Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist – Iraq | War | Map –

What in the world is our country coming to?
How can it be that our government and press can be so anti freedom while at the same time to ‘loving’ of terrorist?
You’re telling me that because some meat-eating operators punched a terrorist they are going to get in trouble?
This guy is the mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And many more attacks on military and civilians.
I hope people wake up soon or we will not have a country to pass on to our children.
Read about it here:

Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist – Iraq | War | Map –

Recovery from dead HDD

As you can tell from many of my posts I am a fanatic about the importance of backups.
Yet very often many people don’t follow best practices and proceedures for data back up and security.
And there are times when items have not been able to have been backed up in a normal back up cycle or are not synchronized either. Such as laptops of executives that have been on hecktic travel schedules.
I recently had the horrible issue of having one of my executives have his laptop hard drive die while still loaded with data that is/was needed for an upcoming regulatory inspection and audits!
You know when you here that ‘clicking’ and ‘clunking’ you are most likely SOL.
So I remembered, going back about a decade ago, I once used a technique to recover data from an old Novell server that ran a COLD storage array for a large souther California municipality. There was no software available to ‘re-install’ on a new machine (manufacturer long gone) and the needed COLD indexes were on the server drives anyways. 
That technique was – Freezing the Hard Drive.
I have used it many times since for years.
I figured I could try that and hope for the best.
It may not always work but if the drive is truly toast it is well worth the shot. Unless you are someone who can shell out thousands upon thousands of dollars for a clean room recovery and reconstuction you may be able to recover data otherwise considered history with this very simple technique.

Many times drives fail because of overheating which can distort the metal. By freezing the drive, you can re-align the read head because the metal shrinks just enough to put it back on track.

Most modern drives use liquid bearings, and lowering the temperature makes these bearings work differently. Also, if there is an electrical fault due to a cracked solder trace, lowering the temperature re-connects the two sides of the crack.

What I did is remove the HDD from the laptop, rap it up in paper towels, throw a buch of those little silica packing packs and put it in a zip lock freezer bag after sucking out as much air as I could.
Then I left it overnight at our office in the deep freezer.
The next day, after having completely loaded up the laptop with a new HDD with an OS, and all our apps, I was ready to give it a try.
I popped out the new HDD from the laptop.
Removed the ‘frozen’ hdd from the bag and packing and put it in the laptop.
I then booted to a recovery;/rescue USB stick [more on those another time].
The first attempt I still had no recognized HDD 0. 🙁
But I restarted again, and BAM!
The drive was recognized and accessible – not even ‘clicking’!
I quickly opend up an ‘Explorer’ from the ‘MiniXP’ session and was able to copy ALL of the data we needed on to the Flash drive. I even got all the favorites/bookmarks, profile settings and other miscellaneous documents from the drive too!
Just after finishing up copying all that, the drive again began to chunk and click. But I still got all our stuff – Yeay!
Another way to do this would have been to use an external ‘cage’ for the drive. And I have done that in the past too. What ever works.
Well just thought I’d pass that on.
By the way, this technique works for Mac’s too! I recoverd an old drive from one my G3’s long enough to get some old Illustrator and PS files I really needed.
After my recent experience I looked around the web and found I am not alone in my experiences. Many others have had success too.
This guy has a good walk through here.
If you search there are sure to be many more.
Good luck and please back up your stuff.

Back ups and System restores

Folks, please back up your data.
Once again I have been involved with a system meltdown where there was NO valid back up available.
I was able to salvage some data only after many, many hours and lots of aggravation.
Please don’t let this happen to you.
If people would create, and more importantly follow an effective back up strategy, they (and I) would live a much less stressful life.
There’s one simple rule about backups that everybody needs to fully understand:
Your files should exist in at least Two places, or it’s no longer a backup! Too often people delete files from their primary PC, assuming they are backed up or worse have their back ups located on the same hard drive on the same PC. A different partition of the same physical drive does NOT count. When hard drives fail they usually take the whole drive down including all partitions.
You data must exist in TWO, separate places at once or it is not a back up.
The simplest way is to purchase an external drive that you back up your data to by creating (and appending) disk images (see below for more) on a regular basis. I believe the most effective backups are Images(Clones).

Large external drives are very inexpensive these days. You can pick up a 1TB drive for around $100 or less just about anywhere.
But remember when backing up your data that you can’t delete it from your main system once it’s been backed up to an external drive. By doing that, you’ve left yourself with only a single copy of your important files, on an external drive that has just as much chance of dying as your internal PC hard drive.
So if you have only one external drive remember that.
Or you can go to my paranoid – but outrageously safe, route:
And use at least TWO external drives for image rotations.
I do.
I believe in the ‘grandfather/father/son’ method of backups.
[This is a method for storing previous generations of master file data that are continuously updated. The son is the current file (the one on your pc or data drive for home users), the father is a copy of the file from the previous cycle, and the grandfather is a copy of the file from the cycle before that one.]
I don’t want to be the guy who lost 25 years of family photo’s or my QuickBooks file with 15 years of business data because I didn’t want to spend a little money and time up front to be safe.

Imaging or cloning is the procedure by which you create a backup that is identical to a bootable system either to another (separate) internal or external drive. This is the ultimate backup! Should your drive fail you can just ‘pop in’ your cloned drive or ‘restore’ that clone image to a new (replacement) drive and your are up and running.
Image software makes a full, exact copy of your hard drive— a mirror image of the operating system, software, data, file organization—everything.
Good description here.
The go to software for me is Acronis or Ghost
Both have home and enterprise solutions. I have used them for many years, and continue to use both of them extensively.
For the price it is inexcusable to not have this software and use it regularly in your back up strategy.
For OS X creating an image is very simple process that can be done without any 3rd party software although I do like using SuperDuper. I have covered that in a previous article here.

Some of you may be happy just having your ‘data’ backed up to an external or online storage solution like Dropbox, Mozy, iDrive or Carbonite. There are others search ’em out.
That is fine and good for immediate back ups or access to current documents while traveling. I sometimes do this to between my image/back up schedule or when I am traveling and I know I will not be able to use a secure system.
I also use Microsoft’s SyncToy to mirror my working folders at home to one of my external drives and at work for my working documents and files. This tool has just been update to increase it’s speed and robustness, especially with network attached storage devices (NAS). You can find it here.
Well that’s all for now.
Please people save some grief and back up your data then back that up!

More on Antivirus software

I’m really impressed with Microsoft Security Essentials. It’s very minimalist but it gets the job done. It’s very fast to scan your computer and it isn’t constantly bugging you to ‘renew your subcription’.
Microsoft Security Essentials is the newest addition to Microsoft’s computer protection software. It replaces the Windows Live OneCare subscription service and Windows Defender by providing more comprehensive coverage than either of the two originally provided. Microsoft Security Essentials is free for all Windows users and provides protection against a variety of threats including viruses, malware, adware, and spyware.

Although I still use Symantec Corporate (and other Anti-Spyware solutions – me paranoid) on most of my machines I have been using this on Windows 7 and think it is a GREAT free alternitive to the expensive ‘bloatware’ AV solutions out there now. The only ‘caveat’, if you can call it that, is your system must pass ‘Microsoft Genuine Validation’. I hope all your machines do already, they should. But there is always that chance your operating system was not properly licensed by your OEM or you license key was mistakenly blacklisted.

You can get it here:

Be safe out here.

Freeing youself from Cable

Many have heard of people ‘ditching’ their cable company and instead watching TV on or from the internet, but few have learned how to do it. It is one of those things that seems only geeks and techies would or could really do.
But that is simply not the case.
With some of the many freeware applications and generously provided how to guides available, anyone can do this.
Here is one of my favorite ways:
TED (Torrent Episode Downloader) is a free tool that can find episodes of almost any TV show for downloading using a torrent client. It’s database of torrent sources is updated periodically to include new shows, and the program allows users to search for and add any shows that are not listed.

This is an extremely useful and impressive tool that can make the process of finding and downloading your favorite shows very easy; TED brings an easy to use iTunes-store like interface to the world of torrent TV shows.
This program is particularly suited for average users who (a) do not want to wade through torrent search sites and get bombarded with dubious ads and popups, (b) do not have the time or inclination to be searching for torrent sources needed for downloading, and (c) would like a reliable and easy way to find just the episodes that they want to watch.
Here is a good demonstration video.

The home page for TED is here.


Actual download:

Once again the Adam at Lifehacker has done a fantastic job of creating a simple walk through of the application.
You can check that out here:

If you don’t know what a Torrent is or anything about using BitTorrents then check out this Lifehackers Beginers Guide to BitTorrent. It is a GREAT introduction to understanding what a torrent :

For my windows machines I use uTorrent

On the Mac’s I use Transmission

Some of you may have to configure your router (firewall) to allow the torrent client to receive information through your router – called port forwarding.
I will not go into great length on how to do that right now. You should be able to find all the information you need here at PortForward.comf
Good luck and have fun!

Microsoft Technet Deal

For those of you in the development of, sale of, or support of computers and systems you should already have a Microsoft Tech Net subscription.
With the Tech Net Plus subscription you have access to download over 70 full unrestricted titles (many with multiple license keys and permited activations!!) of Microsoft software and training titles, ranging from Windows 7 to Office 2007 and many server versions. Simply burn the images (.iso) to CD of DVD.
I believe it is the most valuable subscription available for staying current on applications and operating systems.
If you don’t currently have a subscription now is the time to get it.
Microsoft is being very generous and providing a 28% discount till the end of the year.
The regular subscription is $349.00.
With the coupon it comes out to like $252.00.
A VERY low price to pay for all the software most of you will ever need for a long while.
I have been a subscriber for over a decade believe I get WAY more than my moneys worth. I am able to have access to new and current software as soon as it is available and usually LONG before the general public has access. For example via TechNet I have been using Windows 7 in one form or another for over a year. [The cost of Windows 2008 Server R2 is $3,999.00 alone!]

You can find the information here:

Just use the coupon code:  TNWIN7L

Description of Subscription Software Benefits:

TechNet Plus Direct

All Online Access

Access to all TechNet Plus resources via the members-only TechNet Plus benefits portal for an individual user. Does not include DVD shipments.

• Full-version evaluation software without time limits

• Beta software releases

• Technical Information Library

• Professional Support Incidents

• Managed newsgroups

• Online concierge Chat

• Technical training resources and Microsoft E-Learning Courses

Servers & Operating Systems 2007 Microsoft Office System Microsoft Dynamics

• Windows Server 2008

• Windows Server 2003 R2

• Compute Cluster

• Windows SharePoint Services

• SQL Server

• Application Platform Servers

BizTalk Server, Commerce Server, Host Integration Server, Connected Services Framework, Customer Care Framework

• Business Productivity Servers

Content Management Server, Exchange Server, Office Live Communications Server, Office Forms Server, Office Groove Server, Office PerformancePoint Server, Speech Server, Sharepoint Server, Windows Sharepoint Services

• IT Operations Servers

Identity Integration Server, Microsoft System Center, Microsoft Operations Manager, Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner, Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager, Systems Management Server, ISA Server

• Windows 7

Ultimate/Enterprise/Professional/Home Premium/Home Basic/Starter

• Windows Vista

Ultimate/Enterprise/Business/Vista Home Basic/Home Premium

• Windows XP

XP Home/Media Center/Professional/Tablet PC Edition

• Office

Ultimate/Enterprise/Professional Plus/Professional 2007 [2]

• Office Desktop Applications

Office Word, Office Excel, Office PowerPoint, Office Outlook & Business Contact Manager, Office Access, Office Publisher, Office InfoPath, Office OneNote, Office Communicator, Office Groove, Office SharePoint Designer, Office Visio, Office Project Standard, Office Accounting, Office Business Scorecard Manager, Office FrontPage, Office Project Professional, Office Project Server, Office Project Portfolio Server

• Dynamics AX, GP, NAV, SL, Microsoft Forecaster & Microsoft FRx

• Dynamics CRM, Point of Sale, Microsoft Small Business Accounting & Financing

Al Gore 1st ‘Carbon Billionaire’!

Why is Al Gore spouting the ‘Man Made Global Warming’ Horseshit everyday?

Here is why:

“Al Gore, the former US vice president, could become the world’s first carbon billionaire after investing heavily in green energy companies.”
Story Here:

More on ‘Global Warming’:

Costs of government run health care

Costs of government run health care.

The idea that the government could effectively run anything better than private enterprise in a free market is absurd.
Here is a great quote from Thomas Sowell, the noted economist:
“There is a fundamental difference between reducing costs and simply shifting costs around, like a pea in a shell game at a carnival.”
The entire article is here:
From Thomas Sowell and should be read by all!
Printer Friendly version:;=c

And here is more of what you will be paying for!
Aborton Tax