "STUPID".

The only place is a racetrack and "NOT" the streets.

If you would like more information in regards to this "Speed Safely" campaign you can log onto punishum.com.

Obama: Out of Touch, but Popular

I watched the last half of the Obama interview on the Tonight Show last night. People that say he's not suave guy is just fooling themselves. He is a very personable, easy-going, smooth-talking character. Just darn likable, if you take the politics out of it. But because he is likable doesn't make him a great (or even a good) president. He has calmed down his out of control spending ever so slightly and has settled on left-wing in talk but still pushes his (Pelosi's?) extreme agenda through his actions.

That is what makes me think that he is just out of touch. I don't know what they learn in Chicago, but it doesn't seem to be about thinking things through (No, not a ding against Chicago-ans, just of the political bunch.) The economy is doing bad and that is something we all know about. So why keep pushing frivolous spending such as $2.4B USD for electric vehicles, continuing subisidies for corn based ethanol, and multi-billion dollars to many other programs. It is just ludicrous. Not only that, but the Federal Reserve is going to create $1 trillion out of thin air.

It is just so frustrating to see everything skewed so far to the political left. Personally I am more of a moderate and didn't exactly like the previous administration either. But take a step back and look at what you are doing before you rush in to frivolous off the cuff spending. Politicians need to look back at history and see what hurts and what helps. The can even look at the lives of the common citizen for help. When we (the common man) are in trouble financially, we save and spend money on the things that have a good ROI. That is what our politicians need to see.

Sorry about my little rant. Now back to working with FoxPro.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tried out Alfresco, Uninstalled

Well I tried out Alfresco Document Management and then uninstalled it.


For a few reasons actually. First of all, it didn't do too well running on as a Windows service. There are some instructions online but that is just a dead end as it is written for an older version of Alfresco, and it appears that I am not the only one having that problem. I tried just about everything to get it to run as a service, pre-setting all the environmental variables in the tomcat service, adding more memory to the heap, and copied all the settings from the older tutorial. All of that to no avail.

It also is not very well documented in how to run everything. It does look like a good starting point and is probably awesome after you get it set up by someone that knows what they are doing, but for simple uses, it just wasn't the product for me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Charting libraries for PHP

A new post on code-diesel piqued my interest as it deals with one of those more "business-like" applications of php. 6 excellent charting libraries for php : CodeDiesel is a post describing 6 excellent charting libraries for php. Really this is just one of those things that I want to remember and use for future reference. Here is a quick list.
  1. Visifire
  2. PHP/SWF
  3. pChart
  4. Open Flash Chart
  5. AmCharts
  6. eZ components
I have already used eZ components to make bar graphs and that was pretty easy and quick to set up.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trying out Alfresco Document Management

I was interested in how other companies do Document Management so I decided to install Alfresco Labs 3 on my own machine and try it out.

Being that I run Windows XP with OpenOffice.org already installed, I ran into some problems right off the bat. The first thing that happend was that I thought I didn't have to install the JDK. That was a silly mistake on my part, so I just reran the installer again. The next problem I ran into was when I ran the startup of the Alfresco Server. I kept reading the log lines as it started up and noticed that it said something to the effect of "Cannot run C:\Alfresco\OpenOffice.org\programs\soffice". I thought "Wow, that's funny, that's not where I have my OpenOffice installed." So going through the startup program alfresco.bat, I noticed that it called another program SetPaths.bat. I looked in there and noticed that it set an environmental variable called OPENOFFICE_HOME. But the path was my CORRECT install directory. Great I was at a dead end. I ran through a search for the path it was trying to run but Windows XP and Windows Search 4.0 wasn't indexing all the right files fully so it wasn't returning anything. Then i saw that the Tomcat startup was looking at a .properties file. So I adjusted the Windows Search to fully index those files and got a hit. C:\Alfresco\tomcat\shared\classes\alfresco\extension\custom-repository.properties. These files are similar to ini files and had the assignment "ooo.exe=C:\Alfresco\OpenOffice.org\programs\soffice." I just changed that to the correct path and voila! it started up perfectly.

So far I haven't done much with Alfresco so I can't give a really good review. It does seem to be the best open source document management system out there at this time.